Category: Faith and Reason

O’Rourke’s Book

Let me introduce Fran O’Rourke’s book, Pseudo-Dionysius and the Metaphysics of Aquinas. It’s a solid contribution to the history of Christian thought. O’Rourke, a philosopher, teaches in Dublin and the book came out with E. J. Brill in 1992. It’s now in paperback from Notre Dame. Why mention a book intended for academics? Will it …

Read More O’Rourke’s Book

Who?

“Christendom” is the collective rhetorical tag for all who are now or have been associated with historical Christianity. To outside observers—whether Hindu, Buddhist, Islamist, or secularists—the links are loose and ill-informed. But the result is that Christendom – that is, the Western world – is a monolithic spiritual opponent. And when outside observers are hardened …

Read More Who?

In the Beginning

John twice alludes to Genesis 1:1—“In the beginning God”—to launch his own writing. In the fourth Gospel we find “In the beginning was the Word” and in 1 John 1 he starts with an almost identical reference “That which was from the beginning.” John, obviously, held this to be critical in orienting his readers to …

Read More In the Beginning

Unchanging Change

Change is constant—there’s no escaping it. And our changes in life can range from profound to unsettling—though most land somewhere in between. Nothing we experience in a given moment will ever return in exactly the same way. Our bodies grow and then decline and finally give up. Our primary relationships emerge in the heyday of …

Read More Unchanging Change

Low and Despised

Not many of us want to be known as “low and despised.” And if a close friend calls us “foolish” and “weak” we’re not likely to be thrilled—right? So why was Paul so rough in writing to his friends in Corinth? Our best answer is that he was being honest. This young church, it seems, …

Read More Low and Despised

Awkward Faith

Curt sent me a link to a “nerdist” website that features a bicycle with a gear added to reverse the steering. When a rider turns right the front wheel turns left, and vice versa. So every instinct of the rider is wrong. The results are awkward: each effort to pedal ends in an instant upset. …

Read More Awkward Faith

Fully Convinced

Can you recall a time when a friend or family member made a promise so weighty you had to stop and wonder? I remember one such case—when Steve offered to cover almost half the cost of my hoped-for studies in London. I had all but given up on the project when he made his promise, …

Read More Fully Convinced

An Enigmatic God

A week ago a USA church denomination led by progressives changed its stance on a big social issue. In reading jubilant news responses I thought of God. Why is he so slow to change, even when visionaries offer to coach him? The question reaches back over many centuries. Some leaders in Genesis, for instance, realized …

Read More An Enigmatic God

By Invitation Only

How do we present the gospel to a skeptical world? Let’s consider a few common approaches. Arguing is one option: God’s existence is affirmed by proofs such as Christ’s miraculous resurrection. The premise is that undeniable evidence for the supernatural—with the moral implications of the supernatural God in view—will stir a decision to believe. This …

Read More By Invitation Only