What is Christological Anthropology?
Although Christians have answered that “Jesus reveals what it means to be human,” this orthodox truism isn’t all that helpful. That’s what theologian Marc Cortez concluded when he started reading in theological anthropology:
I was struck by how often I would encounter [this claim] with little or no explanation of what such a statement means or how it should inform our understanding of specific issues in anthropology. (18)
His new book ReSourcing Theological Anthropology addresses that lack by offering an account of why theological anthropology must begin with Christology, centered around three key questions:
Why should we think that Christology is fundamental for understanding anthropology? What are the theological issues involved in making that claim?…
15 Things You Need to Know About the Eternal Generation of the Son
Retrieving Eternal Generation addresses the hermeneutical logic and biblical bases of the doctrine of eternal generation, key historical figures and moments in the development of the doctrine of eternal generation, and the broad dogmatic significance of the doctrine of eternal generation for theology.
Corresponding with its fifteen chapters, below are fifteen things you need to know about eternal generation—and why it is vital to reclaim this biblical, historical relation of the Son to the Father.
1) Integral to Knowing God’s Identity
Scott Swain “correlates two different ways Scripture names God: as the one…
6 Surprising Things You Need to Know about Matthew’s Christmas Story
There are two versions of the Christmas story: the one reflected in Christmas carols and pageants; the other version most forget—Matthew’s Christmas story.
“Matthew’s version of our favorite holiday,” Rodney Reeves explains in his new Matthew commentary (SGBC series), “is hardly recognizable except for the star and the three wise men. Joseph nearly divorcing Mary, Herod’s diabolical ploy, the slaughter of the innocents, the flight to Egypt, waiting for a wicked king to die—none of these things make the cover of Christmas cards” (61).
Yet we need this story for the things Matthew wants to tell us about Immanuel’s story.
In his commentary on Matthew 1:18–2:23, Reeves outlines several important insights into the passage. Below we’ve given you six surprising things you need to know about Matthew’s Christmas story this…
Explorations in Constructive Dogmatics: 5 Contemporary Insights
Since 2013 the Los Angeles Theology Conference (LATC) has sought to advance contemporary dogmatics by fostering serious, collegial engagement with Scripture and tradition, retrieving the best of the Christian past in order to forge theology for the future. One result of LATC has been a series five volumes of groundbreaking research into constructive dogmatics, now available as a box set.
The volumes in Explorations in Constructive Dogmatics address important areas in theology: Christology, the Trinity, atonement, the theological interpretation of Scripture, and theological method. World-class theologians lead the exploration, including Oliver D. Crisp, John Goldingay, Michael Horton, George Hunsinger, Karen Kilby, Peter J. Leithart, Fred Sanders, Katherine Sonderegger, Kevin J. Vanhoozer, and more.
Below we’ve highlighted from each volume one contribution to the exploration of…
Practical Inspiration from New Testament Greek for 2018
New Testament Greek.
Not the Greek scriptures, per se, but the Greek language. A brilliant new devotional book offers inspiration for practical living using insights from biblical Greek. It’s called Devotions on the Greek New Testament, the second such volume edited by Paul Jackson as a follow-up to the first.
The main point of each of the 52 devotions comes from a careful reading of the passage in the Greek New Testament, not from an English translation, using a variety of exegetical approaches, including: grammatical, lexical, rhetorical, sociohistorical, and linguistic. Each devotion closes with a practical application or spiritual…
Why Did Matthew Write His Gospel? Here Are 4 Possible Reasons
Rodney Reeves thinks asking questions of the Bible is important and relevant to preaching and teaching. So he introduces his new Matthew commentary (SGBC series) by asking a number of them them—including “Why?”
Why did Matthew write his gospel, and in the way he wrote it? Consider the material the Evangelist added to his narrative:
He began with an extensive genealogy He grouped together Jesus’s teachings into a sermon He has Jesus sending the disciples first to the Jews He made a big deal about Peter’s confession He added several parables after the Olivet Discourse
Why did Matthew include all of this extra, particular material?
