What’s the Good Word, God?

Gospel of John

As I write this, the feast of Christmas begins at sundown tomorrow. It brings me to think about the awesome masterwork of faith and understanding that is the Gospel of John, and probably the key concept that forms the foundation of John’s understanding of who Jesus was and is: his very nature or essence. His understanding goes far beyond just an appreciation for Jesus and his role in the history of humanity; it goes to the heart of Jesus’ role as essential bridge between the divine and, not only the human, but even the entire universe. Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ Continue Reading →

The Mantle of the Prophet


The first book of Kings describes the word of the Lord coming to Elijah at Horeb. The LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram; and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.1 So Elijah went and did what he was told. So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with twelve pairs of Continue Reading →

My Thoughts Are Not Your Thoughts


How perverse we humans are! In our “sophisticated” age of science and technology we gladly allow ourselves to be made fools of by the ancients who, in so very many ways, understood much more than we do. After all, they lacked all the layers of “sophistication” that we so easily and glibly use to mask and obscure the clarity of what they saw with their “unsophisticated” hearts. We seemingly deliberately “scientize” their writings in a valiant — and effective — effort to obscure their meaning, fulfilling the words of Isaiah: He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on listening, Continue Reading →

Prophetic Voices


Ever heard of “literary forms”? Sure you have. You probably know at least two different forms: poetry and prose. Of course, these are not the only literary forms in existence. There are plays, fiction and non-fiction, songs (a subset of poetry, perhaps?), history, fables, myths, etc. There are even blogs. There are literary forms that we use today and forms that went out of style centuries ago. When we look at the writings accepted by the Judeo-Christian communities we can see many different literary forms. Don’t forget: we’re considering a library of writings, not just one big one. Different writings Continue Reading →

The Word of the Lord


Ok, faithful readers . . . now we may be getting into it. Ready? Here’s what I’ve gone over with you so far: God, the Unknowable, the Transcendent is unreachable directly by the human mind. Even our language is practically useless talking about God. We use analogies because we cannot experience anything from a God’s-eye view: eternal, changeless, infinite. If God were to want us to know anything about what being God is all about, the communication would have to be in terms that we understand (like a mathematician trying to teach calculus to a chimp). God’s self-revelation has been Continue Reading →