Rain from a Rainless Sky

Brendan O’Donnell’s Rain from a Rainless Sky (Bright Rock Press, 2006) is a theological meditation on sagebrush. Writing in understated prose as stark as the landscapes where sagebrush thrives, O’Donnell weaves together a biblical theology of trees and weeds, reflections on Gene . . . . Continue Reading »

Scenes of free speech

The first rule of Adcult, Twitchell says, is “Speech is never free.” For example: “In 1986 the [ Reader’s ] Digest turned town an advertising supplement on heart disease and cigarette smoking prepared by the American Heart Association.” The Digest had never printed . . . . Continue Reading »

Eat Popcorn

In his highly entertaining history of American Advertising ( Adcult USA ) James Twitchell summarizes the dubious contribution of James Vicary to our understanding of subliminal advertising. Vicary claimed that by inserting subliminal messages to “Eat Popcorn” and “Drink . . . . Continue Reading »

Gnosticism and judaizing

During the period of the old covenant, God hid things. He hid some things inside the Most Holy Place, where no one could go. He also hid His plans from his people. He had a secret, which was disclosed, and then only in part, to certain “cognoscenti” - prophets and apostles. The gospel . . . . Continue Reading »

Justification and glorification

Extending James Jordan’s observations, posted here earlier today: When Paul talks about the “mystery” revealed in the gospel in Ephesians, he does not confine it to the redemption of sinners from sin. The secret/mystery that had been hidden is about the “summing up of all . . . . Continue Reading »

Great Mystery

What is the “great mystery” Paul identifies in Ephesians 5:32? Is it the relation of Christ and His church? The connection between Christ-church and man-wife? In context, one particular dimension of Paul’s teaching is perhaps especially in view. Verse 31 quotes from Gen 2:24, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Justification and Glorification

James Jordan sends the following concerning justification, glorification, and the gospel: The Nicene Creed says something else about the gospel. It says about Jesus Christ: Who (a) for us and (b) for our salvation. Then it expands: (a) came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, Sunday After Ascension

“In my beginning is my end,” wrote T. S. Eliot in his poem “East Coker.” That is certainly true for Jesus. As Matthew tells it, His birth foreshadows His death. Already at His birth, Jesus provokes murderous and paranoid rage among the leaders of Israel. Already at His . . . . Continue Reading »

Denying the gospel

Every week, I confess the Nicene Creed, and I actually believe it. I also confess that sinners are saved by trusting in Jesus, God’s Son, who saves out of sheer grace. Yet I, with many of my friends who confess the same things, are accused of denying the gospel. What’s the sense of . . . . Continue Reading »