Christmas Shows How Preachers from Augustine to Bonhoeffer Contributed to Preaching

Jeremy Bouma on 3 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,,,.

Legacy of Preaching

9780310538226What do Augustine and Francis of Assisi, Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer all have in common?

They embody the rich legacy of preaching through the ages. Now that legacy is collected into two new volumes that are perfect for students, preachers, and interested Christians alike who want to learn from and carry forward that legacy.

A Legacy of Preaching (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) explores the history and development of preaching from the apostles to the revivalists and the Enlightenment to the present day. Each contributor in this series tells the story of a particular preacher in history, allowing the preachers from the past to come alive and instruct us in the present through their lives, theologies, and…

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Karl Barth on Mind, Body, and a Christological Anthropology

Jeremy Bouma on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310516415What does it mean to be human?

Two theories have generally explained our ontological construction: one argues we are dually composed of separate “body” and “soul” pieces; the other says the person is strictly a material unity. Theologians of all stripes have offered similar theories, yet one stands above the fold given his decidedly christological orientation.

“Few thinkers in the history of the church have pursued a christological anthropology with greater rigor than displayed in Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics,” Marc Cortez explains in his new book Christological Anthropology in Historical Perspective. “Barth demonstrates how this christological orientation reshapes how we understand specific issues like relationality, ontology, and temporality.” (141)

In his approach to the body/mind relationship, Barth argued they “can only be rightly understood from a christological perspective…” (142) In a clear, logical,…

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[Common Places] Can You Start in Azusa and Still Make It to Nicea? Engaging Christopher Holmes’s The Holy Spirit

Marc Cortez on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,,.


Zondervan Academic’s New Studies in Dogmatics series launched this fall with its first volume, Christopher Holmes’s The Holy Spirit, appearing in print in November. We will introduce readers to this work and engage with some of the doctrinal issues addressed therein over a series of four posts here at Common Places. In this final post, Marc Cortez detects apparent dissent between Holmes and one of his conversation partners.


Should theology always “begin” with the Son, or is it ever proper to construct a theological system that takes pneumatology as a fundamental starting point? According to Christopher Holmes, for any theology that seeks to be shaped by the pattern of the eternal triune relations, the answer to the latter half of that question is a clear no. Since the Spirit proceeds from the Son and points…

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[Common Places] New Studies in Dogmatics: Kickoff Reception at ETS Today (11/19/15)

ZA Blog on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

Karl Barth

Are you at ETS? This very morning, meet some of the team behind the New Studies in Dogmatics series at our coffee reception:

WHEN: November 19 (2015), 10:00 – 11:00 am WHERE: Zondervan Academic’s booth (#14)

Join us to celebrate the launch of the new NSD series. The first volume, now available for you, is Christopher R. J. Holmes’s The Holy Spirit.

Can’t make it to the reception? We’ll miss you. But here are some articles from our Common Places blog series that you will likely enjoy:

Barth’s Pneumatology in Christopher Holmes’ “The Holy Spirit” by Ben Rhodes

The Holy Spirit: An Interview with Christopher R. J. Holmes by Michael Allen and Scott Swain

Why I Wrote “The Holy Spirit” by Christopher R. J. Holmes

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What is the Holy Spirit? Augustine and Barth Help Us Understand

Jeremy Bouma on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

The Holy Spirit by Christopher HolmesWhat is the Holy Spirit?

Is it akin to George Lucas’s pantheistic vision of The Force? Is “it” even the proper pronoun, an affront to the Third Person of the Trinity that bleeds him of his personhood?

Christopher Holmes’s accessible, rich resource, The Holy Spirit (New Studies in Dogmatics), answers this question and more via three historical interlocutors: Augustine, Aquinas, and Barth. His work fills a crucial gap in evangelical dogmatic scholarship by providing concrete answers about the Holy Spirit’s identity, origin, and acts.

In the post below, we excavate a narrow slice of Holmes’s work using our friends Augustine and Barth to shed new light on how we understand what/who the Holy Spirit is. They answer this question in similar, yet complementary ways, helping us think…

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[Common Places] New Studies in Dogmatics: Barth’s Pneumatology in Christopher Holmes’s The Holy Spirit

Ben Rhodes on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

Karl Barth

Zondervan Academic’s New Studies in Dogmatics series launches this fall with its first volume, Christopher Holmes’s The Holy Spirit, which is now available. We will introduce readers to this work and engage with some of the doctrinal issues addressed therein over a series of four posts here at Common Places. In this third post, Ben Rhodes takes a closer look at Part 3: Engaging Barth: The Other-Directed Spirit. (Click here to read the other posts in this series.)


