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
Tuesday, 17 September 2019 10:25

“David’s Creed” Featured

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imageBishop Edward Reynolds (1599-1676) wrote a long book on a short psalm, An Exposition of the One Hundred and Tenth Psalm. One reason for the book’s length is that Reynolds found in the words of Psalm 110 the entire Christian message. To be more precise, he located in that prophetic Psalm the...

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Tuesday, 10 September 2019 18:07

Classical Christian General Education Featured

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imageThe cover story of the September issue of Christianity Today is about Christian homeschoolers who read classic books by pagan authors. Yay!

It’s kind of a rambling article, but the author (Lou Markos of Houston Baptist University) has some fun with the irony, or at least the surprise, of...

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Saturday, 24 August 2019 09:16

The Bible in Socratic Instruction Featured

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imageThis is a brief talk I gave last week during orientation for Torrey Academy, our high school program. It addresses, for one particular, local audience, an issue with broader application: how should Christian teachers handle the Bible in a course of instruction that is Socratic?

The goal of Torrey...

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Tuesday, 06 August 2019 18:30

Hidden with Christ (Barth on Colossians 3:3) Featured

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imagePaul says in Colossians 3:

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ...

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Sunday, 04 August 2019 17:46

The Strong Uniqueness of the Incarnation Featured

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imageThere’s nothing like the incarnation of the Son of God. The union of divine and human in Christ is unique; it is a strongly unique kind of union. In fact, it’s so strongly unique that there is a theological tradition of highlighting its uniqueness by listing every other kind of union...

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Monday, 17 June 2019 20:05

Reading Barth with Kimlyn Bender

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imageKimlyn Bender has a fine new book out called Reading Karl Barth for the Church: A Guide and Companion. If you want to get the most out of reading Barth, but you don’t have a good teacher on hand or a class to sign up for, this book will equip you to pick up the Church Dogmatics for...

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Tuesday, 11 June 2019 16:32

Barth’s Theological Exegesis

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imageThis new book caught my eye: Freedom under the Word: Karl Barth’s Theological Exegesis(Baker, 2019).

Let me just admit that the first reason is personal: It’s got essays by three of my theology friends who are alum of the Torrey Honors Institute. Ben Rhodes (co-editor) wrote the...

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Sunday, 12 May 2019 13:56

CFP: LATC2020 on Pneumatology

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imageWe need some good papers on pneumatology.

In January 2020, the Los Angeles Theology Conference will take up the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, under the title “The Third Person of the Trinity.” We’ve already invited five plenary speakers to address this doctrine, and if you know...

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Tuesday, 30 April 2019 12:58

“Forgiveness by Sending” (H.S. Holland)

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I’ve been puzzling over a perplexing passage from Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918). Holland was an English theologian who did his best theologizing in sermons, especially in the preaching he did at St. Paul’s in London, where he was a canon. The passage that I’ve been puzzling over...

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Merciful Trinity by Sr. Caritas Müller, OP

Humans are not nothing. But fundamentally we are made from nothing, and deep down, we know it. At least some of us do.

Ruth Burrows knows that humans are poised between God and the nothing out of which we were made, the nothing that is always with us in...

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Tuesday, 23 April 2019 15:59

“His Life Rose With Him”

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imageHere is a helpful way of thinking about the relation between the life of Jesus  and the resurrection of Jesus. “His life rose with him.”

When Jesus rose from the dead, he not only came back to life, but also brought back with him the life that he had already lived. In addition to...

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Sunday, 07 April 2019 14:52

“The Creature in a Separated Sort”

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imageThis is a blog post about everything, but mainly about everything in relation to God.

I found a striking example of how the Christian confession of the distinction between the creator and the creature can be preached and applied. It’s Richard Baxter’s The Crucifying of the World by the...

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Monday, 01 April 2019 20:00

The Discipline of Discipline

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imageAs a scholar of monasticism and a Benedictine oblate one of my favorite parts of the sixth-century Rule of Benedictis Chapter 49 – “On the Observance of Lent.” Benedict writes, “the life of a monk ought to have about it at all times the character of a Lenten...

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Monday, 01 April 2019 12:00

Too Clever by Thirds

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imageThere are three kinds of people in the world: People who think everything can be broken down meaningfully into threes, and people who don’t. Plus some third kind of person, to make a total of three, which is my point. Please clap.

Which brings us to the truly brilliant Richard Baxter...

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Friday, 29 March 2019 02:51

Classical Theology: Triune God Course

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You’re probably aware that Biola’s Talbot School of Theology is starting an innovative new program, the M.A. Classical Theology. We are admitting students now, so if you are looking for a program that will take you to the heart of what theology is, take a look at it.

This M.A. is made up...

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Tuesday, 26 March 2019 06:22

God in Christ

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imageIn a sermon on Matt 3:17 (“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased”), Ralph Erskine (1685–1752) expounds the thesis that “God was in Christ.” The main thrust of the sermon is that there is a great difference between how God can be encountered in Christ as...

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Tuesday, 19 March 2019 14:39

Not a Lot of Song-Writers But a Solitary Seer

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Homer & Moses by Raphael

Here is a great-books style argument for the unity of Genesis, from Robert Candlish’s 1868 book on Genesis. It turns on a comparison of Moses and Homer, but is mainly a matter of aesthetic perception of literary unity.

Moses, as it seems to me, has fared very much...

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Sunday, 17 March 2019 07:19

Immutable Mercy (Thomas Adams)

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imageThomas Adams (1583–1653) was a famous preacher, and no wonder. His sermons are so full of ideas and fresh expressions that they fill the mind to bursting. What follows are just some notes I took on a few pages of one sermon. The sermon is “Semper Idem, or The Immutable Mercy of Jesus...

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In the first couple of pages of Paul Blowers’ fine book Drama of the Divine Economy: Creator and Creation in Early Christian Theology and Piety, he explains something important about his subject. Reading early Christian theologians on the subject of creation, we find them doing too many...

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imageToday’s the release date for Matthew Barrett’s book, None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God (Baker). Here’s the Amazon link, but do yourself a favor and look at the book’s home page on Baker Publishing’s site. I’m not necessarily saying...

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Monday, 04 March 2019 00:35

Benjamin Tucker Tanner

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In theological anthropology, some of the best witnesses to the nature of true humanity are those traditions which were forced to refute, in doctrine and in practice, the motivated denial of their own humanity. When African-American Christians, for example, found their footing and secured the kind...

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Sunday, 03 March 2019 08:05

Blessed Trinity (Kistemaker Lectures)

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imageI’ve been thinking about the doctrine of divine blessedness for several years, and in late February I got to gather my reflections on the subject for the 2019 Kistemaker Academic Lectures at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando.

Here’s the slightly modified summary text about the...

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Friday, 01 March 2019 05:15

Theologica Issue on the Son of God

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imageMy good friend Matthew Owen is a philosopher with a lively interest in theology. Some time ago he invited me to co-edit with him a theme issue of the journal Theologica: An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology. Matt and I have talked a lot over the...

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Tuesday, 19 February 2019 12:38

Praising the Triune God with Bavinck

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imageI messed up footnote number eight on page 27 of my 2016 book The Triune God.

It’s a little more interesting than it sounds.

In that section, I’m describing how the structure of trinitarian theology is like the structure of praise:

In the form of simple gratitude, praise may terminate...

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Thursday, 14 February 2019 08:10

Interior Life

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imageThe main point of Jean-Baptiste Chautard’s Soul of the Apostolate is that if you want to live an active life of Christian service, you need to attend seriously to your spiritual formation and relationship with God. (He says it in more 19th-century Trappist style, which I’ve summarized...

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