“Now, Lord, since it is you who gives understanding to faith, grant me to understand as well as you think fit, that you exist as we believe, and that you are what we believe you to be. We believe that you are that thing than which nothing greater can be thought.” – Anselm of Canterbury, Proslogion
“Discourse about God comes second because faith comes first and is the source of theology; in the formula of St. Anselm, we believe in order that we may understand (credo ut intelligam).” – Gustavo Gutiérrez, A Theology of Liberation
Romanelli, Giovanni Francesco. The Meeting of the Countess Matilda and Anselm of Canterbury in the Presence of Pope Urban II. 1642. Oil on canvas.
“Upon the disappearance of the fixed points that should give unity to everyday activity, persons live at the mercy of events, unable to establish fruitful links between them and forced simply to jump from one to another.” – Gustavo Gutierrez, We Drink for Our Own Wells
Van Gogh, Vincent. Wheatfield with Crows. Amsterdam, Netherlands. Van Gogh Museum, 1890. Oil on canvas.
“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
Tissot, James. God’s Promises to Abram. 1902. Gouache on board.
“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.
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 Haguenauer. Isenheim Altarpiece. Colmar, France. Unterlinden Museum, 1516. Oil on wood panel.
“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.
“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.