Gavin Ortlund on Theological Retrieval for Evangelicals and Theological Triage (Repost)

This episode is a conversation with Dr. Gavin Ortlund of First Baptist Church of Ojai, California. We discuss how evangelicals can retrieve theology from the past (2:50), benefits and dangers of retrieval (6:05), evangelicals who “leave” to other traditions (11:01), retrieving Augustine and getting beyond modern theology debates (13:53), why theological triage is important and what it looks like (17:34), doctrines that we rank too high or too low (27:34), and more. See my review of Finding the Right Hills to Die On at Christianity Today and buy Gavin’s books.

Church Grammar is presented by the Christian Standard Bible. Intro music: Purple Dinosaur by nobigdyl. Producer: Katie Larson.

Brandon D. Smith is Assistant Professor of Theology & New Testament at Cedarville University, on the board of directors for the Center for Baptist Renewal, and writes things. You can follow him on Twitter at @brandon_d_smith.

*** This podcast is designed to discuss all sorts of topics from various points of view. Therefore, guests’ views do not always reflect the views of the host, his church, or his institution.

Michael Svigel on Urban Legends in Church History

This episode is a conversation with Dr. Michael Svigel of Dallas Theological Seminary. We discuss the Lord’s Supper in the early church (2:19), philosophy’s influence on early Christian theology (6:45), where the doctrine of the Trinity came from (13:48), the role of Constantine and the Roman Empire in the church (17:45), and the Great Schism (27:30), the Reformers and sola scriptura (33:07), and more. Buy Michael’s books.

Church Grammar is presented by the Christian Standard Bible. Intro music: Purple Dinosaur by nobigdyl. Producer: Katie Larson.

Brandon D. Smith is Assistant Professor of Theology & New Testament at Cedarville University, Editorial Director for the Center for Baptist Renewal, and writes things. You can follow him on Twitter at @brandon_d_smith.

*** This podcast is designed to discuss all sorts of topics from various points of view. Therefore, guests’ views do not always reflect the views of the host, his church, or his institution.

Jeremy Treat on the Atonement and Pastoring in the Pandemic

This episode is a conversation with Dr. Jeremy Treat of Reality LA. We discuss the NBA (1:33), integrating the Kingdom and the cross in atonement theories (5:20), a definition the gospel (11:23), how atonement theories relate to one another (14:07), the implications of living out the gospel (20:49), pastoring in the pandemic (26:38), and more. Buy Jeremy’s books.

Church Grammar is presented by the Christian Standard Bible. Intro music: Purple Dinosaur by nobigdyl. Producer: Katie Larson.

Brandon D. Smith is Assistant Professor of Theology & New Testament at Cedarville University, Editorial Director for the Center for Baptist Renewal, and writes things. You can follow him on Twitter at @brandon_d_smith.

*** This podcast is designed to discuss all sorts of topics from various points of view. Therefore, guests’ views do not always reflect the views of the host, his church, or his institution.

Thomas Joseph White on Tough Trinity Questions

This episode is a conversation with Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P. of the Angelicum. We discuss the continuity and discontinuity between Scripture and Nicaea (3:17), the relationship between ontology/theology and economy (10:30), omnipresence and incarnation (20:00), simplicity and persons (29:21), personal distinctions and eternal relations (35:56), filioque and spiration (43:02), and more.

Listen to our previous conversation on tough Christology questions.

Buy Thomas’s books and check out his band, The Hillbilly Thomists.

This episode is sponsored by Phoenix Seminary. Check out their free online masterclasses on church history and the Old Testament: ps.edu/online.

Church Grammar is presented by the Christian Standard Bible. Intro music: Purple Dinosaur by nobigdyl. Producer: Katie Larson.

Brandon D. Smith is Assistant Professor of Theology & New Testament at Cedarville University, Editorial Director for the Center for Baptist Renewal, and writes things. You can follow him on Twitter at @brandon_d_smith.

*** This podcast is designed to discuss all sorts of topics from various points of view. Therefore, guests’ views do not always reflect the views of the host, his church, or his institution.

Matthew Bennett on Truths and Myths about Islam

This episode is a conversation with Dr. Matthew Bennett of Cedarville University. We discuss what we can learn from Islamic culture (3:52), the history of Muhammad and Islam origins (7:58), Jesus in the Qur’an (15:18), the role of the Bible in the Qur’an (21:00), truths and myths about jihad and violent Islamic groups (21:48), Christianity’s truth vs. Islam (28:36), tips for Christian missions and evangelism to Muslims (33:48), and more. Buy Matt’s books.

Church Grammar is presented by the Christian Standard Bible. Intro music: Purple Dinosaur by nobigdyl. Producer: Katie Larson.

Brandon D. Smith is Assistant Professor of Theology & New Testament at Cedarville University, Editorial Director for the Center for Baptist Renewal, and writes things. You can follow him on Twitter at @brandon_d_smith.

*** This podcast is designed to discuss all sorts of topics from various points of view. Therefore, guests’ views do not always reflect the views of the host, his church, or his institution.

Carmen Imes on Sinai, God’s Covenants, and the Biblical Story (Repost)

This episode is repost of my conversation with Dr. Carmen Imes of Talbot School of Theology. We discuss the Institute for Biblical Research (2:05), YHWH and Sinai (3:00), God’s covenants and the Great Commission (16:43), Gentile inclusion and the “spirit” of the Law (24:58), and practical implications for bearing God’s name (34:50). Buy Carmen’s books.

Church Grammar is presented by the Christian Standard Bible. Intro music: Purple Dinosaur by nobigdyl. Producer: Katie Larson.

Brandon D. Smith is Assistant Professor of Theology & New Testament at Cedarville University, Editorial Director for the Center for Baptist Renewal, and writes things. You can follow him on Twitter at @brandon_d_smith.

