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

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Theopolis Institute Regional Course: Who is God?

We think we know. God is a stern Rule-Maker who has a bit of an anger management problem. Or, God is the indulgent Daddy in the sky. Or, God used to be a stern Ruler, but he got nice. Christians don’t believe any of that. Christians say the one God has a threefold name – […]

Like a Dove

Peter Leithart’s book, The Priesthood of the Plebs: A Theology of Baptism, argues that baptism is parallel to and the fulfillment of the old covenant rite of priestly ordination. But this is not something explicitly stated in the New Testament. Why, then, should we believe it? Leithart shows in detail that new covenant baptism does […]

The Politics of Justification

The doctrine of justification is precious among Protestants. And it should be. The fact that God has declared our sins forgiven and that we have a righteous standing in the sight of God united to Christ is comforting and brings great joy. Unfortunately, the biblical teaching on justification is, many times, truncated. We have tended […]

What is a Priest?

The Old Testament priests were given a number of seemingly disparate duties. As everyone knows, the priests led the sacrificial worship of Israel; only the priests could sprinkle blood on the altar or within the tabernacle, and only they could approach the altar to turn sacrificial animals into smoke. But priests, along with the other […]

Ite, Missa Est

Missional ecclesiology is all the rage these days, but for many being “missional” means downplaying or even eliminating concern for the “internal” life of the church, particularly its liturgical life. Missional and liturgical, mission and communio, are locked in zero-sum combat. That cannot be right. The liturgy is a means of communion with God, the Triune […]

The New Gospel

An old friend of mine, now passed into Heaven, started to say this in relationship to his sometimes troubled family, in the last quarter of his life, “I just had to take responsibility for the whole thing…” That was the seed for a new reading of the Gospel for me, a new way to read […]

Reformation Retrospection

She departed the port, dressed in her best ceremonial regalia, with tassels and flags fluttering from her mast and rigging. She stood tall, robed in mist, crowned in white, and backlit by the rising sun. There she sat, shimmering and spotless; with a perfect ragtop, and a full tank of gas. What splendid lady am […]

Locusts and Honey

John the Baptist is presented in the gospels as the fulfillment of the Old Testament promise that God would send His messenger to prepare the way for the coming of the glory of the Lord (Is. 40), and the promise to send Elijah before Him to turn the people to repentance (Mal. 4). Thus, Matthew’s […]

Five Misconceptions of Reformation Day

For many people the date October 31 is significant not only for being the Eve of All Saints (All Hallows Eve, Halloween) but as the day in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg. These theses were a list of arguments against the abuses of […]

Concerning Halloween

It has become routine in October for some Christian schools to send out letters warning parents about the evils of Halloween, and it has become equally routine for me to be asked questions about this matter. “Halloween” is simply a contraction for All Hallows’ Eve. The word “hallow” means “saint,” in that “hallow” is just […]

Preaching, An Art of Division

The following is an excerpt from Peter Leithart’s forthcoming two-volume commentary on Revelation (T&T Clark). You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings,” a voice tells John (Rev. 10:11). Then someone gives him a “reed like a rod” and instructs him to measure (11:1). Apparently, the reed is the tool […]

Back To Egypt

Josiah is an ideal Davidic king in many ways. He not only “did right,” but he “walked in the ways of his father David” and “did not turn aside to the right or to the left” (2 Chronicles 34:2). At the age of 16, he began to seek Yahweh, and four years later he initiated […]

Augustine and the Music of Time

One of the best discussions of Augustine’s views on time comes from Jeremy Begbie’s Theology, Music, and Time (ch. 3). Following Paul Ricoeur, Begbie claims that Augustine’s distentio “is conceived as the three-fold present, and the threefold present as distentio. The distentio consists in the non-coincidence of the mind’s three modes of action. They are in discord. As we attend to impressions, […]

The Psalter Should be Woven into the Fabric of Worship

This has always been the position of the Christian Church, and from an historical perspective the present situation in evangelicalism is appalling. The early liturgies of the Church, which are still used in Episcopal and Lutheran worship, are laced with psalm phrases. The early hymns, such as the Te Deum and the Gloria in Excelsis, […]

Rescuing Revelation: Part II

This is Part II of a 2-part essay. For Part 1, click HERE.  Covenant context Most Bible teachers apply the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles directly to Christians today without any thought of the historical – and more importantly, legal – context. The ministry of Christ and the Apostles began a day of reckoning that had […]

Rescuing Revelation: Part 1

Introduction The book of Revelation polarises Christians. Some become obsessed with ‘cracking its code’ while others throw it into the too hard basket. Thankfully, recent advances in biblical theology enable us to liberate this enigmatic book from both mistreatment and obscurity. The prophecy is attractive to some because of its mystery, its beauty and its terror, and also […]

Abraham’s Life as a Type

I’m considering the possibility that the life of Abraham as recounted in Genesis contains a typological prophecy of the history of Israel; that is, that the events in Abraham’s life broadly anticipate events in Israel’s history. This kind of pattern is seen in the case of Moses, for instance, because what Moses goes though in […]

Teenagers and the Smartphone Beast

According to this recent article in The Atlantic, teenage promiscuity is decreasing. Apparently there is a general “decline in dating” which also “tracks with a decline in sexual activity.” The figures are startling: The drop is the sharpest for ninth-graders, among whom the number of sexually active teens has been cut by almost 40 percent since 1991. […]

Fulfilling the First Commandment

“Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'” – Matthew 22:37 Jesus says that this is the most important commandment: to love God with our heart, soul, and mind.  If we obey this command, all the others will fall […]

Strange and Glorious New Rites

At the last supper, Jesus took bread and, having given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples while saying, “Take, eat, this is My body given for you. Do this for My memorial.” What Jesus did was recognized by the disciples, because it took place every morning and evening. It was the […]

This Is Our Home

In the beginning, this was home. The world, I mean. Creation wasn’t just a series of unconnected events, a flashy display of building prowess. Yes, creation was intended to give God glory—which I guess you could say means that the creation was supposed to show the greatness—the weight—of God. But how was it supposed to […]

Theopolis Institute Regional Course: Who is God?

We think we know. God is a stern Rule-Maker who has a bit of an anger management problem. Or, God is the indulgent Daddy in the sky. Or, God used to be a stern Ruler, but he got nice. Christians don’t believe any of that. Christians say the one God has a threefold name – […]

God is Shouting, “Baptism Saves!”

Unfortunately today, baptism seems so…tiny. It’s actually…cute (maybe sweet?) when it’s given to a child. A little baby, a small gathering of people, a little bowl of water, tiny drops sprinkled upon the little baby’s head followed by a small applause and a short prayer. How…small! As it currently stands, it sure does take faith […]

Reflections on Reformation: Why Pray the Hours?

Early on in the history of the church, Christians understood that the 1st century Jewish practice of meeting for prayer at set times of the day was a good and biblical practice to continue. We find references to this in several places in Scripture. In Acts 3 we find Peter and John attending a set […]

Navigating and Celebrating the Complexity of Scripture: A Conversation with Richard Hays

Editors’ note: For those interested in a review of Richard Hays’s latest book, see here. Richard Hays is a renowned New Testament scholar. The professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School originally studied English literature, giving his reading of Scripture a pronounced literary sensibility. He’s perhaps best known for his 1989 work, Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of […]

Toledoth and the Structure of Genesis

As many commentators point out, Genesis is structured by 10 uses of the word toledoth, “generations.” The word means something along the lines of “begotten things,” and the toledoth statements head the various sections of Genesis. When Genesis 2:4 announces “these are the begettings of heaven and earth” and then proceeds to recount the creation […]

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