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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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 […]

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 […]

Stones and Fruit: Divination and Procreation – Part Two

Stones of Life and Death Of course, the sex of a child is not a choice between light and darkness or life and death. Sex, like circumcision, is a horizontal demarcation, a delegation of roles within humanity. In contrast, the white stone and the black stone within the “liturgical scrotum” of the High Priest signified […]

The Impracticality of Application

I have never heard anyone say that the Bible is impractical, but I have heard people, after an in depth exegesis of a passage, ask for the practical application. Offer a class on childrearing, marriage, finance and the church members flock to it; offer a course on Leviticus, the visions of Elijah, the importance of […]

Stones and Fruit: Divination and Procreation – Part One

Stones External and Internal The modern practice of dismantling the Bible into a shambles of documents authored in response to disparate historical events rather than viewing it as a unified testimony inspired by God is a surefire way to miss what is actually going on in the text. This failure is compounded by an outright […]

The Tragedy of Asa

King Asa of Judah made a strong start, purging the land of idols, altars, and images, and winning a war against the ginormous Cushite army led by Zerach. It all unraveled in his final years. From his thirty-fifth year to the forty-first year, when his reign came to an end,  Asa was plagued by war and eventually suffering from […]

Justified by the King

What appears to be Paul’s first recorded statement on justification comes in Acts 13, in a sermon at Pisidian Antioch. It’s can serve as a summary of Paul’s letter to the Romans, and throws some important light on the themes of that letter. Paul begins his sermon  with a quick survey of Israel’s history. Addressed […]

Biblical Allusion and the Meaning of Othello, Part II

Iago as Tempter The answer to our first question — whether or not Othello is really great tragedy — has already pointed the way to the answer for the second question — Was Othello a noble Moor or a fool? The two questions, of course, are necessarily related. The fall of a fool would hardly […]

Adam McIntosh Completes the Certificate Program

When Adam McIntosh was ordained as Pastor of Saint David’s Church (CREC) in Houston on June 11, 2017, it was the culmination of decades of preparation. Adam is the product of two continents and three Christian traditions. Born in Paducah, Kentucky, he lived his early years partly in Jericho, where his father had planted a […]

Biblical Allusion and the Meaning of Othello

Understanding Shakespeare’s Biblical references is vital for the interpretation of many, if not all, of Shakespeare’s plays. For Othello, it is especially important, not only because the interpretation of the play is contested among various approaches — feminist, homosexual, post-colonial, Marxist, Freudian, new historical, and others — but also and more importantly because, as I […]

Attaining Unity: A Reply to Mike Allen

Mike Allen of Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, scores some points in his review of The End of Protestantism. He lodges the fair complaint that my rhetoric sometimes outruns my evidence. He argues that more stress on the present reality of the church’s unity deepens the tragedy of division; divisions in the church “straightforwardly oppose reality.” […]

Comic Trinity

I begin with two observations. First, on any millennial view, the Christian account of history is progressive, moving from the garden to the city. It is eschatological not only in that there is an end, but that the end is a glorified beginning, not merely a return to origins. To say the same in other […]

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