Two premier English theologians passed away last month — Nicholas Lash and J. I. Packer. Through their writings both men played outsized roles at key stages in my theological education, and I remain grateful for their instruction.
May we long remember them both and the gospel to which their labors witnessed.
- Nicholas Lash
There are, in my opinion, few more succinct summaries of the Gospel than this: We have been made capable of friendship. The ‘we’ is unrestricted, it refers to everybody, past and present, near and far and, by analogy, to every feature of that web of life of which we form a part. We ‘have been’ made: the passive voice protects the primacy of grace, the givenness of things. Made ‘capable of’ friendship, rather than ‘made friends,’ for it is as duty that we hear the Word’s announcement of the way all things are made and made to be.
from Theology for Pilgrims (2008), 49.
2. J. I. Packer
“were I asked to focus the New Testament message in three words, my proposal would be adoption through propitiation, and I do not expect ever to meet a richer or more pregnant summary of the gospel than that.”
from Knowing God (1973), 214.
Christianity’s First Doctrine (logically, not historically) the doctrine of God’s Trinity is not some further teaching, additional to a teaching which would count as a ‘doctrine of God,’ but simply is the Christian doctrine of God, the Christian account of how the word ‘God’ is to be used. from Easter In Ordinary (1988), 267, n21; […]
Two Takes Nicholas Lash Luke’s account of the ascension can only be understood if we resist the modern tendency to carve up the paschal mystery into a series of separate ‘events’. The death and glorification of Christ and the outpouring of the Spirit constitute one event, the salvation-event. … What practical difference would it make […]
In Petition of the Self-Sanctification of God’s Name Deploying theological categories as credible and capable resources for addressing any number of questions that vex our society and/or our subjectivity is an uncertain proposition. In the post-Christian West it’s taken for granted that religious discourse, if not yet altogether meaningless, is certainly in want of a […]
On discerning virtuous and vicious amounts of talking One step in recognizing a virtue is distinguishing it from vices of excess and deficiency. This is why virtues are sometimes described as “golden means.” They’re goldilocks dispositions — neither too much, nor too little, but just the right amount. So, for example, consider the virtue of hope. Too […]