Two Paraphrases from Matthew 10:28

Every early church father that I have found (Justin Martyr, Chrysostom and Origen) understands Christ in Matthew 10:28 to be saying that God can destroy body and soul (or breath) in hell (Vale of Hinnom). Only a tiny minority of recent scholars think that Christ is talking about Satan in Matthew 10:28. According to PeterContinue reading “Two Paraphrases from Matthew 10:28”

the world that we inhabit, that we create together as spiritual beings, that we perceive, that is the work of our wills in our ignorance is maya

Transcription from David Bentley Hart on the “Actually, It’s Good” podcast with an episode titled “Gnosticism… It’s Good” published Nov 17, 2020: 19:32My interest in recovering the real form of gnosticism, trying to understand what it really was, if we are going to keep trying to use that word, is mostly to try to detachContinue reading “the world that we inhabit, that we create together as spiritual beings, that we perceive, that is the work of our wills in our ignorance is maya”

it so brilliantly and penetratingly depicts the psychological conditions of those who condemn themselves to hell

I have always thought this the most fascinating aspect of C.S. Lewis’s sole genuine theological masterpiece, The Great Divorce: it so brilliantly and penetratingly depicts the psychological conditions of those who condemn themselves to hell that it inadvertently shows this self-condemnation to be as much a condition of unwilling slavery as of willing perversity—as muchContinue reading “it so brilliantly and penetratingly depicts the psychological conditions of those who condemn themselves to hell”

it so brilliantly and penetratingly depicts the psychological conditions of those who condemn themselves to hell

I have always thought this the most fascinating aspect of C.S. Lewis’s sole genuine theological masterpiece, The Great Divorce: it so brilliantly and penetratingly depicts the psychological conditions of those who condemn themselves to hell that it inadvertently shows this self-condemnation to be as much a condition of unwilling slavery as of willing perversity—as much adventitiouslyContinue reading “it so brilliantly and penetratingly depicts the psychological conditions of those who condemn themselves to hell”

Our Fall as Apocalyptic or Mythic vs. Philosophical or Contemplative

In several writings, David Bentley Hart connects human sin and suffering strongly with the idea of oppression by fallen angelic powers. Hart points this out as a strong theme in Paul’s letters and the rest of the New Testament but also make it clear that he holds this same position himself. However, Fr. Aidan (Al)Continue reading “Our Fall as Apocalyptic or Mythic vs. Philosophical or Contemplative”

able to keep us born aloft above an abyss of immense historical oblivion …capable of becoming just about anything, and that may amount to a kind of cultural genius

[15:32] This kind of abrupt but total adoption of another cultural identity—even if little more at times than a sort of fantastic version of that identity—is something of which Americans are sometimes uniquely capable. Perhaps this is because to be American is to be the deracinated child of some other land or people or severalContinue reading “able to keep us born aloft above an abyss of immense historical oblivion …capable of becoming just about anything, and that may amount to a kind of cultural genius”

A Brief Christian History of the Cosmos (with Some Defense and Exposition)

Christians claim that we live in a damaged world, although it still reveals to us an undamaged reality beyond and within. Growing up in a Christian home, I lived constantly with the idea that our brokenness is obvious and that all the beauty and wonder of this world speaks to us ceaselessly of a goodnessContinue reading “A Brief Christian History of the Cosmos (with Some Defense and Exposition)”

the fall of rational creation and the conquest of the cosmos by death is something that appears to us nowhere within the course of nature or history

The moral apostasy of rational beings from the proper love of God is somehow the reason for the reign of death and suffering in the cosmos, that human beings—constituting what Maximus the Confessor called the priestly “methorios” (the boundary or frontier) between the physical and the spiritual realms—severed the bond between God’s eternity and cosmicContinue reading “the fall of rational creation and the conquest of the cosmos by death is something that appears to us nowhere within the course of nature or history”

a regal, relentless and miraculous enmity

We are to be guided by the full character of what is revealed of God in Christ. For after all, if it is from Christ that we to learn how God relates himself to sin, suffering, evil and death, it would seem that he provides us little evidence of anything other than a regal, relentlessContinue reading “a regal, relentless and miraculous enmity”

free of the mechanical hypotaxis of the one and the boring boisterousness of the other

The circular, “synthetic;’ and pleromatic grandeur of the Hegelian infinite and the chaotic, univocal, and unharmonizable flux of the postmodern infinite are equally dreary; but the Christian infinite, free of the mechanical hypotaxis of the one and the boring boisterousness of the other, yields a profuse and irreducible parataxis, a boundless flood of beauties, beyondContinue reading “free of the mechanical hypotaxis of the one and the boring boisterousness of the other”