The most read posts on my blog site in 2016

During the year, I pay very little attention to the stats regarding activity on my blog site but, at the end of the year, it is always fun to see which of the posts I’ve written drew the most interest during the past year. In previous years, I’ve listed the top 10, but this year I checked two analyses (Google Analytics and my web host, Siteground) and I did not get completely the same results. … Continue reading

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Of what did the Son of God empty himself in becoming human?

The mystery of the incarnation Christmas 2016 is now over, and once again we have joyously celebrated one of the great moments of redemptive history, the incarnation. In the memorable words of the apostle John, “the Word became flesh and lived among us” (Jn 1:14 NRSV). The baby born in Bethlehem was no mere man; he was God (Jn 1:1), and he had always existed “with God” (Jn 1:2). But he became one of us, … Continue reading

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An Introductory Guide for Readers of N. T. Wright’s Books

I’ve only read a small fraction of what N. T. Wright has written but I always thoroughly enjoy his work, and I find it thought provoking, informative, and very helpful. He is one of God’s great gifts to the church in our time. In honor of his birthday on December 1, The Englewood Review of Books provided a very nice “Introductory Reading Guide” to N. T. Wright’s work, for people who are not familiar with … Continue reading

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Locating N. T. Wright’s eschatology on the spectrum of views concerning hell

While jogging this morning, I listened to an interesting  Q & A with Tom Wright on “Unbelievable?” A question arose about Wright’s view of hell and he enunciated his usual view of the dehumanization of the wicked, who eventually cease to bear the image of God. I got to thinking of the splendid triangle developed by the leadership of Rethinking Hell, and it occurred to me that Wright’s portrait of dehumanization might actually be more … Continue reading

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Does Satan have authority or only power?

Recently, I gave a 2 hour presentation at our church on “Angels and Demons.” The next day, I had a good question from one of the attendees which I am going to answer here. I’ll call the asker of this question Q (for “questioner”). The question put to me Q wrote: You mentioned last night that Satan “has power but no authority.” For some time now, I’ve assumed that Satan actually does have some authority … Continue reading

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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

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“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

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“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

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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

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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

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