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,

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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11 Apr 2022

Book Review: “On Gender and the Soul”

If you’re anything like me, when you hear the word “soul,” your mind probably leaps immediately to something resembling the folk conception of a “ghost.” We live in a culture saturated with images of humanlike spirits being swept up to heaven or down to the abyss, from Dante’s luminous Paradiso to the stormy hellscapes of Supernatural and What Dreams May Come. This soul/ghost inside us is imagined as a kind of ethereal doppelganger, capable of

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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,

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09 Mar 2022

Does Existence Exist?

That is not the case when you say “is” alone, for it is by itself “nothing…” – Aristotle (De Interpretatione I, 3) ipsum esse nondum est.[1]– Boethius (De Hebdomadibus, rule II.) In a previous post I explored what I had called “the glimpse of being” to discover that there is a distinction between what something is (essence) and that something is (existence). The study of being—at least as the metaphysician takes it up—is the study

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18 Feb 2022

We’re All Erastians Now

One way to frame post-Reformation church history is by what Robert Rodes (a Notre Dame law professor, not the Confederate) identified as an Erastian-High Church dichotomy or “tension” working itself out across then-already-dwindling Christendom. In a narrow, most historical sense, Erastianism represents the views of the eclectic layman theologian-physician, Thomas Erastus. Presented by the Swiss Calvinist—once a suspected as a Socinian but later exonerated—was a posthumously published proposal in 1589 not all that radical: sacraments,

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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,

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09 Feb 2022

On God and Hypotheticals: Further Thoughts

  “I do not think that we can possibly deny that there is some other way than the one we have spoken of, on the supposition that God can do what human reason cannot comprehend.” -Anselm of Canterbury “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” – Jesus of Nazareth I recently read with great interest Wesley Walker’s article entitled “The God of

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21 Jan 2022

Karl Marx: Prophet of Authenticity, Part II

This is the second installment of a three-part series. Part I can be viewed here.  Inauthentic Man Marx’s final confidence notwithstanding, he (obviously) was taken up with the proximate, intervening problems standing in between man and his destiny. Namely, that modern man in the capitalist epoch of history is not living authentically. As a cog in the “automatic system” he is alienated from his labor which means that he is alienated from both himself and his

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