Eschatological merit

Augustine said that in crowning the merit of human works, he is simply crowning his own gifts: “si ergo Dei dona sunt bona merita tua, non Deus coronat merita tua tanquam merita tua, sed tanquam dona sua.” McGrath points out that this axiom concerning merit is set by Augustine in an . . . . Continue Reading »

Prime mover

Dante understood Aquinas: The prime mover is not pushy; He/it is not the first domino that knocks down all the others. He is Beautiful and Beauty in Himself, Glorious and Triune Glory, and by His beauty He arouses desire, which moves us toward Him. That is why people in the depths of Hell are . . . . Continue Reading »

Background to Marion, Being Given

INTRODUCTION Jean-Luc Marion is one of the major figures in contemporary French Philosophy, and particularly a leader in French phenomenology. As introduction to Marion’s work on gift and givenness, we’ll be looking at the key figures and ideas of phenomenology, the “theological . . . . Continue Reading »

Sacraments and Soteriology

Justification, Protestants confess, is a declaration of God as judge. But is this ever audible? Where? Is the judgment ever publicly promulgated? Is it merely the secret declaration in the heart? And if so, how can we be sure that the declaration we’re hearing is God’s voice of . . . . Continue Reading »

Acts and Romans

The canonical ordering of the NT does not carry the authority of the text itself, but it is not irrelevant. (Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, among others, has shown that the canonical order of the gospels links them together into a unified literary unit.) With this in mind, it is not irrelevant that . . . . Continue Reading »

Raunch Culture

Ariel Levy, Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture . New York: Free Press, 2005. 224 pp. “Raunch Culture” involves the mainstreaming of pornography and strip clubs, Howard Stern interviewing topless women, college girls flashing for the camera on Girls Gone Wild . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, Second Sunday of Easter

Easter is about faith, because Easter is about light. Jesus came as Light from the Father of lights into a world darkened by sin and death, and His light shone especially at the resurrection. At His resurrection, His “appearance was like lightning, and His garment as white as snow” . . . . Continue Reading »

No King But Caesar

Thanks to Toby Sumpter, Peter Roise, and Joshua Appel for the discussion that led to these observations. How should we take the phrase “because of the king of Assyria” in v. 18? It has sometimes been taken to mean that Tiglath-Pileser forced liturgical changes on Ahaz, but recent . . . . Continue Reading »