Category Archives: Books

Miles on the nature and purpose of hell

            I have been thinking about the nature of hell lately so it was interesting to come to Todd Miles’s thoughts on this subject in chapter 3 of A God of Many Understandings? Universalism Miles suggests that the number of Christians who believe in universalism is growing and that “by the end of the late twentieth century, there was perhaps no traditional doctrine that had been so widely abandoned as … Continue reading

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Miles on the Bible and religions

            It has been many months since I began to read and talk about Todd Miles’s book,  A God of Many Understandings?  Summer travel and moving rather messed up my academic pursuits and I am still getting back to them somewhat slowly. The Bible and religions In his second chapter, Todd gives 60 pages to a helpful review of what the Bible has to say about religions. He works his … Continue reading

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The virtue of just peacemaking as a form of Christian discipleship

Back in July, I posted some thoughts about the role that church tradition should play in the construction of  our ethics, as of our theology generally. I think that we need to attend carefully to the way in which God’s people have understood divine revelation, through the centuries, but ultimately we must study God’s written word for ourselves, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit who illumines it. By this means, our consciences will be … Continue reading

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The exclusivity of Christ and a Christian theology of religions

            The western world is increasingly diverse religiously, and so it has become more urgent that we have a well formulated understanding of how we should view and relate to the religions of the world and their adherents. This fact has not escaped the attention of either theologians or missiologists, so books have addressed it from various Christian perspectives. Todd Miles has come at the subject as an evangelical with … Continue reading

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Union with Christ in death and resurrection

            Robert Letham concludes his fine book with a chapter that describes the eschatological entailments of the union of members of Christ’s church with himself. Letham’s presentation Though our current experience of union with Christ is wonderful, its gloriousness will only be fully manifested at his return when we are transformed into his likeness. Now we share in Christ’s sufferings. This form of suffering is different from that which all … Continue reading

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Habits of Reading

Revised: March 24, 2016. At Behind the Books, Jon Boyd described his “Seven Kinds of Reading” and he invited readers to let him know about their own routine or habits of reading. so I thought I’d post about my own habits. I’d be happy to hear about your own reading routines too. You can let me know by commenting below. Here’s how reading happens in a normal day in my own life at this time: Like … Continue reading

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Transformation through union with Christ

            Having described the effects of our legal change in status through union with Christ, Robert Letham proceeds to discuss the internal transformation that results from our union, in the fifth chapter of  Union with Christ: in Scripture, History and Theology. A recap of  Letham’s presentation Letham summarizes the key biblical texts that address the inner effect of our union with Christ and then he discusses sanctification. He describes the … Continue reading

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Union with Christ and Representation

The doctrine of election cannot be understood biblically and theologically if it is abstracted from its being in Christ. . . . it cannot be severed from the gospel, and it is the root and foundation of all the other ways in which union with Christ is worked out in human history and in the experience of the faithful. It is as far from fatalism as could be imagined. (Robert Letham, 66)       … Continue reading

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Responses to Boyd’s open theist model of providence

 The questions that expose the incoherence of the neo-Molinist account of divine providence . . . establish that the God of open theism is an ambivalent and arbitrary warrior who cannot be trusted to rule in every situation in a way that minimizes evil and maximizes good for his creatures. (Helseth, 222) Molinism [handles the problem of evil better than open theism] for God permits horrible evils only in view of morally sufficient reasons, whereas … Continue reading

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Boyd’s open theist model of providence

            We come now to the fourth model in Four Views on Divine Providence, as Gregory Boyd puts forward his understanding as an open theist.  Gregory A. Boyd’s model of providence Christocentric criteria proposed for assessing models of divine providence Boyd posits that Jesus is the key to understanding the nature of God’s governance in the world and so he identifies four christocentric criteria by which models of providence should … Continue reading

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