Rap Music and Catechesis

I have greatly enjoyed readingĀ The Ology, a children’s book on the various topics of systematic theology, with my children. There is also a companion CD available, which is a gospel-rich collection of songs that cover the whole spectrum of theological subjects in a way that is appealing to and memorable for children. Music is one of the surest ways to teach and learn theology by driving it into the heart. Continue reading

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Justification and the Gospel: A Response to Peter Leithart

Peter Leithart recently published a provocative article entitled “The Ecumenical Gospel,” in which he argues that the Bible does not equate the gospel with justification by faith, and therefore Protestants ought not regard their understanding of the gospel (even if justification by faith is true biblically) as inherently distinct from that of Roman Catholics. In other words, justification by faith must not be, as Protestants have long argued, “the article by which the church stands or falls,” but is instead a small tributary that feeds into the large river of the gospel that Protestant and Catholic alike share. I encourage to you head over there and read his brief article before continuing on here. I’ll wait.

Okay, glad you’re back. Here are some major problems I see with Leithart’s argument: Continue reading

Imagine a Unified America

We are a deeply divided nation. On the political spectrum, polarization has become the norm rather than the exception. Gone are the days when the average voter might prefer one candidate for President over the other, but still regard the other as a decent person capable of leading the executive branch. We are now witnessing a time of national mourning among the cultural elites in the wake of their candidate’s opponent winning a democratic election. What has happened, and what can be done about it? Continue reading

Some Thoughts on Election Day 2016

The final phase of voting today could result in one of three outcomes:

(1) Hillary Clinton is elected President. Until a week ago Friday I would have said this outcome was virtually certain, and that we could expect a landslide. The FBI bombshell that was dropped on the campaign has shaken up the race significantly, but I still believe this is the most likely outcome. The margin of victory probably won’t be considered a landslide, but Trump’s path to victory remains, even now, very narrow. Continue reading

Loving LGBT Neighbors in the Hatmaker Conversation

All of the sexual confusion and controversy of our age can be understood simply as an impasse between two different approaches to ethics, based on two different visions of the Good. One approach, the traditional one inherited from 2,000 years of Christian history, sees the external world as having a certain “givenness” to which my inner self should seek to conform. The world has been designed to operate a certain way, and not by me, and one of the ways I bow in submission to the Lord who designed and created the world is by seeking to conform my inner desires to the way things actually are in the external world. If I find a point of discord between my heart and the world, then I must assume the problem is in me and address it accordingly. If I have male anatomy but feel like I should be a woman, I assume that something has gone wrong with my feelings, and the best option to pursue is working through the difficult process of changing my feelings to match reality. If I have female anatomy but am sexually attracted to women, and thus attracted to a union that cannot, by definition, be oriented toward the fruitfulness of procreation and family, I must assume that my desires have become disordered and begin the difficult process of working to control them. Continue reading