C. S. Lewis: What Christmas Means to Me

This short essay by C. S. Lewis originally appeared in Twentieth Century 162 (December 1957): 517–18, reprinted in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics (ed. Walter Hooper; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014), 338–40.

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Three things go by the name of Christmas. One is a religious festival. This is important and obligatory for Christians; but as it can be of no interest to anyone else, I shall naturally say no more about it here. The second (it has complex historical connections with the first, but we needn’t go into them) is a popular holiday, an occasion for merry-making and hospitality. If it were my business to have a ‘view’ on this, I should say that I much approve of merry-making. But what I approve of much more is everybody minding his own business. I see no reason why I should volunteer views as to how other people should spend their own money in their own leisure among their own friends. It is highly probable that they want my advice on such matters as little as I want theirs. But the third thing called Christmas is unfortunately everyone’s business. [Read more…]

A Theology of Sleep

Sweet sleep is a gift from God: “when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet” (Proverbs 3:24b).

I agree with John Piper and Don Carson on sleep:

  1. John Piper: “For me, adequate sleep is not just a matter of staying healthy. It’s a matter of staying in the ministry” (p. 189).
  2. Don Carson: “Doubt may be fostered by sleep deprivation. If you keep burning the candle at both ends, sooner or later you will indulge in more and more mean cynicism—and the line between cynicism and doubt is a very thin one. Of course, different individuals require different numbers of hours of sleep: moreover, some cope with a bit of tiredness better than others. Nevertheless, if you are among those who become nasty, cynical, or even full of doubt when you are missing your sleep, you are morally obligated to try to get the sleep you need. We are whole, complicated beings; our physical existence is tied to our spiritual well-being, to our mental outlook, to our relationships with others, including our relationship with God. Sometimes the godliest thing you can do in the universe is get a good night’s sleep—not pray all night, but sleep. I’m certainly not denying that there may be a place for praying all night; I’m merely insisting that in the normal course of things, spiritual discipline obligates you get the sleep your body need” (p. 147)

sleepSo I was delighted to read this book: [Read more…]

A Theology of Heaven

heavenChris Morgan and Robert Peterson did it again. They’ve successfully addressed an important topic with a theological method that grounds its systematic and practical theology in exegesis and biblical theology (and historical theology informs it).

Christopher W.Morgan and Robert A. Peterson, eds. Heaven. Theology in Community. Wheaton: Crossway, 2014.

Look inside here to see the contributors in the Table of Contents.


  1. My interview with Chris Morgan on the theology of James
  2. My interview with Chris Morgan on the glory of God

A Model of How to Critique a Theological Giant: Ortlund on Edwards

EdwardsThe title of this book’s final chapter is “Four Criticisms”:

Dane C. Ortlund. Edwards on the Christian Life: Alive to the Beauty of God. Theologians on the Christian Life. Wheaton: Crossway, 2014.

Ortlund qualifies,

Jonathan Edwards is way out ahead of me, and probably you, both in living and in theologizing on the Christian life. But the student, standing on the teacher’s shoulders, may on occasion glimpse something the teacher doesn’t. Cautiously, we proceed. (p. 178)

Ortlund unpacks four criticisms (my paraphrases): [Read more…]

A Theology of the Church with a Sound Theological Method

churchI just reviewed this book for 9Marks:

Christopher W. Morgan and Kendell H. Easley, eds. The Community of Jesus: A Theology of the Church. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2013. 288 pp. 10-page sample PDF.


When you have a solid grasp of how a theme develops across the Bible’s storyline in Scripture, you are able to trace that theme from a number of starting points. For example, you may be preaching or teaching through the Gospel of John and come to John 2:19: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” You may then zoom out so that you can trace the trajectory of the temple theme across the Bible’s storyline—from Eden, to the tabernacle, to Solomon’s temple, to Ezekiel’s temple, to Zerubbabel’s temple, to Jesus as the temple, to the tearing of the temple’s curtain, to the church as the temple, to the individual Christian’s body as the temple, to the heavenly temple, and all the way to its culmination in Rev 21:22: “I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.” Then you could zoom back in to John 2 and reflect on the significance of that passage in light of how it fits in the trajectory from Eden to the new heavens and new earth.

Logos 6 Releases Today

Here’s what’s new in Logos 6:

I’ve been using Logos 6 each day for the last few weeks, and it’s a beautiful design. It has some new bells and whistles, but by far my favorite new feature is that you can hide all the chapter and verse numbers in Bibles—whether Hebrew, Greek, or English. I love this feature! (I explain why here and here.)

You can learn more about Logos 6 here (note the coupon code for 15% off) and here.

Free PDFs of Dissertations at Southern Seminary

libraryI recently discovered that Southern Seminary makes available free PDFs of many of the PhD dissertations (and some ThM theses) that students have successfully defended there.

These students have spent years working on these treatises, and some of the theses are outstanding (e.g., David Schrock’s on definite atonement).

I wish more schools did this. I just added over 70 of these PDFs to my Zotero library.