The Beatitudes – “Blessed are the merciful”

We continue with our series on the Beatitudes. Today we examine our Lord’s words, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”. Long familiarity with our Lord’s words and Christian teaching generally have desensitized us to how revolutionary this teaching originally was. Even today one need only take a few steps outside of what’s left of Christendom to discover this. Take for example the experience of Christine Mallouhi, a Christian woman…

Finding Oneself on the Map: A Review of Carl Trueman’s The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self

Carl Trueman’s newly-published masterpiece The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self opens with an examination of the thoroughly modern statement sometimes heard, “I am a woman trapped in a man’s body”. Dr. Trueman observes that this statement would have called forth laughter from his late grandfather as “a piece of incoherent gibberish”, and yet now “to deny or question it in some way is to reveal oneself as stupid, immoral, or…

The Beatitudes – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness”

We continue with our series on the Beatitudes. Today we examine our Lord’s words, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied”. A comparison with the Lukan version of this Beatitude reveals its (rather threatening) eschatological character. There it reads, “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied”, and it is paired with a corresponding woe which reads, “Woe to you who have…

The Beatitudes – “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”

We continue with our series on the Beatitudes. Today we examine our Lord’s words, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”. The English word “meek” is not a happy word. It conjures up images of spinelessness, moral timidity, cringing subservience, and pathological faint-heartedness. No sensible and responsible parent would raise their child to be meek. Meek people are not psychologically healthy or able to withstand the rigours of life.…

The Beatitudes – “Blessed are those who mourn”

We continue with our series on the Beatitudes. Today we examine our Lord’s words, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”. It is safe to say that the secular world today does not have much time for mourning. It rejects the idea that any might embrace mourning, sadness, grief, or sorrow and devote themselves to it as a kind of blasphemy against the Good Life. Without much reflection secularism…

The Beatitudes – “Blessed are the poor in spirit”

We now begin our series on the Beatitudes. Today we examine our Lord’s word, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven”. We have said before that the Beatitudes should not be read as moral maxims applicable to everyone, like a Christian version of advice such as “Honesty is the best policy” or “A stich in time saves nine”. Rather, the Beatitudes were words of encouragement to…