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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A Week with Esther Meek – An Introduction to Covenant Epistemology

We are very pleased to announce that Esther Lightcap Meek will be the instructor for our 2018 Trinity Course in August. The course is titled “Loving to Know: Introducing Covenant Epistemology” and will be held August 13-17 at Beeson Divinity School. Esther Meek, Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy at Geneva College and a Fujimura Institute […]

The Gospel of John, Friendship, and the Homoerotic

This essay is an exploration of one element of the final of the four Gospels, the Gospel of John. My thesis is that the Gospel of John answers the issue of “friendship” being a homoerotic category. It challenges the “Greek Way of Love and Friendship”1 It is indeed the case that as one moves toward […]

Building the Church

“And I also way to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18). Matthew 16:13ff. has historically been one of the most oft-cited passages of Scripture. Throughout the Middle Ages, it was used to support the claims of […]

Funerals and Flutes

Matthew 8-9 records three clusters of miracles, interspersed with snatches of Jesus’ teaching about various aspects of discipleship. Just as the Sermon on the Mount displays the authority of Jesus’ Word in teaching, these chapters display the authority of Jesus’ Word over sickness, uncleanness, the creation, demons, and death. In Jesus, the kingdom comes not […]

The Ecclesiology of Wells

The association of women and wells in the Scriptures has long been noted by theologians, a symbolism closely connected to marriage which begins in Genesis and climaxes in Revelation. There is a lesson drawn in the water of wells that I’d like to explore, but before that I must trace out the shadow of the […]

Was Solomon Paleo? Primal Reality and the Wisdom of Proverbs

Of course, since the Israelites had agriculture, Solomon was not paleolithic as that term is used today. But “paleo” is simply a prefix meaning old or previous, the opposite of “neo.” In that sense, I wonder if we might understand Solomon better if we interpret his statements and riddles in light of a changing Israel (and perhaps also a changing […]

Seeking Integration in a Fragmented World: Covenant Epistemology: The Integrative Regard of the Other

  Fragmentation characterizes our era. Bits, bytes, chips, data points. Ourselves as reducible to the meaningless. We can feel dehumanized and lost. We seek wholeness, integration. We rightly believe that integration brings meaningfulness, somehow doing better credit to ourselves as humans and to the world. More than that, integration somehow aligns with the very goal […]

The Dramatic Structure of Proverbs

The book of Proverbs appears as a largely random collection of aphorisms drawn from experience saturated in law. Despite its random arrangement, however, the book does have an over-arching structure that reinforces its main themes. One way to gather clues regarding the structure of a biblical book (or any book) is to look at the […]

Infant Baptism in the History of the Church

Ancient practice in the Church sets an important precedent for present day practice. This certainly doesn’t mean that Christians are bound to only do things as they have always been done, but the principles of catholicity and unity move us not to break from historic church practice on a particular item unless there is a […]

Babel Academy, Part 2

For Part 1, click HERE. Genesis 1 describes the creation of the physical order. Genesis 2 recapitulates the pattern of Genesis 1 as it describes the creation of the social order. Genesis 3 describes the intended founding of an ethical order. It was here that sin entered into the world, and with it, the distinction between clean and unclean. The failure of Adam to rightly […]

Babel Academy, Part 1

The Business of Keeping the Saints in the Dark Let there be light! The first recorded “spoken” words of God. Curiously, even this creative decree was a deed whose fruit required an appraisal. God judged the light and separated it from the darkness. As the cardinal act within a newborn heavens and earth, this ruling […]

Music and Drunkenness, Part 2

For Part 1, click HERE. How did Paul’s earliest commentators view his juxtaposition of music and drunkenness, and did they connect it to the ancient Greek ideas of musical ethos described in Part I? Origen, one of the earliest commentators on Paul, writes about Ephesians 5:18-19: One, however, who inquires into the nature of the […]

Music and Drunkenness, Part 1

Perhaps it is because I am a musician that I have always found Ephesians 5:18-19 so arbitrary. But isn’t it a little odd to contrast music and drunkenness? Perhaps it is not obvious that that is what Paul is doing; I know, for myself, that it is remarkably easy to read Paul (and the Bible, […]

