Category Archives: Books

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 speech and freedom of religion. Within this context, Christian churches and individuals are struggling to figure out how to relate … Continue reading

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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 the Bondage of the Will (1525), was his response to Desiderius Erasmus’s Diatribe on Free Will (1524). John Calvin wrote … Continue reading

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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 own theological journey in relationship to middle knowledge, and finally I’ll briefly sum up my current beliefs about God’s knowledge … Continue reading

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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, the Word of God, composed over many centuries as people who were inspired by God wrote down, for the people … Continue reading

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The perspective on Adam in intertestamental Jewish literature

  I am following with great interest the discussion going on within evangelicalism regarding the relationship between biblical teaching and evolutionary theory. In this regard, Ben Witherington’s series of comments on Adam and the Genome, by Dennis Venema and Scot McKnight has been fascinating. I am particularly attending to the discussion of the historicity of Adam as progenitor of the whole human race because I still think this to be of great importance in both … Continue reading

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Of what did the Son of God empty himself in becoming human?

The mystery of the incarnation Christmas 2016 is now over, and once again we have joyously celebrated one of the great moments of redemptive history, the incarnation. In the memorable words of the apostle John, “the Word became flesh and lived among us” (Jn 1:14 NRSV). The baby born in Bethlehem was no mere man; he was God (Jn 1:1), and he had always existed “with God” (Jn 1:2). But he became one of us, … Continue reading

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An Introductory Guide for Readers of N. T. Wright’s Books

I’ve only read a small fraction of what N. T. Wright has written but I always thoroughly enjoy his work, and I find it thought provoking, informative, and very helpful. He is one of God’s great gifts to the church in our time. In honor of his birthday on December 1, The Englewood Review of Books provided a very nice “Introductory Reading Guide” to N. T. Wright’s work, for people who are not familiar with … Continue reading

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Habits of reading update

A few years ago, I wrote a post about my “habits of reading.” I revisited it today because my life has changed a bit since then, and statements I made about specific books I was reading at that time no longer are true. For that reason, I have made no such references in the update I did of that post. Once again, I welcome any comments you have to make about your own reading habits. … Continue reading

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Why did it take me so long to accept the strong biblical indication that God finally destroys the wicked?

Last night, I had a lengthy Skype chat with Chris Date, who is in the process of interviewing some (or all) of the authors of essays in A Consuming Passion,  of which Chris was an editor. My own piece was about my “long journey to annihilationism.” Chris talked with me about a couple of the stages in my journey and he seemed particularly puzzled by the fact that I had been so slow to concede … Continue reading

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The “open” and “closed system” approaches to theology

I have begun to read Michael J. McClymond and Gerald R. McDermott’s  masterpiece, The Theology of Jonathan Edwards, and I’m finding it wonderfully stimulating to my own theological thinking. Early in the book, I enjoyed the discussion of “the ethos and method of Edwards’ theology,” particularly as I reflected on my own method in relation to that of Edwards. An open system approach As I reflect on almost 50 years of personal theological reflection, I … Continue reading

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