More Than We Could Have Hoped

April 17, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Learning QML, Part 1

April 11, 2014Filed under tech#software developmentMarkdown source

The Spirit and Christian Formation

April 09, 2014Filed under Theology#m. div.#sebtsMarkdown source

Noah: A Theological-Aesthetic Rorschach Test

April 08, 2014Filed under theology#links#my writing elsewhereMarkdown source

I spent a good bit of time working on this over the last week, and I hope you’ll find it helpful.

Last week saw the premiere of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, and with it a (predictable) storm of controversy from the evangelical community. Reviews have ranged from predictably critical to outright disdain to hostile readings, and from strongly (though not unreservedly) positive to more restrained restrained affirmation of the film on aesthetic and spiritual grounds to especially measured theological and artistic engagement. In short, the responses spanned exactly the range one would expect from the evangelical community, which is itself deeply divided on the purpose, value, and meaning of the arts—decades of conversation on the topic notwithstanding. Noah works as a sort of theological-artistic Rorschach test. We seem to find it in what we expect given its origins and our disposition.

Rather than offer another review (which would add nothing to the conversation at this point), or decry once again the predictable evangelical response to the arts, or even critique reviews with which I disagreed, I thought it might be useful instead to ask where we stand today and point to a few places we might grow from this.

I think you’ll find the rest of the piece salient and helpful.

Death Before the Fall

April 08, 2014Filed under theology#linksMarkdown source

This bit by Alastair Reynolds is an excellent summary of the position to which I have slowly come over the last few years of reflection on the question of physical death before the Fall. It shows the influence of patristic thought in the best way possible, and also demonstrates a great handle on the bigger picture of salvation history in the whole of the canon.

A few salient quotes. First, on moral and physical perfection:

Perfection was not the creation’s natural state, but its intended destiny (and salvation is not a ‘rebooting’ of creation to its primary state, but the restoring of creation to the future that God originally intended for it)….

With perfection, our wills will be so capable of apprehending our good that we will no longer be capable of willing to do evil, not by virtue of some external compulsion, but by virtue of mature wills and natures and their appropriate mutual correspondence.

And then from the conclusion, which I positively loved:

First, Christ’s obedience is not about ‘innocence’ but about ‘perfection’. Christ brings humanity to the height and fullness of its divinely intended moral stature. He gives us, not merely innocence or obedience, but full maturity.

Second, humanity was always intended to die and rise again to a more glorious form of life. Christ death and resurrection achieves this destiny.

Third, as the last Adam, Christ will pacify and tame the entire creation, ruling until every enemy is placed under his feet.

Fourth, as we are in Christ, the bad character of death is minimized. We are not unclothed to be left naked, but in order to be more fully clothed, to have death swallowed up in life. We are still subject to the hostile attacks of the world and to the possibility of death within it, but Christ is the Tree of Life and we have unrestricted access to him. Death is no longer the alienating power that it once was.

This is a great read, start to finish. “Death Before the Fall”

Bind It On Your Forehead

April 07, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Theology is Essential

We’re all theologians—including the seven-year-olds.

April 06, 2014Filed under theologyMarkdown source

Feels Right

April 04, 2014Filed under tech#software development#designMarkdown source

The Spirit and Conversion

April 03, 2014Filed under Theology#m. div.#sebtsMarkdown source

When My Great-(×80)-Grandparents Lived

April 03, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Suffering in the Lives of the Saints

April 02, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

A Repeated Call to Humility

Proverbs 1 and the Need for Wisdom

April 01, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Let The Peoples Praise You

A Setting of Psalm 67

March 31, 2014Filed under art#musicMarkdown source

No Resurrection, No Dice

March 31, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Submitting to Scripture

March 28, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Soul History

March 28, 2014Filed under Theology#quotesMarkdown source

FirebirdSQL and IntelliJ IDEA (etc.)

