In a discussion of God’s transcendence, Jeremy Begbie (Redeeming Transcendence in the Arts) observes that some accounts of transcendence leave the impression “that language is something by its very nature that God would long to escape, that something so finite and susceptible to corruption could have no integral role in God’s purposes” (111). Begbie rightly rejects this extreme apophaticism: “at the center of the New Testament we find a Person who speaks. To claim that the Word became flesh …. Read more

In his “Person” in Christian Tradition, Stephen Hipp notes that the “originality” of Cappadocian Trinitarian theology “lies in using the word hypostasis to designate the person in distinction from the substance. The distinction between hypostasis and ousia had not been instituted during apostolic times; the Greek Fathers are the first to articulate it in order to resist the heretical temptation to advocate three distinct Gods or a singe divine Person” (49). This usage, Hipp argues, represents not only an advance… Read more

William Hasker (Metaphysics and the Tri-Personal God) cites Carl Mosser’s objection to social Trinitarianism’s claim that the three Persons are “distinct centers of willing”: “If the divine persons cannot differ because they necessarily act in concert with one another, then attributing distinct wills is superfluous. Attributing distinct wills to two or more persons simply is an admission of the possibility of difference. If there can be no difference, then the individuals share a single will” (206). Hasker responds by noting… Read more

Shannon Hayes is a different kind of feminist, a feminist who has not only broken from the patriarchy but from she views as a global capitalist system that buttresses the patriarchy. She is a Radical Homemaker. She explains that “Radical Homemakers are men and women who have chosen to make family, community, social justice and the health of the planet the governing principles of their lives. They reject any form of labor or the expenditure of any resource that does… Read more

William Mann has argued that when medievals identify God with His attributes, they identify Him with “property instances,” specific individuals in a relationship of instantiation with the universals that they instantiate. Jeffrey Brower (“Making Sense of Divine Simplicity,” Faith and Philosophy 25: 1 [2008]: 3-30) explains, “As Mann sees it, therefore, we must distinguish between two very different kinds of property-abstract universals such as goodness, power, and wisdom, and concrete individual properties such as God’s goodness, God’s power, and God’s wisdom,… Read more

Robert Tombs (The English and Their History) observes that many intellectuals have pondered the character of nations for the past two centuries, asking “whether nations are ancient or modern phenomena; whether they have some organic existence as cultural, genetic or geographical entities; whether they are political and ideological fabrications; or indeed various mixtures of these.” Tombs takes the position that “most nations and their shared identities are modern creations, the products of literacy, urbanization, and state-led cultural and political unification.”… Read more

Andrew Robinson (God and the World of Signs) cannot prove that C.S. Peirce drew inspiration for his semiotic pattern of Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness from Trinitarian theology. But Robinson is struck by the parallels between Peircean semiotics and Trinitarian theology. For starters, he points to similarities between Athanasius’ paradigms of origin and supplementation (the sun cannot exist with its radiance; a spring cannot be a spring without a supplemental flow) and Peirce’s conception of the logical necessity of First to… Read more

John Stuart Mill hoped (in Jason Brennan’s summary) “that getting people involved in politics would make them smarter, more concerned about the common good, better educated, and nobler. He hoped getting a factory worker to think about politics would be like getting a fish to discover there’s a world outside the ocean. Mill hoped political involvement would harden our minds yet soften our hearts. He hoped that political engagement would cause us to look beyond our immediate interests and instead… Read more

Several essays in the book, Believer’s Baptism, observe the inconsistencies in paedobaptist defenses of infant baptism. In the introduction, editors Thomas Schreiner and Shawn D. Wright focus on the issue of apostasy. If the warning passages in, say, Hebrews are real threats to people within the covenant community, then “some who have the law written on their heart and who have received the forgiveness of sins (Heb 10:16-18) are not truly forgiven.” This position puts “a wedge between those who are… Read more

Gatherings of the ancient Athenian citizen assembly began with the sacrifice of a pig and the sprinkling of blood to consecrate a sacred space. When a Roman emperor wanted to discover the future, he sacrificed an animal and dispatched a specialist to read the entrails. It’s been a long time since sacrifice was so intimately connected to political life, and, as I argued in Defending Constantine, we have Constantine to thank for that. A number of recent writers, however, have… Read more

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