Upbuilding Discourses

“Purity of heart is to blog one thing.” -E.J. Hutchinson

The Order of the Commandments

The order of the commandments in the Decalogue has its own inner logic that writers have described in various ways. Below I have translated Johann Gerhard's discussion from the twelfth locus (On the Law of God) of his Loci theologici. This is followed by a long...

An Easter Egg in Plato’s Phaedo

I have a longish post I want to write on Plato's Phaedo. This is not that post. This is a different one. When reading Plato's dialogues, it is tempting to identify every view attributed to Socrates as a view of Plato's, and from there to suggest that Plato wished the...

Natural Law, Naturally Known

For this week's "Melanchthon Monday," a short passage on the law of nature, and our natural knowledge of it, that I have translated from the secunda aetas, or "second period," of the Loci communes. I think it is fair to say that it still surprises a lot of people to...

Check Your (Authorial) Privilege

It is reasonable to suggest that the deep roots of the New Criticism--the position that what matters for the critical task is “the text,” not the author, his biography, his historical context, or his intentions; for the text is a closed system to be understood on its...

The Tragedy of Politics

In his Parallel Lives, Plutarch links Theseus, the legendary King of Athens, with Romulus, the first (legendary?) King of Rome. As is the case with most of the paired Lives, Plutarch offers a comparison at the end. He notes that both Theseus and Romulus were...

Piercing Heaven

For this week's "Melanchthon Monday," a short poem--only a couplet--on prayer, inspired by Luke 24. EX LUCA 24. CAPITE.Ut tua pertingat, penetretque precatio caelum, Ardenti fiat speque fideque frequens. "From Luke 24"If you desire that your prayer may ascend up to...

Calling on God in “Truth”

Psalm 145:18 says, "The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth" (ESV). If we read the Psalms in light of Christ as, e.g., Augustine tells us too, we might think of John 14:6: "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life....

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