Essays in Books
People of the Promise: A Mere Protestant Ecclesiology
I contribute an essay on the ecclesiology of Pentecost.
How to Think About American Politics (by a British Observer)
Some reflections upon the dynamics of the American political situation. See my further thoughts here.
The Dangers of Appealing to Personality Types
A sceptical look at the use of Myers-Briggs in Christian circles.
Lent, Individualism, and Christian Piety—An Email Conversation
A conversation with Jake Meador on Lent and contemporary religious subjectivities.
Twitter is Like Elizabeth Bennet’s Meryton
On healthy thought in a hyper-connected age.
Moral Sentimentalism and a Mechanized Society
Jake Meador and I have another wide-ranging conversation, this time on the subject of ethics in a mechanized society.
Trumped Up? Is The Donald’s Support Really Driven by Racist Xenophobia?
I try to unearth the real roots of Donald Trump’s appeal.
Davenant House, Christian Community, and the Work of Study Centres
An interview with Brad Littlejohn and Jake Meador about the work of Davenant House.
Why We Should Jettison the ‘Strong Female Character’
Why this trope does a disservice to both women and men.
Brexit and the Moral Vision of Nationhood
The Brexit vote as a window onto a growing class division in British society.
The Treachery of Narratives
Learning lessons about the danger of our narrative instinct from the downfall of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos.
A Truth Above All Contexts: Daniel Kirk, Whiteness, and the Theological Interpretation of Scripture
A defence of reading Scripture according to the Rule of Faith against the hyper-contextualization of interpretation.
Freeing Speech: Free Speech, Milo, and the University
Why the obstacles to free speech are primarily structural in character.
Sexual Difference, Liberal and Christian
Why sexual difference matters.
Before Obergefell: Some Thoughts on How We Got Here
What led to the Supreme Court’s decision in favour of same-sex marriage?
The Falls of Man
The Fall outworked and unworked through Scripture.
An argument for a figural reading of the story of Rahab.
The Levite, the Concubine, and Israel’s Story
An exploration of biblical themes in the narrative of Judges 19.
Exodus in 1 Kings
King Solomon as Adam and Pharaoh.
The Scriptures Made Strange
Why we need to attend to the material—and digital—forms of our Bibles.
Baptism and the Body
1. Sealed for Resurrection: Baptism and the Objectivity of the Body
The first of a three part series on the importance of baptism to our understanding of the body’s place in Christian faith.
2. Presenting Limbs and Organs: Baptism and Sacrificial Ethics
The presentation of our bodies to God in their objectivity provides the basis for a sacrificial understanding of Christian ethics.
3. Embracing Embodiment: Baptism and the Nuptial Meaning of the Body
As human beings we aren’t just agents that have bodies, but embodied persons and, in baptism, God relates to us as such.
A Musical Case For Typological Realism
1. Music as a Conceptual Metaphor
I discuss the importance of conceptual metaphors and the possibility of thinking theological through music.
2. Directionality and Transience
How music can reveal the shape of the created order.
3. The Unity of Time and Typological Realism
How the musical unity of time grounds typological realism.
4. Typological Realism and Salvation
How we are caught up in the music of God.
This series is now available in e-book format as a free download.
The Gospel Coalition
Five Principles of the New Sexual and Relational Morality
Understanding liberal sexual morality on its own terms.
Review of God Dwells Among Us: Expanding Eden to the Ends of the Earth
Thoughts on Greg Beale and Mitchell Kim’s book on the theme of the temple in Scripture.
Brave New World, 85 Years Later
Thoughts on the continuing relevance of Aldous Huxley’s dystopian vision.
On My Shelf: Life and Books with Alastair Roberts
Matt Smethurst interviews me about my reading and the important books in my life.
Lessons from the Collapse of American Protestantism
Reflecting on the consequences of the loss of the mainline churches.
Why Christians Should Refuse to Celebrate Women Fighting
Some reflections on Ronda Rousey and the rise of women in UFC.
Artificial Wombs and the Abolition of Woman
An exploration of ectogenetic technology and the threat it might pose to human nature.
Review of Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female
My review of Ashley McGuire’s recent book.
The Refugee Crisis and Christian Hope
Reflections upon the refugee crisis and Europe and the Church’s response.
Infant Baptism and the Promise of Grace
Reformation debates about grace and baptism and baptism as a promissory seal.
The structure of Luke’s gospel reveals the importance of the Transfiguration for his narrative.
2. Transfiguration and Exodus
Luke’s account of the Transfiguration is significantly framed by an Exodus motif.
3. Transfiguration as Theophany
How Jesus is the unveiling of God’s Glory-Face.
4. Jesus as God’s Glory Face in John’s Gospel
How John develops the theme of Jesus as the revelation of the Father’s glory.
5. The High Priest and the New Temple
Temple and priestly themes in the Transfiguration account.
6. The Climactic Word
Christ as the glorious fulfilment of divine revelation.
