I respectfully disagree. Gnosticism was very much a feature across many sects that otherwise differed, but it is also an underlying permanent temptation of Christianity and the post-Christendom world. It is not about one's spiritual journey, but rather a conviction that there is a divine secret to life that one can learn in order to belong to the "enlightened", i.e., gnostics. There are several versions today, but it is the same old desire to escape this material existence by denying its value in favor of a mental concept.


The first time I heard this hymn was as an organist-choirmaster in Pittsburgh in the summer of 1978. The choir was enthusiastic, at least, and one woman taught me the meaning of “whiskey tenor”. Not that she was drunk, but the color of her voice was, shall we say, distinctive, and it was how she described it. And yes, she sang the tenor line…

Then, I thought this hymn was sentimental and better suited to the sawdust trail than in the Roman Catholic church, but I needed the job. Recently, caught up in writing my systematic theology on the Nicene…


Not only is this pseudo science and pseudophilosophy, it sucks as theology too, by the way.


Reading this, I think you should try again... you write like a pastor. If I wee still in office, I'd consider you.


Good article! You make the crucial point that the notion of the immortal soul is Plato, not the Bible. However, I am not sure that later Christians invented hell as eternal fiery puinishment. Already the Persians had long held something similar. And there is Is. 66:24...


Let us consider for a moment the divine power of naming, which according to the Bible we humans have as gift. It is worth noting that in the Scriptures God rarely names, though he does sometimes call by name.[1] In Genesis 1 God gives the names day and night, sky, land and sea. It can be argued that in saying for example “let there be light,” God named streams of photons “light”, but the text does not say that.

Elsewhere God renames Abram as “Abraham” and Jacob “Israel”, and the ultimate naming is in the mouth of the angel Gabriel…


The term ὁμοούσιον, homoousion, translated “of one Being” or “consubstantial”, is the great innovation of the First Council of Nicea, a town in Turkey, in 325 AD. It is now the principal marker of orthodox Christianity although the word does not appear in the Bible. Although the term is part of the inheritance of the First Council, it did not become universally accepted until the sixth century. Jesus in his divinity is “of one Being” with God; and a later Council of Chalcedon (451 AD) would reach the conclusion that he is also “of one being” with us in his…


Excellent observation. Never let the finance people run your company, unless it is in its death throes. The other thing Jobs understood so well is that if you can make a useful product that most people can afford — even at a stretch — you will sell a lot. Like the Model-T. Or life insurance. Charles Ives understood this very well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Ives


Searching for common epistemic ground should point us to the fact that our minds work or fail along the same lines when we want to know something: sensing-conceiving-judging-action. There is attention and inattention; understanding and the flight from understanding; sound judgment and failure to ask and answer all relevant questions; and taking responsibility or not. I write on this a lot, e.g., https://pierrewhalon.medium.com/just-the-facts-ms-ai-d9bfb3fe3557


“For us and for our salvation”, the Nicene Creed says, the Logos pitched its tent among us.[1] When we are confronted with this Christianity that “offers us a narrative and says: now, believe!”,[2] believe what? That is to say, what connections am I to make when, say, I read the Gospel of Mark for the first time?

Let us start with “for us”. Not against us, as so many contemporary apocalyptic Christians describe Christ’s return, destroying all people but them in a final vengeful holocaust. …

Pierre Whalon

Bishop in charge, Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, 2001–2019. French-American. Musician, composer, author, happily married. www.pierrewhalon.info

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