Exhortation, Sixth Sunday of Easter

Easter is about faith and hope. Easter is also about love. The Old Covenant was a covenant of separations. Yahweh separated Himself from His people, enclosed behind a series of veils in inapproachable splendor. Yahweh called Abraham and separated him from the other nations of the earth, and gave . . . . Continue Reading »

Innocent blood

Manasseh filled Jerusalem with the blood of the innocent; in context, the blood appears to be the blood of prophets (2 Ki 21:10-16). This is one of the continuing charges against Manasseh after Josiah’s reign is over (24:3-4). The blood of the prophets (or, at least, of the innocent) calls up . . . . Continue Reading »

Forgetful

“Manasseh” is derived from a causative form of the verb “forget” - hence, cause to forget. Manasseh causes Judah to forget by liturgical change - rebuilding high places, erecting altars and Asherahs, and so on. Memory is nourished by liturgy; forgetfulness by liturgical . . . . Continue Reading »

Charnock on Supernatural Salvation

Stephen Charnock argues that salvation must be supernatural because nature is insufficient for the task: “A change from acts of sin to moral duties may be done by a natural strength and the power of natural conscience: for the very same motives which led to sin, as education, interest, . . . . Continue Reading »

Supernatural

Roger Haight offers this summary of the notion of “supernatural”: “God is not supernatural in himself; he is simply the infinite and transcendent being; he is God. But viewed in relation to the human he is supernatural; that is to say, spiritual union with God transcends human . . . . Continue Reading »

Spirit, Charity, Grace

Peter Lombard argued (Book 1, distinction 17 of the Sentences ) that the Spirit is both the love by which God loves us and the origin of the love by which we love Him: “the Holy Spirit is the Love [amor] of the Father and the Son, by which They love [amant] one another and us. Moreover, it . . . . Continue Reading »

Dissent and Disestablishment

In another chapter of the same book, Larsen argues that British secularization promoted by Dissenters within England, and on specifically theological grounds. According to the “Protestant Dissenters’ Catechism” (published 1772, by Samuel Palmer), a church is “a congregation, . . . . Continue Reading »

Strauss in England

In his book Contested Christianity (Baylor, 2004), Wheaton historian Timothy Larsen examines the reception of DF Strauss’s Life of Jesus in England. He suggests that only Darwin’s Origin of Species rivals Strauss’s book as a challenge to orthodoxy in Victorian England. Yet, the . . . . Continue Reading »

Road to Wittenberg revisited

In response to my comments about the “road to Rome” charge, Eric Enlow of Handong International Law School writes: “I would connect sacramentalism with the road to Rome for an empirical reason. The individuals that I have known who have been most interested in sacramentalism have . . . . Continue Reading »