An Open Notebook

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Warnings About Wealth


In James 5:1-12, the author tells the capricious rich to take heed, those who live for wealth, mammon, and money–the monarchs and mercenaries. Such tirade couldn’t be called nice tete-a-tete either. James frames his righteous disdain for their actions in terms of a ‘woe,’ nearly a curse, telling the the rich to ‘weep and wail’ because of their wealth. And...

Elisions, Errors, and Emotions


Language never entirely captures meaning or emotion. Nature transcends language. God transcends language. A lot cannot be expressed by language.  There’s always an abundance, an overflow, of meaning in anything we say—like a cup running over. If this is so merely with our speech, language can never certainly grasp the goodness of God, and his communication to us. God must be beyond language...

Christian Life in Ten Phrases


Borrowing from J.I. Packer, good and pure theology involves… elucidating texts (exegesis),synthesizing what they say (biblical theology),seeing how the faith was stated in the past (historical theology),formulating it for today (systematic theology),finding its implications for proper conduct (ethics), commending and defending it as truth and wisdom (apologetics), defining the...

The Difference of If/When


The opening chapter of Hebrews makes seven citations from the First Testament (Hebrews’s own way of describing the Old Testament, cf. Hebrews 9:1). Honestly, we should not be surprised to find the number here, since seven has long been considered a number of ‘completeness’ or ‘perfection,’ indivisible by any other whole number. They are in order: (a) Hebrews 1:5/Psalm 2:7, (b) Hebrews...

Collective Editing


Seven pages into a particular paper, I realized I was over-complicating the matter. So, stepping back, recollecting my thoughts, I attempted to recast the topic in a more profitable way. This, of course, is only possible since I may edit the paper any way I want, for a grade ascribed to me only, hardly affecting anyone else—in line with only my standards of excellence and general integrity.  But...

Philosophical Poetry


Interestingly, Aristotle tells us poetry tends to be more philosophical than mere history, because poetry is concerned with universals, while history tends to focus upon particulars. (Aristotle, Poetics 9.1451b1–7)

For those who love history more than poetics, or poetics more than history, one might consider the genius of those who combine the two (Augustine’s Confessions). 

Gospel Ethics


Mark’s Gospel is a call to heroic discipleship in a world that betrayed, mocked, tried, and abandoned the Messiah—it shows how adventurous and dangerous discipleship could be. It collects Jesus’ words on a variety of topics and makes clear Christ’s words, not Moses’ are the basis of ethics now (Mark 8:38) Matthew’s Gospel seems to have much affinity with Mark, but shows that Christ fulfills the...

Understanding Seeking Doxology


Many have adopted Anslem’s famous phrase ‘Fides Quarens Intellectum’ – faith seeking understanding,as their life motto, but many lack the phrase put in addendum: ‘understanding seeking doxology’. Plenty use their faith to attempt to understand the world God made, and the one who created it. Yet, fewer still are seeking to use their reason to glorify God. You see, when Anselm says, ‘I believe in...

Addicted to Anger


The Christian Science Monitor recently mused about how twenty years ago, some wondered whether the West would turn apathetic towards politics. Lately, however, it appears we’ve been addicted to it, often provoked to anger. Politics has seeped into life’s quiet areas, consuming all which lay in its path and causing families to hurt each other over some ill-elevated idealogical stances. Good to...

Falling in Love With Voice


People have been discriminating against accents since the dawn of sin. Certain voices appear attractive to us and we act upon that beauty when we filter them based upon our desires.  Heartfelt as this may be, such impulse can’t be always good, when we depend on this sense above all others.  As it appears, we seem to filter and cluster kinds of voices (genres) into categories, first for...

An Open Notebook

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My open notebook to the world.