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 »

Contradictions of heroism

In an essay on manhood and heroism in Homer, Michael Clarke describes Achilles’ towering rage as he returns to the field to avenge Patroclus, and asks: “is Achilles’ heroic excellence fulfilled or undone by his wildness as he moves towards death? The poem forbids us to frame an . . . . Continue Reading »

Odyssey as Wisdom Literature

Proclussaid of the Odyssey, “Many are the wanderings and circlings of the soul: one among imaginings, one in opinions and one before these in understanding. But only the life according to NOUS has stability and this is the mystical harbor of the soul to which, on the one hand, the poem leads . . . . Continue Reading »

Sin and Impurity

Milgrom says that the “purification offering” deals with impurity and not with sin. Kiuchi says that it deals also with sin, suggesting that the “problem of terminology arises from the fact that the cultic law distinguishes between physical uncleanness and . . . (sin), whereas . . . . . . Continue Reading »

Made sin

John Kleinig suggests in his commentary on Leviticus that 2 Cor 5:21 refers to Jesus’ fulfillment of the rites of Leviticus 4-5: “Even though Jesus was singless, God offered Jesus as the ‘sin offering’ for human sin. In this case Paul employs the term HAMARTIA alone, which . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon outline

INTRODUCTION Ephesians is about the formation of Christian culture, or, in Paul’s terminology, a corporate Christian “walk.” Once, we walked, zombie-like, in death and sin (2:1), but God raised us in Christ to walk in good works (2:10). We are called to walk in a manner worthy of . . . . Continue Reading »

Theology and the Political

Duke University Press has just come out with a collection of essays edited by Creston Davis, John Milbank and Slavoj Zizek on political theology. As one might expect from the list of contributors (Milbank, Pickstock, Ward, Conor Cunningham, Kenneth Surin, Terry Eagleton and others) it’s a . . . . Continue Reading »

Fundamentalist Athens

There are still, surprisingly, some classical scholars who minimize the influence of religion on Athenian democracy. Hugh Bowden’s recent Classical Athens and the Delphic Oracle is a direct assault on this secular vision. As summarized by Joy Connolly in the TLS, “Dismissing studies of . . . . Continue Reading »