An Open Notebook

ArchiveDecember 2018



 The atonement of Christ is a question of “What did the cross achieve?” Cur Deo Homos? Why did God become man?

Lately, and for good reason, it’s been popular to talk of the atonement as a diamond—multi-faceted.

But, I realized when academics speak of atonement-theories, itit seems the ultimate answer to the query tends to be, “What’s the tip of the diamond?”

Augustine’s Analogy of Love


As Augustine’s analogy of God goes, Christians believe in a Triune God because we believe ‘God is love.’ If God truly is love, from eternity past to eternity present, he must be Triune. In other words, we cannot, as Christians, merely believe in a monistic god (such as ‘Allah,’ or ‘Yahweh’ as Judaism claims), because we believe in a God who is love, from eternity-past to eternity-present—the...

Literature Bubbles, New Horizons


Many of us get caught up the same-old-same-old literature bubbles. Read only web content? Blogs, news, magazines? Only mystery novels? Only pop music? Only Marvels movies? Only Reddit? What happens when an entire culture exempts longform content, including the Bible, from their reading? Well, our culture may soon be aware. Even churchgoers feign interest in the Bible for a couple hours a week...

Tracing the Trinity


If you chop the Trinity, it’s tritheism. If you spread the Trinity it becomes pantheism or Gnoticism. If you collapse the Trinity into a shapeshifter, it’s Modalism recast. And, if you turn the Trinity into merely a will, it’s just Arianism again. All these are so easy to do, churches would do well to recite and refer to the Nicene Creed, lest we fail to represent our Lord well. People...

Love Like Lombard


We need more ‘Peter Lombards’ in the world. Though he is not among the oft-spoken theologians, Lombard likely stands of equal or greater importance to the kingdom of God — at least, in our limited vision of history. While the legacy of many theologians lives on in their ideas, or quotations, or rhetoric, Lombard’s lasting impression remains his frameworks. Many theologians are known for their...

Dark Forest Ivories


My favorite quote about chess, written quite some time ago, is as follows. It too can be applied to other sports, but aptly speaks to the complexity of the ivory game. 

“You must take your opponent into a deep dark forest where 2+2=5, and the path leading out is only wide enough for one.”

Man Shall Not Live on Melodies Alone


Classical music, though an endearing form to many, can be easily differentiated from ‘popular music,’ which plays on the radio. Yet, what’s the difference between the two? What makes the latter, ‘popular’ and the other ‘classical?’ Why isn’t classical music as popular as ‘pop’ music? Many differences could be discussed: length, instrumentation, harmonies, melodies, and other technicalities. But...

A Prayer of Catherine of Seina


Some suppose you can do better by razing and remaking, but I think it’d be better to revive and utilize the past. Eternal God, eternal Trinity, you have made the blood of Christ so precious through his sharing in your divine nature. You are a mystery as deep as the sea; the more I search, the more I find, and the more I find the more I search for you. But I can never be satisfied; what I...

What is the Church? And, Why Does it Matter?


What is the church? Should we say it’s a mere assembly, meant to alleviate congregants of existential worry, or a people who undertake similar hobbies, like a chess club? Ought we call this people a counseling voice, a community group, or a comforting body? No, the Christian must contest all of these. But the questions which pertain to the church’s identity are wrapped up in essa, ‘what it is’...

Praying the Ten Commandments


Written by Martin Luther. Almighty and Everlasting God: you alone are God, there is no other. You have revealed yourself to us in many ways, through your creation, scripture and the prophets, and through your Son Jesus Christ.You have also revealed yourself to us by name, so that we can call out to you in faith, hope, and love. Help us to always remember that you are with us.Help us to keep the...

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