Two Headed Christendom?

The question debated among medieval political theorists was not whether Christendom was a body, ultimately the body of Christ, but whether there was room for more than one “head” of the body. As Otto Gierke summarizes,”Mankind constituted a Mystical Body, whereof the Head was . . . . Continue Reading »

What Is The Church?

“The Bible,” writes Avery Cardinal Dulles, “when it seeks to illuminate the nature of the Church, speaks almost entirely through images, most of them . . . evidently metaphorical.” Citing Pope Paul VI, Dulles lists the following images: “the building raised up by . . . . Continue Reading »

Sex as vestigia trinitatis

Barth famously argues there is an I-Thou within humanity itself that manifests the inner reciprocity, the differentiation and union, that is the life of the Trinity: “that it is in the differentiation of man and woman, the relation of sex, that there is this repetition, is an indication of . . . . Continue Reading »

Sapientia and Scientia

Augustine taught that scientia, knowledge of historical events, was necessary for Christian theology, but that all theology aspired to love of God, which is more closely bound with “sapientia” or wisdom. By the time Aquinas raised the question of whether sacred doctrine is a form of . . . . Continue Reading »

1 Kings 13 again

James K. Mead has a fine article on 1 Kings 13 from an issue of VT several years ago. He proposes a parallel structure for the whole chapter: Scene 1 (vv. 1-10) matches scene 3 (vv. 20-25); in both there is a calling out, a pronouncement from Yahweh, a sign, and a triple repetition of the phrase . . . . Continue Reading »

Amos and 1 Kings 13

In an article on 1 Kings 13, Werner Lemke noted a number of parallels with the prophecy of Amos, specifically parallels between the man of God from Judah and Amos himself. 1) Both are from Judah and prophesy at Bethel. 2) Both confront authorites at Bethel. 3) Both predict the destruction of . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon Outline, September 25

INTRODUCTION One of the great evils of American Christianity is the idolization of the family. American Christians believe that blood is thicker than baptismal water, and that the family is a redemptive institution. But the primary family for Christians is the “brotherhood” of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Metonymic Imagination

One sometimes hears references to a “metaphorical imagination,” but biblical imagery often works also by metonymy. It is not only that the tree of, say, Psalm 1 “stands for” strength or stability. It is that, as the Psalm makes clear by emphasizing the fruitfulness or the . . . . Continue Reading »

Hermeneutics test

Many object to typology because it seems to lack control, but one obvious control is historical context. Consider this piece of poetry: Jack-booted waves march down a silent street, Cross the thresholds of besieged homes, Batter doors, and smother all in brown. Think about how the imagery works if . . . . Continue Reading »