7. The Bright Morning Star
The Transfiguration and the Parousia.
8. Moses’ Veil
Reflection upon the significance of the veil worn by Moses.
9. With Unveiled Faces
The transfiguration of the reader of Scripture in 2 Corinthians.
10. Transfigural Interpretation
Reading Scripture in the light of the Transfiguration
This series is now available in e-book format as a free download.
The Eternal Subordination of the Son Controversy
1. The Debate so Far
I briefly narrate the principal events and arguments within the recent discussion.
2. Survey of Some Relevant Material
I discuss some of the recent literature on the question.
Unpacking and questioning a key term at the heart of this debate.
4. The Need for Trinitarian Clarity (Part 1)
Some Trinitarian problems at the heart of the eternal subordination position.
5. The Need for Trinitarian Clarity (Part 2)
Orthodox Trinitarian theology and the eternal subordination position.
6. The Tension Between Bible and Doctrine
How a lack of healthy interaction between systematic theology and biblical studies has exacerbated the debate surrounding the Trinity.
7. Reconciling Scripture and Dogma
Reflections on a healthier relationship between biblical scholarship and systematic theology.
8. κεφαλή in 1 Corinthians 11:3
Exploring the meaning of the contested term κεφαλή in the context of 1 Corinthians 11.
9. Indivisible Divine Authority in Mutually Defining Relations
Christology and the relationship between the economic and immanent Trinity.
10. Concluding Reflections (Part 1)
Some of the issues thrown up by the debate: questions of the meaning of authority, the fact of complementarian diversity, and the crosswinds of the gender debates.
10. Concluding Reflections (Part 2)
Some of the issues thrown up by the debate: the quest for a deep structure for complementarianism, accommodation, and structural defects in evangelical theology.
The Calvinist International
Why Arguments Against Gay Marriage Are Usually Bad
Responding to Dr Peter Leithart on the subject of natural law in debates on same-sex marriage.
Can Arguments Against Gay Marriage be Persuasive?
A follow-up to the previous piece.
Natural Complementarians: Men, Women, and the Way Things Are
A case for a more descriptive complementarian theology.
Men, Women, and the Nature of Christian Teaching: Two Responses to Aimee Byrd
Eric Hutchinson and I respond to Aimee Byrd’s response to my earlier article.
Christ and Pop Culture
Can Evangelicals See Themselves in the LGBT Movement?
How evangelicalism’s construction of the subject shapes its response to LGBT issues.
Republished in a slightly different version here.
Evangelicalism’s Poor Form
Has inattention to institutional and cultural form compromised evangelicalism’s content?
Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Smartphone Usage
Discerning whether smartphones occupy an unhealthy place in our lives.
Going Deep on Our Smartphone and Social Media Habits
The first half of an interview with Desiring God on Christian ethics and social media.
Why It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye to Google Reader
Reflections on reading in the context of a rapidly changing technological environment.
Call of the Wilderness
The wilderness as a site of cultural and biblical meaning and formation.
The Huffington Post
10 Sets of Questions to Ask Before Voting for Donald Trump
The importance of a challenging conversation with one’s conscience on Election Day.
The Big Bible Project
Exodus: A Story of New Birth?
Exploring the theme of new birth in the Exodus from Egypt
Lessons from Leviticus
What Leviticus has to teach us about the place of the body in our faith.
The Good Men Project
Dump the Rom-Coms and Get Yourself Some Jane Austen
An appeal for romance that educates the emotions.
The Emasculation of Walter White
Thoughts upon the twisted masculinity of Breaking Bad’s lead character.
Millennials & Church: Why We Need To Question Our Questioning
The importance of opening ourselves up to being questioned.
The Virginity of Jesus
How we should understand the relationship between the virginity of Jesus and Christian thought on sexuality.
Call Me Caitlyn?
Reflections on Bruce Jenner’s Transition.
Political Theology Today
The Politics of the Child
A reflection upon the politics of Isaiah 9:1-7.
The Politics of the Impossible
A reflection upon the politics of Ezekiel 37:1-14.
The Politics of Word of Mouth
A reflection upon the politics of John 1:35-51.
The Politics of Exposure
A reflection upon the politics of John 4:1-42.
The Politics of a Misunderstood Kingdom
A reflection upon Jesus’s appearance before Pilate in John 18:28-38.
The Politics of the Mob
The scapegoat mechanism in the trial and condemnation of Jesus by Pilate in John 19:1-16.
The Politics of the Empty Tomb
A reflection upon the risen Christ’s appearance to Mary Magdalene in John 20:1-18.
The Politics of Commission
A reflection upon the commissioning and gift of the Spirit to the disciples in John 20.
The Politics of the Unknown God
A reflection upon the task of speaking to political idolatry.
The Politics of Pentecost
A reflection on the challenge of Pentecost to the empires.
