The Flags of the Dead and the Promise of the Future, Part 4 of 5

Continued from Part Three.

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The Flags of the Dead and the Promise of the Future, Part 2 of 5

Continued from Part One.
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The Waters of Chaos and the Cosmic Mountain

As I prepare the final post explaining why this is not an apologetics site, it seemed appropriate to shave this bit of it off and leave it here by itself.

In the ancient near east, cosmology, cosmogony, temple building, sacral kingship, and the war against chaos are all tied together. One might validly question whether these metaphors lead to the perennial identification of enemies to war against; alternatively, one might validly ask about whether the figures in this myth don’t honestly give expression to the fact that any achieved stability is temporary, has a remainder that cannot be included, and contains the shadow of what can and inevitably will undo it.
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Confession: Why This is Not an Apologetics Website (Part Five)

As I noted in the previous post, this series begins with Part 1, which outlined my main reasons for rejecting apologetics because at best it merely uses what is public for factional ends (it also shuts down conversations and does a host of other awful things). It also carries forward from Part 2, which adds some autobiographical notes to the themes brought out in Part 1.

Part 3 recalled several things said to me by a professor I had concerning the nature of Christian identity. Part 4 covered a conference held regarding the prospects of an Orthodox Great Books school (and the conflict involved in the tension between a Great Books education and a decidedly religious one), and further covered problems with what I’ve heard some call the “postmodern” approach to theology found in figures such as Fr. John Behr.

Here, I summarize my own view — or, at least, the view that I have for now, and why it is incompatible with selling other people a religious identity (and so, with apologetics). After a brief explanation of one small feature of classical “ontology” (the “philosophy of being”) of the ancient world in VI, I’ll start with the relatively short answer in VII.

Finally, for those with any interest, the next post shall move into a more detailed explanation about what exegetical considerations lie at the backend of the short answer of section VII. After the next post, I don’t expect I’ll be writing any more on this topic, except historical work, likely a year or more down the road, to show the relationship between the pagan Classical tradition of philosophy and the early Christological formulae and literature. 

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R. A. Markus, Saeculum II — Tempora Christiana

The previous post introduced Robert A. Markus’ book Saeculum. 

Now, for chapter two. Continue reading