December 2, 2013

Excerpt from a chapel on the stories of C.S. Lewis, at Biola on Dec. 2, 2013. I want to read to you a passage from the second book of Lewis’ Space Trilogy, from the book Perelandra. Though it’s from the final pages of the book, you don’t need any spoiler alert, and there’s no need to worry that I’m giving away the plot. Anything you could call a plot is long since over by this time, and all the characters… Read more

November 29, 2013

Joan Didion once said that the first line of a book is the decisive part. “What’s so hard about that first sentence is that you’re stuck with it. Everything else is going to flow out of that sentence. And by the time you’ve laid down the first two sentences, your options are all gone.” Didion was talking about essays, I think, but others (Hemingway?) have made the same claim about fiction. It got me thinking about theology books: what’s the best opening… Read more

November 18, 2013

There are a few lines from a poem by Coventry Patmore that stick in my mind for their remarkable, evocative power. I first read them in a 1939 anthology by Walter de la Mare called Behold This Dreamer, a rambling collection of prose and poetry about “Reverie, Night, Sleep, Dream, Love-Dreams, Nightmare, Death, the Unconscious, the Imagination, Divination, the Artist, and Kindred Subjects.” Smitten by the lines, I looked up Coventry Patmore and found that the lines were from the very… Read more

November 15, 2013

There’s a little song called God Went Bowling by a band called the Swirling Eddies. It was on their 1994 album Zoom Daddy, and it features an oompah beat driven by accordion. Over it all is the snide vocal of Terry Scott Taylor, the songwriter whose mad genius has found outlet via at least three bands (Daniel Amos, the Swirling Eddies, and the Lost Dogs) and a solo recording career. Somewhere around 1999 I did a set of ten illustrations… Read more

November 13, 2013

When I published The Deep Things of God in 2010, I made a mental note to myself that I should eventually use this blog to let readers in on a fun little bit of extra information about the book. Then I lost the mental note somewhere on the mental desktop of my mental office. Now here it is a few years later, and something jogged my memory, so I’m finally getting around to mentioning this. If you take the first… Read more

November 12, 2013

The fallen angels in Paradise Lost are of course shockingly wrongheaded in their estimation of God: Lucifer and company, while in heaven, thought they could beat God in a fight, and some of them continue to think so even after they find themselves greatly diminished and in hell. It’s hard to imagine what metric they could possibly have been using to think that their strength measured up to the divine, though Satan does at one point claim that God had sneakily… Read more

November 12, 2013

Richie Incognito’s alleged harassment of his Miami Dolphins’ teammate Jonathan Martin has been in the news a great deal these last couple weeks, and it is a complex story. I assume that there will be a good deal more of “he said he said,” and that we may never get to the bottom of what happened. But the conflict revealed the dirty underbelly of a locker room culture that is one more reminder that destructive behavior can flourish anywhere, even… Read more

November 11, 2013

Last Friday, the estimable Peter Leithart posted a little manifesto in his column space at First Things,. declaring “The End of Protestantism.” I didn’t like the piece at all. In fact, for a moment I entertained the theory that somebody had hacked his account and posted a satire. Leithart is after all one of a handful of contemporary theologians who actually writes with a personal style, with a voice that could be imitated. And this piece just seemed too over… Read more

November 9, 2013

The 2014 Los Angeles Theology Conference, “Advancing Trinitarian Theology,” will be on January 16 and 17 at Fuller Theological Seminary. The conference is designed so that it can easily be used as a content delivery system for a class on trinitarian theology. Registration is already open, and the early-bird rate is in effect until November 30. Combined with the group rate (ten or more registrants), you can bring the registration price down to $70. And there is a student discount… Read more

November 5, 2013

The second annual Los Angeles Theology Conference,  entitled “Advancing Trinitarian Theology,” will happen this January at Fuller Theological Seminary.  We have invited five plenary speakers distinguished for recent contributions to the doctrine of the Trinity: Lewis Ayres, Stephen Holmes, Karen Kilby, Thomas McCall, and Fred Sanders. Registration is open. Earlier this year Oliver Crisp and I issued a call for papers, and we were pleased to receive a large number of responses. We were only able to select nine papers from… Read more




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