Thou hast broken open the all-devouring belly of Hell and snatched me out

Here are a few of the many hymns from last night with the start of Lazarus Saturday. Toward the end, several of them break into the voice of Lazarus himself or of Hell itself. Calling Lazarus from the tomb, immediately Thou hast raised him; but Hell below lamented bitterly, and groaning, trembled at Thy power, […]

we find it hitched to everything else in the universe

From John Muir: Nature Writings (an anthology): When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. One fancies a heart like our own must be beating in every crystal and cell, and we feel like stopping to speak to the plants and animals as friendly […]

to believe in a spiritually living creation that is full of spiritual life

Here is my own transcription from a part of the Crackers & Grape Juice podcast by Jason Micheli “Episode 147 – David Bentley Hart: The Gloves Come Off” posted on April 13, 2018. [22:55] Hart: [N.T. Wright is] so hostile to the fact of the first century being Jewish and Greek at once (and Persian). […]

the world was created for my sake

“Whosoever saves a single life, saves an entire universe.” (From the Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5.) The entire surrounding passage is noteworthy: How are witnesses inspired with awe in capital cases? They are brought in and admonished as follows: In case you may want to offer testimony that is only conjecture or hearsay or secondhand evidence, even […]

each stitch was such a ponderous ritual that he couldn’t bear to watch

Various passages from The Book of Strange New Things: A Novel by Michel Faber: Overall, though, he had to admit that the scenery here was less beautiful than he’d seen in, well, quite a few other places. He had expected mind-boggling landscapes, canyons shrouded in swirling mists, tropical swamps teeming with exotic new wildlife. It […]

we know so little about life

The question is, does the system I’ve just devised help us in the evaluation of literature? Perhaps a real masterpiece cannot be crucified on a cross of this design. How about Hamlet? …But there’s a reason we recognize Hamlet as a masterpiece: it’s that Shakespeare told us the truth…. The truth is, we know so […]