Saint Ambrose as a Doctor of the Church. Detail from the manneristic frescos by Carlo Urbino on the ceiling of the altar chapel in the Cappella di sant’Aquilino in the Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore in Milan, Italy. Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto, May 18 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Abraham represents the mind. In fact Abraham signifies passage. Therefore, in order that the mind, which in Adam had allowed itself to run to pleasure and to bodily attractions, should turn toward the ideal form of virtue, a wise man has been proposed to us as an example to imitate. Actually Abraham in Hebrew signifies “father,” in the sense that the mind, with the authority, the judgment and the solicitude of a father, governs the entire person. This mind then was in Haran, that is, in caverns, subject to the different passions. For this reason it is told, “Go from your country,” that is, from your body. From this land went forth the one whose homeland is in the heavens. ON ABRAHAM 2.1–2.
I am preaching on Genesis 12.1–4 next Sunday, so I am studying the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. Here, Ambrose presents a highly allegorized version of Abraham. A century after him, Caesarius of Arles would carry this vision on. It is interesting to see Ambrose give Abraham almost a philosophical (Platonic?) flare. Note the use of “caverns” as the place to leave.
I thought that being a Christian would make one smarter!
Read and be embarrassed of some of your fellow “christians” (small c). BTW, The same chapter extols women wisdom! What an ignoramus!
If you do a very simple exegesis in Proverbs 31, mainly on verse 23 (Prov 31:23) you will find that her husband’s wisdom is respected in the city among the rulers because they know who is his wife; it is because of her wisdom. Notably these rulers, called elders for a reason, know that this man goes back to his home after work and at supper table, relates his day at work to her and she provides him with wise counseling. Judging by the previous verses, this lady is a genius. She validates the term “lead from behind”.
As a frequent flyer I feel at ease when I see a woman at the yoke. This guy not only ignores biblical teaching about women but also created one of his own and now is being inappropriate, offensive, giving unsolicited opinion… Actually he added to the text something that is not there and was not meant to be there. This fellow needs to get out more!
I am awarding him the Golden Emerod (1 Sam 6:5-11) – The Oscar of biblical stupidity!
Well deserved Sir… well deserved!
Passenger note for female pilot: “The cockpit of an airline is no | www.krmg.com.
…God is essentially a construct. God doesn’t do anything except give credence and authority to the ethical claims that we want to endorse.
via Church Coffee: Does God Actually Do Anything?.
Of course I would suggest reading the entire post. I may have taken it out of context.
Jim, as he usually does, has a bit of fun at my expense. That’s okay. I destroy him most days.
It involved this picture:
We all get it. Ha. Ha.
But, notice Jim’s comments. “Look carefully.” “Joel Watts.” “1830.”
Then, I get up this morning and see this (friendly alerted) on Brill’s facebook page:
It comes from Brill History’s facebook page:
Dang… that’s funny. Except…
The 1830 Joel Watts (or as we call him, the 27th Joel Watts), did not write a book on Zwingli (thank God).
Rather, this preface comes from a different book by a different author on a different non-Zwingli subject:
Notice Brill History’s comments.
“Read carefully.” “Joel Watts.” “1830.”
I would assume they derived “Zwingli’s Letters and Treatises” from the name of the blog, although I would not call Jim’s series of “Answering your Letters” the same thing as “Letters and Treatises.”
Internet memes are fun, aren’t they?
Some people firmly believe that there is a war on Christianity going on in America today. Many will even present what they consider evidence related to “Christian holidays” and “Symbols” that are not necessarily either essential for Christian living or even doctrine. But they still argue that although these holidays and symbols are not prescribed in the Bible they are recognized as things which have elicited Christian sentiments for ages, thus, any position that prohibits their public display is a a direct war on Christianity. Others believe that there it isn’t enough Christianity in America against which to wage a war and that actually the war is against “churchianity” and/or fundamentalism.
