God of the Gospel

Scott Swain’s question in The God of the Gospel: Robert Jenson’s Trinitarian Theology is about “the relationship between God’s being and God’s self-determination between the Trinity and election, between God’s unfailing character and God’s unfolding . . . . Continue Reading »

Tree of Life

OK, so it’s old, but Geoffrey O’Brien’s NYRB review of Malick’s The Tree Of Life is one of the best things I’ve come across. A few highlights. “An aroma of Freudian family romance pervades the film like a cloud of slightly acrid perfume, and Malick (who has . . . . Continue Reading »

Is Language Mysterious?

Yes, answers Charles Taylor ( Dilemmas and Connections: Selected Essays , 50-1). But how? Taylor suggests there are three facets to mystery: (1) It refers to something we cannot explain; (2) it refers to something that we cannot explain that also is “something of great depth and . . . . Continue Reading »

Tradition and the Word

Benedict XVI’s God’s Word: Scripture, Tradition, Office has some very good things to say, and some very questionable things. The good first. Christ, he emphasizes, is revelation, and the presence of revelation is the presence of Christ. Scripture presents this presence in two ways. . . . . Continue Reading »


Paul Barker’s review Carscapes: The Motor Car, Architecture, and Landscape in England in the TLS highlights the effect on the automobile on architecture and urban design. The authors “quote the historian Jack Simmons, in 1947, seeing his adoptive city, Leicester, stripped of its past in . . . . Continue Reading »

Machen on Catholicism

Machen was not one to pussyfoot about theological differences. But he also recognized the chasm that lay between Catholoicism and Protestant liberalism ( Christianity and Liberalism ): “Far more serious still is the division between the Church of Rome and evangelical Protestantism in all its . . . . Continue Reading »

Communal interpretation

In their Sanctified Vision: An Introduction to Early Christian Interpretation of the Bible , John O’Keefe and R. R. Reno make illuminating comparisons between the function of the patristic “rule of faith” and the use of hypotheses in modern science. Augustine says that whatever in . . . . Continue Reading »

Grammar of Salvation

In his contribution to A History of Biblical Interpretation, Volume 1: The Ancient Period (328), Joseph Trigg points to the grammatical origins of Irenaeus’s understanding of the rule of faith: “he relies on concepts take from Greco-Roman literary studies, the field known in Antiquity . . . . Continue Reading »

Chaucerian gratitude

Francis was a great grammatician of gratitude. So, according to Chesterton, was Chaucer: “He is as awakening as a cool wind on a hot day, because he breathes forth something that has fallen into great neglect in our time, something that very seldom stirs the stuffy atmosphere of . . . . Continue Reading »