Welcome to the personal blog of Dr. Jay Givens, Professor of Theological Studies, Wayland Baptist University, Plainview, TX.
Latest Blog Entries

The Peace of Divine Purpose (Advent 2022)

How do we find peace in the midst of difficult times and periods of suffering? Can we trust God that he has a plan in uncertain times? This is the story of Jesus’ birth and childhood. (A reflection written for WBU’s 2022 Advent devotional.)

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Christian Reflections on the Taoist Way of Water

For the Taoist, we should strive to live in line with the Tao, the Way of the universe. For the Taoist, the power of yielding water is the way we should structure our lives. What is the Taoist concept of power as yielding water? For Christians, is this not a description of the way of…

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Marking the Trail

We are set apart for a special purpose, to live a life that leads others to glorify God and to point the way toward the one who is the Way. Quick observations from a hike.

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Creation Cries Out

As wars ravage the land, creation groans awaiting liberation by the Sons of God. Who are these Sons of God? What should their occupation be and how does that relate to creation?

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What is Orthopistis?

“Right faith” or “Proper Allegiance”

Jesus entering Jerusalem (Ethiopic icon)
Jesus entering Jerusalem. Icon in the Holy Trinity Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Minneapolis, MN
Too often, Christians emphasize orthodoxy (literally “right worship,” but usually defined as “right thoughts”) to the extent that Christianity becomes a checklist of mental assents disconnected from ethical living. To counter this tendency, others assert orthopraxis (“right actions”) over orthodoxy, but how do we determine what the right acts are?
Instead, I believe the New Testament emphasizes orthopistis, that is, right faith or proper allegiance to Christ. A focus on orthopistis will reform our thoughts and reorient our actions, though this reformation/reorientation is a lifelong process.


Many of this site’s blog posts are summaries of sermons. Often, there is a video and/or audio link to the sermon if you are interested in more than the summary.

Before the sermon in a Kenyan Baptist worship service.
Worship in Baptist church in Kenya


Thoughts about the Christian life and faith, religion, and culture.

Nebi Shu’ayb (Tomb of Jethro according to Druze tradition) outside Tiberias, Israel

About Dr. Givens

Learn more about Dr. Givens. While he teaches at Wayland Baptist University, the views expressed in this blog are his alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the university.

At the tomb of the Bab in Haifa, Israel

Dr. Givens is available to preach or lead a study in your church, serve as an interim minister, or speak to your college or service organization. For more information, please contact him.