Discussing Disputable Matters

Controversial Biblical and theological matters can be a test of a church’s community and ability to practice graceful and respectful conversation. It can also be an opportunity for a community to define themselves theologically and experience the fellowship that accompanies healthy dialogue. Unfortunately, many Christians seem completely unable to listen graciously and dialogue respectfully aboutContinue reading “Discussing Disputable Matters”

Listening to Destitute Minds

I believe we suffer from a propensity to look at people with whom we disagree and say to ourselves, “That person can’t teach me anything. They are so wrong in how they think, so insufficient in their intellectual capacities, so distorted in their worldview, that I could not possibly see reality more clearly by interactingContinue reading “Listening to Destitute Minds”

A Proposal: When the Rubber Meets the Road

This post is part of a proposal for approaching theology from the perspective of history. When the Rubber Meets the Road The final step of this process brings the historical insights of what the Shepherd of Hermas indicates about the teaching authority of woman into conversation with contemporary conversations about women in the church. Here,Continue reading “A Proposal: When the Rubber Meets the Road”

A Proposal: Application

This post is part of a proposal for approaching theology from the perspective of history. Women in the Apostolic Fathers As an application of this approach, I want to quickly examine conceptions of women which appear in the early Christian writings known as the Apostolic Fathers. To keep this example as brief as possible, considerContinue reading “A Proposal: Application”

A Proposal: History then Theology

This post is part of a proposal for approaching theology from the perspective of history. History then Theology Once our historiographical assumptions are clarified, we may then turn to the task of integrating historical insight and context into theology. I suggest three steps for this process. First, discern what Christian X says about topic Y,Continue reading “A Proposal: History then Theology”

A Proposal: Historiographical Models

This post is part of a proposal for approaching theology from the perspective of history. Four Historiographic Models When approaching theological concepts from a historical angle, the issue of historiography must be addressed as a matter of primary important.2 That is, before we make appeals to, for example, what Ignatius of Antioch’s Epistles say aboutContinue reading “A Proposal: Historiographical Models”

A Proposal for Approaching Theology Historically

Several months ago, I was privileged to present a paper at a regional meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. There is nothing quite like the amassed scholarship of these conferences, the gathering of minds eager to pursue knowledge and discuss the finer points of theology, biblical interpretation, and Christian praxis. Of course, it would notContinue reading “A Proposal for Approaching Theology Historically”

How to Approach Difficult Bible Passages

As a teacher, I am regularly asked about Bible passages and the theology they convey. Sometimes the questions are straightforward; other times, not so much. Some time back, for example, as I was innocently trying to lead our community group through Romans 8:18-30, I was asked how to interpret verses 29-30 in light of thatContinue reading “How to Approach Difficult Bible Passages”

Pheobe the Deacon

This post is part of an ongoing series reflecting upon Women and Gender in Early Christianity. Pheobe the διάκονος: Reflections on a Program for Assessing Deaconesses in EC In the article “Deacons, Deaconesses, and Denominational Discussions,”[1] Clarence Agan III tackles the often controversial topic of NT women’s service is diaconal roles, employing Paul’s reference toContinue reading “Pheobe the Deacon”

How I View Martin Luther

Last Friday, Conciliar Post hosted a Round Table discussion on Martin Luther. I would encourage you go click on over there and peruse the reflections on how Christians from a variety of denominations view the “first” Reformer. My response to this Round Table is as follows: My perception of Luther arises from many experiences withContinue reading “How I View Martin Luther”