Observe His Prayer

At the outset of Moby Dick, Father Mapple preaches to a congregation of whalers. His text is the Book of Jonah, and it stands out as one of the most enjoyable fictional sermons of all time. After God has assigned him the task of preaching repentance to the city of Nineveh, Jonah flees “with . . . . Continue Reading »

Ascent, Descent, and Human Destiny

God forms Adam from dust, breathes life into his nostrils, and places him in a garden in the land of Eden. We know from Ezekiel (28:13–14) that the garden is planted on a mountain, but we could have inferred that from Genesis 2, since a river flows out of the garden and downhill to Assyria, Cush, . . . . Continue Reading »

High Gospel Christology

Yesterday I wrote about the broad argument in Richard B. Hays book, Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness. It’s a useful book, although oddly positioned. On the one hand, it can work to help biblically literate but non-specialized Christians better to understand . . . . Continue Reading »

Reading the Psalms with the Reformers

In the fourth century, St. Athanasius wrote a letter to a certain Marcellinus, who was likely a deacon in the church in Alexandria. During a long illness, Marcellinus had turned to the study of the Bible and was especially drawn to the Book of Psalms, striving “to comprehend the meaning contained . . . . Continue Reading »

The Miracle of Esther

Esther is a book of the Bible that does not refer to God explicitly even once. On the surface, it is a story about political intrigue, sex, and violence. Yet the rabbis of the Talmud lavish praise on this work, asserting that there are two portions of Scripture that would never cease to be relevant . . . . Continue Reading »