My Theological Essays


I’m putting up my essays for posterity and in case any are helpful to those seeking more information on their pertinent topics.

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TCT1010E Christian Theology 1: Introduction to Theology and Doctrine of God (grade: B-, 9.6)

Jurgen Moltmann’s ‘The Trinity & The Kingdom’ Review – I review his lengthy book musing on various views of how the Trinity functions. Not an easy task deciphering his thoughts, especially as he’s a German theologian being translated into English! In particular, he affirms a controversial view that all believers (and even all creation!) will join with the Trinity to become part of God. Although he says he denies pantheism, he already seems to support panentheism as the current state of affairs – so really what else is there in further joining to God than straight-up pantheism?

Grade received: B-

Christopher Ash’s ‘Bible Delight: Psalm 119’ Review – A short review of a book with the full title ‘Bible Delight: Heartbeat of the Word of God: Psalm 119 for the Bible Teacher and Bible Hearer.’

Grade received: B+

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BNT1200E – An Introduction to the New Testament (grade: B, 10.2)

How John’s Gospel Portrays Jesus Christ – In which I argue using many example passages that John portrays Jesus as the very same YHWH, one true God of the Old Testament Jews. This explains why strictly monotheistic, shema-affirming Jews could worship Jesus without considering it blasphemy. I peruse quite a bit of Two Powers in Heaven and other material related to the Old Testament and Second Temple Jewish belief in an embodied, multipersonal YHWH.

High Christology in Colossians (With Divine Council Worldview) – I took this opportunity to introduce the Divine Council Worldview (as popularized by Dr Michael Heiser), where Jesus is the very same God who arises to reclaim the whole earth as per Psalm 82:8, who conquered every spiritual power and principality – as Paul mentions multiple times in Colossians. If anyone is totally unfamiliar with the concept of the Divine Council Worldview, this essay is a good primer using mainly familiar Old & New Testament passages by showing how they are linked as part of a coherent whole.

Elwell and Yarbrough’s ‘Encountering the New Testament’ Review – A short review of their introductory overview of the New Testament. I liked the explanations of geographical, cultural and historical backdrop – but their chapter on Revelation is extremely short, especially for such a long and complicated portion of the Bible!

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BGN2010E – Bible and Archaeology (grade: A, 12.0, 95 / 100)

Tall el-Hammam: Fire From Heaven – Archaeology and arguments for why this is Biblical Sodom. Lots of impressive images, and over 100 footnotes with useful links to further information. The Sodom narrative is one of the most spectacular and memorable in the Bible, and the fact that the evidence of its firey (and salty!) is still around to be dug up and archived is simply amazing. The very week before I was due to hand in the paper, a massive new scientific report was released and I rushed to add in the relevant data! Grade received: Paper A

Finding Sodom in 15 Slides (Tall el-Hammam) – Companion short Powerpoint presentation (with audio) for the above essay. Grade received: Presentation A-

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BGN1010E – Exegetical Method (grade: B+, 10.8)

Psalm 82 – Gods or Frauds? – I use four layers of context (the Psalm itself, the wider Old Testament, the surrounding and rival Ancient Near Eastern religions with their divine councils, and Jesus’ use of Psalm 82 in the New Testament) to argue for a supernatural interpretation of the elohim, bene elyon of this passage. Like my Colossians essay above, this essay is geared towards a reader who might have zero exposure to Divine Council Worldview or the plurality of elohim in the Bible. As might be expected when it comes to the Divine Council, Dr Michael Heiser is cited and referenced a lot – especially since his PhD thesis was on this very Psalm! There are over 60 footnotes with lots of useful links to more in-depth material related to this topic, including many articles by Dr Heiser (some obscure, some better known) and other Old Testament scholars. A sneak peek from the New Testament section:

Grade received: 48% (out of max 50%)

Psalm 82 – Gods or Frauds? (Original Long Version) – An extended version of the above, before I drastically cut down the number of words to somewhat fit the wordcount target! The footnotes are roughly the same though less by An expanded version of the above table with relevant explanation:

1 Peter 3, A Trifecta of Hope in Christ I point out how various groups use parts of this passage to prooftext for things like apologetics (v15), the Harrowing of Hell (v19) or baptismal regeneration (v21)… Not that these are invalid! However, I argue that as a whole the passage is about reassuring believers to hold on to their faith despite persecution and suffering, by knowing why they can have such confidence – because Jesus Christ has overcome the three historic divine rebellions of the Fall, the precursor event to the Flood, and the division of nations to Babel (see also my essays on Colossians and Psalm 82 above). Dr Heiser has often stated that Second Temple Jews expected Messiah to reverse all three of these afflictions, but to my knowledge he hasn’t pointed out how all three rebellions are mentioned in 1 Peter 3.