Scholars think it may have something to do with Matthew’s purpose.…The trick is finding a literary or theological thread that holds the fabric of Matthew together—not…
Katherine Sonderegger on the Task of Dogmatic Theology: “The Bible is…”
That was the question theologian Katherine Sonderegger engaged at the 2016 Los Angeles Theology Conference, which also forms the backbone of the resulting The Task of Dogmatics, edited by Oliver Crisp and Fred Sanders.
Since 2013, Biola University, Fuller Seminary and Zondervan Academic have brought together a diverse coalition of top scholars from different schools and confessions to foster serious, collegial engagement with Scripture and tradition, retrieving the best of the Christian past in order to forge theology for the future. The 2017 conference examined dogmatic methodology theologically, with these contributors: Kevin Vanhoozer, Scott Swain, Sameer Yadav, Chris Tilling, Henri Blocher, Katherine…
Four Views on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design
Discoveries in cosmology, paleontology, and genomics has considerably changed the context for the creation-evolution debate in the last two decades. Which is why an update to the first Counterpoints views book on the subject is needed.
Editor J. B. Stump has brought together leading voices to offer an accurate snapshot of the origins conversation in America in his new book Four Views on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design. Voices include: Ken Ham (Answers in Genesis), Hugh Ross (Reasons to Believe), Deborah B. Haarsma (BioLogos), and Stephen C. Meyer (The Discovery Institute). Offering their best defense of their position, each address questions such as:
What is your position on origins? What is the most persuasive arguments in defense of your position? How do you demarcate and correlate evidence…
Does Sanctification Have Any Place in the Economy of the Gospel?
While the Protestant Church is coming off from a week celebrating the Reformation rallying cry “justification by grace through faith,” we need to ask what about sanctification? Does holiness have a place in the economy of the gospel when salvation is said to be from Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone?
Michael Allen unequivocally affirms holiness’ place in the gospel with his new book Sanctification.
The economy of the gospel demands that we confess not only that Christ brings life, blessing, and, fundamentally, God to us, but that in so doing he brings holiness along the way. (22)
The third book in the new New Studies in Dogmatics series, Allen’s book defines holiness by tending to its connections with the character of God, the…
3 Reasons Why Catholics and Protestants Interpret Scripture Differently
While Protestants are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Catholic professor Matthew Levering is asking a basic-level question:
Was the Reformation a mistake?
In his similarly titled book, Levering makes it clear he believes “they were right in seeking reform” (31). Yet he does “consider that the Reformers made some doctrinal mistakes” (15), and addresses nine of them. Over the past few weeks we’ve engaged a few of his arguments here and here.
Concluding the book, Kevin Vanhoozer offers a “Mere Protestant Response.” He evaluates Levering’s theological method in establishing Catholic doctrine as biblical, showing why Protestants and Catholics interpret Scripture differently.
Here are three important differences highlighted by Vanhoozer.
1) The Locus of Authority
The main interpretive difference between Protestants and…
Biblical Grounds for the Catholic Doctrine of Merit?
Next week Protestants will celebrate the quincentennial anniversary of the Reformation and the rallying cry that emerged from it: Justification by grace through faith alone.
Yet, is there room for merit in God’s economy of salvation? Luther said “No way!” Levering says, “Not so fast!”
In his new book Was the Reformation a Mistake? Catholic theologian Matthew Levering offers some biblical grounds for the Catholic doctrine of merit as it relates to justification. He also clarifies what Catholic doctrine actually teaches:
The Catholic Church recognizes that no one can ever merit the utterly free gift of justification, and the Catholic Church also affirms that believers’ final perseverance unto eternal life is God’s free gift, to which the appropriate response will be gratitude to God…
How to Make the Benefits of Family Life Accessible to LGBT People
“In the day-to-day details of navigating Christian obedience with a gay orientation,” observes Nate Collins in his new book All But Invisible, “we do not have turn-by-turn directions to tell us where to go, but only landmarks that confirm we’re on the right track” (83). [See more of Nate Collins’ traditional view on sex and marriage at the start of this post.]
One of those landmarks Collins would like to recapture is the notion of vocation to guide discussions about what it means to be gay and Christian. Collins explains, “when the Bible refers to a particular behavior or pattern of living as a ‘gift,’ it is highlighting the calling or vocation that the gift represents to those who have it” (85)—including marital status. As with all gifts,…