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 »

Butter and Beer

Rossi writes (in Francis Bacon: From Magic to Science ), “Though Bacon had violently attacked Paracelsus for such notions, he proposed to test the powers of imagination by trying to arrest the fermentation of beer and prevent churned milk from turning into butter. Indeed he exalts the occult . . . . Continue Reading »

Bacon, Hobbes, Rousseau

Howard White traces out a bit of Bacon’s lineage as a political philosopher: “Young Hobbes had accompanied Bacon on some of his walks, and Bacon delighted in his company. And Hobbes was to establish a system of political philosophy on principles of motion, precisely as Bacon ahd urged, . . . . Continue Reading »

Ingratitude and Invention

Bacon offers this explanation of the myth of Prometheus: “The next is a remarkable part of the fable, which represents that men, instead of gratitude and thanks, fell into indignation and expostulation, accusing both Prometheus and his fire to Jupiter, - and yet the accusation proved highly . . . . Continue Reading »

God’s Two Books

Paolo Rossi says of Bacon: “The distinction between the will and power of God, so fully and subtly present in Baconian texts, is very important. ‘The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handworks’: this very from the Psalms . . . is quoted by Bacon . . . . Continue Reading »