Marilynne Robinson

Here are a couple of selections from a September 2004 New Yorker interview with Marilynne Robinson: Q. “In your nonfiction collection, ‘The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought,’ you wrote about the sixteenth-century theologian John Calvin, and about his strong sense of . . . . Continue Reading »

Odysseus’ return to himself

Charles Segal argues in his Singers, Heroes, and Gods in the Odyssey that Odysseus’ return to Ithaca is a return to himself. This works in several dimensions. Through the second half of the epic, various characters reconstruct the story of Odysseus’ life - the story of his naming and . . . . Continue Reading »

Matter and spirit

Discussing the question of the corporeality of angels, Herman Bavinck argues that angels cannot have bodies because that would imply they are material and “matter and spirit are mutually exclusive.” He charges that “it is a form of pantheistic identity philosophy to mix the two . . . . Continue Reading »

Bride and Prejudice

This 2004 Indian musical version of the Austen novel is energetic, colorful, distracting fun. At several points, it departs from Austen’s novel. Darcy’s proposal does not come out of the blue, but at the end of a series of dates (including a helicopter ride over LA and a sunset walk on . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation, September 11

Ephesians 5:18-20: “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, September 11

Laughter is a gift of God, a sign that we are made in God’s image. The Lord enjoys slapstick humor and pratfalls, laughing at the folly of the raging nations that conspire against Christ (Ps 2) because He knows that the wicked will fall, like Wile E. Coyote, into the trap they set for the . . . . Continue Reading »

Imre Kertesz

I recently picked up two short novels by the Hungarian writer, Imre Kertesz, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Literature. I was surprised to discover that the novels - Liquidation and Kaddish for an Unborn Child - both told the same story, although from different perspectives and with very . . . . Continue Reading »

Who may do the sacraments? again

Thanks to Joel Garver for this reference: Charles Hodge points out that LC 158 claims that only those who are “sufficiently gifted, and also duly approved and called to that office” may preach. The requirements for sacramental presidency and preaching thus appear to be the same. And if . . . . Continue Reading »

Who may do the sacraments?

I was asked by the Pacific Northwest Presbytery to explain my views on whether an ordained minister must administer the sacraments, as the PCA Book of Church Order and WCF require. Here is part of my response to those inquiries. My overall position on this is as follows: I believe that it is best . . . . Continue Reading »

Augustine and Cultural Diversity

Augustine has a sense of cultural diversity and historical change usually associated with post-Renaissance western thought. In Book 3 of On Christian Teaching he warns against the mistake of taking a literal statement in Scripture as figurative, and offers this test to determine what is literal and . . . . Continue Reading »