Articles by Michael Allen

Theological Eschatology 5 - Heavenly-Mindedness

Article by   September 2015
Theological method follows its matter. In other words, sound theology does not merely imitate the scientific procedures of other disciplines, precisely because, unlike those other disciplines, theology seeks to know God, the holy and transcendent one of Israel, revealed as of late in the person and work of Jesus of Nazareth. While many common-sense protocols of intellectual endeavor may be shared between the student of divinity and the anthropologist, the deepest principles of each discipline will be quite distinct. continue

Theological Eschatology 4 - New Creation

Article by   September 2015
Jesus communicates or makes common those blessings he receives from his heavenly Father to those who are united to him by faith - that is the gospel message (so, e.g., Lk. 24:47; Acts 5:31). The Bible points to many such blessings, with communion with God being the highest and most fundamental. The creed reminds us, however, that there are other crucial facets to the many-splendored beneficence of Christ's work. The same glorified body enjoyed now by our incarnate and risen Lord shall be ours, for he is the first-fruits of that resurrection (e.g., Rom. 6:5; 1 Cor. 15:49). continue

Theological Eschatology 3 - A Christ-Centered Vision of Hope

Article by   September 2015
Like other doctrines central to the faith, the beatific vision prompts us to reflect upon seeming tensions in the scriptures. The way in which the prophets and apostles say one thing alongside another thing may frequently cause us to wonder how the two realities can both be true and not be mutually contradicting one another. Excursions into Christological and Trinitarian doctrine are the most widely known of such instances, though they are not alone. It is for this reason that theologians speak of the significance of mystery (a favored term of Paul: see, e.g., Eph. 6:19; 1 Cor. 15:51; 1 Tim. 3:9,16) and the accompanying doctrine of the incomprehensibility of God. In what ways does the beatific vision seem to create pressure in the wider spectrum of Christian teaching? continue

Theological Eschatology 2 - In the End, God

Article by   September 2015
Before we consider the end, we do well to pay attention to the beginning. The first creation account (Gen. 1:1-2:4) tells of many grand and glorious things: the division of the land and the seas, of day and night, and the many inventions of species and selves. It culminates not with production, however, but with presence: God dwells in the midst of his people, resting there on that seventh day. Recent commentators have helped us note the temple imagery present there in significant ways, showing that God is fashioning a world fit for his dwelling much like a temple will later be made as his home. And this is neither merely a feature of the creation account, nor the form of its telling; no, God's special presence with his people is the finale of the entire creation story. continue

Introducing Theological Eschatology

Article by   August 2015
Sometimes you can see a trend by noting the exception. In his well-regarded book How (Not) to Be Secular, the philosopher James K. A. Smith observes that the Reformation's celebration of the theological significance of the ordinary not only served as a remarkable element of lay renewal in Christianity but also was also "the camel's nose in the tent of enchantment -that somehow the Protestant Reformation opened the door to what would become, by a winding, contingent path, exclusive humanism" (p. 39). Throughout that book, Smith not only offers a brief and accessible genealogy for this trend toward an exclusive humanism but also prompts his readers to consider the need to think beyond the "immanent frame" and to keep in mind higher or greater ends. continue

Systematic Theology, Volume 2

Article by   September 2014
Douglas F. Kelly. Systematic Theology, Grounded in Holy Scripture and Understood in Light of the Church, Volume Two: The Beauty of Christ: A Trinitarian Vision. Mentor, 2014. 567 pages. $39.99/£24.99A number of systematic theologies have appeared in recent years from... continue
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