Here’s a helpful article written by an Evangelical who has been an advisor to three Republican Presidents as to why no Evangelical should be voting for Donald Trump, see what you think. He rightly raises the same questions as Pope Francis raised, namely the question of character in view of Trump’s track record of adulteries, lies, defrauding students at Trump University, employing non-Green card Polish workers and paying them a third of American works to build Trump tower, and on… Read more

In his teaching and preaching of Isaiah, Calvin starts with the Hebrew text itself and he is always focusing on a particular text and he seeks to help the audience understand the meaning of the words in that text. In his Isaiah commentary he seldom resorts to the LXX, and he often paraphrases things to help people better understand the text. The exception to the rule of not using the LXX is when the NT author for example Paul in… Read more

As Childs point out, Calvin did not see a major difference between the intentions of the human author and the intentions of the Holy Spirit in inspiring the human author to say this or that. He acknowledges that the full personality and knowledge of the human author is in play but is guided by the Spirit. Calvin uses the principle of analogy, even literary analogy, to apply the Biblical text to his own current situation. As Childs, (following my old… Read more

John Calvin (1509-1564) was the exegete par excellence amongst the early Protestant divines, even though in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries he has been better known for his theological institutes. Calvin’s commentating was philologically and historically oriented, like some of his predecessors, and like those of a more Antiochian orientation, he had real issues with allegorizing of the Biblical text. Perhaps here is a good point to make some distinctions. There is a difference between a straight allegory (see e.g…. Read more

CRACKS IN THE WALL Cracks in the wall, There by design, Prayers on plain paper One of them mine Rabbis are chanting, Torah held high, Sunlight is fading, In the blue sky. Guards are watching, Passing the time, Nodding acquaintance With the sublime. Herod’s temple, All that remains Limestone platform, Withstands the strain, Mosque’s gold dome Shines in the light, Whose God is honored By what’s in sight? Prayers of the righteous Meant to be heard, But the papers are… Read more

Child’s analysis of Luther’s treatment of Isaiah involves a close reading of his lectures on the subject and he deduces the following things: 1) there are not a lot of references (occasionally he critiques Jerome or Origen or Nicholas— the latter in spite of the fact that he owes Nicholas’ quoting of Rashi for his own knowledge of Jewish exegesis of Isaiah). Yes, occasionally he also cites Josephus, but for all his stress on studying the historical context of Isaiah,… Read more

Martin Luther (1483-1546) that Augustinian monk who had an epiphany and began the Protestant movement quite unintentionally, of course deserves close attention. While Luther did indeed say some strong things about the problems with allegorical exegesis, and used it less and less as he got older and older. He did not, however, entirely abandon this approach. He never sets forth a programmatic rejection of the medieval tradition he inherited, in particular from Augustine himself. Luther recognized the difference between parable/simile… Read more

If you need a feel good movie to get you out of the winter doldrums, this movie is just the ticket. Complete with 80s synthesizer music (including of course Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ and Hall and Oates ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’) and an 80s Olympic Games (88 in Calgary), this movie is a ride back in time that may leave you cheering. And indeed, it is based on a true story about overcoming great odds. It also illustrates the… Read more

Nicholas of Lyra (ca. 1270-1349 A.D.) has sometimes been accused of being as pale imitator of Thomas Aquinas, which is not exactly fair. He does argue with Thomas that “words always signify things, but in scripture the things signified by the words [e.g. Is. 7.14] signify other things” as well.” The literal or historical sense of the text is obtained by understanding the first signification, the spiritual sense is acquired by understand the second ‘level’ of signification—things signifying things other… Read more

The influence of Thomas Aquinas (ca. 1225-74 A.D.) compared to some of these earlier church fathers, not including Augustine, can hardly be over-estimated. I recently went to a Christology Conference at the Dominican Centre at Catholic University in D.C. to present a paper. To my amazement, most of what went on was interpreting Christology through the lens of Thomist theology. Thomas Aquinas is alive and well in this nation’s capital. As profound a theologian as Aquinas was, it is interesting,… Read more

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