11 Nov 2019

Review of ‘The Devil’s Music’ by Randall J. Stephens

Randall J. Stephens. The Devil’s Music: How Christians Inspired, Condemned, and Embraced Rock ‘n’ Roll. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018. 337 pp. Hbk. ISBN 9780674980846.   Introduction Last year saw the publication of two landmark books about Christians and rock music: Gregory Alan Thornbury’s Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music? Larry Norman and the Perils of Christian Rock (New York: Convergent) and Randall J. Stephens’s The Devil’s Music. The works complement

David Doherty 0
08 Nov 2019

Revelatory Crucicentricity: 1 Samuel 16 and 1 Kings 19 as Kenotic Patterns

One argument against patristic ways of reading Scripture is that doing so somehow diminishes the unique witness of the Old Testament to Yahweh’s salvific acts in Israel’s history (a topic I’ve written about here). In our desire to see Christ in all of Scripture, we—like the Fathers—might read in a way that minimizes the event or the literary presentation of the event by ignoring the original context, thereby superimposing a Christian hermeneutic onto a pre-Christian

Wesley Walker 1
01 Nov 2019

Why We Still Need the Theology of Martin Luther King Jr. Today

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. contained within himself many identities. King was a scholar, prophet, civil rights leader, advocate for peace,1 and—above all—a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, King was also a plagiarist and philanderer, who was often depressed by his own personal failings and the failings of the movement for which he became a symbol.2 When we recall King’s life and work we must—in true Kingian fashion—hold both his

David Justice 2
28 Oct 2019

Hamilton as a Catholic Allegory

I will admit that I am late to the party. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton has been a cultural craze since its debut in early 2015. At the time, I was still a poor graduate student. Only recently were my wife and I able to see the show in Chicago. As we entered, my wife was more excited to see the show than I, but as we left, I was the one charged with energy. From reviews,

Guest Author 0
25 Oct 2019

Why Everyone Should Study Church History

I recently argued for the indispensability of historical learning for church leaders. Borrowing from Sir John Seeley, I suggested that history remains an essential school of churchmen. This post serves as a sort of addendum to that argument. My fuller argument—that Christians, and especially church leaders, should possess a historical mind—proceeds in two stages. The case I previously made was that history provides the only data of human experience and therefore should be the “library”

Timon Cline 0
23 Oct 2019

Reclaiming Pascal’s Wager

Christians should consider deploying Pascal’s Wager in evangelism efforts. Evangelism is difficult today in America. Theological liberalism and moral relativism pervade academic circles, popular culture, and everyday thinking of many people, as illustrated by anthems like “You do you” and “Well, that’s my truth”. Breaking through the postmodern thicket with the Gospel’s truth is challenging; rather than fostering conversations about objective truth, Christians’ attempts to share Christ are often met with sympathy for their being

Guest Author 3
21 Oct 2019

Don’t Kick the KJV

Over the last few years, there’s been a spate of critiques in the evangelical world (most noticeably, in my assessment, from the broadly Reformed camp) of the continuing use by Christians of the King James Version—the venerable biblical translation that the West has known and loved since its first publication. Perhaps the best example of this line of criticism is Mark Ward’s book Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible—a comprehensive polemic

John Ehrett 1
18 Oct 2019

How to Become a Friend of God

The Scriptures are clear: “Abraham was called the friend of God” (James 2:23) … A Sunday School teacher told me once that we should read the Bible every day, and I was an intense, introverted child: I followed her advice, opening my third-grade presentation edition after my evening shower, my hair dripping dimples onto the onionskin pages. Jesus, on the cusp of his crucifixion, called the disciples friends, not servants (John 15:15). I was raised

Guest Author 0
Indigo bunting in a field at sunset
14 Oct 2019

Trusting in God

“Some who think they trust in God actually sin against hope because they do not use the will and the judgment He has given them. Of what use is it for me to hope in grace if I dare not make the act of will that corresponds with grace? How do I profit by abandoning myself passively to His will if I lack the strength of will to obey His commands? Therefore, if I trust

Jarrett Dickey 0
11 Oct 2019

The Transfiguration of Scripture: Virtue-Hermeneutics and the Kenosis-Glorification Dialectic in the Philocalia of Origen

Born in approximately 185 CE to a Christian family, Origen experienced a tragedy in a formative period in his life when his father was martyred during the persecution of Laetus (201-203 CE). But far from serving as an impediment to his faith, his father’s courage and sacrifice spurred Origen into a life dedicated to Scripture and catechesis of the faithful. His work as a catechist was particularly important during the persecution of Christians under Aquila