*** This podcast is designed to discuss all sorts of topics from various points of view. Therefore, guests’ views do not always reflect the views of the host, his church, or his institution.


Gregory of Nazianzus’s “Theological Orations” with Matthew Emerson

This is a crossover episode with Dr. Matthew Emerson from the new Center for Baptist Renewal podcast and YouTube Channel. We discuss one of the books from our CBR Theology Classics Reading Challenge, Gregory of Nazianzus’s Theological Orations.

Subscribe to the CBR podcast: Apple | Spotify | YouTube

Church Grammar is presented by the Christian Standard Bible. Intro music: Purple Dinosaur by nobigdyl. Producer: Katie Larson.

Brandon D. Smith is Assistant Professor of Theology & New Testament at Cedarville University, Editorial Director for the Center for Baptist Renewal, and writes things. You can follow him on Twitter at @brandon_d_smith.

*** This podcast is designed to discuss all sorts of topics from various points of view. Therefore, guests’ views do not always reflect the views of the host, his church, or his institution.

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Thomas Joseph White on Tough Christology Questions and Aquinas among Protestants

This episode is a conversation with Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P. of the Angelicum. We discuss his journey from Atlanta, GA to Rome (1:35), the life of a Dominican friar (5:45), basic guardrails for the doctrine of incarnation (9:50), avoiding problems of the Son “subtracting” or “adding” in the incarnation (14:17), could Christ have sinned? (19:50), the relationship between Christ’s divine and human knowledge (25:28), Christ’s beatific vision and “self-awareness” (31:47), the Holy Spirit’s role in Christ’s human life (41:46), Aquinas among the Protestants (45:54), favorite Protestant theologians (52:04), and more.

Buy Thomas’s books. Also, check out his band, The Hillbilly Thomists.

Church Grammar is presented by the Christian Standard Bible. Intro music: Purple Dinosaur by nobigdyl. Producer: Katie Larson.

Brandon D. Smith is Assistant Professor of Theology & New Testament at Cedarville University, Editorial Director for the Center for Baptist Renewal, and writes things. You can follow him on Twitter at @brandon_d_smith.

*** This podcast is designed to discuss all sorts of topics from various points of view. Therefore, guests’ views do not always reflect the views of the host, his church, or his institution.

My 5 Favorite Books of 2021

It’s become an annual tradition for me and many others to write a post like this. Check out my past lists: 2015 and 2016 lists at my old Patheos blog, and my 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 lists posted here at Biblical Reasoning.

In no particular order, here are my five (six! I cheated this year) favorite books that I read in 2021.

Which Trinity? Whose Monotheism? by Thomas H. McCall

This is a classic example of a book I should’ve read years ago—it came out in 2010!—but just never had the chance to, aside from dabbling in a few chapters here and there. In my view, McCall represents the best of the “analytic theology” (AT) movement: the notably logically-rigorous flavor of AT, but rooted deeply in Scripture and the Christian tradition. His critique of eternal subordination of the Son, years before the 2016 debate, is particularly helpful and still relevant.

The Incarnate Lord by Thomas Joseph White

Another book I came a little late to, but am glad I did. Few people have White’s rare ability to engage some of the most theologically and philosophically complex issues with clarity and precision. In this book in particular, he tackles all of the major issues and questions that arise in Christology in general and Aquinas’s Christology in particular.

Faith, Hope, Love by Josef Pieper

After becoming somewhat bored of overwrought, pragmatic books on morality and ethics, I asked a few philosophy/ethics scholar-friends for recommendations. This book by Pieper was the near-unanimous recommendation. I was blown away by his simple, even doxological, approach to theological ethics, which has obviously been fostered over Pieper’s decades of personal reflection and practice.

On the Trinity by Hilary of Poitiers

I’m always reading the church fathers as part of my research, teaching, and personal interest, and it was my goal this year to read the entirety of Hilary’s work on the Trinity. “The Athanasius of the West” did not disappoint; his orthodox Trinitarian formulations are worked out in unique ways, and his framing around Exod. 3:14 is worth the price of admission.

Letters for the Church by Darian R. Lockett

Lockett is one of my favorite New Testament scholars (and all-around human beings). His broader scholarship contributes to two broadly under-appreciated fields: canon and the Catholic/General Epistles. Those two expertises combine into an excellent, accessible volume on the major theological and canonical issues in interpreting these epistles.

The Same God Who Works All Things by Adonis Vidu

Vidu’s work is truly a monumental addition to the field of Trinitarian theology. Simply put, inseparable operations are a crucial piece of the Trinitarian puzzle, and Vidu’s is the first full-scale work done on the doctrine in recent memory. This book has a great combination of exegetical insights, theological imagination, and historical sensitivity.

Ephraim Radner on Figural Reading, Time and History, and Suffering

This episode is a conversation with Dr. Ephraim Radner of Wycliffe College. We discuss a figural reading of Scripture (2:20), the relationship between Scripture and time/history (9:06), examples of figural readings in church history and modern practice (12:38), how to think about figural reading in preaching and teaching (31:52), human suffering (38:35), and more. Buy Ephraim’s books.

This episode is brought you by the Text & Canon Institute of Phoenix Seminary. Check out the new and improved textandcanon.org.

Church Grammar is presented by the Christian Standard Bible. Intro music: Purple Dinosaur by nobigdyl. Producer: Katie Larson.

Brandon D. Smith is Assistant Professor of Theology & New Testament at Cedarville University, Editorial Director for the Center for Baptist Renewal, and writes things. You can follow him on Twitter at @brandon_d_smith.

*** This podcast is designed to discuss all sorts of topics from various points of view. Therefore, guests’ views do not always reflect the views of the host, his church, or his institution.