Moses the Matchmaker

Moses is the matchmaker who brings the bride to a trysting place with her lover, Yahweh. He is the “friend of the bridegroom” who, like John the Baptist, prepares the bride for her husband. As such, Moses and John are models for all Christian ministry, which is also all about protecting . . . . Continue Reading »

Horned Man

Something to check: Is Moses the first “horned man” in the Bible? He comes down from the mountain, having seen the glory of God, with “horns” on his head, rays of glory radiating out. This may be the source of the horned man image used elsewhere, in the Psalms for instance: . . . . Continue Reading »

“From Faith” (Rom. 1:17)

Douglas A. Campbell argues forcefully for interpreting the phrase ek pisteos (from faith) in Romans 1:17 as a reference to the faithfulness of Christ in his obedience to death. This, in turn, suggests strongly that Paul’s later use of pistis Christou (faith of Christ) as Christ’s own . . . . Continue Reading »

Medieval Debates on Atonement

In a footnote to the aforementioned article, Muller briefly discusses the medieval debates about the atonement. He points out that the medieval doctors stressed the passive obedience almost to the exclusion of the active; the active obedience was merely preparatory, making Christ acceptable or . . . . Continue Reading »

Arminius’s Christology

I finally got my mitts on Richard Muller’s article on the Christology of Jacob Arminius (published in the Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiendenis , 1988). Here is a summary of some of the salient points. In the years leading up to Dordt, Arminius debated the Reformed theologians on both . . . . Continue Reading »

The Visual

Early in his book, Sound and Symbol: Music and the External World , Victor Zuckerkandl is contrasting the phenomenology of sight and sound, and says this about the Greek emphasis on the visual: “It seems more than mere change that it was among a people so deeply anchored in the visible as a . . . . Continue Reading »


In his brief story, “Ragnarok,” Borges tells a dream of an election taking place in the School of Philosophy and Letters that was interrupted by the coming of the gods. His description of the gods is wonderful: “A voice shouted ‘Here they come!’ and then ‘The . . . . Continue Reading »

Smith on Derrida

James Smith’s conclusions regarding Derrida express more clearly than I’ve been able to do my own sense of Derrida. These are scattered quotations from The Fall of Interpretation , pp. 127-129: “Derrida is honest about not challenging for a moment Rousseau’s and . . . . Continue Reading »

Interpretation and the Fall

James K. A. Smith has a neat scheme for summarizing different view of interpretation in terms of the categories of creation and fall. For some thinkers, interpretation and the possibility of misinterpretation are results of the Fall; for others, interpretation and misinterpretation is inherent in . . . . Continue Reading »