Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy Birthday THEOparadox!

It's been one year since THEOparadox first launched with the post, "What is THEOparadox?" Since that time, there have been almost 120 posts added. Here are some of the highlights from the year:

The Hardening of Pharaoh's Heart (2 Parts)
The Relationship Between Divine and Human Goodness (4 Parts)
Repentance and Amazing Grace in Psalm 32 (15 Parts)
The Impossible Sayings of Jesus (10 Parts)
You Must Be Born Again (3 Parts)
..... The Rich Young Ruler (3 Parts)
..... (I'll finish it at some point, but I'm a slow reader, so please be patient)
We followed (and participated in) some controversies about theological paradox
We articulated a theology and philosophy of paradox
We distanced ourselves from false forms of theological paradox
We defined our terms
We offered up 8 "PARADOX FILES" as examples of the basic thesis behind the blog
We formed a team of 4 like-hearted (if not always like-minded) members.

And we had a little Reformed fun, too . . .

I want to extend a hearty thanks to the following people, each of whom has significantly contributed to this blog in some way . . .

My Precious Wife (the AMAZING woman!) - for putting up with late-night study sessions when I just can't let go of those tricky theological questions, and for helping me stay focused and God-centered. And for her forgiveness. LOTS and LOTS of forgiveness.
Dr. Chris DeVidal (who is not a "real" doctor and who no longer blogs, unfortunately) - because he's one of my best friends, a godly example, a good thinker, and a challenging "hold-you-accountable" kind of brother in Christ. And he loves his wife. (his blog is still available for viewing, and the old articles are still really good).
Pastor Craig Bowen of Lakeside Community Church - for being a true disciple-maker, a fearless preacher of the Word, a faithful example and a brother in Christ.
Tony Hayling of "Agonizomai"- for his friendship and lots of great discussions (when you suggested I write a blog, did you ever think it would come to this? Me, either).
Barry Wallace of "Who Am I?" - for his friendship and TONS of encouragement.
Dr. John Piper - for loads of great sermons that help me remember how wondrously great God is!
Dr. Curt Daniel - for helping me to understand historic Calvinism in its beautiful balance (his 75 lectures are super and well worth your time - trust me on that).
David Ponter of "Calvin & Calvinism" - for helping me better understand the strengths of the moderate wing in Reformed theology.
Dr. James Anderson - for brilliantly laying out the historical and philosophical case for theological paradox (you may want to check out his blog).
Phil Johnson of Pyromaniacs - for a brief, but very helpful, conversation about theological paradox. And a pride-bashing, grace-empowered sermon. I'm still chewing on that!
My Dear Daughter (a.k.a. GirlWhomGODloves) - for her excellent and insightful guest articles.

Finally, I'd like to thank everyone who has linked to this site, re-published THEOparadox articles, commented on the posts, faithfully followed the progress of this blog, or simply stopped by on occasion. I pray the God of all grace will meet you powerfully in His boundless love and mercy through what you have found here - and that His glorious truth may always renew our minds so that we are conformed to the image of His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

For God and the Gospel!

Grace & peace,
Derek Ashton


  1. Derek,

    Happy birthday to us. I congratulate ourselves even though I am the one who has never written an article here, and who is wearing the very bad disguise (hat and sunglasses, along with the fake? beard) in the group photo.

    But it is in all humility that I point out how exceedingly and greatly right I was to urge you to blog. Blogdom is truly blessed by your contributions

    While Agonizomai attempts to blunder through with sheer volume you and the other actual contributors here have managed to outshine with careful, gracious and well reasoned articles, and a openness to others which is a credit to the grace of God in you.

    Long may you blog. I look forward to the continued success of TheoParadox, aided and made more sure by my unaltered level of written participation in the future.

    Party a Christian way of course.

    Many happy returns,


  2. Tony,

    I'm thankful that you convinced Derek to blog, too. You and Derek both have encouraged me with your God-centered, Bible-soaked thinking and writing. You've both encouraged me.


    Happy blog birthday! My birthday wish is that your influence would be extended to more and more readers, but not in any self-aggrandizing way. May we all decrease, so that Christ may increase!

  3. Tony,

    Is it a fake beard? That wasn't my doing (at least not this time). The (fake) beard, hat and sunglasses add a cool and mysterious element to our team photo.

    We seem to have an equal appreciation for one another's work. I like yours better than mine, and you are complimentary to me and too tough on yourself.

    In actuality, I owe a great deal to you. Although you refuse to post even one article here, you are responsible, directly or indirectly, for many of the thoughts represented (even some of the ones you disagree with, ironically). You've helped me sort through some rather challenging aspects of theology, and also given me some good practical advice. But I already said thank you in the post, so I won't go on and on about it here (although I could).


  4. Well, I guess you both have REALLY REALLY encouraged me, since I inadvertently said it twice!

  5. Barry,

    Amen, my friend. Let's all help each other to keep Christ in the forefront and our own personalities as mere reflectors of Him. I'm counting on you to hold my feet to the fire, 'cause I can get squirrelly sometimes!

    Let's make sure we blog for God's glory or quit. Those are the only wise choices.

    Thanks again for all your help and encouragement.

    Grace & peace,


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