Visiting with Jesus

I first caught a glimpse of him through the doorbell camera at church. He looked cold and a little scraggly, and when I went to open the door, he was shorter than I expected. But there he was: the Son of God in human flesh. We talked for a while, as anyone might when theyContinue reading “Visiting with Jesus”

A Protestant Thinks About the Blessed Virgin Mary

Talking about Mary can feel dangerous, especially if you are a Protestant who adheres to Protestant orthodoxy. Sure, we sing about Mary at Christmas, feel her pain on Good Friday, and maybe even read a little about her in the gospels. But for most American Protestants, almost any other interaction with Mary is borderline Catholic.Continue reading “A Protestant Thinks About the Blessed Virgin Mary”

Struggling to Discern God’s Will

Our lives are often guided by the questions we ask. Great inventors are driven by the impulse to build a better world. Explorers ask what lies beyond the edges of their map. Great philosophers question and question until they find a satisfactory answer. The curiosity of children leads them to wonder “why?” without end. AContinue reading “Struggling to Discern God’s Will”

The Personal Nature of Grief

“Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda” — Proverbs 25:20 (ESV) Grief is miserable. Suffering and loss are perhaps the lowest points of human existence. Nothing compares to the emptiness felt inside after the death of a lovedContinue reading “The Personal Nature of Grief”

Suggestions for Social Media Sanity

In case you haven’t heard, social media has garnered quite the reputation. Whether you’re talking about the perniciousness of Twitter-fueled outrage, the placidity of hashtag activism, the propensity to waste hours of your life, the easy propagation of fake news, or the paucity of meaningful conversation, social media is often viewed negatively. But social mediaContinue reading “Suggestions for Social Media Sanity”

Mourning with Those Who Mourn

In what may be his most practical stretches of writing, Paul admonished the Roman church to “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” in Romans 12:15.1 Modern Christians, as a whole, do a pretty good job with the first part of this verse. In just the past year I’ve celebrated birthdays, marriages,Continue reading “Mourning with Those Who Mourn”

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”