Categories
Theology - General

Does the Holy Spirit pray for us?

I sometimes receive email messages which ask theological questions, and I always give them an answer. Sometimes, I pass these on by way of a blog post. Recently a short question arrived which puzzled me a bit, but it generated a profitable exchange, which might be of interest to others. The question A man called […]

Categories
Christology

Does Jesus have a human body now?

On William Lane Craig’s website, he regularly answers a question which has been submitted to him. I often find his answers very helpful, particularly because he brings to theological questions greater philosophical expertise than many systematic theologians have. On January 11, 2021, in Q & A number 714,  “Zygotic Jesus,” Craig responded to two questions […]

Categories
Soteriology

Hypothetical Universalism in Paul’s Epistles

About eight years ago, after decades of affirming the “limited atonement” which John Owen had defended at length, I became convinced that the “hypothetical universalism,” which was espoused by the classic moderate Calvinist contingent of the English Reformed delegates to the Synod of Dort, better represented biblical teaching. I believe that this still makes me […]

Categories
Christology Eschatology

Incoherence in the Belgic Confession (1561), between its Christology and its Eschatology

Recently, I was reading the Belgic Confession (1561), which is one of The Three Forms of Unity within the Reformed Church. In Article 19 of the Confession, on “The Union and Distinction of the Two Natures in the Person of Christ,” I was intrigued by the implications I discerned for the understanding of the nature […]

Categories
Church History Genealogy

Nicholas Ridley, the Oxford martyr, is part of my family story

A recent discovery My wife, Gail, is an avid genealogist, and she recently made a marvelous discovery. Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London, who was burned at the stake in Oxford, on October 16, 1555, in the reign of “Bloody Mary,” is part of my family story because he is my 12th great-uncle.  My direct family […]

Categories
Books Theology - General

In memory of J. I. Packer: A personal tribute

Last week (July 17, 2020), God welcomed J. I. Packer to his life after death, with Christ, and I’m confident that he was received with a hearty: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Many people who knew him much better than I did  have published tributes to him, but I want to share my […]

Categories
Books Ethics Pastoral Theology

Relating to people who identify as LGBT+, with grace and truth

There are not many issues confronting Christian churches, in western post-Christian cultures these days, which are more troubling and difficult than how the church should relate to people who identify as LGBT+. The sexual revolution has gotten more diverse in recent decades, and it has become a political force which frequently threatens both freedom of […]

Categories
Books Divine Knowledge Providence Theology Proper

Free Will, Foreknowledge, and Necessity: Assessing an Incompatibilist Understanding

I have been interacting with Robert Picirilli’s book, Free Will Revisited, which he wrote as a “respectful response to Luther, Calvin, and Edwards.” Those three representatives of a compatibilist perspective were selected because each of them wrote a book to argue for their position, against a prominent incompatibilist of their time. Martin Luther’s book, On […]

Categories
Christology Soteriology

Luke 23:34 and the salvation of the unevangelized

In his book, Salvation Accomplished by the Son: The Work of Christ, Robert Peterson has given us a very fine piece of biblical theology. Because of the way the book is organized it will serve as an excellent reference work, but it is also fine devotional reading. I’ve been working my way through it slowly, […]

Categories
Books Divine Knowledge Theology Proper

Introducing Calvinism and Middle Knowledge: A Conversation

I am happy to report that a new book is hot off the press, Calvinism and Middle Knowledge: A Conversation, to which I contributed two chapters and half of a third one, which was co-authored with Paul Helm. I’ll give a brief introduction to the book, and then I will trace the history of my […]