I believe that growing up as a Baptist boy in a former Roman Catholic Country, (as it today is either Mystical Pentecostal or Mystical Spiritualist, especially of the African cult influence) – something the RCC refuses to recognize, I know how uncomfortable it is not to “fit in”. Those who decry too much Christian exposure on the account of their discomfort, may be right! If we write the story of Christianity as it is presented today, with all its symbols and holidays, a honest historian will have to admit and write that these symbols and holidays have probably worked better against the propagation of the message of the Gospel than in favor. If one is not ignorant of the devil and his devices (II Cor 2:11), the trivialization of the message of the Gospel is really one of his favorite works; “Make it into a nursery rhyme” kind of work. My conclusion will shock you but that may not be so bad: Perhaps those who allegedly war against Christianity are in a strange way serving as puny servants of God to fight against the devil and his devices! Reflect on it! Perhaps these guys are God’s servants whereas the whiners and those who decry and proclaim an imaginary war against Christianity, aka, the “fundamentalists”, are working as the devil’s vassals!
They knew his chief moniker
A few weeks ago, I asked about evangelism via the tweets. Often times, we hear that word and think of the obtrusive “Do you know Jesus,” or “if you died tonight, would you go to heaven.”
This is not what I mean.
Rather, what I mean is something like what Kim M. is doing here.
Her goal is to help women who are locked in the sex trade you know about to find a way out. Often times, women in this business are there because of economic reasons. Poverty. Drugs. Lack of Education. Lack of social help. It is not because they are immoral sex-fiends bent on destroying wholesome men.
We can help.
You can by liking a facebook page because it will help to spread the word about this work.
What is a sociologist of religion to make of the New Calvinism?
The New Calvinists, by which I mean that branch of American Evangelicalism that has arisen in the past 20 years centered on Reformed theology and complementarianism (including but not limited to the Young, Restless and Reformed crowd), don’t constitute a majority of Evangelicalism. I’d wager they’re very much in the minority theologically. Yet they seem to have influence within Evangelicalism that far exceeds their size as a group. Time Magazine, after all, called it one of their “10 Ideas Changing the World’ back in 2009- a claim that I met skeptically, particularly in light of the explosion of Pentecostalism in the global south during the same time period. Of all the religious movement in the world, why on earth should the activity of a wing of American Evangelicalism garner so much attention?
So my initial orientation to the question I posed at the beginning of this post was “Nothing worth speaking about”. I had chalked it up to the intrinsic stratification of the Western world (why mention the religious activity of millions of poor brown people when a handful of rich white Evangelicals are making graphic t-shirts?). In other words, the New Calvinism was a fad limited to a wing of Evangelicalism that ultimately was of no sociological significance.
Over the past couple of years, while exploring some literature in the sociology of culture and the sociology of knowledge, I’ve had the opportunity to reassess my position. While my assessment of the mere size of the movement is probably still accurate, my original conclusion couldn’t account for the vast cultural output of the New Calvinism (Books! Conferences! Rap music!), the celebrity status of their leaders or the fury with which they planted boundaries (Penal Substitution! ESV! Chromosme-based requirements for ministry!). Many conversations and shower-thoughts later, I came to the conclusion that the history and activity of the New Calvinism is best described as a shift in American Evangelical identity. Below I’ve brief sketched some of the theoretical signposts that led to my conclusion (this is not a full argument by any means), in the hopes that it will make some sense of things.
- Culture, whatever else it is, is the power to define reality.
- Culture can be conceived as a sphere, with a center and periphery.
- At the center of cultural spheres are ‘cultural elites’; they produce culture and command reality-defining power.
- New Calvinists are the major culture producers within American Evangelicalism, and have moved to its cultural center.
- As the cultural elites of Evangelicalism, the New Calvinists are uniquely situated to wield reality-defining power.
- The end result is a shift in the cognitive and normative definitions of American Evangelicalism.
- So what is the sociological significance of the New Calvinists? The New Calvinism is the cognitive and normative redefinition of American Evangelicalism to be centered upon Reformed Complementarianism.
I think this can account for a lot of the Evangelical experience with the New Calvinist movement that has occurred in the past two decades. If accurate, it perhaps raises the stakes for those who have seen them as a source of irritation- for they’re not just a movement within a branch of Evangelicalism, but the cultural center of Evangelicalism. The takeaway is simple but broad in its implications: The New Calvinists currently own the power to define Evangelical reality.