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 stars, inasmuch as they are visible, do not embody exact knowledge, which can only be grasped by the mind and thought.

Summary of Plato’s understanding of the stars from Origen and the Life of the Stars: A History of an Idea by Alan Scott (Oxford Early Christian Studies, Clarendon Press, 1994): Plato is less concerned with how things happen than with why they happen, and for this reason he regards astronomy as only of secondary importance.Continue reading “The stars, inasmuch as they are visible, do not embody exact knowledge, which can only be grasped by the mind and thought.”

pervading the air we shared together

Catching up on a few passages that I wanted to record from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: Looking towards the open window, I saw light wreaths from Joe’s pipe floating there, and I fancied it was like a blessing from Joe,—not obtruded on me or paraded before me, but pervading the air we shared together.Continue reading “pervading the air we shared together”

then they will clearly see the nature of the stars one by one

C.S. Lewis has a retired star (Ramandu) become a human father, and J.R.R. Tolkien has a man (Eärendil, Half-elven) carry a star into the heavens aboard his ship. Here are initial excerpts from Origen and the Life of the Stars: A History of an Idea by Alan Scott (Oxford UP): The second-century apologist Tatian asks what goodContinue reading “then they will clearly see the nature of the stars one by one”

Angelic, Glorified and Social Bodies in Dale Martin’s Work

Image: this is a detail from a traditional transfiguration icon. See full image and info at bottom of post. “In reality only the Deity is immaterial and incorporeal.” —St. John of Damascus Section Titles: Introduction Summary and Critique of Dale Martin’s Book (as an Aside) Martin’s Key Points on Paul’s Model of the Cosmos andContinue reading “Angelic, Glorified and Social Bodies in Dale Martin’s Work”

even as the day softens away into the sweet Twilight

This has been my Object, and this alone can be my Defence–and O! that with this my personal as well as my LITERARY LIFE might conclude!—the unquenched desire I mean, not without the consciousness of having earnestly endeavoured to kindle young minds, and to guard them against the temptations of Scorners, by showing that theContinue reading “even as the day softens away into the sweet Twilight”

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).Continue reading “to believe in a spiritually living creation that is full of spiritual life”

in his motion like an angel sings

Look how the floor of heaven Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold: There’s not the smallest orb which thou behold’st But in his motion like an angel sings, Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins; Such harmony is in immortal souls; But whilst this muddy vesture of decay Doth grossly close it in, weContinue reading “in his motion like an angel sings”

the Magi worship

Stichera from the Vespers of the Nativity (Translated by Fr. Seraphim Dedes): What shall we offer you, O Christ, because You have appeared on earth as a man for our sakes? For each of the creatures made by You offers You its thanks: the Angels, their hymn; the heavens, the Star; the Shepherds, their wonder;Continue reading “the Magi worship”

he wondered whether even the archangels understood the hornbill

He remembered a hornbill, which was simply a huge yellow beak with a small bird tied on behind it. The whole gave him a sensation, the vividness of which he could not explain, that Nature was always making quite mysterious jokes. Sunday had told them that they would understand him when they had understood theContinue reading “he wondered whether even the archangels understood the hornbill”