Theology Round-Up

Theology Round-up will return at the end of April. I’ve taken a fast from blogging, viagra not for spiritual reasons, sale but for “life has been way too busy” reasons. Between my internship, medical starting my first chapter of my thesis, and the death of our car, this month has been crazy to say the least. Regular blogging will resume tomorrow.

In the mean time, enjoy this clip of Karl Barth talking about the Confessing Church.

Theology Round-Up February

Barth, cialis Barth and more Barth:

Travis McMaken reflects on his experience of teaching Karl Barth to undergrads.

Rick Wadholm looks at Barth’s take on pistis Christou.

The schedule for the 2013 Karl Barth Conference has been announced. The theme is Karl Barth in Dialogue: Encounters with Major Figures. Presenters include: Cherith Fee Nordling, George Hunsinger, Paul Molnar, and more!



Check out the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise which will be awarded to 10 young theologians from around the world.

Marc Cortez has announced that he is leaving Western Seminary and accepting a position at Wheaton College.

Women in Theology is looking for a few more contributors.

The Sententias journal has an open call for papers for topics related to theology, philosophy and science.

The Christian Theology and the Bible section at SBL is looking for a few more proposals.



Nijay Gupta looks at Constantine Campbell’s Paul and Union with Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study.

Travis McMacken lists all the books he read in 2012.

Brian LePort reviews David Wenham’s Did St Paul Get Jesus Right? and Stephen Holmes’ The Quest for the Trinity.

Stephanie Lowery looks at the Handbook of Women Biblical Interpreters.


Gender, Sex, and Women in Ministry:

Ken Schenck takes a look at 1 Cor 14:34 and the issue of women in ministry.

The end of the month saw controversy over gender roles when Owen Strachan suggested that boys should not be told that it is ok to play with dolls. Check out a few responses to the original post, including — Hermeneutics , Matt Emerson, and Jason Morehead.


Church History:

Phillip Jenkins looks at the parallels between today and the “Dark Ages” in relation to church growth.

Rod ponders John Millbank’s use of Patristic theology.

Aidan Kimel looks at Gregory’s Oration on the deity of the Holy Spirit.

Thomas Kidd looks at the influence of George Whitefield on Protestantism (and evangelicalism).


Scripture, Hermeneutics, Methodology:

Eleanor Pettus looks at Protestant reactions to the NAB (a Catholic translation of Scripture).

Michael Bird explores what is wrong with Queer Theology.

Mike Wittmer talks about Divine Mystery as Theological Method.

Kevin Vanhoozer on the Inerrancy of Scripture.


Life of a Student; Life of an Academic:

John Mark Reynolds’ offers advice on what Christians should look for in a college.

Should students and pre-tenure profs blog?



Brian LePort tells us about Candida Moss’ lecture on Resurrection.

Monica Coleman answers questions over at RHE’s Ask a Liberation Theologian.

Collin Hansen looks at the issue of infant baptism.

Suzanne McCarthy considers a theology of disability.

What is the greatest of all Protestant heresies?

There’s a new online collection of some of the great Christian theologians of the 20th century.

Peter Enns offers 5 reasons from the OT to reconsider the doctrine of original sin.

We are all theologians whether we like it or not.

Ben Myers gave a lecture on theology in the public square.


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Why I Blog

Brian LePort has been taking a look at the pros and cons of blogging as a student. In his latest post, drugstore he explores the idea that blogging can actually hinder the possibility of getting into PhD programs, cheap or, advice in the case of professors, of getting tenure. Anything we do online is open to scrutiny, whether it be from potential employers or schools.

I think part of comes down to the motivation behind the blog. Do you blog as a means of self-promotion? Do you blog as a way to gripe and complain about your program? Do you blog because you are opinionated and have to comment on absolutely everything? Or is the blog a way to build community, practice writing and enter into a wider discussion?

