Month: July 2016


Marcus Aurelius, Dallas Willard, and New Testament Salvation

Text Σωτηρία βίου ἕκαστον δἰὅλου αὐτὸ τί ἐστιν ὁρᾶν, τί μὲν αὐτοῦ τὸὑλικόν, τί δὲ τὸ αἰτιῶδες˙ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ψυχῆς τὰ δίκαια ποιεῖν καὶ τἀληθῆ λέγειν. τί λοιπὸν ἢἀπολαύειν τοῦ ζῆν συνάπτοντα ἄλλο ἐπ ἄλλῳἀγαθόν, ὥστε μηδὲ τὸ βραχύτατον διάστημα ἀπολείπειν;[1] Translation Salvation, which is a life,[2] is to examine each thing entirely [with the …


Rhetorical Assumptions in the Sermons on the Mount and Plain

In Matthew 5-7 and Luke 6 are the sermons on the Mount/Plain. There is a lot of debate about the relationship between these two sermons, but what interested me the other day when I was sitting in a waiting room (thankfully I took a legal pad) was what Matthew and Luke assumed would be interesting …


Tools for Christian Leaders by Dallas Willard

I rarely weep. When I heard that Dallas Willard died, I did. Few authors have so helped me see Christ, his goodness, and the greatness of his kingdom. Since his death various essays, talks, and interviews keep appearing in compilation volumes. In Renewing the Christian Mind is transcript of a talk Willard gave off the cuff …


What is Love?

Edward Feser wrote an excellent article about what love is. In it he quoted Thomas Aquinas: As the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 4), “to love is to wish good to someone.”  Hence the movement of love has a twofold tendency: towards the good which a man wishes to someone (to himself or to another) and towards …


Science Fact of the Day #4: Francis de Sales and the Science of Performance

In a 2004 study, it results were discovered which “suggest that self-compassion is associated with adaptive motivational patterns and coping strategies in academic contexts…” Self-compassion “involves being open to and aware of one’s own suffering, offering kindness and understanding towards oneself, desiring the self’s well-being, taking a nonjudgmental attitude towards one’s inadequacies and failures, and framing …


Interesting Insight from Charles Finney on Justification

In the lecture on justification in his Lectures on Systematic Theology Charles Finney uses the distinction between legislative, judicial, and executive functions of government to consider the doctrine of justification: Justification is the pronouncing of one just. It may be done in words, or, practically, by treatment. Justification must be, in some sense, a governmental act; …


Music Monday: Knights of Cydonia

This is a really fun song by Muse. I don’t remember anything else from this album. Maybe I’ll listen to it today. But enjoy.


Being happy about good work and good works.

In Christian circles we can often come across as weird because we obsess over questions that make little to no sense to outsiders. Here’s one: “Is it okay to be happy about accomplishments?” To the average non-Christian the answer is: “Duh, of course it is.” But for Christians the answer can get super complicated in …


Roles of Imagery in Our Worldview

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how rhetoric, advertising, and imagery in general can influence our view of the world. This got me to thinking about the nature of suggestibility and achievement as well as the relationship of false expectations to achievement. The research on these subjects is pretty vast, so you’ll just have to look it …


Science Fact of the Day #3: The Bargaining Model of Depression

Today we’ll look at a fairly recent model of depression: the bargaining model. In a 2003 book edited by Peter Hammerstein, Genetic and Cultural Evolution of Cooperation, chapter 6 is an essay (I believe based on a talk) on this model, “The Bargaining Model of Depression.” The author, Edward Hagen, proposes depression might be explained …