What did Jesus suffer “for us and for our salvation”?

A podcast interview with me Chris Date has begun a series of podcasts in which he will interview authors of chapters in A Consuming Passion. I am the first person on deck, and Chris spent quite a long time talking with me about my journey to annihilationism. Whether or not you have read the series of blog posts I wrote, which were an early form of the material in my chapter for the festschrift for … Continue reading

Posted in Christology, Eschatology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Allah,” the God of Arab Christians

In recent discussions such as the one aroused by tensions at Wheaton College last year, one question often arises: “Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?” Because of the important differences between the God of Islam and the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, many Christians instinctively answer “no.” I have argued here before that it is a troublesome question because people answering it are frequently not talking about the same thing, … Continue reading

Posted in Theology of religions, Theology Proper | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“Conservative” and “progressive”: Are these our best terms to describe the alternatives?

Recently, I was listening to an Eerdmans interview with Megan DeFranza in which she spoke of the different Christian perspectives on the issue of “transgender.” She distinguished between them as a “conservative” perspective and a “progressive” perspective. Those are common labels in matters like this, and I have probably used them myself, but I have begun to doubt that it is helpful terminology. I think that “conservative” is a good term for the positions people … Continue reading

Posted in Theological method | Tagged | 2 Comments

Did medieval people believe that the earth is flat?

On a recent cruise, we enjoyed lectures regarding the history and culture of the places we were going to be visiting. In one of those lectures, we were told once again that medieval mariners (and medieval people in general) believed that the world is flat. I’ve heard that very often, and I have just assumed it to be true, but a recent blog post by Louis McBride has now offered a helpful corrective. McBride identifies … Continue reading

Posted in Historical Theology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Who gave Paul his thorn in the flesh?

Last fall, I spent a couple of hours at our church one evening, speaking about the tough chestnut of “God and evil.” If God is almighty and good, why is there so much evil in the world? About 100 people showed up, because this is a subject that troubles many, and it comes close to home at some point in almost everyone’s life, when we ourselves are suffering greatly and none of our earnest cries … Continue reading

Posted in Providence, Theology Proper | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How would Molinism work without the affirmation of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities?

Source incompatibilism A few years ago, I became aware that William Lane Craig no longer affirmed the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP), although he continued to work within the framework of Molinism. That prompted me to write a blog post asking: “W. L. Craig’s understanding of freedom: Molinism or monergism?” A few people contributed helpful comments on that post and it is obvious that some others share my interest in this area of theology. Since … Continue reading

Posted in Divine Knowledge, Providence | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Theological disagreement or a difference in the use of terms?

Apparent theological differences often derive from differences in the way individuals or groups are using the same terms, rather than in substantial theological disagreement. Once lines have been drawn and division has resulted from that perceived theological disagreement, however, it becomes extremely difficult to bring about reconciliation and fellowship in mind and heart. With this in mind, I was encouraged by what I read in the  latest report from Bonner Querschnitte, entitled “Landslide changes in … Continue reading

Posted in Christology, Ecumenism, Trinity | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Christian views of final punishment: the “hell triangle” revised.

Kudos to Peter Grice and the folks at Rethinking Hell, for a nice revision of the “Hell Triangle,” which expertly depicts the key alternative Christian views of final punishment. It is available at the link above, in many formats, along with brief descriptions of the major alternatives in current Christian discussion of this important subject.  

Posted in Eschatology | Tagged | Leave a comment

How Christian marriages serve the church’s witness

Last year, Gail and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary, and we often had occasion during the year to thank the Lord for his kindness to us. We started dating when we were 17 and 18, so we sort of grew up together. We are grateful to have reached this stage of life with good health and the prospect of more years together.     One of the good gifts for which we thank God … Continue reading

Posted in Evangelism, Family | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Is the theory of evolution compatible with theism?

  At Reasonable Faith, in the Defenders podcasts, William Lane Craig did a series on creation and evolution, as an excursus in his treatment of the biblical doctrine of creation. This is a subject about which I feel woefully ignorant, and I have done very little of the reading I would like to. So I found these lectures very helpful. Craig proposes that, if one works with a philosophical pre-commitment to methodological naturalism, then Neo-Darwinism … Continue reading

Posted in Theology Proper | Tagged , , | 3 Comments