Baptismal Exhortation

Romans 6: Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? . . . our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is justified from sin. Paul . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, Fourth Sunday of Lent

What is the cross? For Matthew, the cross is the climax of the history of Israel as that history is relived by Jesus. Matthew presents Jesus as the teacher of Israel, and accordingly his gospel is organized around five large sections of teaching: the sermon on the mountain, Jesus’ . . . . Continue Reading »

Rogers on Sodomy

Thanks to David Mills of Touchstone for passing this along, a news release from Westminster/John Knox: Taking on the most divisive issue in the church today the former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Jack Rogers, argues unequivocally for the ordination and marriage of people who are . . . . Continue Reading »

Classical Theism

Thomas, that bogeyman of open theists, he of the absolute, changeless, impassible, atemporal, impersonal deity - that Thomas says (a point picked up by Edwards) “it pertains to the idea of goodness to communicate itself to others.” Hence, if God is good He is necessarily self-giving; He . . . . Continue Reading »


Bauerschmidt notes that Aquinas frequently argues, especially when speaking of the incarnation, not for “proof” of doctrine but for its “fittingness.” Reason has the role of “manifesting how [the incarnation] fits together (convenire means literally ‘to come . . . . Continue Reading »


In Epistle 137, Augustine writes: “The Christian teaching nowhere holds that God was so poured into human flesh as either to desert or lose - or to transfer and, as it were, compress within this frail body - the care of governing the universe. This is the thought of people unable to conceive . . . . Continue Reading »

Thomas on Merit

Commenting on ST I-II, q. 109, Frederick Bauerschmidt says that Thomas uses the word “merit” analogically when we speak of God rewarding human action “since we can act in the first place only because God has given us the capacity to act.” This applies even to Jesus: . . . . Continue Reading »

On Seneca, de Beneficiis, Books 1-2

Seneca suggests that ingratitude is the worst of vices, and nothing is more “harmful to society” than ingratitude (I.1). Later in Book I, he lists a series of moral ills that plague society – “homicides, tyrants, thieves, adulterers, ravishers, sacrilegious, traitors” . . . . Continue Reading »

Prospero the Magus

I am grateful to Ralph Smith for references to Frances Yates’ work on Shakespeare’s plays. In an analysis of The Tempest, Frances Yates writes: “It is inevitable and unavoidable in thinking of Prospero to bring in the name of John Dee, the great mathematical magus of whom . . . . Continue Reading »