Hamlet the Calvinist?

John Alvis suggests that in Hamlet, Shakespeare alligns himself with Machiavelli at least to the extent that he sees Christianity (or certain forms of Christianity) as a comfort to tyrants. Christians, Machiavelli says, are unresistant to tyranny because they have been taught to wait for the . . . . Continue Reading »

Hamlet and Society

Despite the distracting use of the opposition of of “authenticity” and “responsibility,” Terry Eagleton has some thoughtful observations on the tragic dilemma in Hamlet ( Shakespeare and Society , 1967). Hamlet’s is a society of “reciprocal human . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation, August 28

Ephesians 4:15-16: Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, August 28

Hope is one of the traditional “theological virtues” – faith, hope and love. Hebrews 11 defines faith as hope, and for Paul “hope,” like Victor and Faith, is another name for Jesus (1 Timothy 1:1). In our sermon text, Paul encourages hope by saying God is able to do . . . . Continue Reading »

Transcendence and Immanence

There’s a slight false step, in the midst of a very helpful point, in Bruce Ellis Benson’s superb Graven Ideologies : He has been explaining the “double transcendence” of Platonism - metaphysical (Truth’s being is beyong the sensible world) and epistemological (human . . . . Continue Reading »

But for Luther

In his Teaching Company tapes on Bach and the Baroque (recommended), Robert Greenberg suggests an historical sequence that accounts for the development of German music: Music for singing, which in the period was largely church music, must take account of the language in which the music is sung. . . . . Continue Reading »

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 »