On Names and Naming

We don’t think much about the Ten Commandments in my corner of the Christian world, which some of us would think is exactly as it should be—“we’re a people of grace!”—and I fit in the other camp when I wonder if our resistance to the commandments as law means we lose them as wisdom. It… Continue reading On Names and Naming

The Land of the Living

“He’s no longer in the land of the living,” we say with great solemnity as we pronounce that our friend has fallen asleep on the sofa. It’s a phrase we use fairly commonly, either to mean prosaically, “they’re dead”—which is actually uncommon because we prefer cleaner euphemisms that hide the reality entirely—or to refer to… Continue reading The Land of the Living

Holy Saturday

There’s this odd moment in the midst of our Easter celebrations, you might call it ‘Holy Saturday’ or just that day in the long weekend that doesn’t have a name. It’s that strange day caught between Friday’s sorrow and Sunday’s joy, where ‘nothing happened.’ Or maybe, an awful lot happened. There are I think three… Continue reading Holy Saturday

High and Lifted Up

Jesus hung on the cross, suspended between heaven and earth, dying. To us, a detail that we can perhaps use poetically but incidental among the whole. To the Church Fathers, however, an important point to understand the cross. When St Athanasius is exploring why God became Man in his famous On the Incarnation, he devotes… Continue reading High and Lifted Up

The Naming of Eve

In Genesis chapter 3, after the events that we usually call ‘the fall’ where the man and the woman are cursed along with the snake and the woman is given a promise for the future, Adam names the woman Eve. Then they are gifted new clothes from the skins of a sacrifice so they can… Continue reading The Naming of Eve

United

When Aesop, busy imagining tortoises volunteering for foot races, said “in union there is strength” he was acknowledging a truth that we all recognise. Like O2 used to tell us when trying to flog phone contracts, we’re better connected. That’s easy enough to say, but when it comes to doing something about it we swiftly… Continue reading United

Jesus in Ezekiel

In Ezekiel chapter one, the prophet relates to us a bizarre and compelling vision he has of Yahweh enthroned on his chariot by the rivers of Babylon. I’ve been reading through Ezekiel recently, with Robert Jenson’s commentary as a guide. The commentary is idiosyncratic and moves from flashes of brilliance to Jenson’s seeming admission that… Continue reading Jesus in Ezekiel