What is Truth? Epistemology and You

Here’s a little taste of what I tell students in my theology classes when I talk about epistemology and theological method. I first talk about a hierarchy of knowledge. On the lowest level is data — unsorted, chaotic information that humans sort intuitively and that we also learn to discern and understand. The second level […]

Contemplating the Sword

Early Anabaptist theologies of church and state differentiated between the types of power operative in the two realms, and made clear that external forms of coercion such as were common in the temporal realm have no place in the spiritual. The qualitative distinction between the two kingdoms prevents a direct transference of methods. Are these, […]

CCCP — A Simple Theological Hermeneutic

Last week I talked about using formal and material norms to help guide biblical interpretation. Of course, there are other factors that make this more complicated. Some people see a particular norm as a formal norm, while others see it as a material one. Where that happens, all manner of mayhem can ensue. Some examples […]

Miscellaneous Ramblings on Creation

Over the past few years, I worked on a pamphlet sponsored by the Board of Faith and Life of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches about a theology of creation. It came out in print recently (you can find it here). But there was a lot more material that ended up on the cutting […]

Text, Context, and Hermeneutics

Today I ran across this great citation in a great article by Joel Green on biblical/theological hermeneutics. It has long struck me that the force of biblical texts upon contemporary readers is not, despite frequent protests, constrained by the limits of their intelligibility, but rather by the intransigence of readers. Interestingly, in other avenues of […]

Forgetfulness of God

In our members there is a slumbering inclination towards desire which is both sudden and fierce. … It makes no difference whether it is sexual desire, or ambition, or vanity, or desire for revenge … Joy in God is in course of being extinguished in us and we seek all our joy in the creature.  […]