Ephrem’s Boundaries of Investigation: Scriptural and Natural

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Ephrem the Syrian and early Syriac theology. Throughout his Hymns on Faith, Ephrem remains especially concerned with recasting the terms of the Arian-Orthodox debate concerning the relationship of the Son to the Father. Instead of simply affirming a Nicene, Homoean, or Subordinationist perspective, Ephrem focuses onContinue reading “Ephrem’s Boundaries of Investigation: Scriptural and Natural”

Book Review: As One Devil to Another (Platt)

Many readers of C. S. Lewis have enjoyed reading his Screwtape Letters, a series of correspondences between two demons, the instructor Screwtape and his nephew Wormwood, as they attempt to secure the damnation of their human “patient.” As delightfully diabolical and insightful as Lewis’ work is, however, few writers have adopted his style of “apologetics-by-dialogue”Continue reading “Book Review: As One Devil to Another (Platt)”

Books Received: Christmas Break Reading

It’s that time of the semester again: presentations are being given, classes are wrapping up, and papers are due. The cumulative weight of the academic term is bearing down on students and teachers alike. And the holidays are coming, plans to see family are being made, and packages are beginning to arrive in the mail.Continue reading “Books Received: Christmas Break Reading”

100 Best Books of the Christian Tradition

While I’m the last person who is truly qualified to offer such a list, Church Times recently offered a list of the 100 Best Books of the Christian Tradition, and, as a graduate student studying the History of Christianity, I happen to read a lot of books belonging to the Christian tradition. And I likeContinue reading “100 Best Books of the Christian Tradition”

Thinking About Change

Having just moved to a new city, a new apartment, and started a new job, the subject of change has been on my mind lately. Change is hard: the times when I’ve transitioned to a new environment, be it moving across the country or going off to school, have been some of the most challengingContinue reading “Thinking About Change”

The Bible In American Life

Not too long ago, a report titled “The Bible in American Life” was released by the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis. Based on a nation-wide survey on Bible use and knowledge, this report found a number of things, some of the most interesting being: — AboutContinue reading “The Bible In American Life”

Facebook Trends and Book Lists

The past several weeks my Facebook friends have been swapping lists of their “Ten Most Influential/Important Books.” Now, typically social media trends don’t excite me and giving into peer pressure does not sound very enticing. But when it comes to books and reading, the bibliophile within cannot resist. So I gave in. But seeing allContinue reading “Facebook Trends and Book Lists”

In the Mail: September 26

A few days ago, my mail contained one of my favorite things: a box full of books! The good folks of the Baker Publishing Group were kind enough to send me three of their latest books to review:Andrew B. McGowan’s Ancient Christian Worship: Early Church Practices in Social, Historical, and Theological Perspective; the second editionContinue reading “In the Mail: September 26”

What Are You Reading?

As the books for my PhD at Saint Louis University being to pour in (methinks Amazon loves me right now), I am trying to wrap up my summer reading list (pictured to the right). I’ve made some significant progress on this stack over the past couple of days, and hope to be complete (or nearlyContinue reading “What Are You Reading?”

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”