“We cannot believe that having shared so intimately in God’s reality in life we do not continue to share it beyond the grave.” – Eugene Borowitz

God's Promises to Abram
Tissot, James. God’s Promises to Abram. 1902. Gouache on board.

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Missing Malady

“He felt shame
to understand he would miss
the months of sickness and taking care.”
– Donald Hall, “Her Long Illness.” Without.

“In our first session, she asked me what it was like to live with Anne on a daily basis. I told her how I would watch Anne’s facial ticks because they sometimes indicated she was going into an episode. Joann responded, “You have certainly lost a job.” She was right. I had lost a job. And even though it was a job I would rather not have had, I missed it.” – Stanley Hauerwas, Hannah’s Child: A Theologian’s Memoir

Van Gogh, Vincent. Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear. Courtauld Institute of Art, 1889. Oil on canvas..jpg
Van Gogh, Vincent. Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear. Courtauld Institute of Art, 1889. Oil on canvas.

“If theologians become famous in times like ours, surely they must have betrayed their calling.” – Stanley Hauerwas, Hannah’s Child: A Theologian’s Memoir

Eakins, Thomas. The Champion Single Sculls (Max Schmitt in a Single Scull). Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1871. Oil on canvas..jpg
Eakins, Thomas. The Champion Single Sculls (Max Schmitt in a Single Scull). Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1871. Oil on canvas.

Winter

“But to speak freely, I greatly fear, and this fear remains, that so many autumns will be spent in procrastinating, that the cold of a perpetual winter will set in.” – John Calvin

Gauguin, Paul. Garden under Snow. Budapest. Museum of Fine Arts, 1879. Oil on canvas.
Gauguin, Paul. Garden under Snow. Budapest. Museum of Fine Arts, 1879. Oil on canvas.

“When their minister,
Alice Ling, brought communion to the house
or the hospital bed,
or when they held hand as Alice prayed,
grace was evident
but not the comfort of mercy or reprieve.
The embodied figure
on the cross still twisted under the sun.”
– Donald Hall, “Her Long Illness.” Without.

Grünewald,  Matthias, and Niclaus of Haguenau. Isenheim Altarpiece. Colmar, France. Unterlinden Museum, 1516. Oil on wood panel..jpg
Grünewald, Matthias, and Niclaus Haguenauer. Isenheim Altarpiece. Colmar, France. Unterlinden Museum, 1516. Oil on wood panel.

“Qui vive la pietà quando è ben morta.
Chi é più scellerato che colui
che al giudicio divin passion porta?”
– Dante Alighieri. La Divina Commedia. BUR Rizzoli, 2016.

“Here pity only lives when it is dead:
for who can be more impious than he
who links God’s judgment to passivity?”
– Dante Alighieri. The Divine Comedy. Translator Allen Mandelbaum.

Williams, Hugh William. View of Thebes. Benaki Museum, 1819. Watercolor..jpg
Williams, Hugh William. View of Thebes. Benaki Museum, 1819. Watercolor.

Theodicy

“Epicurus (c. fourth century BCE), the ancient Greek philosopher, who held that it was impossible to hold these three propositions together:

  1. God is all-powerful.
  2. God is all-good.
  3. Evil exists.

Epicurus’ argument was revived in the eighteenth century by the skeptical Scottish philosopher David Hume. In Hume’s own words: ‘Is [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil?'”

Richard J. Plantinga, Thomas R. Thompson, and Matthew D. Lundberg, An Introduction to Christian Theology.
Hume, David. Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.

Tissot, James. Cain leads Abel to death. 1902..jpg
Tissot, James. Cain leads Abel to death. 1902.