Authorial intent and application

Last week, I began thinking about the role of authorial intent in theology.  The history of British conservative evangelicalism is in some sense a history of hermeneutics. You can listen here to Dick Lucas tell the story of how we moved from hanging ‘a ragbag of holy thoughts’, as my Dad calls it, on a…

Which Author? Whose Purpose?

What is the connection between conservative British evangelicalism suspicion of: ·      Systematic theology – the whole ‘be a Bible Christian not a system Christian’ type thing ·      Apologetics – why do apologetics when you can do an exposition? ·      Cultural and social engagement – does the Bible really have anything to say about art or…

Eucharistic Wine and Evangelical Wineskins

I recently had the chance to write an essay about the Lord’s Supper as part of my studies here at Oak Hill. I chose the topic because recently I was asked to speak at a communion service and realised that though I was aware there was a theological debate on the subject, I had no idea…

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…