2 Timothy 3:16 famously says that all scripture is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. Unfortunately, not all of it is easy to understand. So let’s pick out a really weird verse and see what God has to say in it! We’ll take a good look at the verse itself, explore the … Continue reading THE NEPHILIM! A Word Study and History of Interpretation
Apologetics (the art of defending the faith) hasn’t changed nearly as much as you’d expect over the past 2000-ish years. Well… parts of it have certainly changed. After all, if you had a question about Christianity today, I assume you’d look for a pretty official looking book with basic questions and good answers in response. … Continue reading Apologetics Battle: Simon Magus vs Peter the Apostle
The other day, I got an e-mail from a higher up in the Methodist church that ended with this quote: Do all the good you can,By all the means you can,In all the ways you can,In all the places you can,At all the times you can,To all the people you can,As long as ever you … Continue reading Fake Quotes from Famous Saints
In the ever-raging battle between contemporary and traditional music, traditional music usually gets credit for having ties to historic Christianity. These are traditional songs! They were passed down by generations before us! They’re the classics of worship music! But how old is your average hymn? In the United Methodist Hymnal (which is the one in … Continue reading Hymns with History
I just finished taking a class where the professor warned us about writing about Augustine and sex on blogs. Apparently it tends to attract people who have STRONG OPINIONS! But telling me not to do something is practically encouraging me to do it, so here we go. And since opinions in the modern era regarding … Continue reading Augustine and Sex
In the Western church, there’s a prevailing sense that a right faith is a happy one. A lot of today’s bestselling Christian pastors/authors have founded their churches on the idea that God wants you to be happy. But is that the faith that has been handed down to us by Christian tradition? Or is it … Continue reading Gregory of Nazianzus: An Unhappy Faith
In my last post, I chatted a little about some of the wackier interpretations of Scripture that I’ve come across from the patristic era. I ended on a pretty positive note regarding it’s legitimacy: “Maybe the Holy Spirit has some crazy things to show us in our Bibles if we keep our minds open.” Despite … Continue reading Exaggerated Exegesis (Part Two on Wacky Patristic Interpretations)
I’m consistently shocked by the way ancient interpreters read Scripture. They draw some pretty wacky conclusions sometimes. Not bad conclusions, mind you. They’re great Christian advice most of the time! But the way they reach those conclusions feels totally removed from our modern ways of Bible reading. For example, Venerable Bede (a big name scholar … Continue reading Imaginative Interpretation with the Church Patriarchs
Sometimes, I forget the value of the creeds. Not that I’m not a creedal guy. The creeds are instrumental in giving us the basics of the faith! But sometimes, I see pastors emphasizing the creeds as the sole definition of orthodoxy because they happen to have an unorthodox theological stance that the creeds don’t address. … Continue reading Creeds: Underrated, Under-loved, and Surprisingly Helpful
The more I learn about Plato, the more I realize that patristic theologians relied heavily on his work to talk about God. I’m reading through Confessions right now, and it’s absolutely littered with echoes and quotations from Plotinus, a prominent Platonist philosopher. For example, here’s his classic definition of sin (the decision to act for … Continue reading Metaphysical Wonder: Plato and Patristics
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