Wesley Walker 0
07 Oct 2019

Withered Souls

“There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right.”[1] Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. What happens when one consistently ignores their conscience? What kind of damage might that do to a person or people group? These are questions Martin Luther King Jr. took up, specifically regarding white people. King recognized that from the

David Justice 0
02 Oct 2019

Go to the Ant, Thou…Curious

Writing in the mid-twentieth century, Dorothy Sayers observed that the church in her part of the world weighed triflingly little in the estimation of its cultured despisers. This was not, however, because its archaic teachings had been finally unmasked as ‘irrelevant’ to progressed, Modern society. No, she insisted, the problem was precisely the opposite: its ancient truths had been hidden from Modern society’s sight: Let us, in heaven’s name, drag out the divine drama from

Joshua Schendel 0
30 Sep 2019

The Passibility of God – Part 2

In my previous article, I argued that God’s self-sacrificial Love defines the intra-Trinitarian relations. This Love was uniquely demonstrated at the cross, where the Father abandons the Son and the Son is abandoned by the Father, causing both to lose the other for the sake of their Love. Much of this comes as an apologetic response to theologians advocating “Death of God” Theology, which Jurgen Moltmann corrected to “Death in God.” ‘Death of God’ or

Guest Author 0
27 Sep 2019

Dialogue on The Passibility of God

In an essay dated September 18, 2019, Conciliar Post guest writer Christopher Warne addresses the attribute of divine impassibility. Warne’s writing is critical of impassibility, leaning heavily on the theology of Jurgen Moltmann. The purpose of this article is to respond to Warne and briefly sketch some reasons why Christians should embrace divine impassibility as an essential attribute of God.  Warne argues almost exclusively from Moltmann and Richard Buakham’s analysis of Moltmann. The argument is

Guest Author 3
A brick building with the word "work" on the side.
20 Sep 2019

The Work of Faith

“We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 NRSV). Paul’s second missionary journey began as an excursion to revisit churches planted throughout Asia Minor on his first missionary journey (Acts 15:36). Along the way, the Spirit of God gave Paul

Jarrett Dickey 0
18 Sep 2019

The Passibility of God – Part 1

Tradition has told us that God is impassable, but is this really true? Historical Theologians remind us that impassibility has more to do with Greek philosophy than Scriptures himself. Is it necessary modern Christians believe God to be impassable, or is there room for a passable God? How does a passable God cause us to newly understand intra-Trinitarian relations? In The Crucified God, Jurgen Moltmann rejects the traditional Platonic belief that God is apatheia, or impassable.

Guest Author 0
13 Sep 2019

Whose Testament Is It Anyway? Hearing the Authentic Voice of the Old Testament

The emergence of the academic discipline of “biblical studies” is a post-Reformation, post-Enlightenment phenomenon that developed in opposition to dogmatic theology.  Within that discipline, emphasis on the historical-critical method has caused preoccupation with either proving the historical accuracy of the text, as seen in the biblical archaeology movement, or getting “behind” the text, as seen in the quests for the Historical Jesus or Paul within Judaism. While each approach does offer some valuable insights into

Wesley Walker 3
11 Sep 2019

On Leadership in the Church

This article is a working edition of an explanatory position paper for a church plant. The question of who leads in the Church—when it comes to offices and gender roles—remains an oft debated topic with which all churches must wrestle. This is especially true of new churches, which have less working tradition to fall back on. The purpose of this position paper is to outline some of the considerations and boundaries for leadership in a

Jacob Prahlow 1
Triumph of Judas Maccabeus
09 Sep 2019

Maccabees in the New Testament

My last article presented several of Jesus’ teachings from the Wisdom of Sirach and noted the fact that Matthew’s gospel paid particular attention to those teachings. While Wisdom of Sirach had only a limited impact on the New Testament, the history of the Maccabees affected first century Judaism so strongly that our Protestant avoidance of 1st and 2nd Maccabees has enabled serious errors in some of our most central doctrines. Like Sirach, 1st and 2nd

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06 Sep 2019

The Wise Bedouin

“The sands have shifted! The sands have shifted!” Walid shouted as he hurriedly drew back the curtain of the buryuut hajar. “It will be well to change our course, Alim, everything looks different. What I once knew, I know no more. We cannot know where we are; we cannot know where we are going. The storms, the harmattan winds; the landscape is utterly different. How are we to navigate?” Abdul-Alim followed Walid out to survey.

Joshua Schendel 0