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 – […]

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 […]

The Changing Face of Reformed Theology

Reformed theology has changed. And there seems to be no going back. It was in the year 1978 that a tectonic shift in the underlying structure of Reformed theology began with the publication of a small book. The changes were not only systematic, but also systemic—affecting all aspects of it. Yet, interestingly, the changes were […]

The Alt-Right Meme

Since the term, “alt-right,” is being tossed about in the national media and is the subject of moral concern (or perhaps, moral panic), it might be good to identify what we’re talking about or at least admit the limitations of using nicknames to describe cultural shifts and voter behavior. Until recently, the Alt-Right meant a […]

Confession, Absolution, Kyrie

Confession Confession belongs at the beginning of the liturgy. We enter into God’s house, invited for a meal, and we need to clean up before we do that. Cleansing was a requirement for the priests of the OT before they entered the sanctuary to minister (Exodus 30:17-21). When Yahweh appeared at Sinai, Israel had to […]

Sunrise

“And God made the two great lights; the greater light for the dominion of the day, and the lesser light for the dominion of the night; the stars also.” (Genesis 1:16, NASV) In Judges 5, verse 31, the prophetess Deborah prays, “let those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its […]

A Note on the Structure of Genesis 22, Part 2

In part 1 of this article we saw how various attempts to identify the underlying structure of Gen. 22:1-19 fell short and proposed a new structure for the passage. In part 2, we will look at how the sections of the chiasm relate and draw some conclusions from our investigation. A Sections In the a1 […]

On the Structure of Genesis 22, Part 1

Chiastic structures abound in the book of Genesis. For example, the Flood narrative is one long chiasm, as is the life of Abraham. It is the contention of this brief study that Gen. 22:1-19, also known as the Aqedah, is another such passage. And this structure reveals a talented author who gives us a foreshadowing […]

Rural Church Growth

I’ve pastored a very rural church for well over a decade. Our town has about 1,000 people and will never grow until Jesus returns. 38 people attend our worship on Sundays. Here’s a quick list of what we’ve done to grow our church, and what I’ve done to survive pastorally. We’ve had evening worship services with […]

Letter to a Young Artist

Thanks for sharing so honestly about your current crisis of creativity. I totally understand and relate to that; it’s happened many times in my musical life thus far, and I’ve begun to accept it as a normal rhythm of the creative process. I actually went through a serious dry spell as recently as a few […]

Stones and Fruit: Divination and Procreation – Part Three

The Broken Stones of Israel At Sinai, the tablets of the Law of Moses were broken and restored. The Old Testament is a history of “new covenants,” including that promised in Jeremiah and fulfilled in Zechariah. Ultimately, the vertical Oath and the horizontal Sanctions met in the death of Jesus on the cross as our […]

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