But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

The Scriptorium Daily - Apologetic Report
Monday, 21 May 2018 17:30

Irenaeus on the One God

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Irenaeus of Lyons (ca. 130-202) began to theologize at a crucial period in the history of the church. It was a bit of a mess.

From the earlier apologists he inherited a vocabulary of Greek philosophical terms with Christian significance. At the same time, Gnostics of various kinds were beginning to...

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018 09:26

Englishing Doctrine

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image I recently read with great admiration a portion of A Briefe Institution of the Common Places of Sacred Divinitie by Lucas Trelcatius the Younger (1573 – 1607), which was translated from Latin to English by John Gawen, a contemporary of Trelcatius. Of course he translated it into early...

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Tuesday, 15 May 2018 16:09

The Soul of God

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Does God have a soul? That’s a weird question.

image But here’s a tidy answer, from Amandus Polanus’ (1561-1610) Substance of Christian Religion. See the screencap for quaint spellings & suchelike.

Yes, God has a soul. “By the soul is meant the life of God, that is to say,...

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Monday, 14 May 2018 17:27

Two Rules for Theological Work

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To keep the work of theology at its proper task, and to keep the theologian from getting distracted, and to keep the main thing the main thing (which is, after all, itself the main thing), there are a couple of helpful rules to observe.

They are pretty simple and obvious. Here they are: Make sure...

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Tuesday, 01 May 2018 16:57

Standard Old-School Toolkit

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image This Easter season, my reading on the resurrection has included the relevant section from Isaac Ambrose (1604-1664)’s book Looking Unto Jesus. The resurrection portion of the 700-page book is about 80 pages long, and Ambrose takes his sweet time examining how Christ was “carrying...

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Saturday, 21 April 2018 18:15

Articles of Theology

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image Thomas Aquinas knew how to articulate theology, in the double sense of how to be clear about theology and also of how to divide it up into articles.

What’s an article? Well, I distinguish two meanings of article in Thomas Aquinas. The most important meaning is that an article of faith is a...

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Tuesday, 17 April 2018 10:29

Every True Practitioner of Piety (Bayly)

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image Lewis Bayly’s Practice of Piety is a classic work of doctrine and devotion that demolishes the idea that there’s any division between the two.

Those of us who simply love to read theology, more or less for its own sake, sometimes need to be reminded that knowing  God has practical...

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Monday, 09 April 2018 05:55

On the Shoulders of Farmers

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Thucydides’ Revelation of Our Indebtedness

Thucydides opens his “History of the Peloponnesian War” by tying the capability for a truly great war with the stable growth of a culture. He argues that the Peloponnesian was the greatest war because no cultures, to his knowledge, had...

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Monday, 09 April 2018 03:43

When Mercy Looks Like Justice

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imageA friend of mine is involved in a lawsuit, alleging that she was sexually harassed at work. But she has “some extended family and close friends saying that she’s taking this too far and that justice and vengeance is for the Lord only.” She’s trying to figure out...

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This is a note for people who know who Stan Freberg was. For those who don’t, he was a mid-century multimedia guerrilla satirist. Maybe think of him as the Weird Al of the 1950s, but with major influence on advertising and cartoons as well. Go look up songs like The World is Waiting for the...

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Monday, 02 April 2018 04:38

Redefining Freedom on the Frontier

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If Western civilization as we know it were to collapse, I think I will last a week, month, or maybe even a year longer, simply for having read the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Pa and Ma are simply amazing. I’ve learned much “looking over their...

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Tuesday, 27 March 2018 16:00

Union and Communion of the Trinity

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image Puritan theology makes a very helpful distinction between union and communion: “Union is the foundation of communion,” says Sibbes. A union is an underlying oneness of some kind, but communion is an ongoing set of  responses, actions, habits, and disciplines by which fellowship is...

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Sunday, 25 March 2018 18:53

Lenten Reflections: The Temptation of Jesus

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Day 24 – Friday, March 9

Scripture:

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry.  And the devil said...

