Gerazim and Ebal

Place names become fraught with meaning by association with people and events. The name “Wittenberg” calls to mind Luther and the Reformation for Protestants and Catholics alike. Geneva has a wider range of associations, but the Reformation Wall, with its four main statues of William Farel, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, and John Knox, guarantees that its Reformation past will not be forgotten. Just as these […]

Tomboys and Totems

“…a mystery without a solution, a horror story without savagery, a nightmare in which all the watches stop at noonday…” The Bestial Gardens of Men Then they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” (Luke 23:30) The following lines by Edgar Allan Poe, slightly reshaped, are the first spoken words in the classic Australian film, Peter Weir’s Picnic […]

The Structure and Typology of the Bathsheba Incident

2 Samuel 11-12, which record David’s sin with Bathsheba and its aftermath, is structured chiastically: This arrangement highlights several things about the episode. It reinforces what is obvious from even a casual reading, that the transition in the story occurs with Nathan’s confrontation of David’s sin and David’s confession. Up to that point, we have learned of David’s sin and his attempts to cover it. […]

Anthropomorphism and Christian Humanism

Medieval bestiaries are packed with quaintly inaccurate information about animals, birds, and other created things. Foxes and snakes are devilish critters; stags, pelicans and elephants are Christlike in their various ways. Of course, the medievals picked this up from the Bible, where bestiary observations are fairly common. “Go to the ant, you sluggard” is the most famous. Solomon exhorts his son to observe the behavior of ants, […]

The End of Beerocracy

What do Reformational Catholicism and craft beer have in common? The question seems to beg for a punchline. Better yet, it would be pretty good clickbait for an article on Katharina von Bora’s “spirited” contribution that helped spark the Protestant Reformation. Well, this is no joke and I am certainly not qualified to trace the impact of the Luther family brewery on 16th century Europe. […]