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Extracurricular Activities 10.25.14—J.I. Packer's Conversion, A Softer Calvinism, & The Parish's Death

Categories Extracurricular Activities

Justin Taylor Reflects on J. I. Packer's Conversion — 70 Years Ago

On Sunday, October 22, 1944—seventy years ago today—it is doubtful that anyone noticed a soft-spoken, lanky, and decidedly bookish first-year university student leaving his dormitory room at Corpus Christi College and heading across Oxford for an evening Christian Union service at a local Anglican church.

18-year-old Jim Packer had arrived at Oxford University less than three weeks prior, a single suitcase in hand, traveling east by train from Gloucester using a free ticket available to family members of Great Western Railway employees...

Ben Myers Outlines 12 "Grammatical Rules" of Christology

I've just finished another semester teaching christology. This is one of my favourite classes. (My other favourite is the Trinity.) Really it's one of the joys of my life to be able to explore such things in a classroom setting. In the tutorials we worked our way through two of the richest works on christology ever written: the third volume of Irenaeus's Against Heresies, followed by Athanasius's On the Incarnation...

In the last class I tried to draw together some of the key points in a list of simple "grammatical rules" for talking about Jesus Christ. I'm sure I've missed some important points, but here are the twelve rules I came up with. Each is a negation followed by an affirmation:

Scot McKnight: How Disillusion Revived the Reformation

At the heart of European Protestant theology’s revolutionary developments in the 20th Century was the rediscovery of the transcendence of God that challenged and replaced the identification of historical processes and progressivism (liberal theology) with the ways of God. This theology challenged that mood of theology and philosophy and culture by proclaiming God over against historical processes.

This theology is often called neo-orthodoxy, dialectical theology, kerygmatic theolory (my preference) or crisis theology. Reality is found in what is known from revelation in Scripture about God in Christ, not by discerning the ways of God in the plane of modern history. Instead of accommodation and anthropocentrism we find confrontation and revelation and gospel and Word and christocentrism...

Oliver Crisp and the Softer Face of Calvinism

Few figures in church history have been so much loved or hated, admired or despised as John Calvin. Calvinism—the theological orientation bearing the French theologian’s name—has also had mixed reception. Reformed theologian Oliver Crisp, professor of systematic theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, says Calvinism and the Reformed tradition is more diverse and amiable than is often thought...

David Koyzis on the Death of the Parish and A Motor-Driven Ecclesiology

For most of the last two millennia the gathered or institutional church was organized on a territorial basis, beginning already in New Testament times when Paul’s letters and John’s Revelation were addressed to the churches in specific cities of the Roman Empire, such as Corinth, Ephesus, and Rome. By the sixteenth century, when Christians were quarrelling over ecclesiology among other things, no one thought to question the traditional parish church model. The parish church serves a local community, and its membership is as diverse as the people of that community. Young and old, rich and poor, men and women worship together. According to this model, people who work with each other or buy from and sell to each other during the week gather on Sunday in their neighborhood church to worship the God who has redeemed them in Jesus Christ.

Beginning just over a century ago, all this changed...

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Extra-Curricular Activities is a weekly roundup of stories on biblical interpretation, theology, and issues where faith and culture meet. We found each story interesting, thought-provoking, challenging, or useful in some way – but we don't necessarily agree with or endorse every point in every story.

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