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”

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The Wilderness and Early Christian Monasticism

In the sixth chapter of his The Word in the Desert, Douglas Burton-Christie reflects on the influence of eschatology, compunction (penthos), asceticism, and the struggle against evil on the shape of the scriptural interpretation of the Desert Fathers (and Mothers). Highlighting monastic awareness of coming death and judgment (182-3), compunction and the power of scriptureContinue reading “The Wilderness and Early Christian Monasticism”

God Made Man (Part II)

Between the Council of Nicaea (325 AD) and the Council of Chalcedon (451 AD), many controversies erupted from the Alexandrian and Antiochene positions on the person of Christ.[16] The Council of Constantinople (381 AD) condemned the belief of Apollinarius that Christ only had one will, that of the divine.[17] While the Church believed that ChristContinue reading “God Made Man (Part II)”

God Made Man (Part I)

C. S. Lewis once said that if the incarnation happened, “it was the central event in the history of the earth.” What is the incarnation? And why has it been such an important area of theological consideration since the earliest days of Christianity? The term ‘incarnation’ may be defined as “a person who embodies inContinue reading “God Made Man (Part I)”

Were the Gospel Writers Eyewitnesses? John

This post is part of an ongoing series examining whether or not the writers of the canonical gospels were eyewitnesses to the life of Jesus. The Fourth Gospel, traditionally referred to as the Gospel According to John, provides the closest example of explicit reference to authorship, though it too remains originally anonymous. Church tradition hasContinue reading “Were the Gospel Writers Eyewitnesses? John”

Reflections on Imago Dei

What does it mean to be made in the image of God? This topic has a long and varied history of discussion, spanning at least the four thousand-or-so-year history of Judeo-Christian religion. For Christians, our reflections on this topic must begin with the words of Genesis:

Book Review: The NIV Proclamation Bible

Writing a book review on a book of such importance as the Bible constitutes a unique experience regardless of how many times one has undertaken the process. Most book reviews focus on the meaning, implications, and history behind the content of a publication. With the Christian Bible, however, these tasks are insurmountable in a singleContinue reading “Book Review: The NIV Proclamation Bible”

On the Incarnation

C. S. Lewis once said that if the incarnation happened, “it was the central event in the history of the earth.” What is the incarnation? And why has it been such an important area of theological consideration since the earliest days of Christianity? The term ‘incarnation’ may be defined as “a person who embodies inContinue reading “On the Incarnation”

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”

Would Christ Have Come If Humanity Had Not Fallen?

Or, On the Value of Speculative Theology A common criticism of medieval Christianity theology centers on the practice of speculative theology, the asking of seemingly obscure questions which have little bearing (or none at all) upon the vicissitudes of human life or Christian faith. Perhaps the most common example of this are stories about medievalContinue reading “Would Christ Have Come If Humanity Had Not Fallen?”