I started blogging when I moved to Caronport as a way to connect with other people. We moved here in the middle of winter when everybody hibernates and it was really hard making friends, especially as an introvert. Blogging became a way to dialogue with people who shared similar interests related to theology, Christianity, and geek culture.

I continued to blog because it also helped improve my writing. I (slowly) learned how to get to the “point” in less than 500 words. I learned to come at an issue or idea from a variety of angles, and I learned how to nuance my thoughts so that I was not reacting out of emotion in an attempt to be the first to comment (which is a very real danger in the blogosphere). All of this has improved my writing “offline.”

And I have made some very interesting friends and contacts. It was because of the blog that I was able to meet people at last fall’s ETS conference instead of wandering from session to session without interacting with anyone. Blogging has also helped my “real life” friendships, as blogging has introduced my “real life” friends to sides of me that they may not see otherwise (again due in part to my introversion) and several of my posts have sparked interesting discussions between fellow students.

Should I have done it all anonymously? I don’t know. I did briefly blog anonymously as part of the great blog experiment, but I find that blogging openly holds me accountable. I have to own my words and be willing to stand behind them, or apologize for them if I get it wrong.

I also know that I have greatly benefited from the blogs of other seminary students. Being able to see their journeys, their struggles and their passions have been a great encouragement. And it has been amazing to see tenured professors come alongside these young students and mentor them, be it with a brief word in the comment section or in highlighting the student’s reflection on their blog.




Theology Round-Up January 2013

Barth, seek Barth and More Barth:

Marc Cortez reminds us that theology is not a leisure activity, by pointing us to the wise words of Karl Barth.

Roger Olson’s quest to find out if Barth summed up the Gospel with “Jesus loves me this I know…” has possibly found fulfillment.

And check out the great posts this month over at Barthian Pentecostal.

oprah_theologyGender, Women in Ministry, Christian Sexual Ethics:

Kevin Davis is doing a series on gender and theology:

1. Introduction

2. Serene Jones and Feminist Theory

3. Karl Barth on Man and Woman

4. Implications for the Homosexuality Debate

Brian points us to a couple of podcast series regarding homosexuality and Christian sexual ethics, including a series being done through Dallas Theological Seminary.

Owen Strachan has been named the new executive director of CBMW.

Sarah Moon looks at equality and gender roles.

Leslie asks if men and women approach apologetics differently.

The Heretic Husband takes on John Piper’s understanding of complementarianism.

Kristen Rosser ponders the idea of marriage being an illustration of Christ and the Church in Ephesians 5.



Nick Phillips reviews Phyllis Tickle’s Emergence Christianity.

Leslie reviews A Jigsaw Guide to Making Sense of the World and Imaginative Apologetics.

Paul Miller reviews Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling, by James W. Sire.

Kait Dugan asks several critical questions of George Lindbeck’s The Nature of Doctrine.

Laura reviews The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung.


Ecclesiology, Life of the Church, Evangelism, and Culture:

Scot McKnight continues his series looking whether or not evangelicalism is coming to an end.

Michael Halcomb did a series on a Christian theology of guns.


Calvinism and Arminianism:

Roger Olson is frustrated with Calvinist theologians who a) misrepresent Arminianism, and b) don’t engage with Arminian literature in their critique of Arminianism. In this post, he takes a look at A. T. B. McGowan’s treatment of Arminianism.

Ken Schenck looks at the difference between Calvinism and Arminianism, and at Wesleyans and the doctrine of inerrancy.


Life of a Grad Student; Life of an Academic:

Can evangelical colleges and seminaries be truly academic institutions?

John Hawthorne, professor of Sociology, has started a blog to look at Christian higher education. In his first post he suggests that Christian schools “run the risk of making Christian Higher Ed increasingly irrelevant to larger and larger numbers of young people.”

Darren offers his thoughts, based on his experience this semester teaching intro to theology, on teaching about the doctrine of Scripture.

What makes a scholar?

Advice on writing seminary papers.

