Author: Luke Isham

Reigniting the Trinity Controversy

This is a response to John McClean’s blog post (‘The Eternally Begotten, Sent and Obedient Son – developing and defending a position’, August 2016) about the Subordination controversy. Broadly speaking, that debate is about how much of the Trinity can be communicated into gender roles, if any. Essentially, the debate was intramural, between two groups of complementarians, pitting those who see traditional gender roles within church and marriage as a theological outworking of the Trinity, and those who see traditional gender roles as commanded by Scripture, and not as a logical consequence of the doctrine of the Trinity. In...

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Gospel Metaphors

What is the gospel? Defining the gospel can become an evangelical shibboleth. The password whispered in the dark that separates friend from foe. Some Christians try to dodge the dilemma by eschewing the need for a definition. Yet, having no gospel definition ignores the fact that the Bible is about something, it has a central message. The four Jesus-biographies, the gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, are our first clue. It is a proclamation about Jesus. But how specific should we be, how much of Scripture should be captured by our definition? Carson crams as much as...

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Book Review: Zeal without Burnout

Jesus said, “I’ve come to serve not to be served” (Mark 10:45). So how do we follow him, take up our cross, and do Christian-ministry without becoming bitter dry husks? Christopher Ash’s Zeal without Burnout makes a direct and practical case for “sustainable sacrifice“.[1]Christopher Ash, Zeal without Burnout (The Good Book Company, 2016), 26. His argument is peppered with the anecdotes of people in ministry who burned out or came close. Christian ministry: the business of making God’s love intelligible and widely known is both dangerous and delightful. Delightful because we’re connecting people with God’s great story, what can be more...

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Three Views on Images of Christ: Lawful and Helpful

This article is part 2 of 4 in the series Three Views on Images of Christ  Are pictures of Jesus blasphemous?  No, and if handled carefully they can be a blessing. Additionally, what you think about pictures of Jesus is an insight into how you explain his humanity and divinity. Compare Mel Gibson’s bloody, suffering-focused The Passion of Christ (2004) to the discreet Jesus-subplot of Ben Hur (1959). During The Passion of Christ, the emphasis is so much on Jesus’ human suffering that we forget that the Son himself took on human nature and experienced death, and it was this fact,...

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Book Review: Visual Theology

You could say the writer Tim Challies invented blogging, or at least the Christian version of it. He has been a reliable and thoughtful evangelical presence online for over a decade. I discovered his blog when his critical review of The Shack went viral back in 2008. A couple of years ago he created a series of theological infographics, illustrating various aspects of theology. That must have been the inspiration for his most recent book Visual Theology: seeing and understanding the truth about God, a collaboration with Christian artist Josh Byers, published in June by Zondervan. Personally I purchased...

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