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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

Categories
Divine revelation Soteriology

The harmony of translating “torah” as “covenant obligation” with accessibilist soteriology

McKnight’s suggested translation of torah A few weeks ago, I very much enjoyed a podcast by Scot McKnight, regarding his translation project for the “second Testament.” I heard many interesting comments on decisions he had been making, but one particularly caught my attention. I was especially delighted with his suggestion that “covenant obligation” is the […]

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Books Christian Education

Introducing a Theology Book for Beginners

Our modern plight I frequently hear Christian leaders and mature Christian believers express concern about widespread biblical illiteracy within evangelicalism in our time. There are many reasons for this, and I’m not going to give you my own list of likely culprits, but I share the concern. We Christians are a people of the Book, […]

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Theology Proper

A self-determinist reading of key New Testament passages

In my previous post on Robert Picirilli’s book, Free Will Revisited, I examined his study of key Old Testament passages in which he found indications that God has given humans libertarian freedom. I responded to his reading in some detail, taking the opportunity to examine John Calvin’s exegesis of those Old Testament texts, and then […]

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Theology Proper

A self-determinist reading of key Old Testament passages

Before Robert Picirilli identifies particularly significant biblical texts which teach that humans are libertarianly free, he pauses to describe the general approach to such texts by Luther and Calvin. Luther Picirilli describes the crucial importance of Luther’s distinction between law and gospel, and he suspects that Luther would regard some of the passages which Picirilli […]