Darkness in John

John’s use of “dark” and “darkness” is often taken as a symbol of evil, dualistically related to the good that is symbolized by “light.” While his usage does sometimes stretch to this, the fundamental dualism is not moral but temporal. Dark is the period of . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon outline

INTRODUCTION The main conflict of the early church was not with Greek philosophy or Roman power, but with those Jews who refused to acknowledge Jesus as Messiah and the Judaizers within the church who wanted to bring Gentiles under the Law. John’s first letter, like most books in the NT, . . . . Continue Reading »

Continental Philosophy

In his Oxford “very short introduction” to Continental philosophy, Simon Critchley suggests that Continental philosophy is “a professional self-description” and a “cultural feature.” The former is “a necessary - but perhaps transitory - evil of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation

1 Corinthians 11:29-30: He who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. It would be nice if the enemies of God were all outside the church, and we often sentimentally think that . . . . Continue Reading »


What is the message of the imprecatory Psalms? That Christians have an excuse to be mean-spirited, vicious, and vengeful? That Christians should distribute curses and blessings in equal measure? That Christians get to be macho and talk tough? No. The main message of the imprecatory Psalms is the . . . . Continue Reading »

Beauty’s authority

Von Balthasar says somewhere that beauty makes demands, and suggests that this is a natural analogy to the attitude of faith, which is like an aesthetic response to the form of Christ. Beauty makes demands. If I hear the central movement of Beethoven’s Appassionata or any of a dozen other . . . . Continue Reading »


Globalization is the unification of cultures, the formation of the many cultures of the world into a single, global culture. This is facilitated, obviously, by communications technologies, the worldwide spread of media, entertainment, and advertizing, and by the restructuring of corporations so . . . . Continue Reading »

Enlightenment and the Gothic

Enlightenment was not only a movement of illumination through reason but a movement of exposure, an effort to bring light to all the dark and secret places of European society. Foucault noted in an inverview: “A few haunted the latter half of the eighteenth century: the fear of darkened . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon outline, Romans 12

INTRODUCTION Last week, I made a case for the legitimacy of imprecatory prayers and Psalms. But that leaves a lot of questions unanswered – When are prayers of imprecation legitimate? Against whom is it legitimate to pray imprecations? And, most importantly, how do imprecations square with the . . . . Continue Reading »