On Kampen and Relationships

I had the privilege of being a fellow for the Advanced Theological Studies Fellowship at Kampen Theological University, the Netherlands, this past month. The premise was simple: PhD students with accepted proposals would come together and live under the same roof and research for a month, at the end of which they would present their […]

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Mid-way through: Reflections on Edinburgh

I am now in the middle of my second year in the PhD program at the University of Edinburgh, and it seems appropriate to reflect on my time here thus far. As I write, I am reminded that undertaking this track in my life is a gift, a calling, a privilege, and a blessing. Currently […]

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Theology, Sphere Sovereignty, and the University

In the past several weeks I read on the role of theology in the university – what is its function? Can theology be done in the university? In what way can theology be described as an academic discipline? What is distinctive of academic theology as opposed to ecclesial theology, and should there be a proper […]

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To blog or not to blog

It’s been a struggle to start writing on this blog again for the past month. Part of the reason is simply practical; I have presentations to prepare, reviews to write, and a chapter to finish – so my mind is pre-occupied with academic matters. If I write, the post will inevitably be one about Herman […]

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Donald Trump, the American Dream, and the Chinese-Indonesian Dream

The most disturbing thing about Donald Trump, at least to me, is not his stance on specific policies, his rhetoric on freedom or the obviously racist undertones of his speech. Rather, it is the way in which he weaves in talk of God into his political engine to pander to the ‘Christian’ voters of America. […]

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How to Apply for a PhD program

Since I’ve been getting numerous messages and emails on how to apply for PhD programs, I thought it may be useful to write up one piece on it. I realize there are way more qualified people out there to write on this topic and on academics in general (see especially Stanley Porter’s nicely written Inking the Deal), […]

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Love and Knowledge

There is a close connection between love and knowledge. To be loved and yet not to be known is terrifying. One would always doubt if the lover of one would continue in that love if he or she were to know all that there was to know of one. If he or she would just […]

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On Jakarta, Corruption, and Compromise

To anticipate a series of seminars on Work and Identity that we are to organize in Jakarta, next year, I and a friend of mine came up with this paragraph as we reflected on why such a series would be needed here: Corruption mars the political scene of Indonesia for the past five decades; the little changes […]

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How to think morally: Self, World, and Time

I have finally gotten around to read Oliver O’Donovan’s Self, World, and Time (2013)– a deceptively slim book, it’s filled with insights and, as all of O’Donovan’s works are, the argumentation is judicious, the prose dense, and the payoff is substantial. The book is an induction into moral theological thinking. It describes the basic contours of what […]

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Neo-Calvinism and a “Christian” view of philosophy: A brief survey

John Frame’s History of Western Philosophy was just published a few days ago. It is a large volume worthy of  consideration, as he tells the story of Western philosophy from a Christian perspective. This is acceptable and desirable because, in his view, theology and philosophy are closely intertwined. Both rooted in revelation, Frame argues that “Christian theology […]

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