My Interview with Ed Welch of CCEF

Ed Welch

This past fall, RTS Charlotte launched its new degree program in biblical counseling.  We are very excited about how God will use this new program to bless the church with men and woman who have been trained to apply God’s word more effectively in a one-on-one context.  You read more about the program here.

Last week (Jan 19-22), Dr. Ed Welch from the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) came and taught a week-long course for RTS Charlotte entitled, “Ethos and Essentials of Biblical Counseling.”  The course was so full (87 students) that we had to move it to our chapel.

During the lunch break on that Tuesday, I …

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One of the Clearest (and Earliest) Summaries of Early Christian Beliefs

Aristides of Athens

Since I am currently writing a book on Christianity in the second century, my research has been focused on some of our earliest patristic texts.  These texts are a treasure trove of fascinating statements and declarations that provide tremendous insight on what early Christians really believed.

Some of my prior posts on this theme include discussions of the persecution of Christians, early Christian sexual ethics, the divinity of Jesus, and the doctrine of substitutionary atonement.

Most recently, I came across an amazing paragraph in one of our earliest Christian apologies.  Aristides, a converted Athenian philosopher, wrote an apology to emperor Hadrian around 125 A.D.  As such, …

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Tim Ward Reviews “The Question of Canon”

Tim Ward

Tim Ward, Associate Director of Proclamation Trust’s Cornhill training course in London, just published a very kind review of my book The Question of Canon (IVP Academic, 2013) over at Reformation 21.  Of course, Tim is the author of his own book on Scripture (also with IVP), an excellent piece of work entitled Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God (IVP, 2009).

Tim’s review actually covers two books, first J. Merrick and Stephen M. Garrett, eds., Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy (Zondervan, 2013), and then The Question of Canon.  As he observes, the first is a book on the theology of Scripture, the …

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Did the Earliest Christians Really Believe in Substitutionary Atonement (and Even Imputation)? One Important Example

Substitutionary Atonement

In a prior article (here), I explored how the second-century work the Epistle to Diognetus clearly affirmed the full divinity of Jesus–a doctrine that some say did not come around until the fourth century. I continue this theme by exploring yet another doctrine that some suggest is a late invention: substitutionary atonement.

The average internet-level narrative goes something like this: the earliest Christians had no clear understanding for why Jesus died on the cross and what it accomplished. The idea of a substitutionary atonement is a late invention designed to retroactively explain the (otherwise embarrassing) death of Jesus.  In fact, it was not until Anselm’s Cur Deus Homo

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