Homer, Virgil, and the Theology of the Underworld

Among the host of ways Virgil modifies and develops Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, the changes wrought to the underworld are arguably the most substantial. A complex geography forms of punishment, rivers, the abyss and the “places of delight” fills what was a much simpler and more monotonous landscape in Homer. Beyond the setting, Virgil explores his underworld in conjunction [Read More…]

Sitting Just Quietly in God’s Light

One the happiest parts of my life at present is the view out my office window. My second-story window in Sutherland Hall at Biola University looks down on a little sunlit courtyard with a fountain. The branches of a tree touch the window, and through-out the day, the sunlight filters through the leaves illuming and [Read More…]

“O Spare Me” for the New Year (W.B. Pope)

Should a Christian pray for a longer life on earth? Never mind admitting that that’s what you want; the question is whether you have any grounds for asking God to give you more years of this life. In 1869, Methodist theologian William Burt Pope published a sermon for the new year, on the last line [Read More…]

The Advent of Good Will

By far my favorite story about the celebration of Christmas is the Christmas truce of 1914. On the night of December 24th, entrenched and fully engaged in deadly combat, German soldiers in Ypres began to observe Christmas festivities. They lit candles, decorated a tree, and began to sing carols. After a short while, the British troops [Read More…]

The Classical Question of the Origin of Evil

At a recent panel discussion (ETS 2013 in Baltimore), I was asked to say a few things about John Wesley’s view of the origin of evil. The first thing I wanted to say is that Wesley thought of the origin of evil as a classical question. By calling the question of evil’s origin “classical,” I [Read More…]

C.S. Lewis: on faces and how to get them

This morning, Fred Sanders and I participated in a chapel honoring C.S. Lewis’ life and works. Here’s a little reflection on a passage from Till We Have Faces: Be careful of the story you tell yourself. This is some of the best advice my husband has ever given me. And, as we listen to the [Read More…]

A Culture of Secrets and Intimidation

Richie Incognito’s alleged harassment of his Miami Dolphins’ teammate Jonathan Martin has been in the news a great deal these last couple weeks, and it is a complex story. I assume that there will be a good deal more of “he said he said,” and that we may never get to the bottom of what [Read More…]

The Glory of God

If God’s glory falls in the middle of the cosmos, and no one’s there to hear it, does it make a sound? This was the question I used this week to begin discussions on Jonathan Edward’s The End for Which God Created the World. Scripture is full of discussions of God’s glory. It is God’s [Read More…]

Iconography of Cain and Abel

I can’t take the time to give proper commentary on these images, but I just rooted around on the web for pictures of the sacrifices of Cain and Abel, because I wanted to see how various artists interpreted the offerings. The story in Genesis is so sparely narrated that it tends to call forth vigorous [Read More…]

The Must-read Medieval Authors

This summer I was fortunate to have two chapters that I wrote published in an excellent volume from InterVarsity Press entitled Reading the Christian Spiritual Classics (edited by Kyle Strobel and Jamin Goggin). My first contribution was a historical and contemporary overview of the discipline of spiritual theology while the other was an overview of [Read More…]