Mustard Seeds

The first chapter of Genesis is a grand liturgy of creation. The second chapter describes with existential immediacy the universal human longing for fulfillment. Subsequent chapters are given over to disaster and destruction. The primordial man and woman set human history on its path toward . . . . Continue Reading »

Hans Friedrich Grohs: From Bereavement to Benediction

He was born four years after Kaiser Wilhelm II ascended the German imperial throne; he died nearly a century later, in the same decade that witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. He was drafted as a soldier in both world wars and experienced firsthand the Nazi reign of terror in between. Few artists have lived so fully, or recorded so faithfully, such a vast sweep of human history. Continue Reading »

Edenic Recollections

My oldest son once spent a summer on staff at a Scout reservation. Underneath his tent platform lived a family of skunks. They would amble by, mama and her kits (baby skunks are kits, as baby goats are kids), with nary a hint of animosity and rarely a spark of curiosity. Who knows how many summers . . . . Continue Reading »

Advent of Unity

John famously begins his Gospel with a piece of theology: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Matthew starts with a genealogy. John celebrates Advent with a hymn, Matthew with a list. For John, Jesus is the Word of creation in human flesh. For Matthew, he is a name. Continue Reading »

Girard v. Genesis

Over many decades and in voluminous writings, René Girard has elaborated a theory of sacrifice, scapegoating, and violence that purports to unveil things hidden from the foundations of the world. He has become a guru, not least to Christian theologians eager to formulate non-violent versions of . . . . Continue Reading »

The Future in God’s Good Word

God’s word to the woman in Genesis 3:16 continues to fascinate me. Yesterday I argued that in contrast to rationalist projects like Plato’s, it aims to deepen the difference between male and female rather than minimize it. For in Scripture difference and otherness are not things to be regretted . . . . Continue Reading »

Plato against Otherness

I’m still trying to understand God’s word to the woman in Genesis 3:16, connecting the difficulties of childbirth, the woman’s desire for her man, and her man ruling over her. In the narrative context of Genesis, this connection clearly looks forward to the patriarchal households of Genesis, . . . . Continue Reading »

The Economics of Genesis

I’m trying to understand why God’s word to the woman in Genesis 3:16 connects “your desire shall be for your husband” with “he shall rule over you.” The meaning of the connection becomes clearer as we look ahead to the narrative continuation of Genesis and its patriarchal households. . . . . Continue Reading »