June 23, 2019

Back to the issue of public policy. According to the surveys I’ve seen, the vast majority of Americans are not in favor of abortions of convenience, by which I mean abortions that do not involve medical emergencies which risk the very life of the mother, and do not involve rape or incest. The general public thinks abortions should be legal and available from capable medical professionals in such exceptional cases. But one should not make a principle or rule out… Read more

June 22, 2019

The Bible, on any fair reading, has what would be called today a rather strict sexual ethic. The basic position is no sexual activity outside the context of marriage, and marriage is defined, going all the way back to Gen. 1-2, and reiterated by Jesus (see Mark 10/Matt. 19) as involving one man and one woman. No, polygamy is not endorsed in the Bible, though it is described in places as an existing condition. And no, same sex sexual activity… Read more

June 21, 2019

This novel will not be published in the U.S. until the end of July ($26.00 in hardback), but that does not stop me from ordering in from Amazon U.K. where it’s been out for some months now. This is now the seventh novel in Davis’ Flavia Albia series, the sequel to her long running series about Flavia’s father Falco. Flavia has taken up the family business, by which I mean being a sleuth. And here is the summary of the… Read more

June 20, 2019

Pictured above— Mary asking— How could I be pregnant? I’m under no illusions that these blog posts will settle anything in the ongoing issues surrounding abortion but since a challenge to Roe vs. Wade appears likely to be on the horizon, a few reflections from a Christian viewpoint (notice I do not say THE Christian viewpoint) will not go amiss here. Firstly, it is a debatable issue whether Christians, in an increasingly less Christian culture, should be dictating public policy… Read more

June 19, 2019

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June 18, 2019

Like his predecessor Michelangelo, Tintoretto worked in various media, including sculpting. Here is his own work on Samson, following Michelangelo’s previous efforts to depict the same scene. First he did a sketch, then the statue itself. Sometimes, Tintoretto would make other preliminary sorts of works, for example mannequins, so he could get the proportions right…… All in all, this exhibit was splendid and very revealing of the scope of Tintoretto’s work. Of course he also did standard portraits as well……. Read more

June 17, 2019

One of the more truly colossal paintings of Tintoretto is the one he did in the Doge’s Palace covering an entire wall. It is the scene called ‘Paradise’ and serves as a reminder to those who came to the Doge for ‘judgments’ that there would be a final one, and a heaven to be gained. This painting owes something to Michelangelo’s famous Sistine Chapel painting, as is readily observed. Read more

June 16, 2019

The Last Supper was a common subject for Italian religious paintings, and here Tintoretto, like Da Vinci depicts the moment after Jesus said, ‘one of you will betray me’ and the disciples are all asking ‘is it I?’ Below is the apparition of Mary to St. Jerome… Patrons of the arts could be really quite self-indulgent, and so here we have pictures of the Doge and his family in the painting with Madonna and child , or the city treasurers… Read more

June 15, 2019

Here is a quite revealing self-portrait of Tintoretto as an older man. Tintoretto, unlike Da Vinci, was a deeply religious man, and so he tried to paint Biblical scenes in an interesting but appropriate manner. Here is a picture of Jesus’ baptism by John. proving it was done as a sprinkling not an immersion (from the Catholic viewpoint). Here is the flagellation of Christ…. Here is the entombment of Christ…. My favorite OT painting of Tintoretto is the creation of… Read more

June 14, 2019

(This review just appeared in the SBL review of books available online through the SBL website—This review was published by RBL 2019 by the Society of Biblical Literature. For more information on obtaining a subscription to RBL, please visit http://www.bookreviews.org/subscribe.asp.). Amy-Jill Levine and Ben Witherington III The Gospel of Luke New Cambridge Bible Commentary Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018. Pp. x + 715. Paper. $39.99. ISBN 9780521676816. Troy M. Troftgruben Wartburg Seminary In the field of New Testament studies, Amy-Jill… Read more

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