The Beastly Paradox

Blaise Pascal spoke of the contradiction in every human heart. Man is an animal at once godlike and depraved. It is not that our dreams are great and our behavior base, but that our dreams are simultaneously wonderful and vile. Perhaps nowhere is this more obvious than in our treatment of other . . . . Continue Reading »

Taking Special Vows in Theology

To say that we evangelicals haven’t always engaged in respectful dialogue with folks representing other perspectives is to put it mildly. But there are clear signs that things are improving, in at least some parts of the evangelical world. The presence of many evangelical voices as a part of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Enlightenment Bible, Church Bible

The following is taken from a paper that was delivered at a conference sponsored by the Center for Pastor Theologians on November 3.In his 2005 book, The Enlightenment Bible, Jonathan Sheehan describes changes in the Bible’s role in Germany and England between the late seventeenth and . . . . Continue Reading »

A Woman in the Seminary

I recently went to a vespers service at the institute of Catholic higher learning that I attend, celebrated in honor of the school’s outgoing president. When it came time for the honoree to give some remarks, he said, “All students, could you please stand.” The seemingly innocuous request . . . . Continue Reading »

School Shootings and the Book of Job

Last Thursday morning, I was teaching a freshman honors seminar in Newberg, Oregon. We were discussing Genesis 32, that enigmatic passage where Jacob wrestles with God. Just south of us, in Roseburg, Oregon, my students’ counterparts were being murdered in their writing classroom. In another of . . . . Continue Reading »

The Moral Universe of Hannibal

A woman lovingly plucks a dead pheasant. A man places a human arm on a cutting board with care, readying his chef’s knife. A woman sinks into a bathtub, seemingly dropping into an abyss. A corpse is lifted on high, framed by wings made of broken glass.All these images (horrific, gorgeous, . . . . Continue Reading »

The Mystery of Eternal Love

One of the most common charges leveled against Christians in the early church was that they were atheists. They did not worship the gods of Rome and Greece, nor did they follow the mystery religions of the East. Indeed, they claimed to worship the one true God of Israel, the Creator of all that is, . . . . Continue Reading »

St. Paul and Consumer Society

According to many contemporary scholars, the apostle Paul didn’t object to “Judaizers” because they taught that salvation is achieved by works. He objected because Judaizers tried to reverse history by imposing the requirements of the old Mosaic covenant on Gentile Christians. Circumcision, . . . . Continue Reading »

Theology Worth Smuggling

When Harvey Cox was a student minister in Berlin in 1962, one year after the erection of the Wall, he was able to travel back and forth between East and West because he held an American passport. He thus became a courier for pastors and Christian laypeople on both sides of that divide and was . . . . Continue Reading »