Current Theme | May 2024

What Has God Wrought?

Artificial Intelligence and Our Brave New World

1440. 1844. 1991. 2022. These years mark technological developments so seismic that they forever changed history: the movable type printing press, the telegraph that declared “What Hath God Wrought?,” the introduction of the internet, and now user-friendly artificial intelligence. On November 30, 2022, ChatGPT went live, and in just a short time this AI chatbot had over 100 millions users. But where did this technology come from, what will it do to our perception of what is true, good, and beautiful? How will it affect our very humanity, as well as our view of deity? Truly—what has God wrought? This month we take a critical look at this world-transforming invention and how Christians should think about its place in God’s World.

Themes

He is risen! He is risen indeed! Every spring we at Christ Over All set our gaze to Calvary. We look to the pinnacle of human history--the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord. But this year we set our gaze from four unique vantage points: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. By paying close attention to each author's particular view of Christ's passion, our awe rises as our faith deepens. So this April, behold the man--the God-man--who lived, died, and rose again to bring us to God.
View Theme

Confessions of faith have fallen on hard times. Some say that they are too restrictive or unnecessarily divisive. But the orthodox, the Protestants, and the Baptists—to name our theological forebears—have always affirmed their faith with written statements. For this is how assemblies guard their life and doctrine, and how cooperating churches do ministry together. So, this month, we explore the role of confessions in the life of the church, and we hone in on the Southern Baptist Convention to consider the Law Amendment and its implications for the future of this denomination. In doing so, we hope to help Baptists, as well as non-Baptists, to see how confessions are a bulwark to unity and cooperation.
View Theme

Everything is theological. That is, everything finds its meaning by comparison to the Word (logos) that God (theos) has spoken. Still, not every theological system gets it right, and the problem is usually found in the foundation. The method of doing theology determines whether your theological foundation will withstand the storms, the wind, and the floods. So theological foundations are vital, but so is faithful construction. This is what various kinds of theology (historical, philosophical, systematic, biblical, and pastoral) seek to do. And this month, in conjunction with the launch of Stephen Wellum’s Systematic Theology, we plan to offer a vision of doing theology that is by the book.
View Theme

The people of Israel are central to God’s redemptive story. But confusion abounds. Who are the people of Israel today? Are they the citizens of the nation-state of Israel? Or are they the followers of the Messiah? If the former, are they in covenant with God? And if the latter, how should Christians form foreign policy related to Israel and the Middle East? Thinking about the nation-state of Israel raises many questions for world citizens and for students of the Word. For instance, what does the reconstitution of Israel in 1948 say about biblical prophecy? Anything? Is it an eschatological marker? Or simply the evidence of God’s providential work among nations? And how might a Biblical Theology of the Holy Land help us answer such a loaded question? These questions and more will fill the month of January as we move from Holy Scripture to the horrors of Hamas and the ongoing place of Israel in the world. Join us, as we seek the peace of Jerusalem, according to the whole canon of Scripture.
View Theme

Now for something completely different: A Christmas Medley. In place of our monthly rhythm of focusing on a specific theme, December is something like a free-for-all. That is to say, instead of focusing on one topic, we’ll be addressing about a dozen. From woke religion to cheap forgiveness, from remembering Francis Schaeffer to understanding The Great Society, and from focusing on worldview to celebrating the Word made flesh (Advent), we will celebrate the season with more than twelve days of Christmas. We said at our founding that if Christ reigns over it, we will write on it. This month, as we hear from a number of new writers and old friends, we continue to make good on that promise. May these assorted articles build up your faith during this Advent season. Merry Christmas!
View Theme

We aimed to lighten the mood in October by asking 'just one more question’ about the heated debate on Christian Nationalism. This month returns to Christ Over All’s regularly scheduled programming of essays and articles supplemented by podcasts. We will analyze the arguments we heard about Christian Nationalism and put forward a constructive approach to biblical nationhood in response. Without being exhaustive, we hope to articulate a Baptist vision for church and state, one that aids the Christian Nationalism(s) debate. We long to see Christ’s light shine in this nation and all nations, and we will consider what Scripture says to us about that endeavor.
View Theme

