Holiness: Proceed with Caution!

In the 19th Century, J. C. Ryle, the great preacher and Bishop of Liverpool, preached a sermon on Hebrews 12:14: “Pursue holiness, without which no one shall see the Lord.” This verse suggests a question to us all: are we holy? This is a question that should concern every Christian in the Lord’s army, no   …Continue Reading

Review of Eleonore Stump, “Atonement” (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018) — Part 1

Review of Eleonore Stump, Atonement, in Oxford Studies in Analytic Theology, eds. Michael C. Rae and Oliver D. Crisp (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), 538 pgs. Part 1 David L. Allen When it comes to the atonement of Christ, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Enter Eleonore Stump’s bold work; a welcome contribution by one of   …Continue Reading

Preaching by the Numbers

Charles Seife’s Proofiness: How You’re Being Fooled by the Numbers is nothing short of fascinating. For some reason, most people are addicted to the stupefying combination of numbers and credibility. “If you want to get people to believe something really, really stupid, just stick a number on it,” Seife intones. Silly absurdities suddenly become plausible   …Continue Reading

Sin’s Cause and Cure

What is our biggest problem? Sin. Sin is what ails us. It brings with it all kinds of symptoms: selfishness, strife, loneliness, and broken relationships. Worst of all, as an act of rebellion, it separates us from the God who made us. Some try to ignore their sin; others deny its very existence. Yet humanity   …Continue Reading

Nailed to a Bed of Pain

Following the British defeat of the Spanish Armada, English warships retaliated in 1596 by raiding the Spanish port of Cadiz. Fifty-three merchant vessels and warships were destroyed at port, and the town demolished. Amidst the booming cannon, the rancid smoke-filled air, and the cries of dying men, the peel of the church bells rang out   …Continue Reading


David L. Allen, The Atonement: A Biblical, Theological, and Historical Study of the Cross of Christ (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2019), 15-16. The English word “atonement,” first used in 1526 by William Tyndale in his English translation of the NT, renders the Greek word katallagē (“reconciliation”) in Rom 5:11. However, the word “atonement” itself does not   …Continue Reading

10 Lessons on Preaching from Charles Spurgeon

“Give the people something worth hearing and they will listen like a woman hearing a will read or a condemned man hearing his sentence given by the judge.” The man who said that was preaching to thousands weekly by the age of 21 and had already preached more than 1000 times. His name—Charles Spurgeon. Spurgeon   …Continue Reading


I love the word “always.” It is one of the most important words in the Bible—“always.” So much Christian theology, promise, and hope radiates from this single word. Paul was fond of using “always” in describing so many aspects of the Christian life. In 1 Corinthians 15:58, he wrote how Christians should be “always abounding   …Continue Reading


A lifetime is made up of so many years, months, weeks, days, hours, and minutes. An hour is 12 segments of 5 minutes. Most people think nothing of a short 5 minutes. The boss says, “Everybody take a five minute break,” or the coach says to his players during practice, “Take 5!” If it were 30   …Continue Reading

5 Characteristics of the Ideal Seminary Student

The fall semester begins Thursday at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where I teach. I am excited about the young men and women who are new students training with us this semester. They come from at least 12 countries around the globe. Having met some of them this week has prompted me to ask the question:   …Continue Reading