The Island

In many ways, The Island is a silly movie: Long, repetitive, boring chase scenes, inexplicable explosions, impossible escapes, gaping holes in the plot, all filmed with MTV quick-cuts and apparently lit with strobe lights. Somewhere on the far side of the silliness, however, is a welcome indictment . . . . Continue Reading »

The Nestorian Shuffle

In his book on Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy (St. Vladimir’s, 2004), John McGuckin describes the Nestorian reading of the gospels. The gospels describe the birth and growth of the man Jesus, and also describe a person whose powers are beyond human powers - the . . . . Continue Reading »

Pinsky’s Life of David

Robert Pinsky, The Life of David . New York: Schocken, 2005. 209 pp. I was prepared to dislike Pinsky’s book, and the howler on the first page of the text was not encouraging (“David and the Witch of Endor”!?). My dislike deepened as the book progressed: Pinsky, a widely admired . . . . Continue Reading »

Luther the Non-Protestant

Phillip Cary has a long, intriguing article in the Fall 2005 issue of Pro Ecclesia entitled “Why Luther is Not Quite Protestant.” Cary touches on soteriological issues, particularly justification, and the relation of soteriology to sacramental theology. Early in the article, he poses . . . . Continue Reading »

Necessity and Derrida

Near the end of a lengthy TLS review of a posthumously published series of interviews with Jacques Derrida ( Apprendre a vivre envin ), reviewer Ramona Fotiade quotes several intriguing selections from the interview. Derrida admits that life is “irreducible to what I say” and goes on to . . . . Continue Reading »

Looking toward the temple

A student suggests that Jonah 2:4 is at the center of a chiasm that goes from 1:17 to the end of chapter 2. In 2:4, Jonah says that he looks toward the temple of Yahweh, and the centrality of that statement supports the notion that Jonah-in-the-fish is a type of Israel-in-exile (within the belly of . . . . Continue Reading »

Ordo salutis

Ruth is redeemed by an Israelite savior, Boaz. But she meets an Israelite widow before she knows that there is an Israelite savior, and she comes to know the savior through her association with the widow. Typologically: The Gentiles pledge themselves to Israel, and through Israel come to know . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon Outline, Fourth Advent

INTRODUCTION One of the earliest Christological controversies in the church was provoked by Nestorius, who denied that Mary was the “God-bearer” (Greek, theotokos). The controversy was not about Mary, but about the nature of Christ: Was the eternal Son of God born as a baby? . . . . Continue Reading »

Hidden Providence

Luther was famously hostile to the book of Esther. Luther was also famously enamoured of the idea of the Deus absconditus, the hidden God. These positions are inconsistent: No book of the Bible better narrates the power and providence of the hidden God than Esther, which refrains even from naming . . . . Continue Reading »