Sex, Christians, and the Church: An Outline Guide Based on Scripture and Christian Tradition

This topical guide contains a plethora of relevant Biblical verses and theological teachings on the issue of sex and homosexuality.  The outline is designed with large, bold headings to provide topical summaries and enable users to locate material quickly.  My comments are printed in green type.

What is Orthodox Christianity?

Eastern Orthodoxy is often difficult to describe to those who have never attended an Orthodox parish.   This primer is a two-sided, trifold brochure intended for visitors to my parish.  It highlights some of the basic theological and liturgical elements of the faith.

Hermeneutics and the Rule of Faith: An Ancient Key to Biblical Exegesis

Interpreting an authoritative text like the Bible without an authoritative interpretation, is like trying to interpret the U.S. Constitution without a Supreme Court.  The authority of the text becomes a hollow and useless claim if there is no way to adjudicate between opposing interpretations. To paraphrase the Old Testament, when 'there are no judges in the land, everyone interprets the text according to what is right in his own eyes!'  Eastern Orthodoxy, following the early church, interprets Scripture through the lens of apostolic tradition.  This tradition was articulated in the Rule of Faith and preserved through apostolic succession.

Note:  For my videos on Islam, click on the "Videos" tab, above. 

"Tales of the Ancients":  Origins of the Quran from the Jewish Talmud

The Quran retells many of the famous stories from the Old Testament. However, the Quranic versions of these stories contain numerous twists, turns, and legends. These variations are based mostly on the Jewish Talmud—sometimes word for word—which predated the Quran by decades and, in many cases, centuries.  This essay employs source criticism and color coding to identify many of the Talmudic stories found in the Quran and in the writings of early Islamic commentators.

Islam by the Numbers: A New Global Study on Muslim Beliefs & Practices

Eight months in the making, this report provides the first global statistics on Muslim beliefs and practices as they relate to security, terrorism, and the potential threat to Western culture.  The surveys covered 1.1 billion Muslims---about two-thirds of the Muslim population based on a 2010 estimate.

Life of Muhammad:  A Descriptive Chronology Based on the Quran, Early
Muslim Biographies, and Canonical Traditions (with Glossary)

This seven page chronology includes detailed descriptions of selected events in Muhammad's life which are not normally found in a basic timeline.  A glossary of Arabic terms is appended. 

Blueprint for Terrorism:  How Muhammad's Example is Used to Justify Violence

Islam teaches that Muhammad is the ultimate exemplar (Quran 33:21).  His teachings and example are cited by Islamists as the basis for their violent behavior.  This 11x17 infographic uses material from the earliest extant biography of Muhammad, written about 125 years after his death by Ibn Ishaq (Life of Muhammad, trans. by A. Guillaume).

Are Islamists Conducting a New Jihad against the West?

The Islamic doctrine of Jihad comes to us only in bits and pieces through the media. Here is a more complete overview based on the work of a respected, Muslim, religious and legal scholar. Jihad cannot be separated from other Islamic beliefs. Since it is based directly upon the example of Muhammad, it is woven into the very fabric of Islam.

For those who are interested in the potential impact of Islam on American society, this essay clearly explains the causes and principles that motivate Islamic extremism, and how these differ from the Judeo-Christian ideals of Western democracy.  
The article also describes the threat that radical Islam poses to Western culture and draws an important distinction between Islamism as a political philosophy and peace loving Muslims who have embraced democracy.  
If you are not familiar with the political theology of Islam, or have wondered why radical Muslims hate the U.S., this article will be an eye opener (hint: it has little to do with our foreign policy).  For those who want to dig deeper, there are over 100 references embedded in the footnotes.

(companion to A Dictionary of Islam, by Thomas Patrick Hughes)

A Dictionary of Islam, by Thomas Patrick Hughes (1885), is an exposition of the traditional beliefs of  Islam, drawn primarily from the Quran and the Hadith (traditions).  Though published over 125 years ago, it remains an invaluable guide for understanding the theology, traditions, and practices which underlie Wahhabism, Salafism, Islamic jihad, and Islamic law (shariah).  The work is still in print and is also available on the web.

Many of the articles in the Dictionary are encyclopedic in length.  However, they are organized alphabetically, which is not conducive to a methodical study of Islam.  The Outline of Islam enables users of the dictionary to research the Muslim faith systematically and topically under numerous categories.  


Below is a list of my published works in Christian theology and history.  Journal articles in the New Mercersburg Review are available online (Lancaster Theological Seminary).  See also the resources from the Mercersburg Society. 

Major Works
The Interior Sense of Scripture:  The Sacred Hermeneutics of John W. Nevin (Mercer University Press, 1998).

 Annotated Index of Authors and Works of the Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene Fathers.  In The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 10: 267-399 (Hendrickson, 1994).

"The Dynamic Realism of Mercersburg Theology:  The Romantic Pursuit of the Ideal in the Actual" (Dissertation, Marquette University, 1994). Director: Patrick Carey.

Book Essays & Reviews

"Word," in Tradition and Trajectory:  The Mercersburg Movement in the 21st Century, Theodore Trost, ed. (forthcoming).

"Philip Schaff:  An Evangelical's Non-Evangelical."  Review of Cosmos in the Chaos:  Philip Schaff's Interpretation of Nineteenth-Century American Religion by Stephen R. Graham. Evangelical Studies Bulletin 13 (Summer 1996): 3-4.

"Nevin's Idealistic Philosophy," in Reformed Confessionalism in Nineteenth Century America:  Essays on the Thought of John Williamson Nevin, Arie J. Griffioen and Sam Hamstra, Jr., eds.  American Theological Library Association Monograph Series (Scarecrow Press, 1995).

Journal and Magazine Articles

“Mercersburg Now: The Present and Future of Mercersburg Theology.”  The New Mercersburg Review 27 (Fall, 2000): 4-33.

"Mercersburg and Contemporary Thought:  The Incarnation as Meta-Narrative."  The New Mercersburg Review 20 (Fall, 1996): 29-52.

"Hermeneutics and the Rule of Faith: An Ancient Key to Biblical Interpretation," Premise II (9), October 19, 1995. 

"Before Mercersburg: Nevin's Philosophy."  The New Mercersburg Review 17 (Spring, 1995): 15-24.

"Nevin & Coleridge."  The New Mercersburg Review 17 (Spring, 1995): 59-63.

Dictionary Entries (selected)

"Nevin, John Williamson," "Schaff, Philip," and "Neander, Augustus," in Biographical Dictionary of Christian Theologians, Patrick W. Carey, ed. (Greenwood Press, 2000).

"John Nevin," and "F.A. Rauch," in The Blackwell Dictionary of Evangelical Biography:  1730-1860, Donald Lewis, ed. (Basil & Blackwell, 1995).