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 »

Mary and the Roman Catholics

Protestants, rightly, protest at a number of Roman Catholic claims about Mary. At times, Protestants distort and exaggerate Roman Catholic teachings. That is unfortunate, since the official Catholic teaching is objectionable enough by itself. And the errors of Marian doctrine reveal some of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation, Third Advent

Luke 1:53: He has filled the hungry with good things. Luke’s gospel is a gospel of reversals. God chooses a humble young woman on the margins of Israel to be the mother of the Savior. While Augustus Caesar is reigning in Rome, Jesus is born on the outskirts of empire, in Bethlehem of Judea, . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, Third Advent

Mothering an infant is a thankless task. First, you have to carry a large, heavy pouch wherever you go for a number of months. Then comes the agony of labor. The momentary joy of birth is immediately followed by the prolonged inconvenience of nursing, changing diapers, comforting an infant at all . . . . Continue Reading »

Denken ist Danken, again

In his fascinating book on aging and the brain ( The Wisdom Paradox , 2005), Elkhonon Goldberg focuses attention on the phenomenon of “pattern recognition,” the “ability to recognize a new object or a new problem as a member of an already familiar class of objects of . . . . Continue Reading »

Darwin’s defenders

It’s hard to pick up a magazine today without finding an article defending Darwin or Darwinism. Many of them are designed to prove that Darwin was not an opponent of religion, and that religion and science can live happily ever after, so long as the wicked stepmothers at the Discovery . . . . Continue Reading »

Sky High

Sky High focuses on Will Stronghold, son of the greatest superhero duo in history - The Commander and Jetstream, who has some difficulty (but not nearly enough) discovering his powers. Though as much a high school story as a superhero story, Sky High will inevitably be compared with The Incredibles . . . . Continue Reading »

The Church, our Mother

In his book on the Motherhood of the church, Henri de Lubac notes that “Calvin attached such importance [to the notion of the church as mother] that some reproached him for setting up in that way a divine ‘quaternity.’” Yet, de Lubac is critical of Calvin: “In our own . . . . Continue Reading »