Modernity’s Challenges to Traditional Theology

Modern theology arises from the challenges, some of them successful of course, to traditional theology. In Roger Olson’s splendid volume, The Journey to Modern Theology, one can find a rapid, clear, and insightful sketch of the challenges to traditional theology (pp. 31-124). I can provide but a sketch of his sketch, but this is just the [Read More...]

Pray for the Iraqi Christians Today

Source: Iraq’s Christians trace their history to the first century apostles Thomas and Thaddeus. Most are Chaldean Catholics, practicing an Eastern liturgy but recognizing the authority of the Vatican. Many Chaldeans still speak forms of Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus. But because of ISIS, which has now declared a “caliphate” in the region it [Read More...]

Saturday Book Review: Inside the Crusades (by Lynn Cohick)

Defending the City of God: A Medieval Queen, the First Crusades, and the Quest for Peace in Jerusalem by Sharan Newman. NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. Review by Lynn Cohick, professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, and author of Philippians in the Story of God Bible Commentary. An academic tour of the Holy Sepulcher this summer [Read More...]

For the Early Church, Start Here (Every time)

I shall begin with this: IVP’s Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity  is a colossal and stunning achievement. 3220 separate dictionary entries, 266 contributors from 26 countries. There is nothing like it and there won’t be for decades… so every library has to have it, and every one who wants to study the patristics needs to have it [Read More...]

The Time of Our Lives (by Jonathan Storment)

The Time of Our Lives I come from a Free Church tradition, for those of you who don’t know, that doesn’t mean we have a symbol of an eagle for our services, it just means that we aren’t as tied to the historic liturgy and traditions from older streams of Christianity (like creeds or prayer [Read More...]

The Irrecoverable 50s

What were the 1950s like? Maybe we should rework that question to What was the future’s hope as expressed in the 50s? George Marsden: The 50s were in continuity with the American Enlightenment in the hope or belief that “a coalition of cultural leaders, including some religious leaders, despite their differences, could somehow guide the [Read More...]

Deliverance Politics, Beginning with Calvin

Yes, that’s right. There is a history of socio-political theology, yea, liberation theology and social gospel, that begin in some ways with Calvin. This story has been told in remarkable detail by John Coffey, Exodus and Liberation: Deliverance Politics from John Calvin to Martin Luther King Jr (Oxford, 2014). We are dealing with how folks have [Read More...]

20th Century, Who Won? Liberals or Fundamentalists

Early in the 20th Century the famed liberal pastor-author, Harry Emerson Fosdick, preached a controversial sermon entitled “Shall the Fundamentalists Win?” He preached in a day when newspapers covered famous pastors’ sermons. This is discussed in Christopher Evans, Liberalism without Illusions (Baylor, 2013). The question is a worthy one to return to early in the 21st [Read More...]

One Pastor per Church?

Most any reading of the earliest period of the followers of Jesus, say from 30-50 AD, reveals a more charismatic ordering of a local church. Most any reading of the 3d Century church reveals what many call a Monarchial bishopric, where we have an authoritative teacher “ruling” the local church. How did this happen? Everett [Read More...]

What’s a “Free” Church?

One of my favorite scholars is Everett Ferguson, author of the justly used Backgrounds of Early Christianity, a rich and useful resource for all things historical. He’s a part of the Churches of Christ, a lively part of the American church even if often ignored by those who study evangelicalism. I’m for bringing them to the [Read More...]


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