The Great Tradition and Interpretive Diversity

Among the many fault lines within evangelicalism is the question of certainty. In David Bebbington’s “quadrilateral,” Biblicism is a shorthand for the Scriptures as the final authority. But it’s too facile to point to a passage of Scripture and say “There, you see?” When two equally sincere and honest believers have …

Where Poor Theology Can Lead Us

Paul wrote to the Ephesians about the importance of the local church in bringing believers to “the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13) That urging is every bit as important today as it was …

The Limits of Tradition as a Hermeneutical Aid

Interpreting Scripture is sometimes a challenging endeavor. I previously considered whether the Rule of Faith or regula fidei provides a guide to believers. Here, I consider the role of tradition as an aid to interpretation. Members of hierarchical church communities have sometimes chided evangelicals for their disregard of tradition, saying …

The Problem with Red Letter Bibles

All God’s Words are Important If you are a Bible reader, chances are at some point in your life, you’ve owned a red letter Bible. A red letter Bible is one where the words of Christ are in red font, to highlight their importance. I was reminded of this by …

You are a Dispensationalist: You just might not know it.

“Dispensationalism” should not be a trigger word. Over the past several decades, the rise of the “New Calvinism” has greatly influenced evangelicalism. As part of that, many have taken a different attitude toward dispensationalism, and its relevance for theology. For those who may be unfamiliar, dispensationalism refers to a way …

Is Your Church Fun?

A mailer arrived at our house the other day asking this question in so many words: “What if church was fun and relevant?” As I looked more closely at the material and went to the website of this new church, what struck me was the completely different view of the …

God Manifested in the Flesh

Among the New Testament mysteries is the peculiar description Paul gives to his precis of the life of Jesus. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, …