A Very Good Joke?

I recently went to a lunch that is more or less quarterly. About a dozen of us go. It is a lunch held in honor of a retired professor of religion and philosophy. I have been one of his acquaintances for more than 40 years. In his tenure as professor, he hosted many luminaries who visited my town and the university campus, which included Alvin […]

Why Theopolis?

Why Theopolis? Don’t we already have seminaries and Bible colleges and other institutions for theological education? Why do we need another one? I get this question now and again. I ask myself this question even more often. What follows is a partial answer. Back in the 1990s, seminaries seemed to be thriving. A 1994 cover piece in Christianity Today reported, “In 1992, the Association of Theological […]

The Logic of Luther

I think the logic of the Lutheran Reformation can be summarized in one sentence, attributed to Luther himself: “God does not need your good works, but your neighbor does.” The first half of that statement is justification by faith. God doesn’t need our works to satisfy his justice or earn his favor. He justifies us apart from those things through Christ. Christ already made propitiation […]

Appreciating the Camera Work in Pornography

If you are looking to start a fight with Christians, there is hardly a better subject to do so than the arts. Music, movies, paintings, and literature have provided no small battlegrounds for Christians to war. We are emotionally invested in the arts. A song, a book, or a film has affected us, marking a milestone in our lives. To question it is to question […]

Social Eucharist in the Middle Ages

In The People’s Work, a social history of Christian Worship, Frank Senn summarizes the developments of the medieval period with regard to the Eucharist. He begins by challenging the assumption that medieval society was held together by “the church.” He notes that the church was often divided and conflicted, and that there were also political conflicts between ecclesiastical and political leadership. It was not the […]