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…
95 eBooks Sale: 95 Key Books on the Reformation, Reformed Theology, & More
We’re excited to share with you the 95 eBooks Sale, recognizing the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and Martin Luther’s 95 Theses.
This is the biggest eBook sale we’ve ever hosted! You can save up to 81% on these deals, starting at $1.99.
The sale ends November 5, 2017 (11:59pm ET), and it features:
Key books across several topics: Reformation studies Reformed theology Biblical studies and study Bibles from Reformed thinkers Biblical counseling resources that use a Reformed lens Practical-but-theological titles on church and ministry leadership Trusted authors: Wayne Grudem Michael Horton Timothy Keller D. A. Carson Gregg Allison J. D. Greear Tim Challies Brian Croft Many others
See the deals today. Remember, it ends November 5, 2017!
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…
Sharing Your Faith with Atheists Doesn’t Have to Be Scary
According to a 2016 Pew Research Center study, the number of Americans who identify as atheists has nearly doubled. As atheism has expanded, we’ve seen a rise of high-profile atheists. Outspoken personalities like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and the late Christopher Hitchens have proffered popular arguments against religion in general—and Christianity specifically.
The proliferation of atheist social-media groups has helped bolster the arguments of the average atheist, and empowered them to be more vocal about their beliefs.
While we shouldn’t be intimidated by vocal atheists, many in the church have found it difficult to defend their faith against them. They don’t feel prepared to debate an atheist, and when they try, it devolves into an argument.
The idea of talking to an atheist doesn’t have to fill you with fear. In fact, you can…
Transubstantiation, Consubstantiation, or Something Else? Roman Catholic vs. Protestant Views of the Lord’s Supper
What is the nature of the Lord’s Supper? How should it be celebrated?
Let’s take a look at the Roman Catholic view of transubstantiation. Then, let’s look at three ways Protestants have understood the Lord’s Supper.
The Roman Catholic view is called transubstantiation.
That is when the priest elevates first the wafer and then the chalice of wine mixed with water and rehearses the institutional narrative, the story of the…
Christianity and Sexuality: What We Believe, Why We Don’t Believe It
Recently, a number of books have been published grappling with what the Bible and reality says about same-sex practice. Yet pastor Todd Wilson believes there is a crucial gap in these resources:
I don’t think we’ve dealt adequately with the question of homosexuality in the light of God’s design for human sexuality. Instead we’ve addressed the issue too narrowly—at times almost too exclusively in biblical or personal practical terms. (13)
Our approach typically asks one of two questions: What does the Bible say about homosexuality? How can I love homosexuals like Jesus? Although important, these questions miss something: “We need to put the question in a larger theological context” (14).
Enter Mere Sexuality, a cogent, compact book exploring what Christians have always believed about human sexuality. In a culture that’s deeply confused about…
Biblical Counseling vs. Christian Counseling: What’s the Difference?
This post is adapted from Heath Lambert’s Theology of Biblical Counseling online course.
There are some Christians who disagree that the Bible should be used to help us solve our counseling-related problems.
Christians who rely—to one degree or another—on the counseling insights of secular people have been called integrationists, Christian counselors, and Christian psychologists—among other things.
I want to show how the decision to be a Christian counselor is a theological decision. In order to do that, I will describe areas where biblical counselors agree with our brothers and sisters in Christian counseling, as well as some areas where we disagree.
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Why Catholic Doctrine Is Not Unbiblical
A provocative question on the eve of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. And an appropriate one given lingering divisions between Protestants and Catholics in orthodoxy and orthopraxy.
It’s a question Catholic professor Matthew Levering asks in his new book, Was the Reformation a Mistake? Spoiler alert: He doesn’t think it was.
He is “deeply grateful” for the Reformers’ emphasis on a number of doctrinal positions and believes “they were right in seeking reform” (31). Yet he does insist they “made some doctrinal mistakes” (15), which he addresses in his book:
I focus on nine issues raised by Luther at the outset of the Reformation that continue to divide Catholics and Protestants. These nine issues are the following: Scripture, Mary, the…
Nabeel Qureshi, author of Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, passes
(Nashville, TN) September 18, 2017—It is with deep sympathy for family and loved ones that HarperCollins Christian Publishing recognizes the passing of Nabeel Qureshi, who lost his year-long battle with stomach cancer on Saturday, September 16, 2017, and entered into the presence of Jesus, whom he had embraced as his Savior and Lord. He was 34 years old.
A convert from Islam to Christianity, Qureshi was known as an apologist for the Christian faith, a powerful preacher, and a best-selling author. He had an MD degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School, an MA in Christian apologetics from Biola University, an MA in religion from Duke University, and an MPhil in Judaism and Christianity from Oxford University. At the time of his diagnosis with cancer, he was in the midst of a doctoral program in New Testament at Oxford University.