Theodicy, a complicated word for an even more complicated question: how can a good and omnipotent God allow the existence of evil in the world? As long as people have believed in God, believers, theologians, and philosophers have tried to explain how this is possible, How, in spite of all the unimaginable suffering that this world produces, there is actually a God and a good one at that. Most of those explanations seek to justify God: God (theo) is just (dikay), hence theodicy. Read More
Recently someone asked me about the difference between a theology of the cross and a theology of glory. Let me briefly explain. The theology of the cross has its roots in St. Paul who in his 1st Epistle to the Corinthians spoke about the cross of Christ as foolishness to the philosophers and an affront to religion. Read More
Bonhoeffer’s theology is a modern version of Luther’s theology of the cross. It is not merely a slavishly reworked version but constitutes a highly original contribution to the conversation that captures both the essential elements and the heart of Luther’s theology and makes it relevant for today. To the extent that Luther’s work represented a copernican revolution in theology Bonhoeffer’s work does too. Read More
For those who are interested, here is a piece that explains what my Bonhoeffer dissertation is all about and what will determine my theological program after that. It may be a little dense and technical, but if you want to get the whole picture of how my work on Bonhoeffer connects with the future of the Church, you will want to read this post.
Part I, What the Gospel is
Recently one of my best friends, who is involved in Christian ministry at a major university in the United States, was criticized by his employers for not generating enough ‘decisions for Christ.’ Too bad, for, even though my friend is not after decisions, his may be one of the few Christian campus ministries that attracts decent amounts of ‘unbelievers.’ At a recent gathering 80 people turned out, most of them not affiliated with Christianity. Read More
Here is a little ten-step guide for conservative believers to start thinking seriously about the evolution theory. Since I am a theologian, this is an account that touches primarily on the theological side of things. Read More
The Heart of the Matter: Why Apologetics Fails to Convince
This is the pre-editorial version of my recent (Dutch language) article for newspaper Reformatorisch Dagblad, a conservative newspaper in the Netherlands, on why apologetics fails to convince its audience. I use James K. A. Smith’s book “Desiring the Kingdom” to show that apologetics doesn’t reach the human heart, the real locus of dedication and source of transformation.
The following is my blogpost for the Bethel Seminary admissions Blog on June 25th 2014
“The Cost of Discipleship” is the wrongly translated title of Bonhoeffer’s “Nachfolge.” It should simply be “Discipleship,” although the translator was quite right in pointing out the cost involved in discipleship as Bonhoeffer saw it. What is, so I want to ponder in this piece, the cost of discipleship for us evangelicals today? As we will see it is one thing to have the mind of Christ but quite another to know what that mind is. This may seem a contradiction, but by the end of this article I hope it will be a self-evident paradox. Read More
This post is a translation of my article for “Reformatorisch Dagblad,” a conservative Dutch newspaper, on the way in which contemporary phenomenology provides a new apologetic argument of sorts for the truth of Christianity. This English translation is provided in response to a request. While this article engages the recently published Postmodern Apologetics? Arguments for God in Contemporary Philosophy it is not intended as a book review. Rather this article attempts to introduce to a non-academic, conservative but interested audience, in a non-technical way, the value of continental philosophy.