What Book Changed Your Life?

Have you ever read a book that was so dynamic that it changed the direction of your life? For most Christians that book would certainly be the Bible. According to historic Christianity, Scripture is the uniquely inspired Word of God. Thus, the Bible is the greatest of all great books. But besides Holy Writ, has there been a book that deeply influenced you spiritually and…

Explaining Pagan Gods and Human Idolatry

People were created to be worshippers. That’s one way of defining the image of God in human beings. Humans are also fallen worshippers. Thus, our religious-based tendency to worship has expressed itself in distorted ways in human history. Recently I was asked a question about how to understand the pagan gods of the Old and New Testaments and human idolatry. Here’s the question: I’ve always dismissed other “gods” in the Bible as nothing…

Christianity’s Central Focus: Incarnation or Atonement?

Christmas or Good Friday? Which of these days on the historic Christian calendar holds greater importance for Christians? Should the central focus of Christianity be on the incarnation (Jesus Christ as God coming in the flesh) or on the atonement (Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for human sin)? I had a theological exchange recently on Facebook with a pastor over this question of incarnation or…

God Shouted in My Pain

One very sad event in my life shaped me as a young adult. Here’s why I’m sharing it with you. I don’t think you can separate a person’s philosophy or worldview beliefs from their life. Therefore I like to study the details of the lives of my favorite philosophical and theological thinkers. That’s why in my book Classic Christian Thinkers: An Introduction, I introduce key…

Are Religious Experiences Evidence for God?

Have you ever had a deep spiritual encounter? One that changed your life? Some people experience transformative events that can be extraordinary. Upon reflection, we may come to see these incidents as spiritual and intellectual turning points—decisive events with beneficial results. But can religious experience be evidence for the truth of God and the authenticity of Christianity? I had an unusual…

What Was Your Intellectual Epiphany?

Have you ever had a sudden realization that ended up changing your life? You may have had an epiphany, which can be defined as an intuitive flash of insight or discovery as to the deep meaning of something significant that comes through experience and leads to a sense of wonder. Over the years I have experienced some significant spiritual and intellectual turning points.…

My Early Baptism and Spiritual Development

When does God’s saving grace begin working in a person’s life? Is it at the moment the person decides to believe in Christ? Or can God’s saving grace be operative prior to a person believing? Could that saving grace even begin at a young child’s baptism? Church traditions within Christendom differ over the practice of baptism. Those differences extend to…

Does Possessing Freedom Presuppose the Will to Fight?

What do you think about when you hear the word war? You probably think of armed conflict, bloodshed, and death—and lots of it. That is the nature of warfare. It’s also why war presents one of the most challenging issues to address from an ethical standpoint. Given this difficulty, most Christians have adopted just war theory, which requires engaging only in just wars and…

3 Things You May Not Know about John Calvin the Person

French-born theologian John Calvin (1509–1564) was one of the great voices of the Protestant Reformation. He is often called the greatest systematic theologian of the Reformation and is the most influential figure in the entire Reformed theological tradition. His monumental book Institutes of the Christian Religion has been called one of the ten books that shook the world. Yet Calvin is also considered one of the…

Snapshot of Today’s Intellectual Climate

The extraordinary events of 2020 have left many people wondering if we are living in a new era. Times of change and conflict like this often provoke people to ask philosophical questions. So, as we consider this present time in which we live, I would invite you to consider two probing questions: If our time is indeed distinct, how would…