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 – […]

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 […]

Trinity registration extended to Aug 8

God’s Market, the Church

Woe to the sinful nation. Woe to those who enlarge their estates and build their portfolios. Woe to the drunks. Woe to those who call evil good and good evil. Woe to the proud who are wise in their own eyes. Woe to Congressmen who pass unjust laws and to judges who defend them. Woe […]

In the Flesh: Then and Now

The interpretation of Romans 7:7-25 is notoriously difficult. Good scholars disagree on many aspects of the passage, but the central interpretative difficulty concerns the identity of the “I.” Is Paul referring to himself? Is Paul referring to himself pre- or post-conversion? Does the “I” refer to Adam? Is the “I” representative of Israel with Paul […]

The Minister’s Uniform

You board the Metra train at Arlington Heights station one afternoon, heading to downtown Chicago for some sight-seeing. As the train departs from the station, a man in jeans, a striped t-shirt, and a Kansas City Royals baseball cap enters your train car, and begins asking to see each passenger’s ticket. To your surprise, most […]

Hymn of the Justified

Romans 8:31-39 is better sung than commented upon. It’s a thrilling, ecstatic hymn of boisterous assurance that God’s purposes will be accomplished. Yet, I will attempt to comment on them. If we sing Paul’s hymn, let’s make sure we sing with understanding. Given the character of these verses, it’s easy and understandable that they, like […]

Growing up Nostalgic: Perpetual Adolescence and the Kingdom Come

“An ethic unshaped by eschatology is neither Jesus’ nor Christian.” – Tremper Longman How does an immature culture grow up? Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver is about the dangers of being lost in adolescence. By the end of the movie, the viewer is pointed to a road we infer leads to maturity, but only after a […]

The Theopolitan Society

We are in the middle of our campaign for the end of the fiscal year. We’ve raised $30,000 from some major donors, and need to raise another $70,000 to meet our budget. Please consider becoming a regular donor, and keep reading to learn about a great opportunity. This brief announcement is to let you know […]

Strong Magic Takes Blood

Prolegomena 1. “You’re a pastor,” my new friend says as we sit down, “and you’re a massage therapist. How does that work?” To her, Christianity implies stuffy ideology, a disregard of the physical. A Christian massage therapist is an oddity; a pastor massage therapist is nearly a contradiction in terms. I understand her incredulity; in […]

Why Poles Love Trump

54% of Poles think favorably of Americans, only 13% unfavorably, according to Centrum Badania Opinii Spolecznej. Ten years ago, the numbers were 44% and 21% respectively. Twenty years ago, they were 64% and 6%. Back in the 1990s, Americans were the most liked nation among Poles. Now they are in the fourth place. During the […]

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