The term “Christian Nationalism” exploded onto the scene in 2021. But what exactly is it? Taking our cues from the unassuming 1970s detective, Columbo, Christ Over All will ask “Just one more thing.” Through more than a dozen podcasts, and a few longform essays, we plan to interview the usual suspects—those in favor of Christian Nationalism, those who oppose it, and those who are expert witnesses of church history. In November, we will give our constructive analysis. But for this month, we hope to offer good-faith discussions from multiple positions, so that we can compare the competing views of various authors, historians, pastors, and public theologians. Getting the facts of the case will help us all better understand the various forms of Christian Nationalism today.
View Theme

When Peter Gentry and Stephen Wellum wrote Kingdom through Covenant (2012), they introduced an approach to the Bible that stands between Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism. Without attempting to create something novel or merely balancing two competing theologies, Progressive Covenantalism holds forth a rigorously, exegetical approach to the Bible—one that reads Scripture on its own terms, so that each covenant relates to and results in God’s kingdom coming by means of Christ’s new covenant. This month, join us as we discover how God has established his kingdom through a series of covenants that bring us to Jesus Christ—who is Lord over all!
View Theme

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. With those thrilling words, the Bible begins. Everything else in space and time, history and salvation, creation and covenant, unfolds from God’s very good creation. Indeed, even as Adam’s fall into sin requires the promise and provision of a Redeemer (Gen. 3:15), the whole Bible and the Christian faith stand on the cornerstone of God’s work in Genesis 1–11. For Christians, if we get these chapters right, it leads to life and sound doctrine. But if we get them wrong, it invites all kinds of problems—biblical, theological, ethical, and scientific. Recognizing this fact, during the month of August we consider the literary and theological truths contained in Genesis 1–11. From exegetical analysis to theological inquiry, and from creation science to ethical application, this month will help Christians understand these chapters and their import for God’s Word and God’s world.
View Theme

The term “Civil Rights” may evoke images of Martin Luther King Jr. preaching, lunch counter sit-ins, and protest marches. From the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955–56 to the Lincoln Memorial “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963, this era resulted in the landmark Civil Rights Act, passed on July 2, 1964. Signed into law by President Johnson (see this month's cover), this Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination on the basis of "race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or age." Positively, this legislation reversed laws fashioned to discriminate against blacks; it also gave all Americans equal protections under the law. Yet, it did more. It effectively wrote a second constitution that gave the federal government power to coerce association with the force of law. Add in the various agencies and programs created by this Civil Rights Act, and two Americas have been fostered since the 1960s. For all the good the Civil Rights Movement did to rectify wrongs, it instituted others. And this month, we are going to consider these cross currents, and how the church committed to the cross of Christ can respond today with wisdom to the rights and the wrongs of the Civil Rights Movement.
View Theme

What do churches that affirm the LGBTQ lifestyle, celebrate God as mother, and host drag queen performances have in common? They are not remotely Christian. While they may identify as “liberal” or “progressive” Christians, they are so far from the core of Christianity that they are altogether a “different religion.” This conclusion is the key insight of J. Gresham Machen in Christianity and Liberalism, a book that celebrates its one hundredth anniversary this year in 2023. While the presenting issues looked different a century ago, the core was the same: Liberal Christianity proclaims a toxic view of doctrine, God, man, the Bible, Christ, Salvation, and the Church. Our Lord reminded us that “the tree is known by its fruit” (Matt. 12:33). This month, we aim to retrieve Machen’s chapter-by-chapter insights to equip a new generation of Christians to discern truth from error.
View Theme

