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Prosperity Preaching and the Stockdale Paradox

In his 2009 book The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life, Ben Sherwood describes an intriguing phenomenon known as the Stockdale Paradox (after Admiral James Stockdale, the highest-ranking P.O.W. of the Vietnam War), which suggests a counterintuitive link between optimism and survival: When [interviewer Jim Collins] asked Stockdale to explain which American prisoners did not survive captivity in Vietnam, the admiral replied, “Oh, that’s easy. The optimists.”

Blog Post | Theology | Derek White | June 10, 2010

See, the Lord Ascends in Triumph

St. Leo the Great on the glorification of our humanity in Christ's ascension:

Blog Post | Theology | Derek White | May 13, 2010

Awake, O Sleeper

From an ancient homily (ca. fourth century), attributed in some traditions to Epiphanius of Constantia: Something strange is happening. There is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the king is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh, and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

Blog Post | Theology | Derek White | April 2, 2010

The Annunciation of Our Lord

Today marks the Feast of the Annunciation in the Church’s liturgical calendar (exactly nine months before Christmas), which means we get to dust off one of my favorite Advent hymns, “The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came.”  If you’ve never before heard this haunting Basque carol (sung below by the world-famous King’s College Choir), take a couple of minutes to listen:

Blog Post | Theology | Derek White | March 25, 2009

What Calendars Reveal about Culture

[S]tudying calendars is a way to understand cultures. Not only are they necessary for basic survival—if you plant either before the last frost or too late after it you’ll starve—but calendars are also ways societies mark their priorities and organize their memories. “Christendom” was very much Christian, and the calendar made that pretty clear.

Blog Post | Christianity & Culture | Derek White | January 1, 2009

Let It Be to Me According to Your Word

Martin Luther on the oft-overlooked "third miracle" of the Annunciation:

Blog Post | Theology | Derek White | December 23, 2008

The Irrelevance of Relevance

Southern Baptist leaders have identified a correlation between their use of culturally relevant worship forms and the numerical growth of their congregations--though not, perhaps, the correlation you'd expect.  The Christian Post reports:

Blog Post | Theology | Derek White | May 22, 2008

See, the Lord Ascends in Triumph

St. Leo the Great on the glorification of our humanity in Christ's ascension:

Blog Post | Theology | Derek White | May 1, 2008

Trampling Death Underfoot

A resurrection apologetic from St. Athanasius (De Incarnatione, Chapter 5):

Blog Post | Theology | Derek White | March 24, 2008

When You Woke That Thursday Morning

When You woke that Thursday morning,Savior, teacher, faithful friend,Thoughts of self and safety scorning,Knowing how the day would end;Lamb of God, foretold for ages,Now at last the hour had comeWhen but One could pay sin's wages;You assumed their dreadful sum. Never so alone and lonely,Longing with tormented heartTo be with Your dear and onlyFor a quiet hour apart;Sinless Lamb and fallen creature,One last paschal meal to eat,One last lesson as their teacher,Washing Your disciples feet.

Blog Post | Theology | Derek White | March 20, 2008