On the Sacraments

from JND Kelly,  “Early Christian Doctrines” “IN the fourth and fifth centuries little or no attempt was made, in East or West, to work out a systematic sacramental theology. The universal, if somewhat vague, assumption was [up to this point] that the sacraments were outward and visible signs marking the presence of an invisible, but […]

Four Resources in the Study of the Revealed God

Thomas Oden [taken from his work Classic Christianity] Christian Scripture, Christian tradition, Christian reasoning, and Christian experience all exist in response to God’s historical revelation in Israel and Jesus Christ. The sources of the study of God are in this way seen in a sequence that moves from originative event (Christ the Revealer of God […]

Priestesses in the Churches?

by C.S. Lewis [Originally published under the title “Notes on the Way,” in Time and Tide, Vol. XXIX (August 14, 1948), it was subsequently reprinted with the above title in the posthumous God in the Dock book, published by Wiilliam B. Erdmanns, Grand Rapids, MI] [My, how times have changed – RAS] “I should like […]

On Salvation by Grace

John Chrysostom (c. 347–407) Romans 11:5-6 NIV “So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. (6)  And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” “He again springs upon the disputatiousness of the Jews, in what has just been […]

God as Our Father

Classical exegetes have found it useful to distinguish four levels or aspects of God’s way of parenting his creatures: through permission, restraint, overruling, and putting limits upon threats to the good. The governance of God functions situationally in ways that bear striking resemblance to the ways good human parenting functions: by permitting freedom to discover […]

Sin, Evil, and Providence

Much of the energy of patristic reflections upon providence focused on how to relate the claims of providence to the harsh presence of evil and suffering in this world that God has ordered. The crucial question as it presented itself to the church fathers was, How can evil and suffering be compatible with the caring […]

Calvinist Christmas in July

The 12 Days of Calvinism (this is not to bash Calvinism but my wife sent me this. I thought it was funny and would be good “Christmas in July” humor –  LOL – RAS) On the first day of Christmas my Calvie explained to me, the fallen nature of man. On the second day of […]

Cyril of Jerusalem on Sin

Cyril of Jerusalem (ca. 313 – 386)  [taken from his “Catechetical Lectures” Lecture II]   “A fearful thing is sin, and the sorest disease of the soul is transgression, secretly cutting its sinews of the soul, and becoming also the cause of eternal fire. Sin is an evil of man’s own choosing, an offspring of […]

On Eastern Orthodox Polemics (II)

Outside of [Eastern] Orthodoxy, have you noticed how the healthiest Christian communities around today are the ones who preach Christ, not their own denomination? They speak of Jesus, not their “Baptist,” “Methodist” or “Pentecostal” identities. Yet, all we seem to hear from our pulpits is “Orthodoxy, Orthodoxy, Orthodoxy!” We are obsessed with self-definition through negation. […]

On Eastern Orthodox Polemics

David Bentley Hart “The most damaging consequence, however, of [Eastern] Orthodoxy’s twentieth-century pilgrimage ad fontes-and this is no small irony, given the ecumenical possibilities that opened up all along the way – has been an increase in the intensity of Eastern theology’s anti-Western polemic. Or, rather, an increase in the confidence with which such polemic […]

Theories of the Atonement

Leon Morris Throughout the Bible the central question is, “How can sinful man ever be accepted by a holy God?” The Bible takes sin seriously, much more seriously than do the other literatures that have come down to us from antiquity. It sees sin as a barrier separating man from God (Isa. 59:2), a barrier […]