Nuts and Bolts 012: Kenosis


In the “Nuts and Bolts” series, I lay out some of the fundamental ideas and terms used in philosophy and theology for the lay person.

This time I’m looking at kenosis (also referred to less elegantly as kenoticism). Unfortunately, this is one of those terms which in some contexts generates more heat than light. If you search the internet for the term it’s likely that some of the first results you’ll find are extreme statements about the “heresy of kenosis.” Today I found one gem, for example, which claims that “The doctrinal heresy known as Kenoticism originated in the nineteenth century by the German theologians.”

Kenosis, however, is neither heretical nor German, and certainly did not arise in the nineteenth century, even though some nineteenth century German theologians may have formulated the idea in ways that others had not. Far from being an invention of modern Europe, kenosis has a long history in Eastern Orthodox Christianity, a significant branch of the church that many moderns are frankly ignorant of (moderns often including myself). Continue reading “Nuts and Bolts 012: Kenosis”

Deal Breakers and Christian Essentials


Lately I’ve been seeing some pretty unpleasant discussions at blogs where Christians have been positioning themselves in opposition to other Christians because those other Christians didn’t hold some doctrine that was essential to the faith, or else they did hold it, but they didn’t regard it as essential to the Christian faith. The example I have in mind is the rough treatment that William Lane Craig has received for not holding that an Augustinian take on original sin was essential to Christianity (even though he seemed, in that discussion, to think that something like it was still true). Think about that term: “Essential to the Christian faith.” Essential. Necessary. You can’t have Christian faith without it. Required. Continue reading “Deal Breakers and Christian Essentials”

Episode 034: On Original Sin


Time to go to Sunday School. I was prompted to write this one just because the doctrine of original sin is one that I have never personally heard a sermon on in all the churches that I have attended. Now that’s not to say that these churches reject the idea, but it does mean that for a lot of Christians, they haven’t been directly taught about it. I don’t want to presume to teach people stuff they already know, but at the same time I thought it couldn’t hurt to do my part to make sure that Christians actually understand their theological heritage. So here’s my take on the doctrine of original sin.



Episode 023: Imagine There’s No Heaven


Is Christian hope all about going to heaven, rather than you-know-where?

Here it is, the first podcast episode for 2009, complete with my summer hay fever voice! Kicking things off for the year is a discussion of what lies beyond the grave. The resurrection of the dead is the hope of the New Testament for our eternal life, yet popular Christian theology has come to place a lot of weight on the hope of going to heaven when you die. Short story: It has to stop and we need to adjust our focus.

Glenn Peoples


Episode 018: Athanasius, Atonement and Annihilation


Here it is, Episode 18. Here I draw on the work of the fourth century bishop of Alexandria, Athanasius. His work called The Incarnation of the Word is my all-time favourite work from the Church Fathers, and I think it gives us excellent theological reasons for adopting annihilationism. Along the way, it invites a theological storm over what it meant for Christ to become subject to death as one of us.

As always, comments are more than welcome.


Episode 007: The Hell series crashes and burns, finally


hell2And here it is, episode 7, the final part in the three part series on hell. This is the longest episode that I have ever done, and it is the longest I ever plan on doing. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to become a pattern, but I wasn’t about to do a fourth part, so I had to fit everything into this one.

As always, your comments and questions are welcome. Drop me a line – You can even send your comment or question as an audio clip, and I’ll play it on the show.

Episode 006: Hell, part 2 – Tradition Strikes Back!


hellHere’s part 2 on my series on hell. In this episode, I look at some key arguments against annihilationism and for the doctrine of eternal torment, and why those arguments fail.

As this episode ended up being longer than expected (there are plenty of bad arguments to cover!), I’ve decided to present a third episode in this series, where I will cover the remainder of the main arguments for the traditional view. But at least this time I managed to squeeze in my regular “This Week in History” segment.

The next episode will be a little shorter.

Episode 005: It’s one Hell of an episode!


hell2We’ve made it to five episodes! This one is part one of a biblical and theological (mostly biblical) discussion about hell, the doctrine of eternal punishment in Christian theology. It’s a two part presentation. In this part, I present my position on the subject, a view called annihilationism. In the next show I’ll be looking at argument against my view and in favour of a more traditional view of hell as a place of the eternal torment of the damned.

As I promised in the Episode, here’s a list of some prominent Christian thinkers who hold (or held – some of them are dead) to an annihilationist point of view:

  • John Stott
  • Michael Green
  • Clark Pinnock
  • Philip Edgecumbe Hughes
  • John Wenham
  • Dale Moody
  • Edward Fudge
  • Graham Scroggie
  • Edward White
  • Basil Atkinson
  • E. Earle Ellis
  • Homer Hailey

That’s what I came up with in 2 minutes. Now, come on in, the water’s lovely!

EDIT: Here are parts two and three.