Unequal Holiness

In 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 Paul deals with how the Corinthian Christians are supposed to be relating to unbelieving spouses. He essentially tells them, “Look, if your unbelieving spouse is willing to stay with you as a faithful Christian, don’t initiate a divorce. If he/she wants to leave you, let him/her go. The believer is not […]

The Sword of Adam: Preterism vs. Pacifism, Part II

For Part 1, click HERE. Those who focus on the supposed “pacifism” of Jesus and condemn the violence of God’s judgments throughout the Old Testament overlook the ministry of sacrificial bloodshed as an alternative to human bloodshed. The sword bearing of the sacrificial system was introduced to avoid the slaying of human beings, and the first […]

The Sword of Adam: Preterism vs. Pacifism, Part 1

How should a Christian respond to the objection that the Bible, like the Koran, is a book of violence and bloodshed? Numerous answers have been offered by well-meaning exegetes, but none of them gets to the heart of the matter: God desires to place a sword in the hands of His children. There is no […]

Alastair Roberts Appointed As Adjunct Senior Fellow

Beginning this summer, Dr. Alastair Roberts will join the Theopolis Institute as an adjunct Senior Fellow, the Institute has announced. Dr. Roberts will be a regular on the Theopolis podcast, teach intensive courses and in the Fellows Program, and help develop new programs and outlets.  Roberts earned his PhD from Durham University, is co-author of the […]

Seeking Integration in a Fragmented World: Indwelling Polanyian Integration

So far I have claimed that, especially in this era of fragmentation, we seek some way to integrate our lives. I have suggested that the view that modernity holds of what knowledge is has actually been a critical source of the fragmentation we sense in the modern West. Imagining knowledge to be impersonal, explicit, transferable, […]

Theopolis Names New Executive Director

The Theopolis Institute has appointed John Crawford as Executive Director. John has been a student in the Junior Fellows Program this year, and proven to be an enthusiastic and articulate advocate of Theopolis’s vision. “Theopolis brings a unique, comprehensive paradigm to cultural change – with the Church at the center,” he said. He singled out Theopolis’s “appreciation […]

Artist-Priests in God’s Poetic World

Metaphor is already intrinsic to the Trinity.  Jesus is not the Father.  And then again, He is indwelt by the Father, and He in turn indwells the Father.  “He who has seen Me,” Jesus said, “has seen the Father.”  This fundamental is/is not relationship is the relationship of metaphor.  A world created by the Triune […]

Addressees and Author of James

James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the diaspora, greetings (James 1:1). Though the epistle of James is considered a “general” epistle, the letter originated from particular circumstances that can be discerned from the New Testament. In order to sketch its background, it will be helpful […]

Introduction to the Ascensions

Before considering the details of the Leviticus, we must have before us certain matters that have been established in Genesis and Exodus. These are things that we as Israelites already know when we first hear Moses report what God dictated to him in Leviticus. Adam Let us begin with Adam. Adam watched God plant the […]

The Principalities and Powers, Part 2

For Part 1 of this series, click HERE. The great question for the emerging East, Asia and other awakening third world areas, for an emerging nation like China is, “what fate awaits them?” They are now emerging from an analogous paganism that the West emerged from centuries ago. Here is an amazing quotation from David Aikman, […]

Seeking Integration in a Fragmented World: Integration and the Good Life

  Recently I gave a short talk at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, as part of their Wisdom Forum series.1 This particular forum concerned “the good life.” My portion concerned longing for God in connection with the good life. I share that talk with you here. This foray concerns a matter ever so close to who we […]

Mothers, Fathers: Bury Your Dead

“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at […]

Liturgical Man, Liturgical Woman, Part II

For part 1 of this series, click HERE. The New Covenant changes none of this. There is nothing new or odd about Mary’s sitting at Jesus’ feet, nothing strange about various “deaconesses” serving the Incarnate Tabernacle. Paul affirms that in Christ there is neither male nor female, but he equally insists on a distinction in […]

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