“Epicurus (c. fourth century BCE), the ancient Greek philosopher, who held that it was impossible to hold these three propositions together:
- God is all-powerful.
- God is all-good.
- 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.
when I was seven and eight.
Unable to sleep
or unwilling, I would call
– waiting in the dark
to hear her footsteps –
. . . .
She nursed so well, I loved
being sick. Freud said
a man thrives his whole life
if he received as a child
“his mother’s entire devotion.”
– Donald Hall, “Song for Lucy.” Without
Barnet, Will. Midnight. 1985.
Daybreak until nightfall,
he sat by his wife at the hospital
while chemotherapy dripped,
through the catheter into her heart.
He drank coffee and read
the Globe. He paced; he worked
on poems; he rubbed her back
and read aloud. Overcome with dread,
they wept and affirmed
their love for each other, witlessly,
over and over again.
– Donald Hall, “Her Long Illness.” Without
Barnet, Will. Self-Portrait. 1981.
“Τοῦτο δέ, ὁ σπείρων φειδομένως φειδομένως καὶ θερίσει, καὶ ὁ σπείρων ἐπ’ εὐλογίαις ἐπ’ εὐλογίαις καὶ θερίσει.” – Προσ Κορινθιουσ Β΄ (Nestle-Aland 28)
“The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6 (NRSV)
“The more liberal you are to your neighbors, the more liberal you will find the blessing God pours forth on you.” – John Calvin
Cézanne, Paul. The Card Players. Paris, France. Musée d’Orsay, 1895. Oil on canvas.
“While paradise here is certainly not lost, Hawaii has been the site of many trials throughout its history. Art has thrived because of the underlying toughness that exists on the island – a resilience that is rarely acknowledged. All this lushness is growing out of lava rock, after all.” – Pegge Hopper, “Honolulu: The Monocle Travel Guide Series.” 2016.
Hopper, Pegge. Okapaka.
“ἡ γὰρ ὕπανδρος γυνὴ τῷ ζῶντι ἀνδρὶ δέδεται νόμῳ· ἐὰν δὲ ἀποθάνῃ ὁ ἀνήρ, κατήργηται ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου τοῦ ἀνδρός.” – Προσ Ρωμαιουσ 7:2 (Nestle-Aland 28)
“Thus a married woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies, she is discharged from the law concerning the husband.” – Romans 7:2 (NRSV)
“The Law was our husband, under whose yoke we were held until it became dead to us: After the death of the Law Christ took us to himself, that is, he freed us from the Law and took us to himself. Being, therefore, united to Christ who has been raised from the dead, we ought to cleave to him alone. And as the life of Christ is eternal after the resurrection, so hereafter we shall never be divorced from him.” – John Calvin
“There is nothing evil in the Law itself, but it reveals the extent of evil, as no person is able to meet its standard of perfection.” – Bruce Gordon, Calvin. Yale University Press.
Rembrandt. Moses Smashing the Tablets of the Law. 1659. Oil on canvas.
“ὃν προέθετο ὁ θεὸς ἱλαστήριον διὰ [τῆς] πίστεως ἐν τῷ αὐτοῦ αἵματι εἰς ἔνδειξιν τῆς δικαιοσύνης αὐτοῦ διὰ τὴν πάρεσιν τῶν προγεγονότων ἁμαρτημάτων.” – Προσ Ρωμαιουσ 3:25 (Nestle-Aland 28)
“Whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed.” – Romans 3:25 (NRSV)
“God does not hate in us his own workmanship, that is, the fact he has created us as living beings; but he hates our uncleanness, which has extinguished the light of his image. When the washing of Christ has removed this, he loves and embraces us as his own pure workmanship.” – John Calvin
Holbein the Younger, Hans. John Calvin. Portrait of a Man.