Category Archives: Articles on Theology

Adoring With Caravaggio

Adoring With Caravaggio

Take some time to consider Caravaggio’s Adoration of the Shepherds. Don’t scan and speed-read, but if you have the time, stop and stare. First, where is the focal point of this painting? Where does our gaze go first, and where does it seem to land? Is there more than one focal point? Are we above,… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (9)

A Worship Catechism (9)

This entry is part 9 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

52. What is meant by consecration? Consecration is dedicating something to the holy glory of God. 53. What are we to consecrate to God? Whatever cannot be loved for God’s sake should not be loved at all; whatever can be loved for God’s sake should be consecrated to Him (Phil 4:8). 54. How are we… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (8)

A Worship Catechism (8)

This entry is part 8 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

46. What is meant by confession? Confession is the agreement of the mind and heart with God’s conviction (1 John 1:9). The mind agrees with the sinfulness of the sin, and accepts the guilt of it (Ps 51:3-4). The heart agrees it has loved what God hates and hated what God loves, and sorrowfully revolts… Continue Reading

Augustine on that which deserves the name “love”

Augustine on that which deserves the name “love”

Too often, contemporary Christianity sees all emotions or affections as essentially equal. For this reason, many conclude as long as some kind of religious emotion is evoked, some good has been done. Augustine did not believe that all loves were equal. In fact, he distinguished between different kinds of genuine spiritual love. This comes out… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (7)

A Worship Catechism (7)

This entry is part 7 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

39. What is meant by imagination? Imagination is that faculty which interprets and construes reality, and enables us to understand both what is seen and unseen. 40. How are we to behold God in His revealed and reflected presence? We are to gaze persistently (Lk 11:5-13, 18:1-8) and deliberately upon His Word and works, diligently… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (6)

A Worship Catechism (6)

This entry is part 6 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

33. What is meant by communing with God? Communing with God is beholding of the glory of the Triune God, directly and indirectly, in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 3:18-4:4) as the Holy Spirit illuminates our imagination with truth, resulting in a desire to bless and magnify that glory, and become more like… Continue Reading

Implications from Isaac Watts’s Trinitarian Controversy

Implications from Isaac Watts’s Trinitarian Controversy

Yesterday at the national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, I presented a paper evaluating Isaac Watts’s Trinitarian views. I hope to get the paper published soon, but in the meantime, here are several of the very relevant implications I drew related to the boundary of Christian fellowship, the importance of church tradition and creeds,… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (2)

A Worship Catechism (2)

This entry is part 2 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

8. Can we love anything or anyone besides God? Ultimate love for God demands that we love all that God loves, for His sake (Matthew 10:37). 9. How can we love people or things for God’s sake? First, we can love what reflect and reveals the Creator (James 3:9, Ps 19:1, Jas 1:17). Second, we can… Continue Reading

Democracy of the Dead

Democracy of the Dead

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. -G. K. Chesterton Continue Reading

Tozer’s First Concern – Illumination

Tozer’s First Concern – Illumination

It would be easy – or more precisely, lazy – to dismiss Tozer’s concern with the doctrine of illumination 1 as a form of flakey quasi-prophecy or dreamy mysticism. Presumably, some of Tozer’s contemporary critics did just that. Among Evangelical Rationalists, the truth is in the text, and the Philosopher’s Stone is solid hermeneutics. Apply… Continue Reading

The Holy Spirit and decent and orderly worship

The Holy Spirit and decent and orderly worship

In the fourteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul rebukes the church for its chaotic worship. It seems that the problems included women teachers (14:33b-35), the incoherence of foreign langues (14:13, 19, 27-28), and even people speaking over each other in the services (14:27-32). Paul rebukes them strongly for this. As he wraps up his discourse,… Continue Reading

Prophecy: To Be Continued . . .

Prophecy: To Be Continued . . .

Mark 13:11 promises that followers of Jesus will be given words by the Spirit to speak when they stand before civil and religious authorities in the context of persecution. Below is but a brief theological explanation as to why this promise is not for us today but for those in the Tribulation, a time of… Continue Reading

Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain

Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain

What does it mean to take the Lord’s name in vain? In common understanding, the Commandment forbids using the word God as a profanity. And ultimately, this ends up being a legitimate concern, although I have come to believe that it misses the central point of the prohibition. The challenge we have here is that… Continue Reading

The Two Beatings of Jesus 

The Two Beatings of Jesus 

Each gospel records one instance in which Jesus was beaten just before His crucifixion, but it seems that a comparison of these accounts indicates that Jesus was beaten more than once. In trying to sort out the details, it is helpful to remember that a beating by the Romans could vary in intensity, and three… Continue Reading

Praying for what God has promised

Praying for what God has promised

The Scriptures teach us to pray for the things that God has promised. We often pray for things that we are unsure of. We often pray for health problems or for people to obtain employment or for a president to be of a certain political persuasions. This is good. We should continue to do this, for God… Continue Reading

Is Self-Love Always Selfishness?

Is Self-Love Always Selfishness?

We all say we’re against selfishness. But what is selfishness? And if God hates selfishness, why does our own happiness play such an important role in Biblical motivation? Some people think of selfishness as merely loving oneself, and that love for self is where the sin in selfishness lies. As you will see, I think we can… Continue Reading

A Modest Proposal: One Loaf in Communion

A Modest Proposal: One Loaf in Communion

In 1 Cor 10:17 Paul says, Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. For many Christians, Paul’s words in that verse do not make as much sense as they might otherwise, because they break the their Communion bread before they see it.1 While I… Continue Reading

Are Christians free to love however they please?

Are Christians free to love however they please?

What is Christian love like? Where does it come from? Should we desire that our love be utterly spontaneous? Should we seek to love naturally? Is it inauthentic to love in a way other than that which first comes to us? Should our affections be unaffected? The impulse to say that the way a believer… Continue Reading

Some thoughts concerning Hymns on Christ’s Resurrection

Some thoughts concerning Hymns on Christ’s Resurrection

I know this post is somewhat badly timed, but I wanted to provide a bit of help for those who are looking for good resurrection hymns, either for personal devotion, to teach to their families, or to teach to congregations.1 Sometimes I hear the lament that there aren’t that many good Easter hymns. There are probably more… Continue Reading

The Invisible Impulse

The Invisible Impulse

One of the impulses among the earliest New Evangelicalism was to make a name for themselves. E. J. Carnell was probably the most explicit: Carnell, a dour and troubled scholar, in 1952 complained to Carl Henry of the “lukewarm reception” given his largely unbought, unread, unreviewed, unnoticed A Philosophy of the Christian Religion. Carnell aspired to… Continue Reading