The Politics of God’s Plenty
A reflection on the societal vision of Isaiah 55:1-5
The Politics of Sacrifice
A reflection on Exodus 12:1-14 and the founding myths of political order.
The Politics of Privilege
A reflection on Philippians 3:4a-14 and a Christian posture towards privilege.
The Politics of Hospitality
A reflection on Matthew 25:31-46, the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats.
The Politics of Polarization
A reflection on Luke 2:22-40, the encounter with Simeon and Anna in the temple.
The Politics of the Individual
A reflection on Mark 1:4-11: how the individual can be the one through which the body politic is renewed.
The Politics of Eschatological Imminence
A reflection on 1 Corinthians 7:29-31.
The Politics of Abraham’s Foreskin
A reflection on Genesis 17:1-16, on the connection between sex, family, and politics.
The Politics of New Covenant Vision
A reflection on Jeremiah 31:31-34, and the politics of the new covenant.
The Politics of the King’s Shepherd
A reflection on Psalm 23, on YHWH’s shepherding of the king.
The Politics of the Death of the Nation’s Beloved
A reflection on David’s lament over Saul and Jonathan and the eros of politics.
The Politics of Transformed International Relations
A reflection on the Apostle Paul’s vision of the Church in Ephesians 2:11-22.
Planned Parenthood Videos Urge Us To Reframe Abortion Debates
On the pressing need for practical reason in the abortion debates.
The Politics of Making a Prophet
A reflection upon the meaning of the events of the Day of Pentecost.
The Politics of Extraordinary Ordinariness
A reflection upon Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9 and what it meant for Israel to be a great nation.
The Politics of Service
A reflection upon Mark 10:35-45 and the meaning of servant leadership.
The Politics of Hannah’s Opened Womb
A reflection upon 1 Samuel 1:4-20 and 2:1-10 and the unseen origins of God’s great works.
The Politics of Continual Thanksgiving
A reflection upon Colossians 3:12-17 and the centrality of Christian thanksgiving.
The Politics of Representational Rule
A reflection upon 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 and the importance of representation in rule.
Religious Violence and the Logic of Sacrifice
A brief Moshe Halbertal inspired reflection upon the relationship between religion and violence.
The Politics of Spectacle
A political reflection upon the account of the Transfiguration in Luke 9:28-36.
The Friendship and Civility Between Ideological Antagonists on the Supreme Court Is Model for Politics Today
Justices Scalia and Ginsburg’s friendship and recovering civility in our public discourse.
The Politics of the King’s Donkey
A reflection upon Luke’s account of Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.
The Politics of the Memorial
A reflection upon the significance of the Passover, the Last Supper, and the establishment of the memorial.
The Politics of Wisdom and Folly
A reflection upon Proverbs 8 and the foundation of political wisdom.
Conquest Narratives in Islam and Christianity
A discussion of the prominent themes of conquest in Matthew’s gospel and the caution required when handling Islamic uses of similar themes.
Brexit Throws Down the Gauntlet For Confronting Deep Social Divisions
The differences exposed by the Brexit vote and how to respond to them.
The Politics of Christ, the Beginning
A reflection upon Colossians 1:15-28 and the truth at the heart of political theology.
The Politics of Divine Judgment and Mercy
A reflection upon Genesis 18:20-32 and Abraham’s intercession for Sodom.
The Politics of the Mist
A reflection on Ecclesiastes 1 and 2 and the vapourous character of human politics.
The Politics of the Table
A reflection on Luke 14:1; 7-14 and how a new political habitus is instilled at the table.
The Politics of Dishonest Wealth
A reflection on Luke 16:1-13 and the moral dangers of wealth.
The Politics of Being on the Wrong Side of History
A reflection on the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector.
The Politics of Sentinels
A Christmas reflection on Isaiah 52, Luke 2, and how the patient expectancy of Advent is answered in the sign of the infant Jesus.
The Politics of Cosmic Praise
A reflection upon Psalm 148 and the place of politics in the cosmic liturgy.
The Politics of Premature Rule
A reflection upon Genesis 2-3 and the danger of grasping power before we are ready for it.
The Politics of the Blessing of Abram
A reflection upon Genesis 12:1-4a, the particularism of election and universalism of divine grace.
The Politics of the Stumbling Stone
A reflection on 1 Peter 2:2-10 and Christ as the eschatological stone.
The Politics of Solomon’s Dream
A reflection on 1 Kings 3:5-12 and the importance of wisdom for just rule.
Discovering the Absence of God
Some personal reflections on God and suffering
Mediations in Mediations
Pornography and the Song of Songs
Elegy For Google Reader
Another piece on the significance of the passing of Google Reader.
Males and Their Friends
Understanding gendered differences in friendship tendencies.
Smartphones and How They Change Us: An Interview With Alastair Roberts
Reflections on the effect of technology upon our lives and relationships with Tony Reinke.
Davenant House: Retrieving the Reformation in the South Carolina Foothills
An interview with Shane Morris about the work of Davenant House.