Donald Trump and The Decline of Democracy

The arrival of the Iowa caucuses, taking place as I write, has sparked a flurry of excellent articles analysing the rise of Donald Trump and his Democrat counterpart, Bernie Sanders. Rusty Reno at First Things, Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics and Alastair Roberts at Mere Orthodoxy all mention the economic and cultural troubles of…

Imagination and the Gospel

Peter Leithart has posted the first part of a fascinating essay entitled ‘Why Protestants Can’t Write’. Leithart argues that a Zwinglian, or memorialist, view of the sacraments divorces grace and nature and therefore makes fiction impossible. It’s a characteristically audacious and sweeping argument that shows Leithart’s own prodigious gift of, in the best sense of…

Beavers, Magpies, & Contextualisation.

My old pastor William Taylor at St Helen’s Bishopsgate, posted a video on the topic of contextualisation to which the principal of my theological college, Mike Ovey, has just responded to. The video and blogpost represent a discussion that’s been going on in British evangelical circles for a number of years now and I hope…

James Dolezal on Classical Theism

Just before Christmas I listened to these excellent lectures from James Dolezal on the Doctrine of God. They require a bit of investment but I found them clarifying, encouraging and inspiring. Well worth your time. 

Abundance & Cynicism

On Wednesday I’m speaking on the topic of ‘A Biblical Theology of Pleasure’ and to prepare I’ve been thinking about Solomon who seems to be a key figure on the topic. One question is how to view the account of Solomon’s kingdom from 1 Kings 1-10, in the light of Solomon’s downfall in chapter 11. Does…

On Reading Without Theology

My friend Sam Bostock asked some questions about a quote I posted from Carl Trueman’s book John Owen: Reformed Catholic, Renaissance Man here which I took to be a warning of the dangers of Biblicism, the belief that the Bible is given most authority when it’s read with little or no reference to either systematic…

Barth on Christian Joy.

A person who tries to debar himself from joy is certainly not an obedient person…Christ is risen; He is truly risen. Joy is now joy before the Lord and in Hinm. It is joy in his salvation, His grace, His law, His whole action. But it is now genuine, earthly, human joy: the joy of…

The Dangers of Biblicism

Who told us we could understand the Bible without theology and church history?  ‘The reformation Scripture principle always had the potential to be used in a way which did not simply critique the traditional teachings of the church but could also overthrow them wholesale. That this was the case is clear from the Socinians, whose…

Bavinck on Providence

I found this quote encouraging and moving…  ‘the Christian has witnessed God’s special providence at work in the cross of Christ and experienced it in the forgiving and regenerating grace of God, which has come to one’s own heart. And from the vantage point this new and certain experience in one’s own life, the Christian…

Frame on Objectivity

Our creatureliness means objectivity is a mirage: Sometimes we dream fondly of a “purely objective” knowledge of God-a knowledge of God freed from the limitations of our senses, minds, experiences, preparation, and so forth. But nothing of this sort is possible, and God does not demand that of us. Rather, He condescends to dwell in…