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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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

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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

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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.  

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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

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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

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Jesus, the Warrior Lamb

Almost 4 years ago, I wrote about my belief that, if there is an overarching model of the atonement it is the victory of Christ (Christus Victor), but penal substitution is a very important aspect of Christ’s victory. So the two are not alternatives, they fit together wonderfully. That idea has continued to make very good sense to me and I’m always encouraged when I read material that reinforces and nuances it for me. An … Continue reading

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Is conversion a process or an event?

Like Louis McBride, I have often pondered this question, and I like the perspective he has cited from Joel Green’s book on Conversion in Luke-Acts. Again, this approach to the question takes as its point of departure the consequences of a particular approach to the human situation: What is the human ‘problem’ that needs to be addressed? A more helpful point of entry takes the phenomenological route of describing how conversion is conceptualized and experienced. … Continue reading

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When should we celebrate Easter?

David Demson told us a cute story, during a seminar I took with him on the theology of Karl Barth. It was Easter morning, and Demson was walking across the campus of the University of Toronto. He saw an Orthodox priest coming toward him and he recalled the practice of the Orthodox, so he thought he could give the priest pleasure on that account. As they approached one another, David Demson said “Christ is risen,” … Continue reading

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