05 Oct 2022

Following the BVM

I recently came across Margaret Solomon-Bird’s rendition of the Annunciation and found myself reflecting on what must have been a truly remarkable scene. I mean, imagine it: after centuries of waiting for God to intervene in the world through His long-promised Messiah, suddenly and without warning an angelic messenger shows up with the message that the Messiah is coming. But it doesn’t take place in Jerusalem or in the centers of royalty or power where

Avatar photo 0
23 Sep 2022

Consider the Orc

One of the most haunting moments in Amazon’s new show The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power comes in its fourth episode, when the mysterious Adar, whose origins and identity remain unclear, comes to tend a seriously injured orc. The orc and warlord lock eyes for a long moment before Adar, in an act of mercy, puts the wounded orc out of its suffering. The sequence is arresting because, in that moment, the

Avatar photo 0
13 Aug 2022

Theonomy’s Problem: Universals v. Particulars

Against my better judgment, but because it’s irresistible fun, I have written on theonomy again. This time, in a symposium for London Lyceum. My contribution is a refutation of the common theonomist claim to the New England Puritans. It is long but I still, if you can believe it, was not able to include everything I wanted to. One point that would have been out of scope for that argument is that, in a sense,

Avatar photo 0
Driver's view from a moving car
03 Aug 2022

What the Eastern Church Does Best

In a previous article, I admitted the tension of experiencing unanswered prayers for my own chronic condition, all the while rejoicing in the fact that the Church heals souls; “…for what does it profit a man if he gains his whole life while destroying his soul?” There I made the claim that God primarily heals the outer human in order to prove that He can heal the inner human, because physical healing offers little benefit

Avatar photo 2
30 Jul 2022

Cosmic Order and the Architecture Wars

There’s something primordially powerful about the idea of a house with infinite rooms, something that taps into the deepest recesses of childhood fear and wonder. All of us likely have some memory, however faint, of finding ourselves in a vast alien space that seems to go on forever. At least for me, the emotion that this thought stirs up lies somewhere at the nexus of both claustrophobia and agoraphobia—a flash of sublime awe and wonder,

Avatar photo 0
20 Jul 2022

The Utopian Trifecta

Once upon a time, there was a good and gracious King. Though he was king of all the land, he gave one of his lands to his oldest subject, but this man was soon tricked by the king’s enemy into giving up his authority over the land. The king’s enemy ruled with wickedness, and an iron fist. He allowed injustice, championed selfishness, and permitted evil. Under the evil king, the people of the land hurt

Avatar photo 0
17 Jun 2022

Tradition is the Answer to Questions We’ve Forgotten We Have

If you are a publicly confessing Christian for long enough you will likely encounter an interesting event: at some point a secular friend will ask for your prayers. It is often the same one who gets annoyed when you can’t make brunch on Sunday morning, or who was obviously uncomfortable at your church wedding. Generally the request for prayer follows a moment of immediate need: a scary medical diagnosis, or a layoff with impending financial

Avatar photo 0
15 Jun 2022

Walking and Running

I see it time and again…my two-year-old daughter, who has been walking for over a year, decides to take off and ends up falling flat on the floor. It’s very cute, and she gets up and acts like it was nothing, but my breath catches every time it happens. It catches because I know that this time, she could land awkwardly and break her arm or worse. She knows how to walk, and she knows

Avatar photo 5
01 Jun 2022

The Providential Love of God: Reflections on Psalm 107

Psalm 107 is a song celebrating the steadfast love of the LORD: “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” This love is experienced by God’s people after a particular historical pattern; one that deserves some reflection if for no other reason than the corrective it provides to the banal triumphalism that pervades so much of American evangelical celebration of the love of God in song. Psalm

Avatar photo 0
25 May 2022

In Praise of the Ascension

The great Anglican priest and preacher, John Stott, once lamented that the Church had decided to speak of Jesus’ entry into heaven as the Feast of the Ascension. It would be more biblical, insisted Stott, to speak instead of the Feast of the Exaltation of Christ. Just as Jesus was raised from the dead by the Father, so too was he taken up into heaven by the Father. Both of these events testify not to

Avatar photo 0
11 May 2022

Couples and Convention

Quick: what are the names of the popular members of the royal family who will one day serve as King and Queen of the United Kingdom? Now, what are the names of the famous married couple whose Depression-era gang became the scourge of the FBI? And finally, what are the names of the husband-and-wife pop duo that was so popular in the 60s and 70s that they go by their first names even to this

