Things that are not

Jacques Ellul helpfully points out that God frightens away the Arameans in 2 Kings 7 by a mere sound, and it is a sound that has no physical cause. God overcomes things that are, Ellul says, through things that are not. . . . . Continue Reading »

Food in 1-2 Kings

A critical issue throughout 1-2 Kings is the question of who provides bread. Early on, it’s Solomon, whose table overflows with good things and who rules an Israel that is continuously rejoicing and feasting. Kings continue to supply tables after the division of the kingdom, but they are . . . . Continue Reading »

Puns in 2 Kings 7

Iain Provan points to two entertaining puns in the story of the siege of Samaria in 2 Kings 6-7. The first puns on “lepers” (Heb. MISORAIM) and “Egypt” (Heb. MIZRAIM): The Arameans become frightened by the sound of an army, thinkin that Egyptians are attacking; it’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Blood and life

In his recent Concordia commentary on Leviticus, John Kleinig gives a good summary of what I think is the best explanation of the blood prohibtiion of Lev 17: “many animists regard blood as the most potent of all ritual substances. The blood of an animal was either drunk or, more commonly, . . . . Continue Reading »

Uh, oh, they’re on to us

In the course of a screed of breathtaking condescension against large families, religion, and conservatism, SFGate.com columnist Mark Morford inadvertently stumbles upon an insight: “Why does this sort of bizarre hyperbreeding only seem to afflict antiseptic megareligious families from the . . . . Continue Reading »

Father of Joy

The following thoughts came largely from a PCA minister from Virginia with whom I enjoyed a recent, stimulating conversation. The Triune fellowship is a fellowship of eternal infinite joy. The Father delights in His beloved Son, and eternally pours out the abundance of His Spirit on Him. The Son . . . . Continue Reading »

Constantine

Keanu Reeves seems incapable of playing anything but a Christ figure (remember his supersonic ascension at the end of Matrix 1). In the recent horror film, Constantine , he plays John Constantine (J.C. – get it?), an agnostic, chain-smoking suicide restored to life to work as a free-lance . . . . Continue Reading »

Staying put

Elijah goes to Gilgal, and Elijah tells him to stay. Elisha refuses, and together they move on to Bethel. Elijah tells Elisha to stay put again, but again he refuses and the move on to Jericho. When Elijah has departed and Elisha returns to the land, he “stays” in Jericho (2 Kgs 1:18). . . . . Continue Reading »

Musical and Narrative Structure

Mozart’s little Minuet in F from Don Giovanni has a simple form. After a 3-measure introduction, the main theme runs through several measures, and then repeats exactly. A second theme follows, and is again repeated identically, and the piece ends with a double repetition of the main melodic . . . . Continue Reading »

Old School on sacraments

In his fine recent biography of John Williamson Nevin, DG Hart notes that the Old School Presbyterians failed to express “the mediated character of grace and of the church’s centrality in dispensing the blessings of the gospel” as clearly as Nevin himself. He attributes this . . . . Continue Reading »