John Stackhouse’s top 10 rules for reading course evaluations.

How blogging helped me write my dissertation by Maxime Larivé.


Conferences, Call For Papers and Announcements:

The first annual LA Theology Conference was a success. They have announced the themes for the next four years’ worth of conferences.

Registration for the April 2013 Open Theology conference is now open.

Call for papers for the Relational Theologies/Emerging Church section of the AAR meeting.

Calvin College is hosting a conference on Virtues, Vices, and Teaching. The call for papers is out, and abstracts are due in May.


Paul Copan talks about cultural emotivism, or the tendency to prize “I feel” over “I think”.

Eric Ortlund spends some time thinking about sanctification.

Sam Storm talks about how and why he moved from pre-millenialism to amillenialism.

Rod has a roundup of posts looking at African Americans Christians and Calvinism, and Jemar Tisby looks at 5 factors in the rise of Reformed theology among African Americans. Anthony Bradley argues that it is a myth that there is only one type of Reformed African American Christian, and that there are broadly three types.

Bo Sanders examines Radical Orthodoxy’s fatal flaw.

Was Jesus omniscient?

Kevin writes about the self-imposed suffering of God.

Steve DeWitt looks at the meaning of propitiation.



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Theology Round-Up December 2012

Reviews and Publishing News:

Nick Norelli reviews The Development of Christology during the First Hundred Years: and Other Essays on Early Christian Christology 

Ben Myers looks at the most important publishing events in 2012 in the field of theology.

Rod reviews Unfinished Business by Keri Day.

Jon Coutts reviews Rachel Held Evans’ A Year of Biblical Womanhood.

TC reviews the edited book Relational Theology: A Contemporary Introduction.

Stephen reviews Cold Case Christianity.

Michael Bird points us to a bunch of reviews for the Zondervan e-book series on Women in Ministry.

The International Journal of Systematic Theology has announced that Matthew Levering has been added to the journal’s editorial board.


Tim writes about how reflecting on the incarnation humbles him.

Gavin looks at Irenaeus’ doctrine of recapitulation and at Athanasius’ as well.

Brian LePort ponders the issue of overlap between Christian doctrine and pagan mythologies and how we should approach them.

Hermeneutics, rx Interpretation:

Brian offers three hermeneutical paradigms to use when studying the doctrine of the virgin birth.

Melanie Kampen argues that “that a preoccupation with historical accuracy in biblical interpretation is detrimental and stifling to a community of believers.”

Allan talks about the relationship between theology and history.

Life of a Professor; Life of a Grad Student:

Gavin offers his outline of how he would structure a course on Systematic Theology.

Kyle Roberts writes about how PhD programs need to start preparing its students to work outside the academy.

Mark Stevens on 10 things that seminary never taught you.

Ecclesiology, Life of the Church, Evangelism, Discipleship:

Why Wesleyans aren’t fundamentalists.

Brian wrestles with Ignatius of Antioch’s ecclesiology.

Leslie wrote about why just telling your “story’ is not necessarily the best way to share the gospel. Fred took her to task for her post, and Leslie wrote a followup post about what she learned from the criticism.

Conference Announcements, Other Announcements:

Stephen lets us know that the Apologetics Canada Conference is scheduled for March 1-2, 2013 in Abbotsford, B.C.

Knox Seminary has launched a D.Min in Theological Exegesis.


Frederick Smith writes about the danger of a Build-A-Bear Theology.

Rod offers his thoughts on omnipotence, theodicy and postcolonialism.

What is the relationship between theology and biblical theology? Matt Emerson also looks at the intersection of biblical theology and systematic theology.

Mike Wittmer ponders the Trinity and the doctrine of Simplicity.

David Bish declares that the“Trinity is unavoidable if we want to know who Jesus is.”

A humorous post on 10 movie proofs that Calvinism is false.

Michael Patton on the Irrationality of Calvinism.

Roger Olson posts a letter he received from a student who read “Against Calvinism”.

