The One Really Interesting Story

The Book of Acts opens with two events of great salvation-historical importance: the going up of Jesus from earth into heaven (the Ascension), and the coming down of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples (Pentecost). Both events are commemorated by Christians in this season of the year. Jesus’s resurrection from the dead inaugurated God’s new beginning, which the New Testament calls “the last days.” . . . . Continue Reading »

Seven Spirits of God: A Pentecost Exhortation

What do we have when we have the Spirit? We have everything.All the treasures of God, hidden away in the depths of God from before the foundation of the world, become ours through the Spirit of Pentecost. He is the Gift from the Father and the Son, the Gift above all gifts, the Gift containing all gifts. At Pentecost, God gives God: What more could we ask? Continue Reading »

The Eruption of Pentecost

This Sunday marks the day when churches commemorate the descent of the Spirit. This feast of fiery tongues and intoxicating presence has haunted the Christian imagination. Symbolizing the divine breath that filled the first humans with life, the rushing mighty wind overwhelms the senses, reminding believers that “there lives the dearest freshness deep down things. . .Because the Holy Spirit over the bent world broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.” Continue Reading »

Chantal Delsol, Babel, and Pentecost

I concluded the Songbook #6 essay by quoting Chantal Delsol in partial defense of, or rather, in sympathetic re-conceptualization of, the idealistic anti-war impulse. Delsol is a philosophic, essayistic, “anthropological,” Tocquevillian, and Catholic analyst of our present “late . . . . Continue Reading »

Epiphany to Pentecost

God appeared frequently to saints of the Old Testament. He came as a smoking oven and flaming torch to Abram (Genesis 15:17), and later as three men before Abraham’s tent by the oaks of Mamre (Genesis 18). He showed Himself to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:2), and to Israel in a fiery cloud (Exodus 16:10). When He appeared to Korah, the earth opened and swallowed the rebels, and He appeared to Manoah’s wife with the good news about a son (Judges 13:3) and to Samuel with grim news for the house of Eli (1 Samuel 3:21). Continue Reading »

Babel Undone

A few decades ago I published a short piece in Christianity Today about something I had observed on a Chicago expressway. I had been following a car that exhibited a Playboy bunny decal in its rear window; then as I went to pass the car I also noticed a plastic statue of Mary on . . . . Continue Reading »