September 3, 2013

In mid-January of 2014, Fuller Theological Seminary will host the second annual Los Angeles Theology Conference. Last year’s inaugural conference at Biola was a great success. In fact, the book version of that conference is just about to appear in print from Zondervan. The topic for the 2014 conference is “Advancing Trinitarian Theology,” and we have invited an apt set of plenary speakers for a Trinity conference: Lewis Ayres, Steve Holmes, Karen Kilby, Tom McCall, and Fred Sanders. Registration will open... Read more

September 3, 2013

What good is sitting around talking about books? This is a rather urgent question for the faculty of the Torrey Honors Institute as we start into another academic year, because we are leading our students once again into an extended season of exactly that. At Torrey, the professors assign classic texts, reserve classrooms, and show up to ask questions. In response, our students dutifully read those classic texts (they really do! It’s like college magic!), put their chairs in circles,... Read more

August 31, 2013

I’m so glad to see this new book by Matt Anderson: The End of Our Exploring: A Book About Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Anderson may be most in his element as a frontline blogger, elevating the discourse in his corner of the internet with astute writing and exceptional judgement about which topics to address and which to ignore. But his first book, 2011’s  Earthen Vessels, showed how much Anderson can accomplish with a couple hundred pages, still intervening and... Read more

August 20, 2013

Last week my family got to spend a few days in Yosemite, artfully dodging the summer crowds and hiking as hard as a clan of young not-especially-hikers can. It was great. Along with the Bible and the writings of John Muir, I took along a little Karl Barth: not one of his big half-dome tomes, just the 1962 lectures Evangelical Theology: An Introduction. I suppose I’ve developed a tradition of reading a few pages of Barth in Yosemite over the... Read more

August 19, 2013

“So, what are you working on?” she might ask. This is how these grad school parties go. “Sin,” I would invariably reply—sometimes saying a bit more, to make the pill go down smooth. Other times I’d utter just the one word, knowing the potential for a good, awkward laugh. Though at one point I thought I would write on joy, I landed on sin. Martin Luther vividly describes the sinner as “curved in on himself,” and the metaphor of sinful... Read more

August 12, 2013

This summer a neighbor of mine died. I had gotten to know Jim and his wife, Teresa, during the last ten years I’ve lived on their street. I had the privilege of offering a tribute at his memorial service. The service was unlike any I’d ever been part of because instead of burying his body, we scattered his ashes in the ocean. This was made possible through The Angel’s Ashes, a ministry for the families of military veterans and homeless... Read more

August 8, 2013

John Wesley is an author we go out of our way to read In the Torrey Honors Institute’s great books sequence. In most great books curricula, you wouldn’t likely find Wesley’s name ranked alongside Homer, Plato, Augustine, and Dante, but because of our evangelical identity at Biola, it is crucial that we interact with the classic evangelical voices. And John Wesley stands out as a major influence on evangelical Protestant thought and life. So we read him (among a select... Read more

August 6, 2013

The back pages of the June 2013 issue of JETS contain some very helpful book reviews. As usual, reviewers alerted me to a couple of books I need to read, and tipped me off to a number of books I should definitely skip. In some cases, just reading the review was enough to fill me in on the recent direction of certain discussions, especially in biblical studies. Good reviews are worth reading in their own right, without any necessary reference to the... Read more

August 4, 2013

Earlier this summer, I got an email from John Buchanan, a current student in the Torrey Honors Institute: Hello, Dr. Jenson. As you may be told from time to time, you are the mentor that seemed sensible to talk to regarding the subject of this email… Probably because you are a younger male but who knows for certain. I wrote this email in the same form as I would talk to you about something in an office hours, but as... Read more

July 29, 2013

We are all past, present, and future. While our lives may be bound in the present, what constitutes our “who” has come before, and will be. I am myself, my mother’s child, my child’s mother. The intricacy and interdependency of human lives and human relationships are as complex as time itself, and authors who manage to tell stories that address both are rare. In some ways, their stories are like prophecies – reminding of us of what has been and... Read more

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