Fourfold truth

John uses the word “truth” four times in the opening three verses of 2 John. Truth is fourfold, stretching out to the four corners of the earth. It also seems possible to take “truth” here, at least at a secondary level, as a reference to Christ - especially in the phrase . . . . Continue Reading »

Doubts regarding Parousia?

The heretics that John attacks in his epistles are said to deny that Jesus came in the flesh. The coming is past in 1 John 4:2, but the tense is different in 2 John 7. Stott comments, “In strict grammar this should refer to a future coming, and some have wondered if a reference to the . . . . Continue Reading »

Papal Revolution

Rosenstock-Huessy says that the Papal revolution led by Gregory VII was the first total revolution It was a mutiny against the papacy’s defense on the palace: “The papacy cut the direct and domestic relation between throne and altar in every manor or palace, and claimed the right to be . . . . Continue Reading »

Systems and Sub-systems

A few days ago, I suggested that the Federal Vision controversy in the Reformed churches is a “Presbyterian identity crisis.” But I don’t want to minimize the theological dimension of this debate. The issue is how to express the real theological differences, as opposed to the host . . . . Continue Reading »

Church as New Creation

In Ephesians 4, Paul describes the sevenfold unity of the church. The numerical connection with Genesis 1-2 already indicates that the church is the new creation, formed by the word of God and the “seven Spirits” into a united cosmos. But the seven unities might also link in detail to . . . . Continue Reading »


Robert Newton Peck writes about Baptist baptism in his novel, A Day No Pigs Would Die : “Baptists were a strange lot. They put you in water to see how holy you were. Then they ducked you under the water three times. Didn’t matter a whit if you could swim or not. If you didn’t come . . . . Continue Reading »

Baptismal triumph

Commenting on Colossians 2 in the NIV Application Commentary, David Garland says, “Baptism marks the defeat of the powers that formerly held sway over us. Those who have died with Christ and have been raised with him no longer live under the old regime, where the authorities hold sway. . . . . Continue Reading »

Word and faith

Faith is inherent in human life because we live in response to language. Soldiers charge into the fray on orders from a general they trust. If they knew exactly what was ahead, their charge wouldn’t be an act of faith. They don’t know, so they must simply trust the commander. Faith is . . . . Continue Reading »

Third term

Lori Branch comments that the “cultural formations of western Christianity” grew out of “binary, Protestant-Catholic debates.” But this binarism is disrupted by the entry of a third, Eastern Orthodoxy. When the church history of the last century is written, the . . . . Continue Reading »

The power of song

Wordsworth’s 30th Ecclesiastical Sonnet, on Canute: A PLEASANT music floats along the Mere, From Monks in Ely chanting service high, While-as Canute the King is rowing by: “My Oarsmen,” quoth the mighty King, “draw near, “That we the sweet song of the Monks may . . . . Continue Reading »