Boethius says in his De Arithmetica that the number 5 represents an infinite circle: “For 5 times 5, which makes 25, starts from 5 and ends in the same number, 5. And if you multiply that by 5 again, the end turns out to be 5 again. For 5 times 25 makes 125, and if you multiply by 5 again, . . . . Continue Reading »

Scripture’s eloquence

De Lubac cites this passage near the beginning of his Medieval Exegesis : “The eloquence of Sacred Scripture takes many shapes, and its meanings are many and varied. For this reason someone has said: He compares things that are celestial with things that are earthly, so that likenesses that . . . . Continue Reading »


In his study of the influence of medievalism on postmodern theory, Bruce Holsinger briefly reviews the reception of de Lubac’s work: “a number of his books were officially withdrawn from institutional libraries across the Catholic world, hundreds of copies of the just-published Corpus . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon Notes, Second Sunday of Advent

INTRODUCTION Jesus’ birth was announced by angelic choirs. It was also greeted by shepherds, to whom the angels first announced the birth of the Christ. Why would the news go to shepherds first? THE TEXT “And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, First Sunday of Advent

When Jesus ascended into heaven, He poured out His Spirit on the church. According to Paul, He also gave gifts to men. These gifts included apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, given to the church to equip the saints for their work of service. Paul gives us this picture of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Philosopher or poet?

The doctrine of accommodation (which is rife in the tradition, as basic to Thomas as to Calvin) says: When God speaks in His natural voice, He speaks like a philosopher. He speaks like a poet in Scripture because He’s dumbing it down for humans imprisoned in a sensible world. Scripture, . . . . Continue Reading »

Ritual and Ceremony

The terms “ceremony” and “ritual” became sneer-words nearly as soon as they were introduced into English and other European languages, according to Edward Muir’s Ritual in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 2005): “Around the turn of the sixteenth century, as Thomas . . . . Continue Reading »


Richard Davidson, writing in the Andrews University Seminary Studies (Spring 2004), shows that the restoration of the world after the flood follows the creation week: 1. Spirit/wind, Gen 1:2; 8:1 2. Division of waters, 1:6-8; 8:1-5 3. Dry land and plants, 1:9-13; 8:5-12 4. Lights, 1:14-19; 8:13-14 . . . . Continue Reading »

Thoughts on Jonah

Some random thoughts on Jonah, inspired by a conversation with my student, Brillana McLean. 1) The first chapters of Jonah seem to follow something of an exit-and-return story. Jonah gets in a boat and crosses some water; he is cast out and is swallowed by the waters and by a sea monsters; he is . . . . Continue Reading »