From calls to dismantle the “Western-prescribed nuclear family structure” to the president claiming “our nation’s children are all our children,” it is clear that many see the family as a threat—a Lego structure to be broken apart. But our goal this month is to piece together a positive vision for the family. As confessional Baptists, we want to consider this question in particular: “How do you raise children who are not yet in the new covenant?” And what changes when they are born again? This month, we seek to address this question along with a host of others—how do parenting, discipline, and technology fit together, how do grandparents support their grandkids, what role do singles play in the Christian family, and what right does the government have in the home. The truth is: a holy family is a beautiful structure. And in spite of a government that wants to tear it down, God’s good design will endure—but only if we know what it is and how to cultivate it, brick by brick.
View Theme

The hinge of human history is a man—the man, Jesus Christ. Suspended between heaven and earth, the God-man took hold of the cosmos and turned the world upside down with his death and resurrection. But why? Who is this man, and why did he have to die? Why was his tomb empty on the third day, and what do these things mean—both then and now? In April, we plan to “behold the man”—as we explore the weight of Christ's perfect life, vicarious death, and glorious resurrection.
View Theme

As pragmatic commitments lead the twenty-first century church to rebuild itself in novel ways, we want to recover what Scripture says about men, women, and the office of pastor. While women assuming the pastoral office is not new, it is not supported by a careful reading of Scripture. For some, the office of pastor is like a toy—a beachball that can be passed between men and women alike. But when we disobey the One who made us, we bring a wrecking ball to the household of God. Therefore, with our eyes fixed on his Word, we will take the month of March to examine God’s good design for men and women in church and to show why the pulpit is reserved for biblically qualified men.
View Theme

Love has been taken captive. Like a prisoner reading a prepared statement under threat, love has been misused to justify anything from child mutilation, LGBTQ practice, and euthanasia, to name a few. Beyond this, slogans surround us that promise “love is love,” and “all you need is love.” This month we examine genuine love of neighbor, along with the false parody of it. And we do this anchored in the greatest love mankind has ever known.
View Theme

January 22, 2023 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, only that court decision didn’t make fifty years. Hallelujah!! Rather, in answer to five decades of prayer and perspiration, the Lord granted America a Jubilee from the court decision which opened abortion on demand to all fifty states. Now, after the Dobbs decision, abortion remains a blood sacrament in our country, but its access is slipping. Or it could be, if we can continue to pray, work, and plan for its demise. To that end, we will offer a series of biblical, ethical, legal, and practical reflections on abortion this month. May God end this scourge in our generation!
View Theme

Christ is the reason for the season, and during Advent we will turn our attention to more than a dozen biblical and theological reflections on the glory of Christ Incarnate. Christmas is not just a season to give gifts; it is a season to ponder the unfathomable gift of God become man. In this theme, we will put the spotlight on Christ and marvel at the reality of the Incarnation.
View Theme

We ponder the past to decipher the present. For the last one hundred years, evangelicals in America have been defining and redefining themselves. Whether from Scripture, or against society, or by combining Christ and culture, various strands in evangelicalism have emerged. Without being exhaustive, we will consider the last one hundred years in order to help modern “evangelicals” stand in the truth and proclaim the whole counsel of God in the present.
View Theme

In 1981 Crossway published Francis Schaeffer’s A Christian Manifesto. In his analysis of church and culture, Schaeffer brought a word of prophetic warning to a church threatened by the rising tide of statism, or encroaching government control. Four decades later many of his concerns have been validated, and we will listen to and reflect upon this critical work.
View Theme

Who are we? Why are we here? And what are we doing with this ministry? In the our first month, the founders of Christ Over All will look at the theme of Christ’s Lordship and how everything in creation, the church, and culture are impacted by his sovereign rule.
View Theme

