New Year’s Resolution #1

Over my winter break I am reading Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art (1980), and within its sage pages have found my New Year’s Resolution for 2009. In the book, L’Engle (1918-2007) explores what it is that compels the writer to write—what she calls the “vocation of words”—and the despair that can … Continue reading

Postscript to Noah’s Rainbow

Postscript to Noah’s Rainbow: the Epistle to Diognetus In my web travels today, I came upon the Early Christian “Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus,” dated to approximately 130-200 AD. You can read the full letter here. And, nice explanations of it here and here. The letter’s anonymous author, Mathetes (simply Greek for “disciple”), is rather … Continue reading

Noah’s Rainbow

Noah’s Rainbow: The Development of Human Intellect and Compassion The first book of the Bible, Genesis, recounts the mythic stories of some of our earliest human ancestors. The name Genesis literally means “birth,” or “origin,” and it poetically charts how human beings developed knowledge, society and morality over time. For instance, in Genesis 9—after the … Continue reading

Making a Mountain Out of an Anthill

Making a Mountain Out of an Anthill: The Inner Drive for a Social Contract I have been reading Teilhard de Chardin’s The Phenomenon of Man (NY: Harper and Row, 1975), and gotten as far as his third section, “Thought.” His premise is fascinating, that consciousness underlies all matter. Consciousness is thus omnipresent, and ever-increases with … Continue reading

Abba and Amen

Abba and Amen I’ve been reading the book Myths of Religion by Andrew M. Greeley this week. It is a compendium of three of his books written in the Seventies, The Jesus Myth, The Sinai Myth and The Mary Myth. I’m intrigued by Greeley’s definition of myth, one that diverges from Joseph Campbell’s insofar as … Continue reading

Gabriel’s Revelation

Gabriel’s Revelation In today’s NY Times there appeared an article on a controversial first-century BC stone tablet with two columns of painted Hebrew text, the so-called “Gabriel’s Revelation” tablet. This “stone Dead Sea Scroll” recounts an apocalyptic vision revealed by the Angel Gabriel, one that involves a suffering messiah who will redeem Israel through bloody … Continue reading