Monthly Archives: August 2013

Exegetical Ecumenism

Here’s a beautifully ecumenical moment in Papa Benedict’s fifth meditation on Saint Paul:  Es lohnt sich, an den Kommentar zu erinnern, mit dem der damalige Augustinermönch Martin Luther diese paradoxen Wendungen des Paulus begleitete: »Dies ist das großartige Geheimnis von … Continue reading

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Will the real al-Qaeda please stand up?

The WaPost has an interesting report today on a struggle at the heart of al-Qaeda in Syria. Since 2011, the Al-Nusra Front has been the (more or less) official arm of al-Qaeda there, and it profited immensely from the power … Continue reading

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Augustine on salvation

In De Spiritu et Littera 29.51, Augustine writes, “Opus enim, quod qui fecerit vivet in eo, non fit nisi a iustificato. Iustificatio autem ex fide impetratur…In tantum iustus, in quantum salvus.” The last line is killer: “Insofar as you’re just, just … Continue reading

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The Rights-Protecting State

In The Mighty and the Almighty, Wolterstorff offers an “argument from above,” from the revealed will of God, for the state’s authority to curb injustice, while in Understanding Liberal Democracy, he offers an “argument from below” for the same, rooted … Continue reading

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Eastern Syria, Western Kurdistan

From the BBC: Syrian Kurdish militia have been engaged in fierce fighting recently with the jihadists of the anti-Assad al-Nusra Front. Mr Barzani [President of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region] called for a delegation to visit the Kurdish areas in Syria. He … Continue reading

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Negotiating Dual Citizenship

The thesis of The Mighty and the Almighty: “Central to a Christian theological account of the state is an understanding of the duality of state authority mediating divine authority and an aunderstanding of the duality of Christians being under the … Continue reading

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Wolterstorff on Liberal Democracy and Virtue

In The Mighty and the Almighty, Wolterstorff identifies three possible forms of state governance, arguing vehemently for the first, tentatively endorsing the second, and flatly rejecting the third. They are as follows: 1) curbing injustice (codifying criminal law and maintaining a … Continue reading

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Consequences of Dropping Supersessionism

Bruce Marshall has a lovely essay on the Church’s relation to Israel in The Cambridge Companion to Christian Doctrine. Let me summarize the highlights: 1. Marshall, like most Catholic and mainline Protestant theologians nowadays, thinks we should abandon supersessionism (= the … Continue reading

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Bearing the cross as solidarity

In Mk 8:34, Jesus tell his disciples, “τις θέλει ὀπίσω μου ἀκολουθεῖν ἀπαρνησάσθω ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἀράτω τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀκολουθείτω μοι.” In Discipleship, Bonhoeffer beautifully draws out the implications of this verse for believers’ imitation of Christ (though not more beautifully … Continue reading

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Bordieu on philosophy’s limits

Pierre Bordieu’s Meditations pascaliennes opens with some truly beautiful reflections meant to put intellectuals firmly in their place. Here are two of my favorites, with light commentary (in Robert Brandom’s terms, this is commentary de re more than de dicto; aimed more at the … Continue reading

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