• Blog,  Devotional Musings,  Philosophy,  Random Musings,  Theology

    “Before your face questions die away”

    If you need a good book to read (not least in light of our curious times), I recommend C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold. It’s a risky little book on many fronts. Lewis offers a multi-layered invitation that, among other things, bids us to see the unseen, to embrace true love, and to understand the dreaded enemy is not “out there.” If you dare, the enemy may be nearer than you realize, nearer than you care to admit—nearer, perhaps, than you have led others to believe. The monster may, in fact, be within. In this vein, Lewis’ book is a call to self-reflection and self-understanding. Could it…

  • Biblical Studies,  Blog,  Devotional Musings,  Philosophy

    How To Read the Bible Faithfully: Three Things to Remember

    The Bible is a fascinating book. Passed down through the ages, it remains a reliable guide for the church’s faith and practice. The Bible, though, is more than a guide. It is holy Scripture—that font of truth and wellspring of life, a source of nourishment for all. If the Bible is “holy Scripture,” and if the Bible is God’s Word, then it follows that Christians should take great care to read it faithfully (2 Tim. 2:15). But how can one go about doing this? After all, the Bible can be fairly difficult to understand. As a matter of fact, even sincere Christians disagree among themselves about what certain biblical texts…

  • Blog,  Devotional Musings

    A Message to the Oklahoma State House of Representatives

    I was going through old blog posts, and I came across this one from a few years ago. In 2016, I was invited to be “chaplain of the week” for the Oklahoma State House of Representatives. It was a fun experience, and I pray folks were encouraged by what I had to say. Below is a transcript of the brief devotion I gave at the end of the week. (NB: This post originally appeared on the Trinityhaus blog.) ______________________________________________________________________________ Thank you for allowing me to come and serve as your chaplain this past week. It has been an extraordinary blessing to me, and I only hope that my being here…

  • Biblical Studies,  Blog,  Theology

    About that “Mark of the Beast”

    Over at theLAB, I have written a follow-up piece to COVID-19 and The Mark of the Beast. In this new article, I offer reflections on the historical context surrounding “the beast” of Revelation, the number “666,” and a few other related items. One characteristic of many modern (popular) readings of Revelation is the tendency to skip over any historical research and jump straight to present-day application. As I say in my latest article, this is a big mistake. When we fail to consider the historical context of Revelation, we risk misapplying its message in ways that are rather embarrassing. At any rate, here’s the link to the article: “The Covid…

  • Biblical Studies,  Blog,  Devotional Musings,  Theology

    What Does Covid-19 Have to do with the “Mark of the Beast”?

    I am thankful to the folks at The LAB (Logos Academic Blog) for sharing my post “COVID-19 and The Mark of the Beast.” With the host of rumors and odd theories floating around the internet (not least on social media platforms), many sincere Christians are becoming increasingly concerned that “the mark of the beast” is somehow related to the pandemic (e.g., a vaccine, the quarantine). Much of the fear is based upon wrong assumptions about the book of Revelation and “the mark,” and I attempt to address some of these in my post. I’ve always had a passion to “bridge the gap” that exists between scholarship and the local church…

  • Biblical Studies,  Blog,  Philosophy,  Theology

    Musing on Gregory and Plato

    For all you philosophical-theological-Greek nerds out there, here’s something fun. As some have observed, Gregory of Nyssa’s On the Soul and the Resurrection is written in a way that mirrors Plato’s Phaedo.[1] A close reading of both show that this is correct. For example, Gregory utilizes the format so familiar to readers of Plato, namely, the dialogue. Gregory also follows Plato by musing on similar topics and themes throughout his work. It seems pretty clear that Gregory is quite familiar with Plato (as we all should be). What’s most fascinating, though, is how Gregory will take up some of Plato’s own thoughts and arguments and give them a slightly different spin. A close…

  • Blog,  Philosophy,  Theology

    Of Marketing and Ministry

    Some fifteen-ish years ago, I found myself racking my brain about what degree major to declare. It was a bit of a struggle. Sitting in my academic advisor’s office, I told him I wanted to “go into a ministry of some sort.” His immediate response was that I should go into marketing. After all, he said, “that’s what churches look for in ministers.” I declined. His response was sincere. But it was also fairly indicative, I think, of the mood that exists within large segments of American evangelicalism. In this realm, the “market model” is alluring and hard to resist (especially if you want to pastor a “successful” church, they…

  • Blog,  Theology

    Interview on Pastoral Theology

    Chandler Warren, a graduate student at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), recently interviewed me on the subject of pastoral theology. We touch on a number of things–defining pastoral theology, the role of Scripture in the life of the church, prayer, etc. It was a fun conversation. You can check it out here: Interview on Pastoral Theology.

  • Biblical Studies,  Theology

    Thinking About Genesis 1-2, Part 3

    Part 3: The Days in Genesis 1 Do Not Have a Literal Function, but a Literary Function In my my last post, I argued that a literalistic reading of the creation story in Gen 1 contradicts the creation story of Gen 2. To alleviate the tension between these two creation stories, I suggested in that post that we need to understand the “days” of Gen 1 literarily, not literally. In this post, I will point out what many scholars have noticed, namely, that there are strong clues within the literary structure of Gen 1 that reasonably lead us to believe the “days” are functioning in a (somewhat) poetic manner. By attending to…