The Mask of God

The doctrine of vocation, a term that is just the Latin word for “calling,” deals with how God works through human beings to bestow His gifts. God gives us this day our daily bread by means of the farmer, the baker, the cooks, and the lady at the check-out counter. He creates new life — [Read More…]

Why Angelology Matters

Carol Zaleski discusses the necessity of of having a sound doctrine of angels: The venture of believing in angels is worth making, even at the risk of confounding the details. We have to rely, as Gregory puts it, on authoritative hearsay—on the Bible and its interpreters, on the Church and her traditions. But one thing is [Read More…]

All Games are Eschatological

New Testament scholar Ben Witherington III on why Christians should develop a stronger theology of play: From God’s perspective, play is not a distraction from “real life.” Play is so important partly because it prefigures the final state of affairs: the joy of the celebration of God’s kingdom. All games are essentially eschatological, having some [Read More…]

The Accountability of the Church Intellectual

In the journal Themelios, theologian Carl Trueman offers some sobering advice for students considering pursuing doctoral studies (“‘Do not do it if you think you are going to find a job at the end of it; do it for the sake of doing it. There are almost no jobs going in academia these days . . [Read More…]

How Puritans Became Capitalists

In his book, Heavenly Merchandize, Mark Valeri, professor of church history at Union Presbyterian Seminary, finds that the American economy as we know it emerged from a series of important shifts in the views of Puritan ministers: IDEAS: You’re saying that the market didn’t rise at the expense of religion, but was enabled by it? VALERI: You need to [Read More…]

Portion Distortion and the Last Supper

How much would Jesus eat? The answer—as determined by depictions of the last supper—vary by era, say two brothers—an eating behavior expert and a religious studies scholar: Brian and Craig Wansink teamed up to analyze the amount of food depicted in 52 of the best-known paintings of the Last Supper. After indexing the sizes of [Read More…]

Religion is Wasted on the Young

“Perhaps when we think we are criticizing the narrow thinking of others,” says Timothy Larsen, “we are sometimes really just exposing the narrowness of perception of our past selves. My students are often Christians who are old enough to mock mercilessly the people that gave of their time sacrificially to disciple them when they were [Read More…]

The Parable of Botox

Several years ago I encouraged my friend Hans Madume—a physician, theologian, and bioethicist—to provide me a justification for condemning cosmetic surgery. We would often discuss the differences between therapy and enhancement and since the latter triggered my “yuck” reflex—and because I’m an advocate of Leon Kass-style “wisdom of repugnance” theorizing—I figured a knock-down case could [Read More…]

Your Emotions Are A Gauge, Not A Guide

God designed your emotions to be gauges, not guides. They’re meant to report to you, not dictate you. The pattern of your emotions (not every caffeine-induced or sleep-deprived one!) will give you a reading on where your hope is because they are wired into what you believe and value — and how much. That’s why [Read More…]

The General Motors Model of the American Church

Walter Russell Mead on the structural problems of the modern church: The Christian churches in the United States are in trouble for all the usual reasons — human sinfulness and selfishness, the temptations of life in an affluent society, doctrinal and moral controversies and uncertainties and on and on and on — but also and to [Read More…]