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Dr. Keith Stanglin

Keith Stanglin is associate professor of Historical Theology at Austin Graduate School of Theology. Before coming to Austin Grad in 2012, he taught at Harding University for seven years. He is an alumnus of Harding School of Theology (M.Div.) in Memphis, Tennessee, and of Calvin Theological Seminary (Ph.D.) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author or editor of six books, and he has published many articles in the field of historical theology. In addition to anything historical, he is interested in Arminius and Arminianism, the history of biblical interpretation, and liturgical theology. Keith is married and has three children. Email me (stanglin@austingrad.edu).
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Recent Posts

Postman Still Delivers: Amusing Ourselves to Death

Posted by Dr. Keith Stanglin on May 8, 2018 at 10:22 AM

Back in January, I had the privilege of speaking at the Northwest Expositor’s Seminar just outside of Portland, Oregon.  In addition to the main topic that I was invited to address, I was also asked to be prepared to recommend and briefly summarize a few books that are outside my field of scholarship.  In reality, almost nothing that is non-fiction is really irrelevant to a historical theologian.  But I get the idea—something not directly about church history or Christian theology.  

In fact, I quite enjoyed the preparation and came ready to talk about some of my favorite books.  Sadly, and for no apparent reason, I became violently ill and was prevented from speaking for only that one session.  The next day, after my recovery, I even offered to abbreviate my final session in order to make room for some book recommendations, but no one took me up on the offer.  So here I provide something that I would not have done in the limited time I had there—a selective summary of and then brief riff on themes related to Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business(1985).

(If you have never read this book, please, don’t delay, open a new browser window right now and go purchase this book.  Then come back and continue reading.)

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Topics: Technology, Neil Postman, Television, Amusing Ourselves to Death, Brave New World

More Effective Ministry

Posted by Dr. Keith Stanglin on April 5, 2018 at 9:17 AM

I was recently intrigued by a student who shared with me his primary reason for coming to study at Austin Graduate School of Theology.  While heavily involved in prison ministry, he found himself on the receiving end of questions that he had a hard time answering.  And these inquisitive prisoners, who had quite a bit of free time on their hands for reading and contemplating, asked some tough questions. The prison minister admitted that he was getting tired of saying, “I’ll get back with you on that one,” and he sensed a little frustration from the prisoners who also noticed this continuing refrain.  He acknowledged that he needed to be better equipped if he was going to benefit these men.  But who is there to answer the minister’s questions?

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Topics: Teaching Moment, Seminary, Effective Ministry

Philosophy of Religion

Posted by Dr. Keith Stanglin on March 8, 2018 at 9:43 AM

Aristotle began his Metaphysics with the observation that people first began to philosophize out of wonder or marveling (thaumazein). 

On those rare occasions that we late modern folks find an opportunity to contemplate things away from the noise, screens, and other distractions, we, too, might experience that same ineffable sense of wonder that motivated the ancient philosophers.  We may find that the universe presents itself to us as a question.  Even when we are confident about its answer (namely, God), the solution itself may raise other questions or puzzles.

Although questions of these sorts can be addressed in any theological discipline, the discipline of philosophy of religion  is especially suited for such questions.  

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Topics: About Austin Grad, Philosophy of Religion

How Bad Was Martin Luther?

Posted by Dr. Keith Stanglin on February 27, 2018 at 11:18 AM

In my Church History (late medieval to modern) lectures this semester, I recently finished the unit on Martin Luther and the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation.  While teaching about Luther, I was reminded of the many commemorations that took place last year on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the 95 Theses (October 31, 1517).  It seems that nearly everyone interested in church history, including yours truly, was obliged to comment on the legacy of Luther and the Reformation. 

One of the overarching themes in many of the contributions, Roman Catholic and Protestant alike, was the tragedy of the schism, which was also my point of departure in a previous blog post.  Not surprisingly, the assessments of Luther were varied across the range of bloggers and columnists.  What did surprise me, however, was how unjustly dismissive and even contemptuous some writers were toward Luther.

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Topics: Reformation Day, Protestant, Scatological, Martin Luther

No Other Gods

Posted by Dr. Keith Stanglin on February 10, 2018 at 12:44 PM

As Dr. Peterson mentioned last week, we will be working through the 10 Commandments, or 10 Words, this semester in chapel.  He introduced the topic last week, and it is now my task to begin with the first commandment.  The initial challenge we face, though, is where exactly the first commandment or word starts and ends.  You may have noticed this already, but they are not numbered for us.  Later in Exodus and Deuteronomy, the writers refer back to these “10 Words” or Decalogue (Ex. 34:28; Deut. 4:13; 10:4), but they don’t enumerate them for us.  Depending on which of at least three different numbering systems you choose, you could come up with 13 words.  But, since the text says there are ten, and “Triskaidecalogue” just doesn’t sound right anyway, we’ll stick with ten.  But, again, which ten?  And what are the parameters of the first?

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Topics: 10 Commandments, 10 Words, Other gods

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