Christian Brady asks what is repentance?

Collin Hansen offers his top theology stories of 2012.

The Danger of Theological Novelty by Michael Patton.

Timothy Dalrymple reflects on James Dobson’s theology.

Did Barth really sum up his entire theology by quoting the children’s song “Jesus Loves Me”?

Gerald Ens considers the doctrine of creation ex nihilo and why it matters.



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Crazy Ways People Found My Blog 2012

The blog software I use has a feature that let’s me know the search terms people used to find my blog. I have collected the strangest search terms for 2012. My conclusion: There are some very weird people out there.

Geek Related Search Terms:

  • Stars wars bible translation
  • is Star Trek ok for Christians?
  • Doctor who vs. angelus
  • Star Trek Christians
  • Superheroes con Jesus
  • Ninja ministries

Theology Related Search Terms:

  • I survived Briercrest
  • I didn’t survive Briercrest
  • numbwr of religios attendance in cnada
  • She’s wearing theology
  • Is the big dipper theology?
  • discuss how demonic oppression/possession can possibly impact christian character formation and christian education (I think someone was trying to answer a take-home exam question)

Cheese Related Search Terms:

  • what do pastors and cheese have in common?
  • Cheese with smile
  • Cheese academics
  • Cheese in the Old Testament
  • A project on cheese of 100 pages
  • doctor who cheese
  • correlation between cheese and a typewriter
  • humour cheese the food of gods

Random Search Terms:

  • is it possible for a trained fighter woman to kick a trained fighter man’s butt?
  • Ass violence
  • Hate you spray park
  • Subway brawl Narnia
  • in monster fight cage is used for what purpose
  • about the professor in term paper


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2012 — A Busy Year Both on the Blog and In Real Life

Hello my friends. I hope you all had a blessed Merry Christmas. We had a delightfully quiet Christmas with lots of food (and chocolate) and much-needed quality “just hanging out” time. It was a geeky Christmas in terms of presents.

Not only did The Doctor visit and bring the dvd set of first season of Doctor Who with David Tennant, for sale AND the 50th anniversary Dr. Who Monopoly, but we also got the Settlers of Catan expansion Cities and Knights. Chuck and I have been trying it out, and it’s going to make our Tuesday Settlers date nights very very interesting.

I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by. It was a very busy year. On the seminary front, I took 8 classes between January and December (Greek, Theology of Forgiveness, Reformation Era, Patristics, Christology, Spiritual Formation, Research Methods, and Pauline Epistles). I have now completed all of the classes for my degree and am gearing up to start my thesis in February, as well as do my internship by helping out in a college-level class for the semester.

Things were also quite busy on the blog. The blog has reached the magical 100,000 hits in a little over 2 years which was awesome. Thank you so much to my readers, and to those who shared posts through Twitter, Facebook, Google +, and other blogs. And, in September the blog moved from to a self-hosted format. (A big shout-out to Nick who helped me get it all set up).

I think this year had some of my favourite blog posts.

I did a series on Women in the Reformation, looking specifically at Invectives and Insults that leading Protestant women faced for their attempts to proclaim the Gospel:

In light of this new egalitarian theology, women from a variety of backgrounds found a voice and entered into the action of proclaiming the Gospel and wrestling with the new theology of justification by faith. As Daniel Frankforter notes, at the advent of the Reformation, “many women comprehended immediately what it was about, embraced its faith, preached its message and encouraged its leaders.” Unfortunately, the response from the leaders of the Reformation to these women actively participating in preaching and teaching was not entirely positive. More often than not, the women who chose to write, preach and teach were met with invectives, attempts to expunge their writings, and silence.

I did a tongue-in-cheek exhortation on why Christians should never read the Patristic Fathers:

10. They’re boring. They don’t talk about anything interesting. Ever. And they are polite and never ever disagree with each other.

