Category: Church History

What about the Spirit?

Success in living a spiritual life depends, not surprisingly, on the Spirit. Yet the Christian tradition has been very soft in addressing the Spirit’s place in the Godhead and in our lives as believers. That despite many strong advocates for him both now and in the past. His role in both Old and New Testaments …

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Affective Theology

“I tried to find a definition for ‘affective theology’ in the dictionary but it wasn’t listed—so where does it come from and what does it mean?” That question was posed to me a number of times when I was a seminary teacher. Students wondered why I used the phrase regularly in my classes while it …

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A Passionate God

Too many Christians, I’m afraid, have the disaffected God of the Greek philosophers in mind when they pray or when they plan their day. The Greek versions of God are all about power—about having control over everything—rather than about his forming and sustaining relationships with a treasured creation. The full post has been published in the …

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Two Traditions

Years ago I read a thought-provoking article by Heiko Oberman: “Calvin’s Critique of Calvinism” [in The Dawn of the Reformation, ch. 11, see p. 265]. There he noted Lucien Richard’s The Spirituality of John Calvin that demonstrated that Calvin turned from a spirituality of devotio (spiritual devotion) to a spirituality of pietas (spiritual piety). Devotio …

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