Theopolis Institute teaches men and women to lead cultural renewal by renewing the church. Participants in our various programs—our courses, conferences, and publications—will gain competence to read the Bible imaginatively, worship God faithfully, and engage the culture intelligently.

Theopolis Articles

  • The Sacrament of Preaching

    In certain evangelical Christian churches it is the tradition to exalt preaching above the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Ever since the rise of Revivalist preachers pushing for conversions, the practice has cast doubt upon the possibility of Baptism or the Lord’s Supper being a “means of grace” to save someone. “Baptism doesn’t […]

  • Yoram Hazony and the Deception of Isaac

    Perhaps one of the most stimulating sections of Yoram Hazony’s The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture addresses the question of how we are to discern the meaning of biblical narratives, especially how biblical narratives might present arguments of a more general nature. Hazony quotes John Barton’s remarks about the difficulty of recognizing the moral stance of the […]

  • Enduring Divine Absence: The Challenge of Modern Atheism – A Review

    In this slender volume, Joseph Minich (Ph.D. student at the University of Dallas) attempts to answer some of the deepest questions of human existence. With his honesty, his probing questioning, his wide reading, and his ability to plunge beneath superficial answers, he provides a helpful source of reflection for fellow pilgrims. He admits he has […]

  • Drunk, Naked, and Accomplishing God’s Will

    A Closer Look at Noah’s Post-Flood Humiliation In Genesis 9:20-27 My wife is currently leading a Bible study through Genesis for a group of insatiable Bible students. Because she is a deep thinker and has a high view of inspiration, there is no passage she is unwilling to face head on, seeking the interpretive clues […]

  • What did Jonah Know?

    When a certain Samaritan village refused Jesus’ attempt to visit, James and John asked Jesus if they should call down fire from heaven upon it. The allusion to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is evident, but, as the story shows, James’ and John’s thinking was entirely warped. Jesus rebuked them: “You do not know […]

  • The Relevance of Aristotle and the Role of Christ (pt. 2)

    In the first part of this essay, I considered paideia(formation)and mimesis (imitation) in the context of Aristotle’s virtue ethics and that of the New Testament. The overall concern is to realize how relevant is Aristotle’s ethics both to diagnosing our current malaise and to enculturing our children, though we must also recognize where the shortfall […]

  • The Relevance of Aristotle and the Role of Christ (pt. 1)

    It’s hard to imagine someone, centuries from now, mistaking our culture for a moral highpoint in the history of the West. Increasingly the news is dominated by school shootings, abusive policing, sexploitation of women, and increasing rates of suicide, addiction, and divorce. In response, the Left calls for regulations, surveillance, information campaigns, and various forms […]

  • God’s Promise to Hear Us

    “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” (Ps. 34:17-18) God is listening. He is listening when we ask Him for financial provision, He is listening when we […]

  • Transfiguration and Jesus’ Baptism

    The allusions to Mt. Sinai in the transfiguration story point to Jesus as a new Moses and even more as Yahweh, the God who met Moses and Elijah on the mountain. The fact that Jesus, Moses, and Elijah spoke of Jesus’ “exodus” suggests that the mountain of transfiguration was intended to point forward as well. […]

  • Sacred Work in a Secular World

    Several weeks ago, a picture of a man working at Trader Joe’s went viral. At first glance, it was hard to tell what was worthy of note in the picture—a man simply standing near a cash register. It turns out, the picture went viral not because of what the man was doing, but because of […]

  • Jesus on Sinai

    Among the many allusions in the transfiguration story, one allusion, or rather, one group of allusions, is especially prominent — allusions to Mt. Sinai. The first and least obvious of the allusions to Mt. Sinai is the expression “high mountain” in Matthew and Mark and “the mountain” in Luke. Ancient commentators do not approach these […]

  • Jesus’ Transfiguration: The Context

    The revelation of Jesus’ glory at the transfiguration is one of the most important stories in the synoptic Gospels. At Jesus’ baptism — the inauguration of New Covenant baptism with the Holy Spirit and the paradigm for Christian baptism — God the Father spoke from heaven: “You are My Son, the beloved. With you I […]

  • Solomon’s Argument against Living by Plunder

    The first section of Proverbs (chapters 1-9) contains two lengthy descriptions of temptations that a young man should resist and avoid (1:10-19 and 7). The two temptations are recruitment into a robber gang and being enticed by an adulterous wife. I’ve argued before that these are the two perversions of the Dominion Mandate in Genesis […]

  • The Gospel Invitation

    Is there a Gospel invitation? To many evangelical Christians, the answer to that question is an unqualified “yes.” Some calvinists, reacting against the misleading character of the “altar call,” seem less interested in inviting men to anything than they are in sending men away to think about the message they have heard. The answer to […]

  • The Sacramental System and Counseling

    Effective pastoral care helps people progress to maturity. Historically, the Christian church worked out the sacramental system to assist people with the various conversions of life. While we Protestants believe in only two sacraments, it is helpful for us to look at the sacramental system, because there is some wisdom in it. As a young person […]

  • What Irenaeus’ Christology Teaches Us about the Goodness of our Bodies

    The Christian tradition has always had an uneasy relationship with the materiality of creation. Dirt, liquid, sex, blood, and bodies—the world and the flesh stand in company with the Devil as two of the three great enemies of the saints. Mundus, caro, et diabolus, as the old Latin saying goes. And not without reason. The […]

  • The Second Death in Liturgy and History

    Since the destruction of Jerusalem was an event of earth-shattering covenantal significance, what might be the meaning of the subsequent tragic events at the desert fortress of Masada? In Hebrew, the name Masada means “strong foundation or support,” from a root meaning “to hunt, lie in wait for prey.” Located on the eastern edge of the Judean […]

  • Cross My Heart

    Take a long look at the photo above. To whom is this woman praying? It is hard to tell, isn’t it? Suppose we watch her for a while. We may see her bow low to the floor. Her lips may move, though perhaps it is too low for us to hear the words proceeding from […]

  • The Problem of Psalm 137

    Psalm 137 is widely regarded as one of the meanest of the imprecatory psalms. Certainly as we read it it is seems to be a song of pure vengeance. The exiles in Babylon, in grief over the judgment that Babylon has brought upon them, pray for the destruction of that great city. There is a […]

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