Category Archives: Articles on Theology

Beauty Defined (With Some Help From Edwards)

Beauty Defined (With Some Help From Edwards)

This entry is part 18 of 18 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

How do we decide between these competing definitions of beauty? As Christians, we would firstly say that we cannot be satisfied with a definition of beauty abstracted from God. Beauty must be defined in relation to God. For that reason, special revelation (Scripture) must define beauty in general revelation (nature and art), not the other… Continue Reading

Beauty’s Definition

Beauty’s Definition

This entry is part 17 of 18 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Defining beauty is no easy task. A definition of beauty or the beautiful has eluded the grasp of those who wish a definition with mathematical precision. This more than two-millennia-old discussion remains open, and no definition has satisfied its perennial participants or become the final word. Among those who venture to define it, we can… Continue Reading

Beauty’s Difficulties: Philosophy versus Biblical Authority

Beauty’s Difficulties: Philosophy versus Biblical Authority

This entry is part 11 of 18 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The discussion of beauty among Christians is often stymied before it starts. Some of this is due to a long-standing suspicion towards philosophy felt by many Christians. From Tertullian’s “What hath Athens to do with Jerusalem?” to Luther’s denunciation of the Scholastics to evangelicalism’s embrace of Common Sense Realism, there is some considerable water under… Continue Reading

The “Golden Chain” of Salvation in Romans 8:29–30

The “Golden Chain” of Salvation in Romans 8:29–30

Romans 8:29–30 states, “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”… Continue Reading

Doctrinal Triage for Worship

Doctrinal Triage for Worship

Many years ago, Al Mohler published a widely-read article on doctrinal triage, a method for evaluating the seriousness of doctrines. Kevin Bauder then pointed out that this approach was something that mainstream fundamentalists had espoused for many years, with possibly more sophistication. I’ve thought for a while that we need something like that for the… Continue Reading

The Crucifixion: Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?

The Crucifixion: Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?

The exact day of the week of Christ’s death has been debated for centuries. The day, while not fundamental to the gospel, is of some import, especially in countries like South Africa which celebrate Good Friday as a public holiday. Churches hold Good Friday services (were we allowed out the house!) What support is there… Continue Reading

How the Tabernacle Communicated a Theology of Worship

How the Tabernacle Communicated a Theology of Worship

At Mt. Sinai, God established standardized practices of worship for his people. First, God commanded that the people build a sanctuary for him. They built the tabernacle of God—and later the temple—according to God’s specific instructions (Exod 25:8–9, 40; 27:8; Num 8:4; cf. Acts 7:44; Heb 8:5). This sanctuary of his presence was not for… Continue Reading

Forming a Great Commandment Culture

Forming a Great Commandment Culture

In the context of giving the Law at Mt. Sinai and the promise that if they follow God’s commands as a nation, God will bless them, we find a statement that stands at the core of biblical religion: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your… Continue Reading

On a Proof Text for Natural Headship

On a Proof Text for Natural Headship

Hebrews 7:9–10 9 One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, 10 for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him. This passage is a foundational for the argument that we participate in Adam’s sin because we were truly in Adam, so that his act is… Continue Reading

Translation and the Degradation of Language

Translation and the Degradation of Language

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Conservative Christianity and the Authorized Version You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Not all languages have the same natural facility at expressing all ideas. Some of these restrictions are in vocabulary: a language might have a word or phrase that readily communicates a specific concept that another language might require several words (or it might have to borrow a word) to say the same thing. Other distinctions… Continue Reading

Conservatism and the Preservation of Scripture

Conservatism and the Preservation of Scripture

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Conservative Christianity and the Authorized Version You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week, I began a series on the relationship of conservative Christianity to the issues of the preservation and translation of the Bible. My goal is to address the notion that those who use (mostly) old songs would be more consistent if they also used an old translation. Let’s start with the question of the… Continue Reading

Conservative Christianity and the Authorized Version: Introduction

Conservative Christianity and the Authorized Version: Introduction

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Conservative Christianity and the Authorized Version You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

At last week’s Knowing, Loving, Ministering Conference, Scott Aniol opened the floor for a brief discussion about the relationship between conservative Christianity and the use of the Authorized Version. His recent sabbatical in the UK gave him regular interaction with dear brothers in Christ (some of whom I expect will be reading this) who are… Continue Reading

Worship and the “Mixt Congregation”

Worship and the “Mixt Congregation”

The great shift in worship over the last century has been the result of evangelical clergy in America seeking to make the worship of the church more palatable to the so-called “unchurched.” This is without dispute. The church growth gurus have urged Christian ministers to engineer the style and “aesthetic” of evangelical worship so those… Continue Reading

Forgiven Much

Forgiven Much

They tried to make her leave. She knew she shouldn’t be here, but she loved him deeply, a love that came from a heart of desperate need. He didn’t turn her away, though. He watched as she wiped away the tears that had dripped onto his feat as he reclined at table. Then she pulled… Continue Reading

Does God Have “Emotions”?

Does God Have “Emotions”?

This entry is part 43 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Trying to answer a badly-worded question often leads to an inferior answer. Loaded questions implicate those who even attempt to answer them. “By what authority doest thou these things?” Whether Jesus had answered “By My own” or “By My Father’s”, he would have been accused of pride or blasphemy. Best rule of thumb: ask the… Continue Reading

How Shall We Be Like God?

How Shall We Be Like God?

Ponder a paradox with me. In Genesis 1, we learn that God creates humanity in his own image and likeness. Exactly what that means has perplexed theologians for literally millennia. Some say being made in God’s image means that we have a mind, will, and emotions. Some see the image as referring to our ability… Continue Reading

Jesus Fulfills Old Testament Worship

Jesus Fulfills Old Testament Worship

In the Old Testament economy, God established particular means through which his people were enabled to draw near to him in worship, although since the sacrifices were not completely pure and the worshipers remained sinful, no one could enter God’s presence for free and open communion with him. Jesus enabled such communion by himself fulfilling… Continue Reading

Do This in Remembrance of Me

Do This in Remembrance of Me

The observance of the “Last Supper” by Jesus and his disciple appears in all four gospels, though John does not give details of the meal itself (Matt. 26:26–28; Mark 14:22–24; Luke 22:19, 20). The particular elements of the meal mentioned in the gospel records (and repeated later in 1 Corinthians) each become significant for the… Continue Reading

Beauty and Reality

Beauty and Reality

This entry is part 7 of 18 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Beauty has made a comeback. After years of being relegated by intellectual elites to the junkyard of old and outdated concepts, it is now popping up everywhere. The terminology of beauty is, strangely enough, now heard often in scientific and mathematical discourse, speaking of the beauty of mathematical models or theorems, the elegance of “nature’s… Continue Reading

A Theology of the Holy Spirit’s Work in Worship

A Theology of the Holy Spirit’s Work in Worship

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series The Holy Spirit's Work in Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I have spent a considerable amount of time over the past several weeks carefully surveying the Holy Spirit’s work throughout Scripture, and specifically in passages that describe his work in worship, to determine what should be our expectation regarding his ordinary work in worship. The common expectation today is that we should expect him to… Continue Reading