Avatar photo 3
09 May 2022

In Defense of the New Perspective on Paul (Part 3)

Unfortunately, Cara explains that the rest of his article will focus on works-righteousness, and that he will not undertake an examination of Old Testament covenantal nomism. It is unclear why he chooses to do this, but to ignore the entire basis for NPP soteriology (and Cara explicitly admits that covenantal nomism is the basis from which NPP theology develops) is argumentative malpractice. Cara cites only extra-Biblical Jewish texts in an attempt to show that at

Avatar photo 1
06 May 2022

In Defense of the New Perspective on Paul (Part 2)

To recap, Cara concludes that, in NPP soteriology, “Justification is no longer a once-for-all declaration that by grace alone God declares sinners to be righteous in his sight based on the work of Christ alone through the instrument of faith alone.” In stating this, Cara betrays a belief that justification is God stating that sinners are righteous even when we are not, because of Jesus’ work. The NPP belief is that justification is God stating

Avatar photo 1
25 Apr 2022

In Defense of the New Perspective on Paul (Part 1)

I am by no means an expert—in fact, I’m probably not even “well-versed”—in the New Perspective on Paul and the various views that fall under that umbrella. My education on the NPP came experientially, as I began to sense a disconnect between what my Lutheran upbringing taught me and what Scripture says, especially the gospels. I came to see that the version of Lutheran salvific theology I was raised to believe was not in the

Avatar photo 0
22 Apr 2022

Christians and Conspiracy Theories

“You’ve been vaccinated against COVID?” he said with a horrified gasp. “Don’t you know that the mRNA will cause your body to shed spike protein fragments, rendering people sitting next to you infertile while simultaneously introducing 5-G responsive nanoware that will leave your brain vulnerable to the influences of the deep state and the incoming Ko-Dan Armada?” OK, so the last part was a surreptitious nod to 1980’s nerd culture, but substitute George Soros or

Avatar photo 2
13 Apr 2022

The Message of Mary of Magdala

People across the Christian West will celebrate Easter this coming Sunday. Which means, per usual, publications are offering their usual spate of think pieces about what really happened nearly thousand years with Jesus of Nazareth in Jerusalem. My favorite (read: most snarkily consumed) of these pieces are those which provide some sort of alternative reading of Mary Magdalene’s role among Jesus’ followers. Whether Mary was an important follower cast aside by the patriarchy or some

Avatar photo 0
06 Apr 2022

For the Love of Learning

The task of the Modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts. – C. S. Lewis   Perhaps it is the essence of the (so-called) “learned” to grumble about the (so-called) “learner.” Sometimes, I am sure, the complaints come from a sense of superiority and a place of pride, but I would wager that the majority of the complaints come from good intentions being frustrated. Teachers are, more often than not,

Avatar photo 0
16 Mar 2022

When Jesus Got Married

I love weddings. The joy. The joining of lives. Bringing together family and friends. The celebration. There’s just something good about weddings. In this article, I want to talk about a historic wedding that is rarely discussed but of tremendous importance. I want to talk about when Jesus got married. Now, before you dismiss me as a poor surrogate for Dan Brown, hear me out. I genuinely think that the text of the canonical New

Avatar photo 5
16 Feb 2022

The Phoebe Problem

Messages. They’re all around us. In our technology- and logistics-saturated world, we’re constantly overwhelmed with messages. Every day, I get messages via email, text, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and TikTok. Then I go to work, where I field a few phone calls, go get the mail, and open the door for the UPS, FedEx, and Amazon drivers whom we see enough to know by name. And this is our world. We’re constantly receiving messages. In

Avatar photo 0
11 Feb 2022

Book Review: “Tradition and Apocalypse”

If you’ve poked your head in on the academic discipline of “Religious Studies” within the past few years, you’ve likely noticed a tic that—to nonspecialists—seems rather odd: the frequent references not to “Christianity” as such, but rather to “Christianities.” (The horrifically ugly neologism “a/theologies” tends to show up too.) That pluralization is deliberate, and encodes a specific value judgment: there is no such unified thing as “Christianity” in general, with a coherent and discernible essence,

Avatar photo 1