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Theology


Romans 7 for Everyone: Death by the Hands of the Law

Disclaimer: This post does not mention the Coronavirus pandemic, Zoom, Zinc supplements, or social distancing. For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing […]

Inspiration, the Many Gospels, and the “Good News”: Why Just Four?

You’ve probably seen the headlines: Jesus had a wife! (spoiler, the text was a fake), “Judas was framed,” or “Mary wasn’t a virgin.” The canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John where not the only gospel texts written by the early Christians. They were but four among many others. This discovery of other gospel […]

On “Lawlessness” and Understanding: The Gospel for Jews and Greeks

The counter-cultural, revolutionary nature of Christianity is en vogue at the moment, and understandably so. The world is not the Gospel; its claims and promises are, in the words of David Zahl, “seculosities” that we can’t help but uncritically accept. We swim amid an ocean of competing ideologies. Part of the appeal of Christianity is […]

The Despairing Place

Spoilers below. Early in the final episode of The Good Place, we find Jeff the doorman sitting at the gate between Earth and the afterlife. Jeff has an affinity for frogs, and as the episode progresses, he accumulates more of them — plastic frogs, plush frogs — until he barely registers any interest in them […]

When Your Theology of Pain Is Painfully Bad

All too often have I heard — and thought myself — that from a Christian perspective suffering is the doorway to new life and to freedom, even that suffering is good. Even that it is beautiful. Yet as Kate Bowler and others have so eloquently pointed out, this concept seems misguided at best — though […]

One Thing You Can’t Say About Pope Pius XIII

The following comes to us from Alan Jacobs. There are many things you could say about Pope Pius XIII, AKA Lenny Belardo. You could say that is he a saint. You could say that he is a con artist. You could say that he is a man of great humility, who wants to become “the […]

The Top Theology Books of 2019

Farewell 2019! Lots to love about the books that came out this past year. Several of these are instant classics I’ll be paging through for years to come! As always, feel free to let me know in the comments if I’ve missed a deserving book! I’m always on the hunt for a good read… In […]

The Weight of Advent: Speak What You Feel, Not What You Ought to Say

As Black Friday reaches further back in time each year, so as to even colonize the twilight hours of Thanksgiving Day, we in North America are no strangers to the porousness of time. Commercial interests can collapse chronology such that two times can overlap in a way purely linear calendar time can’t countenance; we can […]

Who Killed God? (Christians, with the Ethics, in the Renaissance)

Currently reading and enjoying Alec Ryrie’s Unbelievers: An Emotional History of Doubt. For anyone who likes the work of John Gray or Francis Spufford, this could be natural next steps, fitting snugly between those two, in terms of friendliness/approachability. Cleverly, Ryrie introduces his concept as a whodunnit. If, as Nietzsche argued, God is dead, then […]

The Elusive Strangeness of Jesus

People don’t say it often enough: Jesus was pretty weird. He cleared out the Temple with a butter knife (so to speak), he laughed off death threats from Herod, and he regularly insulted his dinner hosts. Jesus held a patent disregard for social graces and conventions. When given the chance, he did or said the […]

Above the Noise: A Word of Comfort in a World of Sound

The ears, Martin Luther said, are “the only organs of the Christian.” His point was not to contradict Paul’s “body of Christ” analogy but that hearing is the most passive of the senses. While the watchful eye and the grabbing hand both suggest a more aggressive mode of action, the ears simply receive whatever comes […]

When the World Turned Upside Down in Galatia

One of many fantastic portions of the “Galatia” section in Tom Holland’s Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World, which finally arrived on US shores two weeks ago. Holland has essentially crafted a 600-page sequel to Francis Spufford’s “Yeshua” chapter in Unapologetic: This conviction, that a crucified criminal might somehow be a part of […]