Articles by Gerald Hiestand

  • Paul and James on the Meaning of Genesis 15:6

    One of the more revealing aspects of Paul and James’ soteriology is the different ways they both use Genesis 15:6 (“And Abraham believed God and it was counted for him as righteousness,”) as a proof text to defend their comments about the gospel. The key observation to make is that in Romans 4, Paul views […]

  • God of the Furies

    The idea of atonement is not a distinctly Christian, or even Hebraic, concept. It also makes an appearance in ancient Greek thought (among other places). The Greek tradition is by no means monolithic, so it isn’t possible to speak of a “Greek” concept of atonement. But there are certain commonalities that show up in the […]

  • The Idiot and the Limits of Compassion

    Dostoyevsky’s novel, The Idiot, like his other major works, is a complex evaluation of the human condition—a juxtaposition of the innate goodness and innate evil that resides within every human heart. There is much one can say about The Idiot. I am no specialist of Russian literature, or Dostoyevsky. I enjoy his writing, laborious and […]

  • Must A Light Bulb Be “Oriented Toward Illumination”?

    Mr. Martian: What’s that there? Mr. Edison: (Edison holds up a standard, 60 watt lightbulb). It’s a lightbulb. Mr. Martian: A “lightbulb” you say? What exactly is a “lightbulb”? Mr. Edison: A lightbulb is an object used to illuminate a dark area, say a room. It’s made primarily of filament and glass. When it’s plugged […]

  • Augustine on Pagan Virtue

    My children attend a classical Christian school, situated in the independent “free church” evangelical tradition. Over the past few years they have been growing in their acquaintance with the world of Homer, Plato, Virgil, and Livy. They enjoy it, and I envy it. The school is a great school. My oldest came home the other […]

  • Sexual Idolatry

    Augustine famously prayed, “Our hearts our restless until they rest in You.” True indeed. Being creatures, we inherently sense our ontological poverty—our innate condition of dependence—and are compelled to find a sense of security. And it is also true—as Augustine’s own narrative painfully illustrates—that one of the things we most naturally gravitate toward as a […]