Biblical echoes in Merchant of Venice

A.R. Braunmuller offers some suggestive comments in his introduction to the Merchant of Venice in the Pelican Shakespeare. Having summarized Portia’s speech (which he suggests might be a “setup that turns on a technicality” that “turns back on Shylock a legal rigidity he had . . . . Continue Reading »

Hypostatic union

Thomas argues that “if the human nature is not united to God the Word in person, it is not united to him in any way, and thus belief in the incarnation is altogether done away with, which subverts the entire Christian faith.” But since there is a union, it must be a union that took . . . . Continue Reading »

Aquinas and Chalcedon

Frederick Bauerschmidt claims that “Aquinas is in fact the first medieval theologian in the West to quote directly from the Council of Chalcedon.” This is remarkable on all sorts of levels, not least because of the questions it raises about the authority of the ecumenical councils in . . . . Continue Reading »

Gift and Gratitude in the Middle Ages

INTRODUCTION Seneca’s de Beneficiis was known to the Christian Middle Ages, as were some of the gift and gratitude customs of the Roman world. We’ll examine the use that Aquinas makes of Seneca when we get to the Summa later this week. But in addition to these ancient sources, medieval . . . . Continue Reading »

Barth on Gratitude

In a 2001 Modern Theology article, Matthew Boulton points to the theme of gratitude in Barth’s theology. Gratitude is for Barth the “one but necessary thing which is proper to and is required of him with whom God has graciously entered into covenant.” It is the “genuine . . . . Continue Reading »

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 »