07 Apr 2017

Wayne Grudem, Donald Trump, and Christian Suffering

This past election season popular evangelical theologian, Wayne Grudem, penned two controversial articles for Townhall.com, wherein he defended, inter alia, the Christian Trump vote. The article, in a style that mimics a campaign website’s policy position statements, is lengthy and not revolutionary, especially in hindsight. Yet, at the time a particular statement caught my eye. Hopefully, now that we are more than two months into a Trump administration, my analysis and humble refutation of Grudem’s

Timon Cline 0
13 Dec 2016

Incomplete Thoughts on the Incarnation

Our culture makes a lot of noise during the Christmas season. Some Christians wait with bated breath to see what Starbucks is going to do with their holiday cups so they can immediately make clips on Facebook and YouTube decrying Starbucks as godless and hostile to Christmas and Christians. Others, both atheists and Christians, post ridiculous memes about paganism being the root of the celebration of Christmas in between the reminders of Jesus being the

Mike Landsman 1
28 Nov 2016

Books Removed from the New Testament?

A friend recently asked if any books had been removed from the New Testament. Such questions often come from an intent to discredit the Bible, but she sincerely wondered. For example, some skeptics point to the Gospel of Judas as a removed book. National Geographic published the first English translation of it in 2006. This gospel mostly offers conversations between Jesus and Judas. In it, Jesus praises Judas as His wisest disciple and commends him because Judas would sacrifice the man

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03 Oct 2016

The Epistle of Barnabas, Part 1

Named for the companion of Paul (Acts 9:27, 11:19-30, 14), the Epistle of Barnabas is technically anonymous, and scholars continue to debate whether its author was the canonical Barnabas, another early Christian leader named Barnabas, or simply someone else. The possible dates of composition for this epistle range from the reign of Diocletian (r. 79-81 CE) to around the time of the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-135 CE). Widely understood as orthodox in character, the Barnabas

Writings of the Church Fathers 0
Polycarp to the Philippians
14 Apr 2016

The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians

Saint Polycarp was born in the first century A.D. (c. 69) and grew in the Christian faith under the tutelage of Saint Bucolus, the Bishop of Smyrna, who ordained him to the priesthood. When Bucolois died, Polycarp succeeded him as Bishop of Smyrna. A contemporary of Saint Ignatius and Papias, Polycarp is was familiar and corresponded with both. Ignatius, in his last known letter before his martyrdom, wrote to Polycarp, exhorting Polycarp and the Smyrnaeans to fulfill their Christian duties, as clergy and laity. The witness of Polycarp’s disciple,

Writings of the Church Fathers 0
10 Dec 2015

The Epistle of St. Cyril to Nestorius

Introduction The Christological controversies of the early Church are simultaneously some of the most fascinating and frustrating events of Christian history. At the third of the four great ecumenical councils—Ephesus, in 431 AD—the theologies of Cyril of Alexandria and Nestorius of Constantinople squared off concerning the makeup of the person of Christ. The heart of this debate was whether there were two distinct persons (divine logos and human) within the incarnate Jesus Christ, or if

Writings of the Church Fathers 1
Ignatius, Epistle to Polycarp
09 Jul 2015

Ignatius, Epistle to Polycarp

Of Ignatius of Antioch’s seven authentic letters, the most personal is his Epistle to Polycarp. Polycarp was bishop of Smyrna, a town to which Ignatius also wrote a more general epistle. In the letter to his fellow bishop, Ignatius (second or third bishop of Antioch in Syria) emphasized the importance of a unified and loving Christian community, reminding Polycarp to especially remember the care of the widows in Smyrna and to fulfill his episcopal duties.

Writings of the Church Fathers 0
Ingatius, Epistle to the Smyrnaeans
25 Jun 2015

Ignatius, Epistle to the Smyrnaeans

Martyred by the Roman Emperor Trajan between 107 and 117 AD, the letters of Ignatius of Antioch offers important insights into the character and quality of early Christianity. The second or third bishop of Antioch in Syria, Ignatius wrote seven letters to churches in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey), including an Epistle to the Smyrneans. In this letter Ignatius underscored correct belief about Christ, repeating early creedal statements about the life of the Lord and

Writings of the Church Fathers 0
Ignatius, Epistle to the Philadelphians
19 Jun 2015

Ignatius, Epistle to the Philadelphians

For Ignatius of Antioch, Christianity was devoid of the complexities of Gnostic logic or Jewish-Christian exegesis; instead, true faith consisted of obedience to the divine and human Christ, whose teaching was received from the apostles and transmitted through the bishops. This perspective comes across quite clearly in his Epistle to the Philadelphians, were he notes the importance of the Gospel, Apostles, and Prophets and indicates that Jesus (and the Holy Spirit) remain superior to Judaism

Writings of the Church Fathers 0
Ignatius, Epistle to the Romans
11 Jun 2015

Ignatius, Epistle to the Romans

Ignatius of Antioch’s letters stand as important records of the early faith and practice of followers of Jesus. His Epistle to the Romans is especially important, for it reveals his attitude toward his impending martyrdom at the hands of the Emperor Trajan. Ignatius calls the Roman congregation “preeminent in love” and asks that they not try to save him from death. Rather, the bishop of Antioch desired to die for the Lord, to receive the

Writings of the Church Fathers 0
02 Jun 2015

Ignatius, Epistle to the Trallians

Ignatius of Antioch remains one of the most important characters of early Christianity, as the letters he wrote on the road to his martyrdom in Rome contain important insights into the faith and practice of the early Church. Ignatius, the second or third bishop of Antioch in Syria, wrote seven letters to churches in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) before being martyred under the Emperor Trajan sometime between 107 and 117 AD. In his Epistle

Writings of the Church Fathers 0
18 May 2015

Ignatius, Epistle to the Magnesians

Ignatius, the second or third bishop of Antioch in Syria, wrote seven letters on the road to Rome before being martyred under the Emperor Trajan in the early second century. In his Epistle to the Magnesians, Ignatius especially emphasizes obedience to the bishop. He also stand opposed to the “fables” of Judaism, calling it “outlandish to proclaim Jesus Christ and practice Judaism.” For Ignatius, Christianity was devoid of the complexities of Gnostic logic or Jewish-Christian

Writings of the Church Fathers 0
15 May 2015

Ignatius, Epistle to the Ephesians

Ignatius of Antioch remains one of the most important characters of early Christianity, as the letters he wrote on the road to his martyrdom in Rome contain important insights into the faith and practice of the early Church. The Epistle to the Ephesians is one of seven letters Ignatius wrote to churches in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) before being martyred under the Emperor Trajan sometime between 107 and 117 AD. In Ephesians, Ignatius stresses

Writings of the Church Fathers 1