Sociology and Common Knowledge

“We encounter reality only if we approach it on all the paths which we, as creatures, can tread,” writes Rosenstock-Huessy (In the Cross of Reality, 230). He’s commending his quadrilateral cross of reality, arguing that we must pursue the fourfold path of “the soul, of reason, culture, and nature” (230). Not that the cross is a method. These abstractions are only “superstructures” that “represent the universal for which we strive in our capacities as daughter and mother, son and father. We… Read more

Before the Two Cultures

CP Snow’s famously complained about the divergence between “two cultures” of humanism and science. Among Romantic poets, the humanist resistance to science is best exemplified by Blake. As Algis Valiunas observes, Blake’s “unflattering” painting of Newton depicts him as “a consummate specimen of a particular human type, and it is a type that Blake despises.” In Blake’s view, Newton “embodies the mathematical order in which he is rapt. The muscles outlining his back ribs form a perfect row of rhomboids;… Read more

For Easy Poetry

“Once upon a time,” writes Anthony Madrid, “there were two traditions in Anglophone poetry. On the one hand, there was poetry that was completely easy to understand and whose elegance depended on translucent phrases and straightforward sentiments. On the other hand, there was the hard stuff: poetry where the reader had to concentrate intensely, because every line was supersaturated with subtle meanings and exotic, twisted-up diction/syntax.” Not any more: “Ever since the later Elizabethans, the difficult tradition has utterly dominated… Read more

Bible v. Myth

Considering the roots of contemporary “new nationalism,” David Goldman contrasts the biblical roots of Anglo-American nationalism with the mythical roots of German nationalism. He suggests that Christianity faces a “conundrum,” since, unlike Judaism, its spiritual and ethnic origins are not identical: Christianity “sees its spiritual origin at Golgotha but its ethnic origin in the impenetrable mists of the distant past. To be a whole person, the Christian must find a way to reconcile these two demarcations of memory.” As Goldman… Read more

Drama of God

John Frame is engaged in a battle over “classical theism” or “scholasticism” as articulated by James Dolezal (about whom I’ve written here). Leave the terminology aside. Frame gets to the heart of the question, and gets it right: “The main content of Scripture is not that God is simple or changeless (though I think these concepts can be derived from Scripture), but that God has dealt with his creation through history, particularly with human beings, in a thrilling historical drama…. Read more

Fifth Gospel

Did you know there is a fifth Gospel in the Bible? Read more

What Is Prophecy?

Christian conceptions of prophecy are sometimes a mish-mash of ancient and modern conceptions. Read more

God Speaks in Flesh

At the climax of John’s prologue he announces the beginning of the gospel: The Word became flesh. Read more

The Power of Procreation

“The power of procreation and the power of conviction together confer on us, thanks to marriage, the combine strength of making epochs.” So writes Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy (In the Cross of Reality, 212). Marriage infuses new life into society, the possibility of peace. Without marriage, societies “cool down” into rigidity. Rosenstock expounds on this theme from several angles. Love, he argues, takes an external form: “These external features of love were once called in German Hochzeit [high time – that is,… Read more

Jotham and Solomon

The Chronicler’s brief, undetailed account of the reign of Jotham begins and ends formulaically. “Jotham was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem,” we learn in 2 Chronicles 27:1. Seven verses later, in case we have forgotten, the same is repeated: “He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem” (27:8). If nothing else, this sets up a neatly symmetrical structure for the entire… Read more

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