Bilbo: A Reformation Hero?

In J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, Tom Shippey observes that Bilbo is a member of the middle class, a bourgeois. Bilbo does not have any servants, but his hole is “the home of a member of the Victorian upper-middle class of Tolkien’s nineteenth-century youth, full of studies, parlours, cellars, pantries, wardrobes, and all the rest.” His pantry is always well equipped and […]

God In the Dock

Idolatry has deprived Israel of her senses. This was one of the early messages to Isaiah (Isaiah 6). Yahweh sent him out to a people who had been deprived of their senses because of their commitment to idols. They become like the idols they serve. They still have eyes, but they can’t see. They still have ears, but they can no longer hear. They still […]

Triune Personhood

In the current climate of Trinitarian discussion concerning personhood, it’s good to reach back to David Bentley Hart’s treatment of the subject in his wonderful Beauty of the Infinite. Hart addresses the dangers of misreading Rahner’s rule, namely, the danger of dissolving the ontological Trinity into the economic. In this section, he discusses the opposite danger of forsaking “the economic for the immanent Trinity, by […]

Footstool of His Feet

The translation and theology of the Hebrew term kapporet have long been puzzling to scholars. On the translation of the term, I have nothing new to offer. I wish instead to concentrate on the theological symbolism of the kapporet. The kapporet was the solid gold slab that laid “above” or “upon” the ark of the covenant in the Most Holy Place (Ex. 25:17-21). At either […]

The Hermeneutics of Haiku

“Three lines are enough” -Rabindranath Tagore My second favorite1 haiku was written by some internet wag: Haikus are easy But sometimes they don’t make sense Refrigerator. It captures not only the seeming randomness of haiku, but also the bewildering nature of poetry itself. Poetry, because of its compact expansiveness2, is a difficult art to master, but is indispensable for the reading and exegeting of the […]