Themes

September 2022
Who are we? Why are we here? And what are we doing with this ministry? In the our first month, the founders of Christ Over All will look at the theme of Christ’s Lordship and how everything in creation, the church, and culture are impacted by his sovereign rule.
October 2022
In 1981 Crossway published Francis Schaeffer’s A Christian Manifesto. In his analysis of church and culture, Schaeffer brought a word of prophetic warning to a church threatened by the rising tide of statism, or encroaching government control. Four decades later many of his concerns have been validated, and we will listen to and reflect upon this critical work.
November 2022
We ponder the past to decipher the present. For the last one hundred years, evangelicals in America have been defining and redefining themselves. Whether from Scripture, or against society, or by combining Christ and culture, various strands in evangelicalism have emerged. Without being exhaustive, we will consider the last one hundred years in order to help modern “evangelicals” stand in the truth and proclaim the whole counsel of God in the present.
December 2022
Christ is the reason for the season, and during Advent we will turn our attention to more than a dozen biblical and theological reflections on the glory of Christ Incarnate. Christmas is not just a season to give gifts; it is a season to ponder the unfathomable gift of God become man. In this theme, we will put the spotlight on Christ and marvel at the reality of the Incarnation.
January 2023
January 22, 2023 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, only that court decision didn’t make fifty years. Hallelujah!! Rather, in answer to five decades of prayer and perspiration, the Lord granted America a Jubilee from the court decision which opened abortion on demand to all fifty states. Now, after the Dobbs decision, abortion remains a blood sacrament in our country, but its access is slipping. Or it could be, if we can continue to pray, work, and plan for its demise. To that end, we will offer a series of biblical, ethical, legal, and practical reflections on abortion this month. May God end this scourge in our generation!
February 2023
Love has been taken captive. Like a prisoner reading a prepared statement under threat, love has been misused to justify anything from child mutilation, LGBTQ practice, and euthanasia, to name a few. Beyond this, slogans surround us that promise “love is love,” and “all you need is love.” This month we examine genuine love of neighbor, along with the false parody of it. And we do this anchored in the greatest love mankind has ever known.
March 2023
As pragmatic commitments lead the twenty-first century church to rebuild itself in novel ways, we want to recover what Scripture says about men, women, and the office of pastor. While women assuming the pastoral office is not new, it is not supported by a careful reading of Scripture. For some, the office of pastor is like a toy—a beachball that can be passed between men and women alike. But when we disobey the One who made us, we bring a wrecking ball to the household of God. Therefore, with our eyes fixed on his Word, we will take the month of March to examine God’s good design for men and women in church and to show why the pulpit is reserved for biblically qualified men.
April 2023
The hinge of human history is a man—the man, Jesus Christ. Suspended between heaven and earth, the God-man took hold of the cosmos and turned the world upside down with his death and resurrection. But why? Who is this man, and why did he have to die? Why was his tomb empty on the third day, and what do these things mean—both then and now? In April, we plan to “behold the man”—as we explore the weight of Christ's perfect life, vicarious death, and glorious resurrection.
May 2023
From calls to dismantle the “Western-prescribed nuclear family structure” to the president claiming “our nation’s children are all our children,” it is clear that many see the family as a threat—a Lego structure to be broken apart. But our goal this month is to piece together a positive vision for the family. As confessional Baptists, we want to consider this question in particular: “How do you raise children who are not yet in the new covenant?” And what changes when they are born again? This month, we seek to address this question along with a host of others—how do parenting, discipline, and technology fit together, how do grandparents support their grandkids, what role do singles play in the Christian family, and what right does the government have in the home. The truth is: a holy family is a beautiful structure. And in spite of a government that wants to tear it down, God’s good design will endure—but only if we know what it is and how to cultivate it, brick by brick.
Macintosh HD:Users:kevinmcclure:Dropbox:Article Submissions:2023-06 June - Machen's Christianity and Liberalism (Due Apr 3rd):2023–06 Pictures for Resources:June 2023 – Machen's Christianity and Liberalism at 100 Years.png
