Wednesday, September 21, 2022

A Brief Break for Book-Writing

I'm working to prepare a book manuscript for possible publication this week and next (I have a submission date at the end of the month), so I'm taking a couple weeks off from the blog. Normal posts will resume on Monday, October 3.

Friday, September 16, 2022

A Prayer from Gregory of Nazianzus

O all-transcendent God--
(And what other name could describe you?)--
What words can hymn Your praises?
No word does You justice.
What mind can probe Your secret?
No mind can encompass You.
You are alone beyond the power of speech,
Yet all that we speak stems from You.
You are alone beyond the power of thought,
Yet all that we can conceive springs from You.
All things proclaim You,
Those endowed with reason and those bereft of it.
All the expectation and pain of the world coalesces in You.
All things utter a prayer to You,
A silent hymn composed by You.
You sustain everything that exists,
And all things move together to Your orders.
You are the goal of all that exists.
You are one and You are all,
Yet You are none of the things that exist,
Neither a part nor the whole.
You can avail Yourself of any name;
How shall I call You,
The only unnameable?
All-transcendent God!

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Apologetics: Archaeology (Sodom) & Typology (The Sacrifice of Isaac)

Evidence from Two Sources: Archaeology (Gen. 19) and Typology (Gen. 22)

- Gen. 19 - The Destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah - the biblical story shows an immense and rapid destruction of the largest settlements in the Jordan/Dead Sea valley, with fire and stone raining from the sky, as well as a strange anecdote of a person turning into a pillar of salt

- If the Bible were true, one should expect to find clear evidence of such an event.

- Though there's still some debate about the timeline, as well as the proposal of alternate sites, recent excavations at Tall el-Hamman (in modern Jordan, in the Jordan/Dead Sea valley) shows a striking similarity to the biblical story:

     - A very large settlement during the age of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, etc.)--probably the largest in the region--was destroyed rapidly and with intense heat.

     - The destruction layer cannot be explained by any conventional explanation--not war, fire, earthquake, etc. Pottery and mud bricks melted, and bones were blown apart. Estimates of the heat required are around 2700 degrees Fahrenheit. The only natural phenomenon that could cause this kind of devastation would be a cosmic airburst--the explosion of a very large meteorite in the atmosphere above the city, which would have caused intense heat and rained fire and stone down on the city. The destruction layer is also saturated with salt (perhaps a result of the explosion's effect on the nearby Dead Sea), which matches the Bible's account of Lot's wife hesitating and being turned into a pillar of salt. 

Typology: How Gen. 22 clearly points to Jesus, despite coming from two thousand years before his birth:

(See the following posts previously written on this subject:)

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The Evangeliad (26:4-8)

Section 26:4-8 (corresponding to Luke 15:4-7)

"Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep,
But one--only one--of all those you keep
Wandered off and was lost in the wilderness,
Away from its flock and in great distress.

Wouldn't the shepherd leave the ninety-nine,
Leave the greater part of the flock behind,
And go seek the lost one till it was found?
He would tenderly lift it off the ground,

And rejoicing, carry it all the way home,
Safe on his shoulders from where it had roamed.
Then he'd gather his friends and neighbors around,
Saying, 'Rejoice! My lost sheep is found!'

In heaven there's joy for those who have strayed
When the shepherd brings them back to the way;
More joy for the one who repents and is saved
Than ninety-nine righteous who don't change their ways.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Photo of the Week

Though years on years roll on,
His covenant shall endure;
Though clouds and darkness hide His path,
His promised grace is sure.

- from a hymn by Paul Gerhardt

Monday, September 12, 2022

Quote of the Week

"To fall in love with God is the greatest romance;
To seek him the greatest adventure;
To find him, the greatest human achievement."

- Augustine of Hippo

Friday, September 09, 2022

A Prayer from Clare of Assisi

I come, O Lord, unto Your sanctuary [...].
As I hope in You, O Lord,
Inspire me with that confidence
Which brings me to Your holy mountain.
Permit me, Divine Jesus,
To come closer to You,
That my whole soul may do homage
To the greatness of Your majesty;
[And] that my heart, with its tenderest affections,
May acknowledge Your infinite love.