Good Friday Homily

Paul determined to know nothing but Jesus and the cross. Was that enough? To answer that question, we need to answer another: What is the cross? The cross is the work of the Father, who gave His Son in love for the world; the cross is the work of the Son, who did not cling to equality with God but . . . . Continue Reading »

Ark and Church

DG Hart gives this summary of Nevin’s views on the church as ark: “In Nevin’s scheme Christian salvation played out really and concretely in history, in the form of the church, and ways not simply an abstract covenant transacted in the Godhead before all time. With Christ and his . . . . Continue Reading »

Who crucified Jesus?

It has become common among NT scholars to insist that Jesus was crucified by the Romans. This is certainly true in the sense that crucifixion was a Roman form of execution, and also highlights the important political dimension of Jesus’ death. It is also true, as the hymn expresses it, . . . . Continue Reading »

Proverbs 14

INTRODUCTION As Waltke points out, the opening verses of chapter 14 are chiastically arranged: A. Wise, Fool, walk, vv. 1-2 B. Speech, v. 3 C. Industry, v. 4 B’. Speech, v. 5 A’. Wise, fool, go/walk, vv. 6-7. Waltke notes that the first part of the arrangement highlights connections . . . . Continue Reading »

Orientation of worship

Throughout the OT, worshipers drew near to God moving from east to west, returning to Eden. The Christian church reversed this, so that Christian worshipers enter by the west door and face east during worship. Is this change justified? What does it signify? No doubt many things, but this at least: . . . . Continue Reading »

Orientation of worship

Throughout the OT, worshipers drew near to God moving from east to west, returning to Eden. The Christian church reversed this, so that Christian worshipers enter by the west door and face east during worship. Is this change justified? What does it signify? No doubt many things, but this at least: . . . . Continue Reading »

Easter Musings on Genesis 29

1) Jacob goes to Paddan-Aram fleeing from his father’s house; in that far country, he endures abuse and treachery, yet returns with brides and numerous flocks and herds. When he goes out from his father’s house, he has nothing – a staff (32:10) – but he returns to his . . . . Continue Reading »

Gift and relation

MG Anspach says that “To give a gift in return, to recognize the generosity of the first giver through a corresponding gesture of reciprocity, is to recognize the relation for which the initial gift is only a vehicle.” This helpfully highlights the fact that the return gift is less a . . . . Continue Reading »

Power of gift

Levi-Srauss doubts Mauss’ spiritualization of the gift that Mauss draws from the Maori concept of “hau,” the power that is communicated in, with, and under the gift. Rather, hau is “the conscious form whereby men of a given society . . . apprehended an unconscious necessity . . . . Continue Reading »

Twain on Gratitude

Thanks to NSA librarian Ed Iverson for providing references to Mark Twain’s “Letters from Earth,” where he assaults Christianity, and in several places mocks Christian gratitude to God. For instance: “Just so with diseases. If science exterminates a disease which has been . . . . Continue Reading »