Render Unto Caesar: The Inherent Violence of Taxation

When Christians discuss the issue of taxation, it doesn’t take long for someone to quote Mark 12:17: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  Unfortunately, this quote of Jesus’ is frequently taken out of context as implicit support for the system of state taxation.  When, however, […]

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Paul and Hellenistic Philosophy

There is a great deal in Paul’s letters which seems to be interrelated with Hellenistic philosophical concepts.  We will briefly survey the two main categories of Hellenistic thought which are represented in the Pauline corpus, extract the associated theological implications, and explore ideas for their application in contemporary culture.  Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations […]

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The Kingdom of God

Thesis and Scope It is widely held that the central theme of Jesus earthly ministry was the kingdom of God, and the New Testament is replete with textual support for this notion.  However, the Old Testament also bears witness, both explicitly and implicitly, to the “kingdom of God” theme, and the witness is so substantial […]

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Deuteronomy and the Literature of the Ancient Near East

Thesis and Scope A central concern of exegetical pursuits is to discover the historical and cultural Sitz im Leben of the biblical text in order to properly interpret Scripture.  The field of comparative studies of the cultures of the ancient Near East is critical to understanding the historical-cultural and socio-political context from which the Scriptures were produced.  […]

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Collusion, Seclusion, or Collision? Take Up Your Cross: Luke 9:18-27

This text contains one of the hard sayings of Jesus that is commonly misinterpreted.  If we are to understand it properly, it must be interpreted within its literary and historical context.  Sometimes we tend to read too much abstract theology into a text like this without first taking seriously the historical, political, social, and cultural […]

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This Present Darkness: A Reflection On The Futility of Culture War Rhetoric

There is a lot of talk in Evangelical Christian circles about “being at war with American culture,” about how Christians need to flex their political muscle to “make America a Christian nation again.”  Much of this rhetoric is couched in the language of warfare and positions the church over against the indigenous culture in which […]

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Thoughts on Bonhoeffer and The Cost of Discipleship

It would not be an exaggeration to say that The Cost of Discipleship has made a larger impact on my life than any other book save the Bible itself.  Although the concept of radical discipleship is in vogue in our contemporary setting, when Bonhoeffer wrote The Cost of Discipleship, this was certainly not the case.  His characterization of […]

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