A couple of interesting numerical patterns in Luke: First, in Luke 18:31-34, Jesus predicts His coming suffering and death in this way: [The Son of Man] will be 1) delivered to the Gentiles 2) mocked 3) mistreated 4) spit upon 5) scourged 6) killed But when the Gentiles have done their worst, and fulfilled their sixfold attack on the Son (six being the number of man), a seventh follows: 7) and the third day He will rise again. The Son… Read more

Exhortation for August 24: Worship is God’s work on us. We assemble in the presence of the Triune God not only to offer our praise and worship to the Father in the Son by the Spirit. We also assemble in His presence so that the Spirit can work on us in the Son to make us presentable before the Father. In the New Covenant, the veil has been torn, and we can enter boldly into the sanctuary, the heavenly Most… Read more

There’s an important article on the abortion issue in the August 18/25 issue of The New Republic . Though written from a pro-choice perspective, it shows how advances in technology are likely to undermine Roe v. Wade. The main breakthrough has to do with the development of ectogenesis, an external womb or “process by which a fetus gestates in an environment external to the mother.” If researchers can successfully create this artificial womb environment, the issue of viability of the… Read more

Below are some notes on the structure of Romans. Thanks to my student, John Lewis, who has done some interesting structural work on Romans, and shared his overall outline of the book with me. These notes are all tentative. First, the general overview, and then some discussion of the linkages between the different sections: 1. Paul’s greeting to the Romans; summary of the gospel, 1:1-17 (obedience of faith) 2. Jew and Gentile under God’s judgment: Humanity under sin, 1:18-2:29 3…. Read more

Alabama’s struggle over the Ten Commandment monument is important and intriguing on a number of fronts. One fascinating aspect is the behavior of Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor. Pryor has been nominated for a federal judicial seat, and when he appeared in DC in June for hearings on the nomination he spent most of his time trying to assure everyone that he was not a right-wing nut. Now, he is among those standing in opposition to Justice Moore, who has… Read more

Alabama’s struggle over the Ten Commandment monument is important and intriguing on a number of fronts. One fascinating aspect is the behavior of Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor. Pryor has been nominated for a federal judicial seat, and when he appeared in DC in June for hearings on the nomination he spent most of his time trying to assure everyone that he was not a right-wing nut. Now, he is among those standing in opposition to Justice Moore, who has… Read more

Some more quotations from the same Auden essay (the whole thing is wonderful): He is, like CS Lewis in Allegory of Love , comparing Greek conceptions of love with medieval and modern romantic coceptions, but adds a dash of de Rougemont: The Tristan-Isolde myth is unGreek because no Greek could conceive of attributing absolute value to another individual, he could only think in comparative terms, this one is more beautiful than that one, this one has done greater deeds than… Read more

In an introduction to a volume called The Portable Greek Reader , W. H. Auden made these comments about Greek philosophy: The great difference between the Greek conception of Nature and later ones is that the Greeks thought of the universe as analogous to a city-state, so that for them natural laws, like human laws, were not laws of things, descriptions of how in fact they behave, but laws for things. When we speak of a falling body “obeying” the… Read more

Who was the most spiritual man of the Old Testament? Judging from word count alone (admittedly not an infallible guide), the answer would have to be Samson. The Spirit comes on him four times, more than any other OT character. Samson was the most spiritual man prior to Jesus. Read more

An insight on the conversion of Levi in Luke 5:27-32, suggested by my wife: Levi is called away from his tax booth, leaves everything to follow Jesus, and in the very next scene is hosting a banquet. There are two dimensions to this: first, Levi leaves a profession notorious for greedy taking and begins to give (like Zaccheus); second, Levi’s discipleship not only means that he is given a place at the Lord’s table, but also that he becomes a… Read more

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