Author Archives: David de Bruyn

A Christian Response to the Subject-Object Dilemma

A Christian Response to the Subject-Object Dilemma

This entry is part 13 of 13 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

For a while, it seemed chic to be able to say the word postmodern in a sermon. The belief-system behind the word is rather drab. No God exists, no human nature exists, and no essences exists. As such, beauty is a fiction imposed upon reality by humans wanting to order their meaningless existence. Truth is… Continue Reading

Beauty’s Difficulties: Subjective and Objective

Beauty’s Difficulties: Subjective and Objective

This entry is part 12 of 13 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Perhaps the most frequent objection levelled at those wishing to see beauty restored to a central place in Christian thinking is that beauty represents “subjective” knowledge: inward experience known only to a perceiving subject. Thinkers in the modernist tradition still hold that some forms of knowledge can be known objectively, while transcendental values such as… Continue Reading

Beauty’s Difficulty: Philosophy versus Biblical Authority

Beauty’s Difficulty: Philosophy versus Biblical Authority

This entry is part 11 of 13 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The discussion of beauty among Christians is often stymied before it starts. Some of this is due to a long-standing suspicion towards philosophy felt by many Christians. From Tertullian’s “What hath Athens to do with Jerusalem?” to Luther’s denunciation of the Scholastics to evangelicalism’s embrace of Common Sense Realism, there is some considerable water under… Continue Reading

Beauty and Motivation

Beauty and Motivation

This entry is part 10 of 13 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

As surprising as it might sound, beauty lies at the heart of motive. Why we do what we do is a question of desire, and desire is rooted in what we think is good and beautiful. Jonathan Edwards tackled the questions of motive, desire, and freedom in his work The Freedom of the Will. There Edwards… Continue Reading

Beauty, Ethics and Worship

Beauty, Ethics and Worship

This entry is part 9 of 13 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Sometimes throwaway lines leave a deep impression. One of those were words written on a blog I avidly followed about fifteen years ago. The writer said, “A good man does not love ugly things”. Words like that enabled me to see a profound link and overlap between what is true, good, and beautiful. Real beauty… Continue Reading

Doctrinal Triage for Worship

Doctrinal Triage for Worship

Many years ago, Al Mohler published a widely-read article on doctrinal triage, a method for evaluating the seriousness of doctrines. Kevin Bauder then pointed out that this approach was something that mainstream fundamentalists had espoused for many years, with possibly more sophistication. I’ve thought for a while that we need something like that for the… Continue Reading

Live Images Are Not Living Persons

Live Images Are Not Living Persons

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Disembodied Christianity You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Our technologies have come a long way from when John wrote, likely using a reed-pen on a papyrus sheet, “I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink; but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face.” (3 Jn. 1:13-14)… Continue Reading

Disembodied Christianity

Disembodied Christianity

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Disembodied Christianity You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

During last week, I read one man rage at ‘conservative Christians’ for their desire to re-open churches. He then proceeded to point out that Hebrews 10:25 does not really prove that churches need to gather in physical buildings, and that all Christians who call for re-opened churches based upon Hebrews 10:25 are abusing the text.… Continue Reading

Let Us Break Bread Together On Our Screens

Let Us Break Bread Together On Our Screens

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Disembodied Christianity You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“John, we’d love it if you and Susan would join us for a meal on Thursday evening.” “Uh…well, Mike, thanks but…isn’t that illegal? I mean, doesn’t the lockdown prohibit that kind of social gathering?” “Oh, no, I don’t mean that you and Susan come to our home. We’ll host you online.” “I’m still not following.… Continue Reading

Ten Mangled Words: Conclusion

Ten Mangled Words: Conclusion

This entry is part 63 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Words are not just names. If they were, we’d have no problem swapping out one label for another. No, words are things. Yes, they are man-made things, concatenations of syllables created by human cultures, and their particular meanings have been shaped through convention and association. But they are things that have meaning in themselves, and… Continue Reading

“Hate” – A Word Like “Atheism”

“Hate” – A Word Like “Atheism”

This entry is part 62 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

His name was Polycarp, and he was a disciple of the apostle John. He later became the pastor of the church at Smyrna. When he was very old, the vicious persecutions of Christians in Smyrna turned on him. He was arrested and told to deny Christ. He refused. He was brought into the stadium to… Continue Reading

The Crucifixion: Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?

The Crucifixion: Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?

The exact day of the week of Christ’s death has been debated for centuries. The day, while not fundamental to the gospel, is of some import, especially in countries like South Africa which celebrate Good Friday as a public holiday. Churches hold Good Friday services (were we allowed out the house!) What support is there… Continue Reading

Wrong Responses to a Loss of Corporate Worship

Wrong Responses to a Loss of Corporate Worship

When Israel lost its Temple in A. D. 70, you might imagine it would have prompted much soul-searching and repentance among the rabbis that had rejected Jesus as Messiah. In fact, the rabbis had known for forty years before that date that something was amiss. Yoma 39b of the Talmud records the strange occurrences from… Continue Reading

Why We Won’t Livestream During Lockdown (Though We Could)

Why We Won’t Livestream During Lockdown (Though We Could)

Left-click the bread icon to consume the bread.  >Click< >>>  Thank you. You have eaten the bread. Left-click the cup icon to consume the cup.  > Click< >>> Thank you. You have drunk the cup. Sound preposterous? Why shouldn’t we do virtual Lord’s Supper? Our technology has made this scenario possible. But is it desirable?… Continue Reading

The Complexity of Hating What God Hates

The Complexity of Hating What God Hates

This entry is part 61 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

No one should love what God hates. No one should hate what God loves. But, as we have seen, God has the ability to love and hate at the same time. It is this conscious simultaneity that we lack, and which adds such difficulty to our understanding of hate. We have seen the kind of… Continue Reading

God Loves (and Hates) You

God Loves (and Hates) You

This entry is part 60 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Does God hate the sin and love the sinner? We have seen it is more biblical to say that God both loves and hates the sinner. Several theologians have suggested just that. Augustus Strong wrote, “These passages show that God loves the same persons whom he hates. It is not true that he hates the… Continue Reading

Does God Hate Sinners?

Does God Hate Sinners?

This entry is part 59 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

God’s hatred is a necessary part of His love. Whatever opposes, harms, defiles or otherwise threatens what He loves experiences His displeasure, often erupting in righteous indignation: a divine demand for change. We could say that God’s hatred is an ally of His love, destroying those things which are destructive of the true, the good… Continue Reading

The Hate That God Hates

The Hate That God Hates

This entry is part 58 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

God does not hate all hate. Some hate is actively encouraged by God. Indeed, if hate exists as the opposite of love, it follows that in many cases we must hate the opposite, or the destroyer, of what we love. Some hate, however, is condemned by God. In the following verses, hate is the opposite… Continue Reading

Ten Mangled Words: Hate

Ten Mangled Words: Hate

This entry is part 57 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Hate has become the only sin the left recognises. To them, it is apparently not possible to sin sexually, and any and every form of sexual sin is to be celebrated publicly. Slaughtering innocents (perhaps the most heinous form of murder) is to be cheered and encouraged. Stealing other people’s property is no sin if… Continue Reading

Taste and Preference: A Last Word

Taste and Preference: A Last Word

This entry is part 56 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Why are there such different “tastes” among people? Is the debate over music in worship simply a “preference issue”?  Are matters of music, dress, recreation merely matters of “personal style”? We have tried to sort out the meanings of the word “taste”, and have seen two distinct meanings. The first is the act of judging,… Continue Reading