Christopher Holmes’s writing is an admirable model of patient exegesis, both of Scripture and of the Christian theological tradition. His most recent book, The Holy Spirit, largely consists of careful readings of Augustine, Aquinas, and Barth as they read the Gospel of John (both in…

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[Common Places] New Studies in Dogmatics: The Holy Spirit

Christopher Holmes on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

Zondervan Academic’s New Studies in Dogmatics series launches this fall with its first volume, Christopher Holmes’s The Holy Spirit, appearing in print this month. We will introduce readers to this work and engage with some of the doctrinal issues addressed therein over a series of four posts here at Common Places. In this first post, the author speaks to some of the germinal principles that shape his approach to the topic.


One of the reasons I wrote the book was to think through the matter of origins. Origins is one of the main concerns of Fourth Gospel. Jesus is repeatedly asked, “Where do you come from?” The question of origins is the question of antecedence, specifically the antecedent life of God. I wanted to think through why that life is important to describe in relation…

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Extracurricular Activities 4.11.15 — Economic Discrimination, Conversion, & Jesus’ Sabbath Rest

Jeremy Bouma on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

Church Building

Jordan Ballor on the Logic of Economic Discrimination

Why should big businesses like Apple, Angie’s List, or Salesforce be able to discriminate against an entire state like Indiana, while Christian small-business owners cannot likewise decide who they want to do business with? If Apple can boycott Indiana, why can’t evangelicals boycott same-sex weddings?

Eric Teetsel Evaluates Whether Matthew 5:41 Applies to Religious Discrimination

Recently, many friends have shared a blog Bake for them two. The post seems to have struck a chord with folks from across the theological and political spectrum. According to the blog’s homepage, it has garnered over 300,000 views since April 1. The author, Jessica Kantrowitz, admits that she does not consider gay marriage immoral, but aims her words at Christians whose understanding conforms to orthodox biblical teaching on the subject. Invoking primarily…

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Extracurricular Activities 9.20.14 — Divine Simplicity, European Christianity, & New Testament Ethics

Jeremy Bouma on 4 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,.


Adam Johnson on Boethius and Divine Simplicity

Perhaps you have heard of the term “divine simplicity.” The basic meaning is that God is one – he has no distinct or separate parts that can in any way be in conflict with each other. Often this doctrine is employed in the context of discussions concerning the divine character. One might say that God’s justice and mercy were at odds with each other, for instance, and then qualify or correct that by means of divine simplicity, arguing that because God is one, his mercy is a just mercy, and his justice is a merciful justice. The implications of divine simplicity for how we think about the attributes of God are immense.

In Boethius we find an altogether different use for this ancient doctrine…

 Trevin Wax on How 5 Different Ethicists Approach…

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Which Doctrine Has Seen A Revival of Interest? The One Barth Placed Front and Center

Jeremy Bouma on 4 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,.


“The doctrine of the Trinity stands front and center of the Christian faith and its articulation.” (13)

Jason S. Sexton makes this declaration at the beginning of his introduction to a new resource on the Trinity releasing September 2, Two Views of the Doctrine of the Trinity. Karl Barth agreed:

It is the doctrine of the Trinity which fundamentally distinguishes the Christian doctrine of God as Christian—it is, therefore, also, which marks off the Christian concept of revelation as Christian, in face of all other possible doctrines of God and concepts of revelation. (CD, I/1, 346)

Barth was so convinced of the centrality of the Trinity that he placed the doctrine at the front of his Church Dogmatics, guiding and directing his behemoth dogmatic…

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Barth on the Word and Scripture

ZA Blog on 8 years ago. Tagged under ,,.

Karl_Barth_1167312313122810For Barth, the Word of God (i.e., the event of God’s self-revelation) is always a new work, a free decision of God that cannot be bound to a creaturely form of mediation, including Scripture. This Word never belongs to history but is always an eternal event that confronts us in our contemporary existence.

‘If therefore we are serious about the fact that this miracle is an event,’ Barth writes, ‘we cannot regard the presence of God’s Word in the Bible as an attribute inhering once and for all in this book as such and what we see before us of books and chapters and verses’” – Michael Horton The Christian Faith

Barth is undeniably fascinating, but I’m never quite sure…

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