In the last couple of months, coming across the insights of Dr. Matthew Gordley based on his book New Testament Christological Hymns has really changed what I think Christian music properly is. Gordley’s work shows that there are shared defining features of New Testament (NT) christological hymns and NT hymns more generally. This critical study of NT hymns resulted in a quite specific conception for me of what good quality religious music is according to NT standards. I applied this biblical standard to contemporary Christian music and the differences between them were noticeable. Continue reading “Christocentric Worship and Christian Pop”
In the discussion of the Bible and its relation to the Trinity there is a particular term Trinitarians use which I think is misleading and that is “development.” The word and other related terms and ideas refer to the course of the historical development of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity from the 1st to the 4th centuries, the New Testament to the Nicene Creed.
As a point of historical fact, it is perfectly acceptable to say it developed because the doctrine did not appear out of thin air but there were a series of events that led to it. It also correct to say that the path to the Trinity began with the New Testament (NT). The problem with the term development is how it is often used to suggest that given what the New Testament says, the formulation of Trinitarian doctrine was inevitable. Continue reading “The Bible and the Development of the Trinity”
It is pretty common to hear Western Christian thinkers and commentators talk about and warn against idolatry. The issue of idolatry even appears in some popular Christian worship songs. Idolatry is a real thing and the prohibition against it is a very serious matter for Christians being enshrined in the second commandment. Furthermore, it is a perennial concern throughout the Scriptures. It therefore is certainly something worth talking about and guarding against however, even though these Christian commentators undoubtedly have real, legitimate concerns, I am not certain what they are talking about is actually idolatry. Continue reading “Modern Idols”
One of the things I have a problem is with the notion of timeless truths, particularly when it used to characterise what the Bible is or the most important things it contains. In a nutshell my argument is we are temporal beings, we experience a world with time, so a timeless truth has no relation to our time-bound experiences. The same is true of the Bible. I have written about this on many occasions so I am not going to rehash all my arguments. You can read in greater detail here and here why I think it is wrong. In this piece I want to look at some of the reasons why people think there is such a thing as timeless truths. Continue reading “Why People Believe in Timeless Truths”
One of the things I have often come across when people talk about issues of faith, whether they are Christian or sceptical of Christianity, is that asking questions is equated with doubt. When someone has questions about what they believe they are often characterized as struggling with doubt or that their faith somehow lacks stability. This view is so pervasive that some Christians avoid pursuing what they perceive as the hard questions because they believe it is tantamount to not having absolute faith. The surprising thing about this false equivalence is that it is so clearly and categorically false. Continue reading “Questions of Faith”
Last week I wrote an article on the theological significance of self-organisation. In that piece I argued that disorder is an original part of God’s creation and that he has made it for a purpose. To my delight I just came across an article titled Randomness Keeps You Breathing: A physicist’s perspective on the richness of the created order expressing similar thoughts. Continue reading “The Goodness of Randomness”