Some historical treatments of Christian theology present it as if it is a series of moves that import God to fill gaps in our scientific knowledge only to retreat when the divine placeholder is no longer needed. I will leave that historiographical judgment for another time. So, please hold a place for it. For now, I simply wish to consider whether the Christian faith favors a life that is a grand escape or a great engagement. Bertrand Russell wrote in… Read more

One of my biggest spiritual problems is forgetting about what God has done for me in the past when facing trials in the present. I am not alone. Perhaps you face the same struggle. The Israelites certainly did, and the author of Hebrews wants to make sure the Christian to whom he is writing will not make the same mistake Israel did in the wilderness. And so, the writer of Hebrews goes from comparing Jesus and angels in chapters 1… Read more

The following is an interview with Dr. Kenneth P. Minkema, Executive Editor of The Works of Jonathan Edwards and of the Jonathan Edwards Center & Online Archive at Yale University, with an appointment as Research Faculty at Yale Divinity School. Paul Louis Metzger (PLM): Dr. Minkema, thank you for your willingness to be interviewed for this blog post on the Puritans and Jonathan Edwards. Let’s start with the title. On a few occasions since being here in New Haven, I’ve noted the expression… Read more

The news spread rapidly today that Billy Graham was dead. Throughout the day, I pondered the great evangelist’s life and legacy and what he has personally meant to me. I was born in the heat of the Cold War. President Kennedy was assassinated just a few months before my birth. Dr. King was assassinated a few years later. President Nixon resigned the office of the presidency due to Watergate several years after that. Throughout those years, the Vietnam War raged…. Read more

We live in uncertain times. I suppose that is always the case, but I believe we are even more aware of it these days. The Florida shooting last week took us by horrible surprise. It was a bitter, shocking reminder that we have no idea when we step out the door each day if it will be our last. I cannot imagine how the teenagers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida feel after coming so close to… Read more

Many of us have been watching and reading the haunting news reports coming out of Florida. Another school shooting. One of the worst mass killings in American history. Youths and adults plead once again with the government to enact legislation to protect our children. Gun control and gun rights groups will continue doing battle over the best course of action. Given all the confirmation bias on all sides, one’s views on the subject are easily shot down as soon as… Read more

The morning devotions at the Overseas Ministries Study Center are always rich and impactful. A ministry leader from Myanmar (formerly Burma) led yesterday morning’s devotional. Rev. Dr. Nathan Perng, Principal of Lahu Theological Seminary of Myanmar,[1] featured John 12:24: “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24; NRSV). One of the takeaways for me from the… Read more

Pastors face a great deal of pressure in our day. We hear often of church decline across the U.S. (For example, refer here and here). In my estimation, pastors wrongly bear a preponderance of the burden to right the ship and build church attendance and overall growth. It must get lonely at the top. Perhaps due to the pressures they face from boards, congregations and other domains, at times pastors slip into using commodifying language such as “giving units” to… Read more

Hebrews 1:4-2:4 compares Jesus and angels, and Jesus comes out on top. Just when you think there are no more comparisons left to make between Jesus and angels, the author of the Epistle makes one more, as recorded in chapter 2: Jesus even comes out on top when he is at the bottom of the pit. Here’s what the author of this letter to the Hebrew Christians writes, “But we see him who for a little while was made lower than… Read more

In our day, the church in the West, which has so often been a sending church, is in many respects in need of the church in the East and the South to send witnesses to Jesus here. Read more

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