Before postmodernism

Writing in 1945, Arnold Nash wrote that “On the fundamental questions of life and destiny, as Kierkegaard has reminded modern man, neutrality is impossible. Even to take up a neutral position is to take up some position.” The philosophy of the liberal university, “whose . . . . Continue Reading »

Not all or nothing

Kevin Vanhoozer wisely warns against hermeneutical all-or-nothingism: “Interpretation is not an all-or-nothing affair. We need not choose between a meaning that is wholly determinate and a meaning that is wholly undeterminate. Neither need we choose between a meaning that is fully present and . . . . Continue Reading »


All truth is unified and coheres. That’s true, and is not only inherent in the definition of “truth” but a specifically Christian confession: In Him who is Truth, all things hold together. But - how do all things cohere? What kind of picture of “coherence” are we . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon Outline

INTRODUCTION What is God up to in the world? We saw last week that God is at work to perfect His people, to bring them to maturity, and to glorify us and the world. But the Bible also describes God’s work in the world with the word “righteousness.” Paul claims that the gospel is . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation

Revelation 19:7-9: Let us rejoice and be glad and give glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. If you’ve been married for more than five years, you can anticipate what your spouse is going to say or do next. You can finish his sentences; you . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, August 13

When Elijah prayed, James tells us, the Lord shut up the sky for three years and six months. Elijah prayed again, and the heavens poured rain and the land was restored. Elijah clearly prayed according to God’s will. But how did he know? Did Elijah decide to pray for drought after God said, . . . . Continue Reading »

Necessity of Incarnation

Would the Son have been incarnate if Adam had not sinned? 1 Corinthians 15:44-45 provides a prooftext for an affirmative answer. Verse 44 says that the “spiritual body” is implied by the existence of the “natural body.” Human beings were created in a natural state, but they . . . . Continue Reading »

Decentered Self of Modernity

Bishop Joseph Butler of Durham worried about the consequences of Locke’s empiricism: “That personality is not a permanent, but a transcient thing: that it lives and dies, begins and ends continually: that no one can any more remain one and the same person two moments together, than two . . . . Continue Reading »

Embedded mind

Modernity ignores the social, linguistic, and political context of thought, and the way interest shapes the mind; postmodernity foregrounds all this. Perhaps, but . . . . Descartes said that his travels demonstrates that “all those who hold notions strongly contrary to our own are not for . . . . Continue Reading »

Self and World

For premoderns - ancients and medievals - there was a homology between the self and the world. Man was seen as microcosm, and, as Seigel puts it, they believed that “the world, like the self, is structured so as to fulfill intelligible moral ends.” The initial shift in early modernity, . . . . Continue Reading »