Showing posts with label Disciples. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disciples. Show all posts

Sunday, June 07, 2020


In the upper room, Jesus sets out God’s program for his disciples. The Son of Man is to be glorified, and God glorified in him. This necessitates him going away, first to the cross, and then to the Father, where he intends to make his preparations to receive his disciples, and then return for them. Only three things are really required of the disciples in all this: believe, love one another, and wait patiently for his promised return.

This is God’s program in a nutshell. Unsurprisingly, three of the Lord’s disciples voice objections to it, and offer subtle improvements to make it more palatable to them.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Analyzing the Narrative

Detail from Meister Francke’s Resurrection, ca. 1424
I read a lot of fiction. I always have. And, like most avid readers, I can tell the difference between a good story and a bad one; between a narrative account that holds water and one that is flimsily constructed or implausible.

The stolen body hypothesis is one of the latter, one that has been around from the very beginning. Matthew points out that the chief priests and elders paid to circulate the rumor as soon as it was clear the Lord’s body was no longer in his tomb.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

That Sinking Feeling

Nope, not thinking about Peter.

In Luke’s gospel we read about the Lord conferring to his twelve disciples power and authority over all demons and diseases. Thus equipped, he then sends them out to heal and proclaim the kingdom of God. Upon their return the disciples report to him all that they have done, which suggests at least a moderate degree of success in their mission.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Analyzing the Narrative

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Wrong Way Round

In a previous post I pointed out that Christ’s disciples, unlike many modernists, were seekers after objective truth.

But the process of discovering that truth was anything but easy or natural. The disciples made some pretty entertaining mistakes.

Not that I would’ve done any better, I assure you. But they had an uncanny knack for getting things the wrong way round.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Follow the Evidence

Secular humanists frequently start with an agenda and worry about details later, if at all.

The justification for any course of action is often jerry-rigged into the mission statement after the mission itself is well under way; the why comes after the what has already been decided.

For instance, Alister McGrath points out this interesting fact about Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis:

“Freud’s atheistic view of the origin of religion comes prior to his study of religion; it is not its consequence.”

In other words, Freud first decided on his theory then went about doing the research to back it up, not the other way round. His theory did not arise inductively from his studies but from his own prejudices.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

522 Inept Logicians

Fritz von Uhde imagines Mary’s
encounter with “the gardener”
The debate as to whether Jesus actually rose from the dead stands at the centre of Christianity. As the apostle Paul pointed out, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins”.

That being the case, the doctrine of the resurrection could not be more important.

Amy Hall at the Stand to Reason blog has been regularly fielding challenges from the atheistic 522 Reasons Christianity is False website (apparently the name changes daily; they are at 522 reasons and counting). Still, after reading today’s challenge from atheism, I propose we rechristen their blog 522 Inept Logicians.

Monday, May 18, 2015

An Exercise in Moderation

Last Supper, Cologne Cathedral
A diversion: I happened the other day across a Tumblr discussion that batted around the issue of the age of the disciples.

This is a question I had never considered. I have a “default” picture in my mind, of course, as most semi-creative people tend to, probably comprised largely of impressions from classical art. Only three of Duccio’s apostles in The Farewell Discourse are clean shaven; the rest range from middle-aged to positively ancient. The disciples in Da Vinci’s ubiquitous Last Supper fare even worse: only two are without significant quantities of facial hair (and some argue that one of these, for reasons unclear, may have been intended to represent Mary Magdalene).

Short version: these guys look pretty weathered.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

That Sinking Feeling

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Analyzing the Narrative

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Literal and Figurative

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Follow the Evidence

A more current version of this post is available here.