Doctrine Good. Stories Bad.

Doctrine Good. Stories Bad. That’s the mini-theme of this month’s Christianity Today. I begin with the most egregious offense. There’s a short inset on p. 26, snipped from a book by J. I. Packer and Gary A. Parrett (Grounded in the Gospel; Baker, 2010) entitled, “The Lost Art of Catechesis.” The point? Back in the […]


As many of you know, Flannery O’Connor is not only the greatest theologian of the 20th century, she is also one to whose writings I return regularly. In particular, I read the story “Revelation” to my class each time I teach on Revelation in an attempt to demystify the world-inverting message of apocalyptic literature. This […]

How Should You Cite from Kindle?

I just got an interesting question, one that professors and students will no doubt be asking with increasing frequency: how should we be citing, and requiring others to cite, material read on an e-reader such as a Kindle? Kindles do not have page numbers, though they do have line numbers. In light of this, The […]

The Only True God

This weekend I was able to finish reading James McGrath‘s The Only True God: Early Christian Monotheism in Its Jewish Context. The book explores the extent to which, if any, early Christian monotheism is a “Christological monotheism”. Did the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus cause a redefinition of “the only true God” in the […]

White as Snow: Promise or Ultimatum?

“…though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isa 1:18). These words have been hymned countless times as beautiful depictions of the cleansing work of Christ. But are they a promise or an ultimatum? In this middle section of ch. 1, […]

Victory Village?!

Victory Brewing Company plus my favorite other kind of brew, One Village Coffee, collaborating?! Now the question: Does this collaboration prove that God loves me (as a beer brewer and OVC fan), or that I’m being disciplined inasmuch as I’m in San Francisco and this is happening in Philly? Of course, I could always make […]

Stumbling Stone and Unity

Romans is written to wrestle with issues of Jews and Gentiles within the people of God. At a crucial point in the unfolding argument, Paul points to Jesus’ death as the great stumbling stone that keeps Jews from participating in the reign of its own messiah: Because not by faith(fulness) (ἐκ πίστεως) but as by […]