Blog Archives

Quote for the Week

Now let the heavens be joyful,
Let earth her song begin;
Let the round world keep triumph,
And all that is therein;
Invisible and visible,
Their notes let all things blend,
For Christ the Lord is risen
Our joy that hath no end.

–Saint John of Damascenus, in The Congregational Hymn Book: Psalms and Hymns for Divine Worship (1881), p. 219; courtesy of Wikiquote.

Quote for the Week

Jede Trennung gibt einen Vorgeschmack des Todes und jedes Wiedersehen einen Vorgeschmack der Auferstehung.

Every parting gives a foretaste of death, every reunion a hint of the resurrection.

–Arthur Schopenhauer, Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2, Ch. 26, § 310, as translated by Eric F. J. Payne; courtesy of Wikiquote.

Quote for the Week

Now let the heavens be joyful,
Let earth her song begin;
Let the round world keep triumph,
And all that is therein;
Invisible and visible,
Their notes let all things blend,
For Christ the Lord is risen
Our joy that hath no end.

–Saint John of Damascus, in The Congregational Hymn Book: Psalms and Hymns for Divine Worship (1881), p. 219; courtesy of Wikiquote.

Christ and Mythology

I was browsing though stuff on an external hard drive recently and found a few documents that I’d written that I thought might be worth making into blog posts.  The following essay was originally written as an email response to a friend with whom I was having a discussion.  It has been edited slightly, but still may sound a bit like an email.  I think it holds up, for all that, so I’m leaving it essentially as I found it with only very light editing.  Enjoy!

You said awhile back that I hadn’t told you my views of the dying-god myths of Classical antiquity (e.g., Venus and Adonis, and so on).  As I said, I’ve actually told you my opinion before, which is that such things aren’t really relevant, but I will elaborate.

Let me begin with an analogy.  We know that Leif Erikson discovered North America, a.k.a. Vinland, in the late 10th Century.  We also know that there are other accounts that have been interpreted as European trips to the New World, e.g. Madoc of Wales and St. Brendan the Navigator.  Some of these predate Leif Erikson.  So, suppose a skeptic said, “I don’t believe the Vikings ever came to America.  Erikson’s story is just one of many, probably copied from one of the other stories.”  How would one proceed?

Read the rest of this entry

Excursus: The Resurrection

In the last post I gave the basis from which I start in interpreting my faith, the Bible, and spiritual things in general–the love of God manifested in Christ.  More specifically, the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.  Before I move on to make the ramifications of that clear, it occurs to me that I need to say a few words about the last of these, the Resurrection.  After all, except for those who doubt that Jesus even existed–and I think that viewpoint has been nicely debunked–no one doubts that he lived and died.  The Resurrection is where we open the can of worms.

I contend that if Christianity is to make any sense, the Resurrection must have been a real, historical event.  Further, I think it was a physical event (that needs to be qualified, but we’ll get there).  Finally, I believe this not so much because my religion “requires” me to–there’s an awful lot of other stuff that I don’t accept as such–but more as a ground for believing in the first place.  Put it like this:  while I don’t think the Resurrection can be “proved” (most historical events can’t be, either), I don’t think there is sufficient evidence to reject it (qualifications on that, too, in a moment), and it seems to me the most probable explanation of the rise and spread of Christianity.  If I were to cease to believe in the Resurrection, for whatever reason, I would cease being a Christian, as well, since there would then be, in my view, no basis for the faith. Read the rest of this entry