Category Archives: Christianity and Classical Culture

Rhetoric In the New Testament, Pt. 4 (Acts, Galatians, Thessalonians, Romans)

George Kennedy analyzes several speeches by Peter in the Book of Acts, and finds significant rhetorical features in them. For instance, Acts 1:16-22, though only six verses, appears to be an instance of a deliberative speech. This is seen, according … Continue reading

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Rhetoric in the New Testament, Pt. 3 (1 and 2 Corinthians)

“Rhetoric in the New Testament” is, of course, far too large a topic to adequately explore in a short series of posts on a blog. One purpose of this post in the series is to demonstrate, mostly from some of … Continue reading

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Rhetoric in the New Testament, Pt. 1 (What Is “Rhetoric”?)

The noted Church historian Jaroslav Pelikan has written of the fourth century Church Father Gregory of Nyssa: [He] was conscious of the cultural differences between more cultivated and “more barbarian peoples”…For him, the supreme example of how the believer could … Continue reading

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Darkness Over Here; Light Over There

I’m not going to make much of this right now, as I’ve only just begun reading the work, but W.K.C. Guthrie makes the intriguing point that “In contrast to the societies of the present day [its own day], [Greek society] … Continue reading

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Christ and the “Corn-Kings”

Ancient pagan societies, unlike our own technological one, were fundamentally rooted in the regular, repeating rhythms of the natural world. Most of the life of Ancient men and women who were not wealthy was spent cultivating the soil, growing crops, … Continue reading

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Earth and Heaven; Heaven and Earth

While writing my paper for my Augustine’s City of God class, I’ve been pondering the pagan idea that Augustine attacks in Book VIII that the earthly political order mirrors the heavenly order, such that what the (quasi) “divinized” rulers do … Continue reading

Posted in Christian Culture, Christianity and Classical Culture | 13 Comments

Piety and Learning

Here’s Petrarch on the fraudulent piety of “weak minds” that suppose the study of pagan literature necessarily leads to diluting one’s faith in Christ: Neither exhortations to virtue nor the argument of approaching death should divert us from literature; for … Continue reading

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“Set Your Mind on Things Above”

In the Republic, Socrates says he…whose mind is fixed upon true being, has surely no time to look down upon the affairs of earth, or to be filled with malice and envy, contending against men; his eye is ever directed … Continue reading

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Political Pluralism / Polytheism

In a comment on Doug Wilson’s blog, a “Mister Ed” cited Gary North’s book The Myth of Pluralism in response to another commenter’s questions about the Founding Fathers in relation to contemporary American political thought. I haven’t read the North … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Christianity and Classical Culture | 4 Comments

On Written Constitutions

Yesterday my politics professor made a point about constitutions that I had never heard before. According to him, the first written constitutions were the constitutions of the American colonies, which started a trend in Europe. In Ancient times, politics was … Continue reading

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