9. People were baptized naked. Yup. Naked. Oh my victorian/evangelical sensibilities!

8. What do you mean there were women in leadership in the early church? Church Mothers? Desert Mothers? Everyone knows that the only biblical model for women is to be at home in high heels and have supper in the oven…

Speaking of tongue-in-cheek humourous posts, I also did a very loose interpretation and reimagining of Proverbs 31, In Praise of the Geeky Wife:

A wife of geeky character who can find? She is worth far more than gold-pressed latinum.

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks no season of Doctor Who.

She brings him buffs, not de-buffs, all the days of her life.

She grinds mats and rep and works with eager hands.

She is like Cyrano Jones, bringing her tribbles from afar…

I wrote about how Ariel from The Little Mermaid and Merida from Brave are illustrations of young evangelicals:

I guess what it comes down to is this: I wish there was a little more humility; a little more listening. I get the disenfranchisement of the young people in the church today, I really do. I am of that generation. I think the difference is that I didn’t grow up in the Church, so I didn’t have my rebel moment. I came into the Church at the age of 16 with my eyes somewhat open to what I was choosing. It was (through the grace and power of the Holy Spirit) my choice to respond to the gracious gift of Jesus; it wasn’t forced on me (“you have to be a Christian because that is what this family does”). Add to that, I have spent a lot of time reading Church history, listening to the elders who have gone before, and sitting under their wisdom. It has changed me. It has softened me. It has made me (somewhat) more patient with the foibles and frustrations of a Church that is made up of imperfect humans.

I wrote one post on the Biblical Womanhood hoopla that arose in the blogosphere after Rachel Held Evans’ newest book came out:

For 17 years I have struggled through the minefield of messages and advice, trying to be an obedient disciple of Jesus. And yet, I have also learned that much of the “advice” that is given out by well-meaning lay leaders in the church is loaded with spiritual guilt and peer pressure. Not only is there a desire to be a faithful servant, but there is a social need to fit in. And when those pressures are combined with “biblical” wisdom, it becomes a power cocktail of stress and anxiety, one that leads to a salvation by works rather than a salvation by faith, as women try their best to live up to the expectations.

I introduced y’all to some of my favourite female theologians, and Chuck talked about how to be a smart consumer of the academic literature that focuses on the complementarian-egalitarian gender debate:

First, there is a difference between “gender differences” and “inherent gender differences.” Gender differences (and that includes personality differences) are often substantial, but are the product of both biological and social factors. So finding larger differences than previous studies found does not lock us into the interpretation that these differences are all about God’s design. Also, the CBMW author rails against secular academics who are trying to prove that gender differences are “negligible, circumstantial and not a part of design,” but ignores the fact that the study (which I’m guessing he didn’t read) is about a conflict between academics who expect gender differences to be small and other academics (mostly evolutionary psychologists) who expect them to be large…Pointing to a poorly written study in a poor-quality journal and using it to “prove” an organization’s position actually serves to undercut the credibility of said organization.

On the sci-fi front, I wrote about the theme of apocalypse and the nature of humanity as portrayed in the Whedon-verse and Doctor Who and compared it to a Christian theological understanding:

Indeed, and here is the biggest difference, the Christian apocalypse is primarily redemptive. The Christian apocalypse is not about utter and total destruction. The earth and humanity will not be left in ruin, where the survivors are left alone to somehow bravely rebuild their lives. True there will be judgment (and violence). But even that judgment is redemptive.

So once again I want to say thank you to all of you out there. Some people think that blogging is an impersonal and isolating endeavour, but I have made new friends and even met some of you in real life as a result of the community that has been formed through the blogosphere.

May you all have a restful Christmas holiday. And I look forward to all the conversations that will happen in the blogosphere in 2013.





A Few More Canadian Christian Blogs

Be sure to check out Andrew Rozalowsky’s blog. Andrew is at McMaster Divinity in Hamilton, illness Ontario.

And take a peek at Emerging-Anabaptist by Ryan Robinson. Ryan lives in Toronto, view Ontario.

