In this episode, Matt Emerson and I talk about Baptist catholicity and the retrieval of classical theology. I hope you enjoy the talk!
Steven Duby has written a brilliant work that presents “a rational for the pursuit of theologia in the strict sense of the word: knowledge of God in himself without primary reference to the economy” (293). In other words, against those who think we can only know God in the incarnation (as an example), Duby responds that we can know God in ways that include incarnation but also includes natural revelation, the Old Testament, and so on. [Read more…] about Review of God in Himself by Steven Duby
Evangelical Christians recently have endeavoured to understand how Christ’s life of obedience to God relates to theology. Has Christ, as God the Son, always submitted to the Father? Or did Christ obey according to his human nature to save the world?
Some argued the former, stating that the Son always functionally submitted to the Father in eternity while always retaining their equality in essence. The argument sometimes bases this relation in human marriage: like wives submit to husbands but remain equal in worth, so the Son eternally submits to the Father but remains equal to God.
Others held to the traditional understanding that the Son submitted to the Father in order to accomplish salvation; in God, no eternal submission exists between Son and Father.
Nowadays, most Christian leaders affirm the traditional view. But it is worth asking the question, How did this disagreement come about? Numerous reasons might be given. But one piece of the puzzle has to do with overlooking key theological tools that the Church has developed to help it know God in Scripture.
If we look back to the past, we discover theological resources that will contribute to our understanding of how Christ’s mission relates God’s essence. While only part of the puzzle, these five theological concepts, rooted in Reformed and early Christianity, help clarify how the Son relates to the Father.
Peckham, John. The Biblical Canon, Sola Scriptura, and the Theological Method. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2016.
This was not the book I expected. I expected a book that practiced canonical theology. But in fact, John Peckham has written a theoretical work on the biblical canon and systematic theology. This is not to say that I did not benefit from Peckham’s work.
The topics of biblical canon, authority (Sola Scriptura), and theological method are near to my heart. They are also central to the Christian task of theology and to the foundational question of How then should I live? By Scripture alone or by some other standard?
And this might be the most interesting part of Peckham’s book. He argues for a canonical Sola Scriptura, which affirms that Scripture is the infallible rule of faith. He summarizes, “In brief, a canonical approach is one that views the biblical canon as the uniquely authoritative, sufficient source of theological doctrine, adopts the biblical canon as the rule of faith, and denies the positing of any normative extracanonical interpretive authority” (p. 73). [Read more…] about Review: Canonical Theology by John Peckham
Bates, Matthew W. Salvation by Allegiance Alone: Rethinking Faith, Works, and the Gospel of Jesus the king. Grand Rapid: Baker Academic, 2017. ISBN: 978-0-8010-9797-3. Pp. xvi–234. Book Cover.
Matthew Bates wrote Salvation by Allegiance Alone primarily to rethink Protestant conceptions of faith, works, and the Gospel. Bates’ book, however, also engages with Roman Catholicism, which makes sense given Bates’ vocation. Bates is the assistant professor of theology at Quincy University, a Roman Catholic institution.
His previous publications include The Hermeneutics of Apostolic Proclamation and The Birth of the Trinity. His scholarly pursuits and his unique vocational position as a Protestant at a Roman Catholic institution give Bates an interesting platform from which he can critique both traditions. [Read more…] about Book Review of Salvation by Allegiance Alone by Matthew Bates
The Psalms also teach us to talk to God, to pray. They teach us how to complain to God and to praise God. How to accuse God, how to honour God. How to lament to him, how to thank him.
Many of us probably feel comfortable praising and honouring God, but it feels intuitively wrong to complain, accuse, or lament to him, and yet the Psalms often teach us to do just that.
We need to be very careful here, because simply telling God how you feel in all its ugliness can be a recipe for darkness, despair and God’s displeasure. The Psalms avoid these dark paths, and they instead lead us down a road of sorrow, reconciliation, and praise. They supply divine words to our distasteful experience. By speaking the words of the Psalms to God, we are really using words supplied by the Holy Spirit to work through our relationship with our Father. [Read more…] about How to Complain Christianly