So Great a Cloud of Copyists

One of the cornerstones of the Reformation is the phrase “Sola Scriptura” — Latin for “Only Scripture.” The idea was that instead of relying on the authority of the [Catholic] Church for matters of faith and doctrine, we should rely on Scripture alone. So let’s pause a moment and consider what has made the availability…

Reading through the Psalms

Altogether it takes about 4.5 hours to read the entire Book of Psalms out loud. (You can verify this on YouTube: there are multiple versions of folks reading the entire Book of Psalms, all of which are 4.5 hours long more or less. Your mileage may vary, of course.) That works out to about 270…

The Purpose of Meditation

The purpose of meditation is not to gain new knowledge, but to live in acquired knowledge. The discovery of new thought content is not the goal of meditation: the object is to bring thought content down into the life of feeling and volition. The goal of meditation is to make a truth the content of…

Bonhoeffer: Lying Destroys Community

Source: German Federal Archive Dietrich Bonhoeffer from his Cost of Discipleship: Because the first and last concern of truthfulness is the revealing of persons in their whole being, in their evilness before God, such truthfulness is resisted by the sinner. That is why it is persecuted and crucified. The truthfulness of the disciples has its sole…

“You Will Be As Gods, Knowing Good and Evil”

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.— Gen. 3:15, KJV Once there was a farmer who worked his poor farm together with his son and their horse. When the horse ran off one day, neighbors…

Who Breathes Whom?

Apparently we have varying degrees of control of the dimensions of our lives. For example, I can control my breathing — by holding my breath. But not for long. Rather than "I'm breathing my breath", maybe a better way to look at that is "My breath is breathing me!" After all, who ultimately is in…

William’s Razor

In philosophy there's the idea of Ockham's Razor, attributed to English William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347), which states that given two solutions to a problem, if they have the same outcomes but one is simpler than the other, choose the simpler. I use a similar approach to spiritual questions: if an idea or doctrine makes…

Solving for X

There is a sense in which our usual math education misrepresents how math is done in the real world of science and engineering. In high school algebra in particular we 'solve for x', and the one-and-only correct answer can be found in the back of the book. In math, "solving for X" like this is…