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“‘Till We Have Faces” is not the only myth Lewis retold. In fact, he loved retelling myths. And while you may have noted the conspicuous presence of Bacchus at the end of Prince Caspian and the amazing feast that follows, you may not have caught some of the other details...

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Sunday, 18 March 2018 15:30

Father and Son and a Usage Note

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image When Jesus’ disciples asked him for instruction in prayer, he told them to begin, “Our Father in heaven.” As the Heidelberg Catechism points out (questions 120 and 121), there’s a tension built in to that opening gambit: “Father” indicates that God is like us in...

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Saturday, 10 March 2018 13:22

R.A. Torrey and Karl Barth vs. the Ninety-Three

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In the February 1918 issue of Biola’s magazine The King’s Business, editor-in-chief R. A. Torrey published a piece called “Evolution Discredited Again.” By 1918 it didn’t take much for Torrey to critique evolution: his science professors at Yale back in the...

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Wednesday, 07 March 2018 16:14

A Wrinkle in Time Among the Great Books

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Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time was published in 1962. A few years ago, several Torrey professors had a panel discussion about this strange book that had stayed in print for 50 years, finding new audiences all the time.

Now that the Ava DuVernay-directed Disney movie version of it...

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Sunday, 18 February 2018 16:40

The King’s Business, Feb 1918

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image Now that Biola’s magazine The King’s Business is all digitally available online (hurrah!), I’ve begun a leisurely reading program, going through the Bible Institute’s history on a 100-year delay.

The magazine began in 1910, and by 1918 it was under R.A. Torrey’s...

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image A few years ago I was looking for paintings to use as background images for a lecture. I wanted some biblical imagery that featured scenery over characters, added some beauty and atmosphere without taking over, and was all by one artist so that there weren’t jarring shifts of style. I...

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Tuesday, 30 January 2018 16:43

Life in the Trinity (Fairbairn Review)

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image The Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care has been going for ten years, and has recently become available as an academic journal through Sage Publications. If you’re not familiar with the journal, you should check it out, and if you’re in pastoral or spiritual formation...

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Tuesday, 30 January 2018 09:26

Al Geier at Torrey: Learning in Leisure

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imageOne year out of college, I was invited to return to Biola to work for John Mark Reynolds, the founder and then director of the Torrey Honors Institute. One of the unquestionable highlights of the three years which followed have to do with certain memories and experiences with Dr....

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Tuesday, 30 January 2018 02:09

Blessing of the Trinity (Sermon)

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On Sunday Jan 28, I preached on Ephesians 1:3-14 at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Tenth is a historic site for doctrinal and expository preaching, and I’m grateful to Pastor Liam Goligher for the invitation.

It’s a 40-minute exposition of my love affair with Ephesians 1 and...

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Monday, 08 January 2018 05:30

Christ Alone (Sermon)

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Here is the video of a sermon I preached on Reformation Day 500 in Talbot Chapel at Biola. It’s got bacon, Reddit, semantic drift, a killer visual aid, some Bible thumping, karma, and the Trinity in it. It’s also about Ephesians.

The post Christ Alone (Sermon) appeared first on The...

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Tuesday, 26 December 2017 14:42

Incarnation: How Appropriate

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image For at least three reasons, it seems like there’s nothing less appropriate than for God to become incarnate:

Divinity is infinite; but humanity is finite, and those two things don’t go together by nature.

God is simple, not put together from constituent parts; but for human nature, some...

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Wednesday, 20 December 2017 17:59

Tozer’s Meditations on the Trinity

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image A friend recently gave me a copy of this new devotional book, Meditations on the Trinity: Beauty, Mystery, and Glory in the Life of God, by A.W. Tozer.

A. W. Tozer (1897-1963) wrote a lot of books, but if you’re a fan, you’re probably thinking, “He never wrote a book called Meditat...

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