But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Wednesday, 25 March 2020 09:46

William Carlos Williams, “The Farmer”

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(Photo by Ian Livesey)

The farmer deep in thought

is pacing through the rain

among his black fields, with

hands in pockets,

in his head

the harvest already planted.

A cold wind ruffles the water

among the browned weeds.

On all sides

the world rolls coldly away:

black orchards

darkened by the March clouds-


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Monday, 23 March 2020 10:05

Schopenhauer on Happiness.12

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The previous post on this subject may be found here:

Schopenhauer continues on with his theme of society and solitude

Loneliness and solitude have their evils, it is true; but if you cannot feel them all at once, you can at least see where they lie; on the other hand, society is insidious in this...

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A friend sent this to me. Simply wise and wonderful

I have had also this question come into my mind, Why of those who took the disease some recovered and others did not? The reason may be found, in one sense, in purely natural causes—some were physically better prepared to resist the disease,...

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The previous post in this series may be found here.

But it shines with a most heavenly luster in that the preparation of heaven which is marvelously promoted in us by defamations on earth. The dirt of reproaches is as the martyr said of it (and there never was a martyr without a share of it!) only...

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In Fear and Trembling, Kierkegaard draws an interesting contrast between Abraham and Agamemnon: both men are called upon to sacrifice a child: but Agamemnon is a tragic hero and Abraham is an example of faith. What then is the true distinction between the two?

The tragic hero is compelled to his end...

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Thursday, 19 March 2020 08:42

Augustine on Desiring and Fearing God

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There is a sort of paradox which lies at the heart of the Christian’s apprehension of God. We are told to love God and trust God. But we are also told to fear God. Psalm 2 contains the strange command:

Psalm 2:11 (ESV)

Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

How is that possible:...

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Saturday, 14 March 2020 16:15

O Believer Art Thou…

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O believer, art thou in poverty and straits? There is an incorruptible treasure in that house.

Is thine honour in the dust? A crown for thy head and a sceptre for thy hand await thee there.

Art thou shut up in solitude? There you shall enjoy eternal converse with God, the angels, and the saints.


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Thursday, 12 March 2020 12:25

A house of glory

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Thomas Boston writing of the resurrected:

“When the tabernacle of the saint’s body is dissolved by death, they have a house of glory in heaven ready for them. Man when he is dead, is not done; though the body dies, the soul doth not. Death is but a departure or change, to some it is a...

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Tuesday, 10 March 2020 15:49

The Subalterns

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Poor wanderer,” said the leaden sky, “I fain would lighten thee,But there be laws in force on high Which say it must not be.”

II – “I would not freeze thee, shorn one,” cried The North, “knew I but howTo warm my breath, to slack my stride; But I am...

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One of the critical aspects of the Christian religion is the nature of the Church. There have been many ways this could be understood and explained.

In this short summary taken from an article “Some Classic Views of the Church”in the Ashland Theological Journal, Owen H. Alderfer...

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Sunday, 08 March 2020 01:03

A Tent is Still Weaker

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Thomas Boston preaching in 1715:

A house may be weak, but a tent is still weaker.Consider also what death is. It is a dissolving of the tent, a loosing of the frame of it, and then it falls down. Our bodies are not castles and towers that must be blown up, or battered down by main force: not even...

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The quotation below is from Philip K Dick’s Through a Scanner Darkly. The work is an extended meditation of identity and paranoia; not for the faint of heart. In this section the protagonist is trying to determine whether he is really being targeted by someone for something:

One of the most...

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Friday, 06 March 2020 11:08

The Temptation for Peter

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The circumstance:

1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.2 And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple.3 Seeing Peter and John...

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Kierkegaard’s Fear and Loathing considers the fact of God’s command to Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. A central concern of this work has to do with the obvious ethical problem of murder: how can Abraham be a great man of “faith” when his greatest act of...

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Thursday, 27 February 2020 11:25

Schopenhauer On Happiness.11 Life of the Party

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In this section of his advice, Schopenhauer becomes both grumpy and arrogant. But his argument is very seductive at the same time:

All society necessarily involves, as the first condition of its existence, mutual accommodation and restraint upon the part...

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Here are the first five lectures I gave some years ago as an introduction to Biblical Counseling;

Introduction, Sin, The Counselor, The Heart and Involvement


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For I may not put you in mind that by being brought thus to flee the Divine Righteousness, you come to a most experimental sight of the Divine Faithfulness in what has befallen you.

One that had been very defamed could say. Gen. 50.20 God meant it unto good.[1] If you get so much good by your...

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Friday, 21 February 2020 13:18

Herman Melville, Ball’s Bluff. A Reverie.

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(October, 1861.)
One noonday, at my window in the town,
  I saw a sight—saddest that eyes can see—
  Young soldiers marching lustily
      Unto the wars,
With fifes, and flags in mottoed pageantry;
    While all the...

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Thursday, 20 February 2020 09:54

Herman Melville, Misgivings

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When ocean-clouds over inland hills
Sweep storming in late autumn brown,
And horror the sodden valley fills,
And the spire falls crashing in the town,
I muse upon my country’s ills—
The tempest bursting from the waste of Time
On the world’s fairest hope linked with man’s...

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Thursday, 20 February 2020 09:47

Schopenhauer on Happiness.10 Festivities

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In this section, Schopenhauer makes an argument that happiness, if you can call his goal ‘happiness’ is a matter of distance from life and especially other people. The first stop on his list avoidances is pleasure Perhaps it would best be to consider his position to be avoidance of...

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To the confession of Divine Sovereignty let there be added a confession of Divine Righteousness. As you are a creature, you must allow sovereignty to lay you low. Because you are also a sinner, you must not wonder if righteousness make you vile. Follow the example of the brave Emperor Mauritius who...

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