Word and faith

Faith is inherent in human life because we live in response to language. Soldiers charge into the fray on orders from a general they trust. If they knew exactly what was ahead, their charge wouldn’t be an act of faith. They don’t know, so they must simply trust the commander. Faith is . . . . Continue Reading »

Third term

Lori Branch comments that the “cultural formations of western Christianity” grew out of “binary, Protestant-Catholic debates.” But this binarism is disrupted by the entry of a third, Eastern Orthodoxy. When the church history of the last century is written, the . . . . Continue Reading »

The power of song

Wordsworth’s 30th Ecclesiastical Sonnet, on Canute: A PLEASANT music floats along the Mere, From Monks in Ely chanting service high, While-as Canute the King is rowing by: “My Oarsmen,” quoth the mighty King, “draw near, “That we the sweet song of the Monks may . . . . Continue Reading »

Presbyterian identity crisis

What is the “Federal Vision” or “Auburn Avenue” dispute about? Partly, it’s about theology. I believe the core dispute has to do with nature and importance of what Reformed theologians call the “visible church,” the universal body of believers organized in . . . . Continue Reading »

Prayer and study

Responding to the Rosenstock-Huessy quotation about prayer and research, Eric Enlow of the Handong International Law School sent this from Simone Weil: “Students must therefore work without any wish to gain good marks, to pass examinations; to win school successes; without any reference to . . . . Continue Reading »

Cat poets

Smart says of his cat Jeoffry: For when his day’s work is done his business more properly begins. For he keeps the Lord’s watch in the night against the adversary . . . For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life. Eliot’s “Gumbie Cat” named . . . . Continue Reading »

Man speaks himself

Running through the four elements, Smart celebrates the air: For the AIR. is purified by prayer which is made aloud and with all our might. For loud prayer is good for weak lungs and for a vitiated throat. For SOUND is propagated in the spirit and in all directions. For the VOICE of a figure . . . . Continue Reading »

Divine physics

More Smart: For FRICTION is inevitable because the Universe is FULL of God’s works. For the PERPETUAL MOTION is in all the works of Almighty GOD. For it is not so in the engines of man, which are made of dead materials, neither indeed can be. . . . . Continue Reading »

The foundry of worship

More from Christopher Smart: For the feast of TRUMPETS should be kept up, that being the most direct and acceptable of all instruments. For the TRUMPET of God is a blessed intelligence and so are all the instruments in HEAVEN. For GOD the father Almighty plays upon the HARP of stupendous magnitude . . . . Continue Reading »