The ever-growing list of Canadian Christian Blogs can be found here.

Theology Roundup — October 2012

Theologians of Note:
Heideggar, view the Reluctant Theologian.
St. Hildegard of Bingen is being named a Doctor of the Church.
A brief biography of theologian Abraham Kuyper.

Scripture, viagra Hermeneutics:

Roger Olson talks about why Scripture is God’s word and the hot topic of inerrancy. Mike Bird points us to a panel discussion on inerrancy that occurred at SBTS, troche and Peter Enns provides his analysis and evaluation of the discussion. Rachel Held Evans on what we should do when our interpretations differ. Mark Noll considers the impact of 500 years of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.
Carmen talks about wrestling with the tough questions about the Bible, including God’s command to slaughter the Canaanites. She refers us to Chris Wright’s book “The God I Don’t Understand” as a helpful resource.

Patristics and the Early Church:
RJS looks at the Early Church Fathers’ interpretations of Genesis 1, and then she continues her look at the Patristics and how they understood Scripture, arguing that whether it’s understood allegorically or historically, the focus is always on Christ. Here’s a link to John Walton’s lecture on reading Genesis through ancient eyes. Rod looks at Clement of Alexandria’s influence on the Cappadocian Fathers. Kevin looks at Monophysite and Nestorian Theology.

Gender, Marriage, Sex etc:
Jake Meador on why C.S. Lewis was wrong about Christian marriage. Kyndall Rae Renfro writes about feminism, Christian feminism and what the “f” word means. Mary Kassian looks at complementarian sex. Pope Benedict canonized seven saints on October 21st, four of whom were women: Marianne Cope, Kateri Tekakwitha, Carmen Salles y Barangueras and Anna Schaffer. Kait Dugan talks about why she still reads what complementarians have to say about gender roles even though she disagrees with their positions, including how Barth (a complementarian) helped her become a Christian feminist.

Rachel Held Evans’ book on Biblical Womanhood was released this month. I haven’t catalogued all of the reviews (there are just too many), but here are some highlights:

Roger Olson

Brian LePort.

Canadian blogger, Ryan Robinson’s multi-post review starts here.

Ben Witherington.

Kathy Keller critiques Rachel’s hermeneutics, and Zach hunt critiques Kathy Keller’s critique.

And if you’re looking for my review, I haven’t bought the book yet. If a publisher wants to send me a free copy that would be cool.

Reviews, Books of Note, and Interviews:
Michael Patton talks with Paul Copan in the latest episode of theology unplugged.

Nick Norelli reviews Chris Tilling’s new book Paul’s Divine Christology.

Brian LePort reviews Herold Weiss’ book Creation in Scripture, and Edward Vick’s Creation: The Christian Doctrine.

Rod reviews Postcolonialism and Science Fiction by Jessica Langer.

Michael Bird points us to two books on historical theology.

New book to check out: A Puritan Theology.

Catechism, Creeds, and Christian Doctrine for the Church:
Ken Schenck is doing a series looking at the differences between the Roman Catholic Catechism and Wesleyan theology. Tim Keller talks about the desperate need for catchesis in the 21st century church, and provides an introduction to the catechism at New City Church. Roger Olson recommends some books about the creeds and confessions of the church. October 11th marked the 50th anniversary of Vatican II.

Gavin looks at Barth’s understanding of the atonement. Brian LePort looks at Pneumatology in the Wisdom of Solomon. Michael Bird provides a pdf link to a great article, “Systematic Theology as a Biblical Discipline” by Michael Williams. Kurt Willems on why it’s impossible to be president of the United States and a follower of Jesus. Mike Licona and Dale Martin talk about whether or not Jesus believed he was divine.
Dan Kimball on what happens when theology gets in the way. Tim Challies defines election.

And last but not least, on October 20th, McMaster Divinity hosted the “New Voices in Canadian Evangelical Theology” Conference.