Essays

Thoughts and Prayers

I found a series of tweets following the mass shooting in Las Vegas insisting, “PRAYER DOESN’T WORK” in advocacy for government policies to prevent such events from occurring again. I nearly responded to counter the argument, but I stopped myself. Continue reading

Satire News

Is your child texting about trinitarian heresies? Know the signs.

TMP — That’s modalism, Patrick
COP — Come on, Patrick
GITP — Get it together, Patrick
TAP — That’s Arianism, Patrick
TABAP — That’s a bad analogy, Patrick
YTWP — You’re the worst, Patrick
YJCP — You Just Confessed Partialism
IMRP — I mean really, Patrick
IGSYITFP — I’m gonna stab you in the face, Patrick

Biblical commentary

A man is “justified” by works?? — James 2:21–25

Forms of δικαιοσύνη or δικαιόω (dikaiosunē, dikaioō; the respective noun and verb forms) occur eight times in James’ letter. The area debated primarily is 2:21–25. It is not uncommon for Roman Catholic apologists, for example, to argue against Protestantism that the only area of the Bible in which “faith alone” appears is in v. 24: “You see that by works a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.”[1] Yet, Paul states in Romans 3:20 that “by works of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight.” Theologically, we might define justification as a “declaration that the person has been restored to a state of righteousness through belief and trust in the work of Christ rather than on the basis of one’s own accomplishment.”[2] In short, James and Paul, by using forms of δικαιοσύνη, are not referring to the same concept and thus should not be seen as conflicting with each other. Continue reading

Book review

The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ by Andrew Klavan

Andrew Klavan has held my attention ever since I discovered his old video commentary series Klavan on the Culture back around 2010. The format and media have changed a few times before his present cultural-political show The Andrew Klavan Show on The Daily Wire came to be. Outside of politics, Klavan is well-known for his novels, two of which have been made into successful movies. I thoroughly enjoyed Empire of Lies back in the day.

9780718084479I’m a little late to the party concerning his memoir, The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ (2016). Klavan is already proven as a master storyteller, and The Great Good Thing in this respect is no different. His ability to evoke authentic images and experiences in the reader’s mind shines through. If nothing else, it’s a narrative that is difficult to put down through the end. However, if you’re looking for a narrativized systematic theology concerning Reformed soteriology, this is neither that book nor its aim. Moreover, its theological vagueness, intentional or otherwise, could leave one with a false impression of Klavan’s theology and a certain sense of incompleteness. Continue reading