I invite you to look at--

My Website where you will find: ordering information and chapter summaries for The Beauty of God for a Broken World; audio sermons; a few poems and hymns; and some other essays.

My Videos where you will find a few two-minute videos on various subjects related to The Beauty of God for a Broken World.


Saturday, March 31, 2012


Who was that eternal Image in Your mind, O my God,
        the image according to which You fashioned
my body and my soul?
Was I that image, or was it my neighbor?
Was there a separate image in Your mind
        for every human being to be born?

We are all different one from another,
and yet we are all the same,
for we bear one Image, the Image of God,
Since there is but one God,
we must be fashioned according to one Image.

Scripture says that Your beloved, eternal Son
        is the Image of the invisible God.
By Creation we were stamped with one Image.
Through History that Image is differentiated into many images.
By Redemption the many images shall be lifted
        to the closest possible resemblance to the eternal Image.
And yet they shall retain their differences.

O wondrous plan!
The plan of an infinite Mind,
the plan of an dying Love,
the plan of an indwelling Power.
the plan of the triune God.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Bible among the Myths, by John N. Oswalt

Not long ago, a young lady, educated in one of the nearby liberal arts colleges, asked about the Bible’s relationship to pagan myths. Her teacher had asserted that Genesis 1 was just Jewish mythology based on earlier near-eastern writings. I had written a bit about pagan mythology in my book, The Beauty of God for a Broken World, and I knew somewhat more that I wrote. She seemed satisfied, but I wish I could have placed The Bible among the Myths in her hand.

I have often described the Bible’s creation account as an anti-mythology. Oswalt provides new depth for that description. He begins, in one sense, with the end of the story as he reviews how the combination of the Greek and Hebrew worldviews led to the unique understanding that we find in Western civilization.
As a result of that combination there was now an explanation for the Greek intuition of a universe [instead of a “polyverse”]: there is one Creator who has given rise to the universe and in whose creative will it finds its unity. At the same time the Greeks showed the Hebrews the logical implications of their monotheism (25).

Chapter 2 shows that to call the Bible a myth or a collection of myths stretches the definition of myth so much that it ceases to be a useful term. Chapters 3 and 4 highlight the fundamental contrast between the biblical and the mythological worldviews. Mythological thinking sees a continuity between the gods and human beings and all of nature. The Bible insists that God is transcendent. He stands far above His creation. There is no gradual scale of beings between God and the world.

“The Bible versus Myth” (chapter 5) examines a number of parallels between the Bible and its surrounding culture. It would be surprising if there were no such points of contact, but Oswalt shows that they function in entirely different ways in the pagan worldview than they do in the Bible.

The next two chapters argue that the biblical worldview provides the only solid basis for a truly historical perspective on life. Genuine history, as opposed to king lists and royal annals, is not found in the ancient near east.

The final chapter is perhaps the least interesting for the general reader. In it Oswalt reacts briefly with proposals by other Old Testament scholars who offer other explanations for the Bible’s worldview. I highly recommend this book for people who have heard that the Bible is just a bunch of myths.

Monday, March 5, 2012


O my God, You created me because of Your love.
You boast of an everlasting love for Your own people,
a love that has neither beginning nor end,
a love that exists eternally in the unchangeable I AM.

How, O Lord, did You love me before I came to be?
I was nothing before my mother conceived me in her womb.
Is not the love of nothing an empty, shapeless love?
No, for Your love is a shaping love.

The ancients tell of a sculptor, Pygmalion, who carved a woman out of ivory and then fell in love with his creation. Day after day, he gazed with futile longing at her beauty, until at last the goddess Venus took pity on him, and when he kissed the statue’s lifeless form, she began to live.

From what source did the statue derive her beauty? Was she not first in Pygmalion’s mind before his hand gave her form? Therefore, he loved her image in his mind before he loved her shape in ivory. Last of all, love brought her life.

And so, O Lord, in the eternal time before time,
You loved the Image in Your mind.
First, Your made time and the world in order to have a place
where You might put the creature that You imagined.
Then You fashioned flesh and blood and bone, and last of all,
You loved the work of Your hands into life.

Though this work of Yours was very good,
yet You were not contented with it.
The thing that was very good
must become better.
The image to whom You gave life
        must come to have a higher life.

And so, out of Your creation called Time,
You made something new.
You made something called History that through its passages,
You might perfect the image of the Image in Your mind.
Thus, the creature You loved into life in the Garden
        is loved into eternal life through the death of Your Image.