How to Tell If a Sermon is Good

Every week, millions of people around the world situate themselves in moderately uncomfortable seating and listen to someone talk at them for an extended period of time. I am, of course, referring to Christians who attend church services and listen to sermons. While Christian denominations differ on all manner of doctrine and practice, the proclamationContinue reading “How to Tell If a Sermon is Good”

A Brief History of Communion: Origins

Christians of all sorts partake of some form of communion. Known by different names—the Lord’s Supper, Eucharist, Holy Communion, Breaking of Bread, Mass—and taken at different frequencies—daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly—this practice involving bread and wine stands as a testament to both Christian unity as well as divisions. What do contemporary Christians believe about the Lord’sContinue reading “A Brief History of Communion: Origins”

Ep7: Should Christians Engage Philosophy?

In this podcast, the Church Debate series continues with a discussion of whether or not Christians should engage philosophy. The perspectives of Tertullian and Justin Martyr serve as the basis for our conversation.

Women in the Apostolic Fathers: Familial Expectations in Polycarp

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Women in the Apostolic Fathers. If Ignatius’s remarks on household order are brief, then Polycarp’s are nearly non-existent, both in terms of length and the treatment given to them by existing scholarship.

Book Review: The Pauline Effect (Strawbridge)

While the influence of Pauline writings on early Christianity remains widely recognized, few studies investigate the particulars of Paul’s theological and exegetical influence on ante-Nicene Christianity. Beginning this immense task of studying the specific reception histories of Pauline pericopes is Jennifer Strawbridge’s The Pauline Effect, winner of the 2014 SBL-De Gruyter Prize for Biblical StudiesContinue reading “Book Review: The Pauline Effect (Strawbridge)”

The Acts of Paul and Pastoral Epistles

This post is part of an ongoing series reflecting upon Women and Gender in Early Christianity. In his article “I Permit No Woman to Teach Except for Thecla: The Curious Case of the Pastoral Epistles and the Acts of Paul Reconsidered” (Novum Testamentum 54 (2012): 176-203), Matthijs den Dulk offers a reanalysis of the relationshipContinue reading “The Acts of Paul and Pastoral Epistles”

Pagan Christianity?

This article originally appeared at Conciliar Post. You occasionally hear it from the talking heads or on the History Channel. Maybe you notice an article about it on your newsfeed. Or catch the random title while browsing Amazon or Barnes and Nobles. Pagan Christianity: What you do on Sundays is really from Ancient Egypt, ImperialContinue reading “Pagan Christianity?”

The Ethics of 1 Corinthians 11

Since its beginnings, the Christian tradition has been interested in the ethical and social concerns of its adherents and the wider world. In recent decades, questions concerning the role of women within the Church have fostered much discussion, academic and otherwise. Speaking broadly, conservative interpreters of the New Testament have affirmed an understanding of “BiblicalContinue reading “The Ethics of 1 Corinthians 11”

On Approaching Difficult Bible Passages

Nothing can be more frustrating (or worrisome) as reading something in the Bible and a) not understanding what is going on or b) finding some sort of apparent contradiction in the text. Below are some suggestions on how to best to approach and make sense of these difficult passages. 1. Context is key. Before tryingContinue reading “On Approaching Difficult Bible Passages”

Head Coverings in Corinth: Conclusions

This is the final post in our series on Head Coverings in Corinth. In this series we have examined interpretations of First Corinthians 11.2-16 by three notable New Testament scholars, Richard B. Hays, Richard A. Horsley, and Dale B. Martin. To briefly summarize their respective interpretations and understandings of Paul’s views of the human body,Continue reading “Head Coverings in Corinth: Conclusions”