heirs of a culture that sprang from Peter’s tears

“The Face of the Faceless” (chapter 13 in Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies, Yale UP, 2009) by David Bentley Hart is a beautiful chapter in a profound book. Read it if you have not. Here’s an extended excerpt: All four of the canonical Gospels tell the tale of the apostle Peter’sContinue reading “heirs of a culture that sprang from Peter’s tears”

who would love us more than he

This passage from The Belgic Confession (1561, in Article 26) brings to mind “the only lover of mankind” as a way of referencing Jesus within many old prayers: For neither in heaven nor among the creatures on earth is there anyone who loves us more than Jesus Christ does. Although he was “in the formContinue reading “who would love us more than he”

His mother had been careful to make him aware of that

From Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (chapter 4): Suffering at the mercy of the elements was accepted by Jethro as being quite as natural as the hunger for green vegetables and fresh fruit that was always with him during the winter. When one found comfort, he was grateful, but he was never such aContinue reading “His mother had been careful to make him aware of that”

all these beliefs rest securely upon a more fundamental and radical faith in the nothing

David Bentley Hart’s Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies (2009) lakes up a theme that he’s gone much farther with in recent articles: Those of us who now, in the latter days of modernity, are truest to the wisdom and ethos of our age place ourselves not at the disposal of God,Continue reading “all these beliefs rest securely upon a more fundamental and radical faith in the nothing”

moral responsibility arises neither from contractual relationships nor from the cooperative exchange between independent individuals

For gentleness requires, as Reimlers observes, that we learn to see that “the other person is ‘given’ to us in the sense that, prior to rules and principles of social morality, the presence of the other in our lives constitutes our responsibility. Moral responsibility arises neither from contractual relationships nor from the cooperative exchange betweenContinue reading “moral responsibility arises neither from contractual relationships nor from the cooperative exchange between independent individuals”

we tend to see ourselves primarily in the light of our intentions

E. F. Schumacher, in A Guide for the Perplexed: Since …we tend to see ourselves primarily in the light of our intentions, which are invisible to others, while we see others mainly in the light of their actions, which are visible to us, we have a situation in which misunderstanding and injustice are the orderContinue reading “we tend to see ourselves primarily in the light of our intentions”

professional descendants

You could say we’re professional descendants. …You see, what no one ever realized until about two hundred years ago is that The Nice and Accurate Prophecies was Agnes’s idea of a family heirloom. Many of the prophecies relate to her descendants and their well-being. She was sort of trying to look after us after she’dContinue reading “professional descendants”

understanding, making, and healing, to preserve all things unstained

Elrond concerting the three rings: They are not idle. But they were not made as weapons of war or conquest: that is not their power. Those who made them did not desire strength or domination or hoarded wealth, but understanding, making, and healing, to preserve all things unstained. From The Fellowship of the Ring byContinue reading “understanding, making, and healing, to preserve all things unstained”

we are in a world of invisible people

E. F. Schumacher in A Guide for the Perplexed: Inner space is created by the [combined] powers of life, consciousness, and self-awareness; but we have direct and personal experience only of our own “inner space” and the freedom it affords us. The human …in his inner space …can develop a center of strength so thatContinue reading “we are in a world of invisible people”

the direction in which their unmarred fulfillment must lie

J.R.R.Tolkien in his notes on “Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth.” Finrod, however, sees now that, as things were, no created thing or being in Arda, or in all Eä, was powerful enough to counteract or heal Evil: that is to subdue Melkor (in his present person, reduced though that was) and the Evil that he hadContinue reading “the direction in which their unmarred fulfillment must lie”