June 2023
What do churches that affirm the LGBTQ lifestyle, celebrate God as mother, and host drag queen performances have in common? They are not remotely Christian. While they may identify as “liberal” or “progressive” Christians, they are so far from the core of Christianity that they are altogether a “different religion.” This conclusion is the key insight of J. Gresham Machen in Christianity and Liberalism, a book that celebrates its one hundredth anniversary this year in 2023. While the presenting issues looked different a century ago, the core was the same: Liberal Christianity proclaims a toxic view of doctrine, God, man, the Bible, Christ, Salvation, and the Church. Our Lord reminded us that “the tree is known by its fruit” (Matt. 12:33). This month, we aim to retrieve Machen’s chapter-by-chapter insights to equip a new generation of Christians to discern truth from error.
July 2023
The term “Civil Rights” may evoke images of Martin Luther King Jr. preaching, lunch counter sit-ins, and protest marches. From the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955–56 to the Lincoln Memorial “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963, this era resulted in the landmark Civil Rights Act, passed on July 2, 1964. Signed into law by President Johnson (see this month's cover), this Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination on the basis of "race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or age." Positively, this legislation reversed laws fashioned to discriminate against blacks; it also gave all Americans equal protections under the law. Yet, it did more. It effectively wrote a second constitution that gave the federal government power to coerce association with the force of law. Add in the various agencies and programs created by this Civil Rights Act, and two Americas have been fostered since the 1960s. For all the good the Civil Rights Movement did to rectify wrongs, it instituted others. And this month, we are going to consider these cross currents, and how the church committed to the cross of Christ can respond today with wisdom to the rights and the wrongs of the Civil Rights Movement.
August 2023
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. With those thrilling words, the Bible begins. Everything else in space and time, history and salvation, creation and covenant, unfolds from God’s very good creation. Indeed, even as Adam’s fall into sin requires the promise and provision of a Redeemer (Gen. 3:15), the whole Bible and the Christian faith stand on the cornerstone of God’s work in Genesis 1–11. For Christians, if we get these chapters right, it leads to life and sound doctrine. But if we get them wrong, it invites all kinds of problems—biblical, theological, ethical, and scientific. Recognizing this fact, during the month of August we consider the literary and theological truths contained in Genesis 1–11. From exegetical analysis to theological inquiry, and from creation science to ethical application, this month will help Christians understand these chapters and their import for God’s Word and God’s world.
September 2023
When Peter Gentry and Stephen Wellum wrote Kingdom through Covenant (2012), they introduced an approach to the Bible that stands between Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism. Without attempting to create something novel or merely balancing two competing theologies, Progressive Covenantalism holds forth a rigorously, exegetical approach to the Bible—one that reads Scripture on its own terms, so that each covenant relates to and results in God’s kingdom coming by means of Christ’s new covenant. This month, join us as we discover how God has established his kingdom through a series of covenants that bring us to Jesus Christ—who is Lord over all!
October 2023
The term “Christian Nationalism” exploded onto the scene in 2021. But what exactly is it? Taking our cues from the unassuming 1970s detective, Columbo, Christ Over All will ask “Just one more thing.” Through more than a dozen podcasts, and a few longform essays, we plan to interview the usual suspects—those in favor of Christian Nationalism, those who oppose it, and those who are expert witnesses of church history. In November, we will give our constructive analysis. But for this month, we hope to offer good-faith discussions from multiple positions, so that we can compare the competing views of various authors, historians, pastors, and public theologians. Getting the facts of the case will help us all better understand the various forms of Christian Nationalism today.
November 2023
We aimed to lighten the mood in October by asking 'just one more question’ about the heated debate on Christian Nationalism. This month returns to Christ Over All’s regularly scheduled programming of essays and articles supplemented by podcasts. We will analyze the arguments we heard about Christian Nationalism and put forward a constructive approach to biblical nationhood in response. Without being exhaustive, we hope to articulate a Baptist vision for church and state, one that aids the Christian Nationalism(s) debate. We long to see Christ’s light shine in this nation and all nations, and we will consider what Scripture says to us about that endeavor.
