17 Apr 2017

The Beauty of Bi-Vocational Ministry

A few years back I had lunch with a pastor of one of the larger churches in my town. During the course of our conversation, I described to him my weekly schedule. As the pastor of a small house church, I preach every other Sunday, teach an evening Bible study on a regular rotation, and meet individually with people during the week for discipleship. This leaves me with a lot of “free time” to be

Jarrett Dickey 1
11 Apr 2017

How to Approach Difficult Bible Passages

As a teacher, I am regularly asked about Bible passages and the theology they convey. Sometimes the questions are straightforward; other times, not so much. Just last week, for example, as I was innocently trying to lead our community group through Romans 8:18-30, I was asked how to interpret verses 29-30 in light of that not-at-all-discussed-among-Christians topic of Predestination and Freewill. It happens. The vast majority of the time, I am more than happy to

Jacob Prahlow 3
28 Mar 2017

A Proposal for Approaching Theology Historically

A few weeks ago, I was privileged to present a paper at a regional meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. There is nothing quite like the amassed scholarship of these conferences, the gathering of minds eager to pursue knowledge and discuss the finer points of theology, biblical interpretation, and Christian praxis. Of course, it would not truly be a meeting of evangelicals (evangelicals gathered at a Southern Baptist seminary, to wit) without some disagreement over

Jacob Prahlow 2
18 Jan 2017

A Reflection on the Academic Study of Religion

John Ehrett’s recent essay, “Why Millennial College Students Should Study Theology,” argues against the dominant paradigm of contemporary academic liberal arts departments. He argues that “contemporary academic society overwhelmingly filters social phenomena through three primary lenses: race, gender, and class.” This filter gives the liberal arts student a framework for “discern[ing] the hidden reasons for action underlying conduct,” which inevitably fall into the racist/sexist/classist “conceptual trifecta.” In my experience, this was the dominant paradigm at

George Aldhizer 3
04 Jan 2017

Why Millennial College Students Should Study Theology

Full disclosure: this is not another complaint essay about “safe spaces,” “trigger warnings” or anything of that sort. I think that ground has been thoroughly trodden by others. Instead, I intend to take a rather more theoretical tack. I recently took a free course in “Securing Digital Democracy” designed by the University of Michigan and offered through the online Coursera platform. While the course content was excellent, I wasn’t impressed by the platform’s design: a

John Ehrett 1
13 Oct 2016

The Intricacies of Porn Addiction: Necessary Knowledge to Overcome

The Intricacies of Porn Addiction  The slogan “fight the new drug” has become increasingly popular, for which I am incredibly thankful. Yet, I also know that awareness and a list full of porn’s consequences is simply not enough to save people from this addiction. I also personally know how this “drug” can seemingly feel like an unconquerable enemy. So, I write this piece because after years of fighting, I believe that I have found the

Micah McMeans 8
15 Aug 2016

The Tensions of Theological Tribalism

In an ongoing effort to supplement my law school education with some focused theological training, I’ve recently been taking some courses from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. These courses—covering topics ranging from intertestamental Palestinian Judaism to contemporary views on Pentateuchal authorship—have been outstanding across the board. I consider myself a fairly inquisitive, well-read layperson where theology is concerned, and these courses have presented many arguments I’d never previously encountered in the mainstream evangelical sphere. For example, courses

John Ehrett 2
05 May 2016

Ask Conciliar Post: “A Question of Motivation”

One of the many unique features of Conciliar Post is the Ask function that allows readers to pose questions to the Conciliar Post community. Unfortunately, this portion of our attempts to further meaningful and informed dialogue has often resulted in questions which are (for a variety of reasons) not suitable for public response. However, we very much enjoy seeing the kinds of questions our readers are asking, and whenever possible, we are always happy to

Micah Carlson 2
25 Jan 2016

An Open Discussion of Difficult Theological Issues

Theology is no good if done in isolation. God is a community of Persons; so are we. As followers of Christ, we are called to engage with the content of our Tradition(s), in order to better understand why we believe the timeless truths that have been handed down in Scripture. Conciliar Post is an apt forum for just this sort of activity. As an author on this website, I do not claim to hold a

Benjamin Winter 23
13 Jan 2015

A (Free) College Education for Everyone?

Is “free” community college education for everyone? Jacob Prahlow reflects on the cost, need, and implications for such a proposal.

Jacob Prahlow 2
01 Dec 2014

Why Study Church History?

I recently completed my Master of Arts in Theological Studies at the University of Dayton. My emphasis was not in the traditional systematic theological studies, where I contemplated the Trinity, the Incarnation, and grace; nor did I focus on Biblical Studies, delving into the ancient languages, the context, and the literatures that produced what we understand as the Word of God (although I did dabble in Hebrew for three semester and can discuss the influence

Laura Norris 2
18 Sep 2014

An Education within an Education

Completing, or at least surviving, the first few weeks of graduate school has provided an education in and of itself, despite the fact that nobody gets a degree after the first three weeks. Some things, like remembering what a city sounds like after two years of life in the mountains, have been instructive, but I could have learned that by getting a real job. The unique experience that is graduate school, from the hard work

Stephen Sutherland 2
26 Aug 2014

The Importance of (Liberal) Education

Every year in America millions of dollars are spent on “education.”1 We have made K-12 schooling a priority, offered every child the chance at a high school diploma, and, more recently, emphasized the importance of a college degree. Yet despite this commitment of time, energy, and money not only are students falling behind internationally on test scores2 and graduating high school unprepared for college,3 but they are also often graduating college unprepared for their careers.4

Jacob Prahlow 3