March 28, 2014Filed under tech#software developmentMarkdown source

From Redemption to Creation

March 27, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

The End of Surfing

March 26, 2014Filed under tech#design#software developmentMarkdown source

Miscellanies, 26 March 2013

March 26, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

God Become Man: Toward a Richer Theology of the Incarnation

March 25, 2014Filed under theology#links#my writing elsewhereMarkdown source

My latest piece over at Mere Orthodoxy (and the first such in too long):

It has been common these past few years to speak of “incarnational theology” as a way of describing the Christian mission to the world: we ought to “incarnate” Christ to the world as Christ “incarnated” the Godhead to us. There is much to appreciate in this sentiment…. Yet for all that, I think that applying the language of incarnation to believers is a serious mistake.

The Incarnation matters, and it matters as more than a means of getting Jesus to the cross so that he could die for our sins. We evangelicals too often reduce everything to penal substitutionary atonement. Yes, the atonement is incredible and amazing. It is one of the central affirmations and joys of the Christian faith: our sins are paid for! Glory to God! But Jesus did more than that, and he is worthy of yet more praise. He did not stop at paying the price for our sins while leaving our bodies subject to corruption. He did not content himself with performing a judicial act while leaving our wills broken, certain to turn again to the same sin that led to our death in the first place.

I think this is the best thing I’ve written so far this year; I hope you find it stimulating.

Surprising Unity

March 25, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Almost Too Good To Be Believed

March 24, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Doing It Myself

March 21, 2014Filed under tech#software developmentMarkdown source

Spinning!

March 20, 2014Filed under blog#family#ellieMarkdown source

Money Parables and Divorce and Remarriage

One of these things is not like the others.

March 19, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

North Korea Execution Fact Check

March 19, 2014Filed under theology#linksMarkdown source

Christ and Pop Culture has some great follow-up on the link I posted last week:

If you run in certain Facebook circles, you’ve likely already read that North Korean leader Kim Jung-un has called for the execution of 33 North Korean Christians. According to the widely circulated reports, these 33 people were detained after it was discovered they had ties to Kim Jung-wook, a South Korean missionary whose arrest for religious activity last year has made international headlines….

But here’s the thing: No one can verify this call for executions actually took place.

A great example of journalism done right, and of how Christians ought to carry ourselves in the public square. It matters whether our facts are right or not— even when the “message” might be right either way. The whole thing is worth your time.

Sell Your Possessions and Give to the Needy

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

March 18, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

The Resurrection is Essential

March 18, 2014Filed under theology#m. div.#sebtsMarkdown source

Luke’s Hinge

March 17, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

The Atonement, Leon Morris

March 16, 2014Filed under theology#reviewsMarkdown source

Combatting Generational Poverty Through Early Childhood Intervention

March 16, 2014Filed under theology#linksMarkdown source

Great piece here from Alan Noble, who is increasingly showing himself to be one of the sharpest guys around.

It seems inevitable that our country will try to combat generational poverty and all its great harms by investing heavily in early childhood intervention. We already see signs of the State moving towards such programs with President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address and Mayor de Blasio’s expanded pre-K. Tragically and despite enormous costs, de Blasio’s pre-K initiative in New York will most likely have very modest results, particularly since it begins intervention at age four, so late in the child’s mental development. The question for the church is, will we allow the state to take the initiative, or will we take up this task and engender the kind of deep, redemptive healing that the state can only dream of?

You should (1) read the rest of this piece and (2) read lots more by him and other sharp guys at his homebase Christ and Pop Culture.

The Servant of God

Israel, Isaiah, and Jesus Christ

March 11, 2014Filed under theology#m. div.#sebtsMarkdown source

Wisdom and Folly

Two Women, Two Ways, Two Houses

March 11, 2014Filed under theology#m. div.#sebtsMarkdown source

Job—The Mourner

March 11, 2014Filed under theology#m. div.#sebtsMarkdown source

North Korea Set to Execute 33 Christians

March 08, 2014Filed under theology#linksMarkdown source

The Washington Times reports:

North Korea tyrant Kim Jong-un has reportedly ordered that 33 Christians believed to be working alongside South Korean Baptist missionary Kim Jung-wook be put to death.

N.b. the source is Breitbart, which I usually take with a very large grain of salt—but this is not exactly surprising for Kim Jong-un or North Korea, so it is deserving of further investigation and prayer in any case.

Redeemed For (As Well As From)

March 08, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Work Hard!

(God is at work in you.)

March 07, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Why Is American Internet So Slow?