December 2023
Now for something completely different: A Christmas Medley. In place of our monthly rhythm of focusing on a specific theme, December is something like a free-for-all. That is to say, instead of focusing on one topic, we’ll be addressing about a dozen. From woke religion to cheap forgiveness, from remembering Francis Schaeffer to understanding The Great Society, and from focusing on worldview to celebrating the Word made flesh (Advent), we will celebrate the season with more than twelve days of Christmas. We said at our founding that if Christ reigns over it, we will write on it. This month, as we hear from a number of new writers and old friends, we continue to make good on that promise. May these assorted articles build up your faith during this Advent season. Merry Christmas!
January 2024
The people of Israel are central to God’s redemptive story. But confusion abounds. Who are the people of Israel today? Are they the citizens of the nation-state of Israel? Or are they the followers of the Messiah? If the former, are they in covenant with God? And if the latter, how should Christians form foreign policy related to Israel and the Middle East? Thinking about the nation-state of Israel raises many questions for world citizens and for students of the Word. For instance, what does the reconstitution of Israel in 1948 say about biblical prophecy? Anything? Is it an eschatological marker? Or simply the evidence of God’s providential work among nations? And how might a Biblical Theology of the Holy Land help us answer such a loaded question? These questions and more will fill the month of January as we move from Holy Scripture to the horrors of Hamas and the ongoing place of Israel in the world. Join us, as we seek the peace of Jerusalem, according to the whole canon of Scripture.
February 2024
Everything is theological. That is, everything finds its meaning by comparison to the Word (logos) that God (theos) has spoken. Still, not every theological system gets it right, and the problem is usually found in the foundation. The method of doing theology determines whether your theological foundation will withstand the storms, the wind, and the floods. So theological foundations are vital, but so is faithful construction. This is what various kinds of theology (historical, philosophical, systematic, biblical, and pastoral) seek to do. And this month, in conjunction with the launch of Stephen Wellum’s Systematic Theology, we plan to offer a vision of doing theology that is by the book.
March 2024
Confessions of faith have fallen on hard times. Some say that they are too restrictive or unnecessarily divisive. But the orthodox, the Protestants, and the Baptists—to name our theological forebears—have always affirmed their faith with written statements. For this is how assemblies guard their life and doctrine, and how cooperating churches do ministry together. So, this month, we explore the role of confessions in the life of the church, and we hone in on the Southern Baptist Convention to consider the Law Amendment and its implications for the future of this denomination. In doing so, we hope to help Baptists, as well as non-Baptists, to see how confessions are a bulwark to unity and cooperation.
April 2024
He is risen! He is risen indeed! Every spring we at Christ Over All set our gaze to Calvary. We look to the pinnacle of human history--the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord. But this year we set our gaze from four unique vantage points: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. By paying close attention to each author's particular view of Christ's passion, our awe rises as our faith deepens. So this April, behold the man--the God-man--who lived, died, and rose again to bring us to God.

Upcoming Themes

COMING March 2024
Confessions of faith have fallen on hard times. Some say that they are too restrictive or unnecessarily divisive. But the orthodox, the Protestants, and the Baptists—to name our theological forebears—have always affirmed their faith with written statements. For this is how assemblies guard their life and doctrine, and how cooperating churches do ministry together. So, this month, we explore the role of confessions in the life of the church, and we hone in on the Southern Baptist Convention to consider the Law Amendment and its implications for the future of this denomination. In doing so, we hope to help Baptists, as well as non-Baptists, to see how confessions are a bulwark to unity and cooperation.

“If Christianity is really true, then it involves the whole man … Christianity is not just ‘dogmatically’ true or ‘doctrinally’ true. Rather, it is true to what is there, true in the whole area of the whole man in all of life.”

Francis Schaeffer