Ancient Greek Novels

Greek novels appear in the late Hellenistic period. One scholar suggests the “typical” Greek novel followed something like the following story-line: “These are novels of travel, adventure, and romantic love, taking place in a vaguely realistic Mediterranean or Near Eastern . . . . Continue Reading »

The Novel’s Late Arrival

Goody asks why it took so long for the novel form to develop in Europe. If it’s simply a matter of a shift from oral to written, or the technology of printing, that was all in place centuries before the novel took recognizable form. He argues that the main obstacle to its earlier rise had to . . . . Continue Reading »

Oral and Epic

Epic poetry is often seen as characteristic of orally based cultures, but Jack Goody argues that epic more normally appears at the beginning of literate cultures rather than in purely oral cultures. Referring to the research of Parry and Lord on Yugoslav oral poets, he comments “Yugoslavia . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation

1 John 3:17: Whoever has the world’s goods and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? John insists, as we’ve seen, that love must take specific, concrete form among believers. Love is not just fellow-feeling, or sympathy, or . . . . Continue Reading »

Baptismal exhortation

1 John 3:24: The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. John emphasizes throughout his letter that Christians must obey God’s commandments. In this, he only repeats what Jesus said. Jesus said, If you love Me, keep My commandments. That’s all that John is saying. . . . . Continue Reading »


Sacrifice is built into human life. It’s unavoidable. Even though we don’t slaughter animals in worship, sacrifice still happens every day. We either sacrifice other people, or we offer ourselves in sacrifice for them. That’s what John is saying when he contrasts Cain with Jesus. . . . . Continue Reading »

Nice and Hot Disputes

For a number of years, I have wanted a historical study of the decline of Trinitarian theology between the Reformation and the Enlightenment. James Buckley tells part of that story in his history of atheism, but his interests are broader. Philip Dixon has produced the book I’ve been looking . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon outline

INTRODUCTION John emphasizes throughout his letter that Christians must love one another. Here, he emphasizes that this love must take form as Christlike self-giving and generosity. John’s “children” are to love “in deed and truth” (v. 17). THE TEXT “Do not . . . . Continue Reading »

Hierarchy and preference

Challenging Cunningham’s suggestion, against Deleuze, that without some hierarchy of goods, there is no way to determine preferences, even for something as basic as diet, Kenneth Surin cited a bumper sticker: The top line says, “I love animals,” and the second “They’re . . . . Continue Reading »

Christ and Radical Orthodoxy

The papers in the seminar on the recent Duke publication Theology and the Political: The New Debate were dense, difficult, and hard to follow. And then Graham Ward got up and said, essentially, that the whole point of Radical Orthodoxy was to start with Christ; all the philosophical apparatus . . . . Continue Reading »