Platonism and Paul?

The dialogue between faith and reason has long held a place of prominence in the Christian tradition. Sometimes this relationship has been understood positively—construed in the words of Anselm of Canterbury as “faith seeking understanding”—and other times it has been construed negatively—perhaps best represented by Tertullian of Carthage when he asked, “What has Athens toContinue reading “Platonism and Paul?”

The Marcion Problem: Irenaeus

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Marcion of Sinope and his influence on the development of the New Testament canon. In some ways Marcion was a rather popular figure among Christians during the mid to late second century, as numerous writers and apologists made reference to his beliefs and churches. These treatmentsContinue reading “The Marcion Problem: Irenaeus”

ECA: Lee McDonald on Early Christian Scripture

This post is part of our ongoing series examining Early Christian Authority. Over at Bible Odyssey, Lee Martin McDonald has offered a brief response to a question about when the writings of the New Testament became scripture: The New Testament (NT) writings were read in churches early on (Col 4:16), but were not generally calledContinue reading “ECA: Lee McDonald on Early Christian Scripture”

What About People Who Died Before the Incarnation?

A while back, a friend wrote me and asked, “How do you justify [and explain] the people who died before Christ came [i.e., Abraham, Moses, David]?” This struck me as an important and insightful question. In our rush to talk about and theologize heaven and hell, we often pay little attention to people who wouldContinue reading “What About People Who Died Before the Incarnation?”

NT Canon: Second Century

This post is part of an ongoing series outlining the formation of the New Testament canon. By the end of the second century, Christians and Christian writings had spread to every corner of the Roman Empire. And with this increase came an increase in quotations, allusions, and citations of New Testament writings. The research ofContinue reading “NT Canon: Second Century”

Early Christian Soteriology

By the early fourth century, the Christianity had spread across the Roman world with surprising speed, tenacity, and relative uniformity of belief. While the early Church was by no means completely uniform in doctrine, belief, or practice, the vast majority of Christians professed what has become known as Christian Orthodoxy.[1] Heresies such as Docetism, Ebionism,Continue reading “Early Christian Soteriology”