Liberal Institutions?

A passage from Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits, Revised Edition pinpoints the internal tensions of liberal order. Nietzsche writes, “If there are to be institutions there must be a kind of will, instinct, imperative, anti-liberal to the point of malice: the will to tradition, to . . . . Continue Reading »

Mechanical man

Descartes is accused of proposing that the human soul is a “ghost in the machine.” Does he think of the body mechanistically? It’s true that he speaks of “our body’s machine” that operates in large measure “unaided” ( The Passions of the Soul: An . . . . Continue Reading »

Trinity Institute: William Cavanaugh Says

Peter Leithart is one of the most creative and provocative theological writers today. He manages to combine sound critical scholarship with accessible writing and a flair for the dramatic. Who else would think of defending the Emperor Constantine against his legions of critics today? Leithart does . . . . Continue Reading »

Skilled seeing

Shapin again ( The Scientific Revolution (science.culture) , 72-73): He offers a fascinating description of the challenges of persuasion in early modern science. Galileo claimed that his telescope proved there were moons around Jupiter. Many of those who looked through his device didn’t see . . . . Continue Reading »

Sociology of science

Debates among historians about the relative weight of “intellectual” and “social” factors seem “rather silly” to Steven Shapin. What’s needed, he argues in The Scientific Revolution (science.culture) is a sociology of scientific knowledge “to display . . . . Continue Reading »

A Son in Glory

My pastoral colleague, Toby Sumpter, has just come out with a wonderful commentary on Job, Job Through New Eyes: A Son for Glory . I am biased in favor of my friend, but I’m confident that even an unbiased reader will find a lot to like. Toby reads Job as something more than theodicy or a . . . . Continue Reading »

Settling In

Welcome to the blog formerly known as Readers of the earlier incarnation of my blog will, I trust, find the new site comfortably familiar. The contents will be consistent with what I have written over the years. Over to your right you’ll find a drop-down list of archives and a . . . . Continue Reading »

Draw near to hear

“Come near,” Yahweh invites Israel (Isaiah 48:16). The verb is qarab , a liturgically charged term used frequently in Leviticus. Especially in Leviticus 1, various forms of the word describe what worship is for (drawing near, qarab ), what Israel does with its offerings (a different . . . . Continue Reading »

Musical evangelism

When Yahweh urges Israel to “go forth from Babylon” and “flee from the Chaldeans,” He also exhorts them sing and shout (Isaiah 48:20). The songs of deliverance are not merely expressions of joy, though they are obviously that. They are also declarations of Yahweh’s . . . . Continue Reading »