March 07, 2014Filed under tech#linksMarkdown source

Pretty damning of the current (lack of a) regulatory regime, if you ask me:

According to a recent study by Ookla Speedtest, the U.S. ranks a shocking 31st in the world in terms of average download speeds. The leaders in the world are Hong Kong at 72.49 Mbps and Singapore on 58.84 Mbps. And America? Averaging speeds of 20.77 Mbps, it falls behind countries like Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, and Uruguay.

Salvation is Beautiful

March 05, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

What He Did Not Assume

March 05, 2014Filed under theology#m. div.#sebtsMarkdown source

Adam’s Sin and Our Death

March 05, 2014Filed under theology#m. div.#sebtsMarkdown source

The Name of Sin

March 05, 2014Filed under theology#m. div.#sebtsMarkdown source

In the Day That You Eat of It

March 05, 2014Filed under theology#m. div.#sebtsMarkdown source

Call and Response

Psalm 53 and Romans 1–3 in Counterpoint

March 04, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Wisdom From God

March 03, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

A Broken and Contrite Heart

Psalm 51 as God's self-revelation.

February 27, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Joyfully Humbling

February 26, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Wisdom Literature and Death

February 25, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Sufficiency and Efficacy

February 25, 2014Filed under theology#m. div.#sebtsMarkdown source

Goodbye, Chrome

You're just too creepy now.

February 24, 2014Filed under techMarkdown source

The City of God

February 24, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

On Days Off

February 23, 2014Filed under blogMarkdown source

A Mighty Change

February 19, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

A Commentary on the Rest of the Bible

February 18, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

The Greater Messiah

February 17, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Martyr-Saints

February 14, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

The Question and Its Answer

February 13, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

The God Who Is Near

February 12, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

God is Love”

February 11, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Like His Brothers in Every Way

February 11, 2014Filed under theology#m. div.#sebtsMarkdown source

Joy Comes… After Pleading

February 10, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

The Lamb Rampant

February 10, 2014Filed under art#poetryMarkdown source

With Confidence

February 08, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Imperatives and Indicatives

February 07, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

The Wicked Perish

February 06, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Big Enough for Mystery

February 05, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

The Mother of God

February 04, 2014Filed under theology#m. div.#sebtsMarkdown source

Resolved to Pray

February 04, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

The Horror of Sin

February 03, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Vanity! Vanity!

February 02, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Infant Guilt—Purest Speculation

February 01, 2014Filed under theology#m. div.#sebtsMarkdown source

Not Simple

January 31, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Basic Human Folly

January 30, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

You Must Be Perfect

January 29, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

The New Testament Needs the Old (and So Do You)

January 28, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Hey, Look—A Podcast!

January 28, 2014Filed under blogMarkdown source

Ordinary Means: The Silence of God

January 27, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Nehemiah’s Exhortation

January 25, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

What Was Their Sin?

January 25, 2014Filed under theology#m. div.#sebtsMarkdown source

From Creation to Consummation

A Meditation on Psalm 24

January 24, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Foreign Wives and Real Devotion

January 23, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Justice and Mercy in the Same Stroke

January 22, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Generation by Generation

January 21, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Ending Badly

January 20, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Invest!—Memorizing Scripture

January 19, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

The Life and Death of Words

January 18, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Every King Broken

January 17, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Who Can Dwell With God?

January 15, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Practical Wisdom

January 14, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

When God Built David a House

January 13, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Scriptural Miscellanies

January 12, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Prayer of Thanksgiving

January 12, 2014Filed under theology#prayersMarkdown source

Saul and David/Righteousness and Folly

January 11, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Grappling With Genealogies

January 10, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

A Temple for God

January 09, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Out of the Mouths of Poets

January 08, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

A Study in Contrasts: 2 Kings 16–20

January 07, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Five Things Proverbs 6 Teaches

January 06, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

The Folly of Sin

January 05, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

A Note to RSS Subscribers

January 05, 2014Filed under blogMarkdown source

Elijah and Elisha

January 04, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Finding God in Proverbs

January 03, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

Kings in Contrast

January 02, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source

A New Year of Devotions

January 01, 2014Filed under theology#devotionsMarkdown source