Author Archives: Michael Riley

Book Recommendation: Indivisible by Four

This will be a quick post, as I’m in the midst of significant transition. This past week, on a flight, I had the opportunity to read Arnold Steinhardt’s Indivisible by Four: A String Quartet in Pursuit of Harmony. Steinhardt spent over three decades as first violin for the Guarneri String Quartet. I saw the book… Continue Reading

Culture and Truth

Culture and Truth

The culture of any group of people has a profound influence on the sort of propositions that they are likely to find believable. Here, I’m using culture in a very broad sense, referring to nearly all of the man-made artifacts of one’s environment: government, art, family life, media (not content, but access to various media… Continue Reading

Sola Scriptura and Form: What I’m Not Saying

This entry is part of 4 in the series Sola Scriptura and Form You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The purposes and positions of Religious Affections (the ministry and blog, not [necessarily] the book) are not obscure; this granted, I expect that our readers are primed to hear the strains of grinding axes in all our posts. Everything we say looks like a camel’s nose in your tent. You have the gnawing suspicion that… Continue Reading

Sola Scriptura and Form: Biblical Form

Sola Scriptura and Form: Biblical Form

This entry is part of 4 in the series Sola Scriptura and Form You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In this discussion, I am using the term form, quite broadly, to denote those features of the biblical text that express (in additional to their propositional content) a mood or manner about the propositional content. This means, therefore, that I am not using form in any sort of strict literary sense. Let me explain why… Continue Reading

Sola Scriptura and Form: Theology as a Problem

Sola Scriptura and Form: Theology as a Problem

This entry is part of 4 in the series Sola Scriptura and Form You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In the first post of this series, I offered this thesis: “because the Bible is itself expressed in certain forms, and because the Bible is our final authority for faith and practice, we have an obligation to mirror biblical forms in our own expression of biblical truth.” I will continue this practice of clearly stating… Continue Reading

Sola Scriptura and Form: Introduction

Sola Scriptura and Form: Introduction

This entry is part of 4 in the series Sola Scriptura and Form You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Dr. Matt Olson, president of Northland International University, opened a recent sermon on music thus: “What about the music? You know, it’s interesting, as we dive into this discussion: I don’t find one verse in the entire New Testament that addresses the style of music, and that’s usually where our controversy is.” I highlight Dr.… Continue Reading

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 7

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 7

This entry is part of 7 in the series A Theology of Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

If God does indeed imbue creation with his own value judgments, we are obligated to order our loves in analogy to his. If what I’m arguing is true, we are blameworthy, not only when we believe mistakenly (and thereby do not conform to God’s knowledge of himself or of his creation), but also when we… Continue Reading

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 6

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 6

This entry is part of 7 in the series A Theology of Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In this series, we are establishing a theological foundation for conservatism, specifically the objective nature of aesthetic judgments. See part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here, and part 5 here. In the same way, the aseity of God is the ground for meaningful aesthetic judgment. We are now in position to draw parallels… Continue Reading

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 5

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 5

This entry is part of 7 in the series A Theology of Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In this series, we are establishing a theological foundation for conservatism, specifically the objective nature of aesthetic judgments. See part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, and part 4 here. The aseity of God is the ground for knowledge. The narrative of the Fall demonstrates that attempted neutrality denies, at the outset, the possibility that the Christian… Continue Reading

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 4

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 4

This entry is part of 7 in the series A Theology of Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In this series, we are establishing a theological foundation for conservatism, specifically the objective nature of aesthetic judgments. See part 1 here, part 2 here, and part 3 here. Sin is a rejection of the aseity of God. The theology of the aseity of God may well seem utterly abstract; to combat that misperception, I’d like… Continue Reading

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 3

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 3

This entry is part of 7 in the series A Theology of Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In this series, we are establishing a theological foundation for conservatism, specifically the objective nature of aesthetic judgments. See part 1 here and part 2 here. Implications of God’s aseity The world derives its meaning by virtue of its being revealed by God. Before the beginning, God alone was. And God created all things, and everything… Continue Reading

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 2

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 2

This entry is part of 7 in the series A Theology of Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In this series, we are establishing a theological foundation for conservatism, specifically the objective nature of aesthetic judgments. See part 1 here. God’s aseity is the foundation of a fully Christian worldview. Definition of aseity Aseity is at least roughly synonymous with the concepts of the self-existence and independence of God. Cornelius Van Til is… Continue Reading

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 1

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 1

This entry is part of 7 in the series A Theology of Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Characteristic of our age is the wholehearted embrace of relativisms; I speak of relativisms (in the plural) because we can consider relativism from several (interrelated) perspectives. I often make use of a tripartite conception of man (as mind, will, and emotion) to classify some important relativistic views. If relativism is applied to mind, we relinquish… Continue Reading