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Biblical Theology (grade: B)

Biblical Theology Articles Review – A short review of David Gibson’s “Bible Overview: Parts 1-4.” / Graeme Goldsworthy’s “Lecture 1: The Necessity and Viability of Biblical Theology.” SBJT 12 (2008): 4-18. / Sidney Greidanus’ “Preaching Christ from the Old Testament.” BSac 161 (2004): 3-13. Grade received: 85 / 100


Biblical Theology Sermons Reflection – A look at a sermon on Deborah and a sermon of God’s Name, from the aspect of Biblical Theology. (The latter preached by me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=- e51wIPLLbI) Grade received: 85 / 100

Biblical Theology Sermon Transcript
– Start with a 1000-word script on the Exodus from the aspect of Biblical Theology, present it word-for-word (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80lJl8vwc_A), and then revise the transcript. This is basically the reverse of how I usually do a sermon, so it was a bit more challenging for me. Grade received: 80 / 100

Biblical Theology Sermon from the OT – Short sermon on 2 Chronicles 6:12-21, where I use different meanings of the term ‘house’ to speak on The House That God Built. With accompanying Gobbet Worksheet. Grade received: 80 / 100

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Christian Apologetics (grade: A-)

Christian Apologetics Essay 1 I chose to respond to Islam from David Wood’s Islamic Dilemma standpoint, and to Hinduism from a Divine Council Worldview standpoint. The latter was made easier by this lecturer being the same one I had already submitted my Colossians essay to the previous year.

Christian Apologetics Essay 2 With the topic selected for me ‘Evaluate the assertion that the arguments for the existence of God are like leaky buckets; and so, they hold no water’ I chose two apologetic arguments for God that, if denied by the atheist, cause their worldview to be exposed as incoherent. I started with the classic Kalam Cosmological Argument, but then moved on to Tim Stratton’s Freethinking Argument. Ever cited Terry Prachett in an essay?

Christian Apologetics Book Review A short review of the short ‘Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics’.



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Introduction to the Old Testament (grade: A-, 11.4, 91/100)

Intro to OT Essay 1 (scrapped)My first submission focused almost exclusively on the DCW aspect of the exile (repurposing a lot of the Colossians essay material), which the lecturer found too narrow and gave me the option of reworking it within a week. I did it in 4 days as per below. Grade received: N/A

Intro to OT Essay 1 (revision) The revised version which focuses more broadly on the problem that led to the exile (humans not upholding their end of the covenants) and pastoral solution (YHWH upholding it for them, but in the form of a human). Still has plenty of DCW, with some Two Powers and a lengthy Heiser quote (that I found unintentionally in that 4 day span, but which perfectly fit my theme). Note: The actual submission didn’t include the lengthy footnote citation from the Cyrus Cylinder, which I thought to add only after having submitted the revised essay. Grade received: 25 / 27

Intro to OT Essay 2 Essay on Job, where I took the opportunity (via references) to note that God omnipotent without God omnibenevolent is capricious and possibly fiendish. Ever footnoted a South Park episode in a theological essay? Grade received: 14 / 18

Intro to OT Essay 3 Torah as the foundation of the OT and NT, where I cast Jesus as the both the foundational cornerstone and the fulfilment capstone of Torah. I also repurposed some of my earlier Biblical Theology Sermon Transcript and essay on John, whereby Jesus leads the greater Exodus and is worshiped as YHWH incarnate. Grade received: 52 / 55

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Christology & Soteriology (grade: A)

Christology & Soteriology essay 1 – Not how, but that it is so. Since the essay requires me to address the Malaysian context, I worked my way towards Islam’s claim that Trinitarian Christianity is out of sync with the unitarianism of the Jews. Starting with the Fully God, Fully Man puzzle, I note how various theories about the Trinity and Incarnation arose because the New Testament does not explain how, but merely states that it is so – my reason being that Jews already accepted a multipersonal, embodied YHWH in the form of the Two Powers in Heaven doctrine but needed to be convicted that Jesus was the Second Power incarnate. Hence it is unitarian Islam that is out of sync, and furthermore in their own doctrine of ‘bila kayf’ do not explain how the Quran is eternally uncreated, merely that it is so. Grade received: 100 / 100

Christology & Soteriology essay 2Brief review of Gustaf Aulen’s Christus Victor, which I first heard of probably through Dr Heiser mentioning the concept in The Unseen Realm. I previously cited Aulen’s book in my Colossians essay. Grade received: 95 / 100

Christology & Soteriology essay 3 Focus on how Islam’s portrayal of Jesus differs from the Biblical one, especially how several titles the Quran applies to its version of Jesus are ignorant and even contradictory to Islam’s own tenets! Includes the concept of Word/Memra as divine in Jewish thought. Grade received: 90 / 100

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