Paradoxes of Tolerance

In his Redeeming the Enlightenment: Christianity and the Liberal Virtues (Radical Traditions) , Bruce Ward examines the paradoxes of the peculiarly modern virtue of tolerance (113-7). If tolerance is understood as forbearance toward what is morally repugnant, it is not morally indifferent or . . . . Continue Reading »

Wal-Mart at the Movies

Is sex good for movie sales? Not really, and Edward Jay Epstein, The Hollywood Economist (51), says it’s due to Wal-Mart: “In 2007, the six studios took in $17.9 billion from DVD sales, according to the studios’ own internal numbers. Wal-Mart, including its Sam’s Club . . . . Continue Reading »

Machined music

Early in his Meaning in Technology (23), Arnold Pacey points to the connections between music and the development of technology. Some of the leaders in the development of machine industry were organ makers, including James Watt. But the connection between music and technology began much earlier . . . . Continue Reading »

Joyful glory

Psalm 104:31 says that Yahweh’s glory endures forever, and then immediately adds, as a parallel, “Yahweh rejoices in His works.” The Psalm as a whole is about Yahweh’s care of His creation, which represents the “manifold” works of God (v. 24). The glory of Yahweh . . . . Continue Reading »

Baptismal meditation

Psalm 51:11, 17: Take not Your Spirit from me . . . . A broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. David commits adultery and murder and abuses his power as king. He knows that when Saul refused to repent, the grieved Spirit abandoned him. Saul’s heart remained intact, but the . . . . Continue Reading »

Regulated disposition

In a summary of the patristic notion of the regula fidei in the Trinity Journal (2007), Paul Hartog helpfully stresses that the regulation of the regula was not only linguistic, doctrinal, dogmatic, or methodological. It had also to do with the reader’s disposition: “Certainly . . . . Continue Reading »

Fitted pieces

Jenson again ( Canon and Creed ), on the mutual support of canon and creed: “We cannot claim that the regula fidei actively shaped the very New Testament that came about. On the contrary, the material relation between the creedal tradition and the new canon is at first glance problematic. The . . . . Continue Reading »

Who is Risen?

Resurrection is not necessarily good news. Jenson ( Canon and Creed ) observes that the announcement “Hitler is Risen” constitutes good news only to a perverse few. Resurrection is good news only if the Risen One is one we want to have back. Saying “Jesus is Risen” also . . . . Continue Reading »

Pattern in the carpet

According to Irenaeus ( Against Heresies , 1.8.1), reading the Bible is like discerning a face among the fragments of a mosaic. Heretics read the Bible using sources other than Scripture and so the portrait they assemble is of a dog or fox. The orthodox arrive at a different arrangement: The . . . . Continue Reading »