N is for Neoplatonism

N is for Neoplatonism

In the same way that Empire influences and underlies nearly every thing in the Bible – and yet many do not know about it – Aristotelian thought, Platonism, and neo-Platonism saturate early church history and thus the inherited tradition. I had also suggested (in Liberation & Logos) that all theology has philosophical underpinnings – whether … Continue reading

M is for Metaphor

M is for Metaphor

Today we explore two words that appear at opposite ends of the language/reality spectrum but in fact have a great deal to do with each other and inform each other mutually. Before we dive into metaphor, there are two words that are needed in our theological tool-belt. Univocal and Equivocal are important 2nd tier vocabulary … Continue reading

L is for Liberation (and Logos)

L is for Liberation (and Logos)

Two concepts that anybody doing theology in the 21st century must know are Liberation and Logos. They play into so much of what we do in the theological endeavor. Liberation Theology: This term most often refers to a theological movement developed in the late 1960s in Latin America (where it continues to hold prominence). In … Continue reading

K is for Kenosis (and the Kingdom)

K is for Kenosis (and the Kingdom)

Kenosis is one of those Greek words in the New Testament that I wish went untranslated in English. It is a special and mysterious word that would be great just left as it was and put in italics by Bible translators. I have a list of words that I wish remained in Greek. Words like … Continue reading

J is for Justification

J is for Justification

The word Justification in English has the same convenient memory device as atonement did. Many use the Just-as-if to remember ‘it is just as if I never sinned’. Here is how our pocket dictionary defines it: Justification, justification by faith: A forensic (legal) term related to the idea of acquittal, justification refers to the divine … Continue reading

I is for Infallible, Inerrant, Impassible and Immutable

I is for Infallible, Inerrant, Impassible and Immutable

Note: all relevant ‘I’ words will be placed in italics. It is an unfortunate quirk in the English language that leads negatives – or negations – to begin with the letter ‘I’. The resulting effect is that some of the most problematic and even disturbing words in the theological tool-shed begin with ‘I’. Infallible Inerrant  Impassible Immutable  … Continue reading

H is for Hermeneutics

H is for Hermeneutics

You may know that I hail from an evangelical-charismatic background.  What you may not know is that I am continually challenged in conversations about the need to interpret our experiences and texts. We don’t just have experiences – like we don’t just read (and believe) the Bible – we interpret. We do it as second … Continue reading

F is for Fideism or Why What We Believe Really Matters

F is for Fideism or Why What We Believe Really Matters

Fideism is one of the most alluring, and thus, potentially dangerous developments on the theological landscape in our lifetime. Fideism: The view that matters of religious and theological truth must be accepted by faith apart from the exercise of reason. In its extreme, fideism suggests that the use of reason is misleading. Less extreme fideists … Continue reading

E is for Empire

E is for Empire

  “Christian theology suffers from an imperial condition” This is how Catherine Keller begins her chapter in PostColonial Theology.  [Keller podcast] The people that I know who love, quote, and believe the Bible the most happen to be the least aware of the Bible’s concern with /critique of Empire. What is fascinating to me is … Continue reading