Mystery of Christ

Is the “mystery of Christ” in Ephesians 3:4 a mystery about Christ or is Christ Himself the mystery? Let’s take the latter option - Christ Himself is the mystery (cf. Colossians 1:27). How does that connect with the way Paul unpacks the mystery in terms of Jew/Gentile union (v. . . . . Continue Reading »

Gifts of men

NT Wright points out that the ascent and descent language in Ephesians 4:7-10 is reminiscent of Moses ascending Mount Sinai and then descending with the tablets of the Ten Commandments. Jesus ascends to heaven, and when He returns He does not bring the law of commandments on tablets of stone, but . . . . Continue Reading »

Tragedy and Time

Macbeth hopes that his one act of regicide will stop the flow of time - “if ‘twere done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well it were done quickly.” But it can’t be done when it’s done; actions provoke reactions. He ends tragically because he cannot trammel up . . . . Continue Reading »

Pure Thought

There should be - probably there is - an anthropological study of Western philosophy as a highly rarefied form of dirt avoidance. Plato with his “pure and unadulterated” access to truth; Descartes’ clear and distinct ideas; Kant’s purity of reason. I’m thinking of a . . . . Continue Reading »

Shakespeare the historicist

J.L. Simmons notes that Shakespeare consistently depicts Rome “as a pagan world in which the characters must perforce operate with no reference beyond the Earthly City.” As a result, “all attempts to rise above the restrictions of man and his imperfect society, are tragically . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon Outline, August 28

INTRODUCTION In the first chapters of Ephesians, Paul describes God’s eternal plan for the human race and for the world. He has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world, and He has now intervened in the history of death and sin to rescue us, to exalt us with Christ to heavenly . . . . Continue Reading »

Necessity of Anthropomorphism

Bavinck argues that without anthropomorphism, we have only skepticism and agnosticism: “Those . . . who contest our right to use anthropomorphisms, thereby in princiuple deny the possibility that God in fact reveals himself in his creatures, are logically bound to proceed to the denial of . . . . Continue Reading »

Wormwood and Rotten Denmark

During the staging of his play before the king, Hamlet mutters the word “Wormwood.” Why? Irwin Matus suggests the following: “Rarely glossed in editions of the play, wormwood is accepted as meaning only something bitter, from the taste of the plant of that name. However, the plant . . . . Continue Reading »

Sacral politics in Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s two tetrologies on English history trace the shift from a sacrally based political order (Richard II) to a “Machiavellian” one (Richard III). That is the sequence of actual history. But the sequence of Shakespeare’s composition is different. Shakespeare wrote . . . . Continue Reading »