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Showing posts from February, 2013

Free Will and Free Grace

Let’s continue our blog series on Paradise Lost by looking at Book 3.

Summary Sitting on His throne, God observes Satan’s progress toward the newly created world. Foreseeing Satan’s success in perverting humankind, He speaks with the Son, who is sitting at His right hand. God the Father proclaims that grace cannot be granted to mankind without the satisfaction of divine justice (and yet even in this announcement, He foreshadows the grace that is to come to man.) Only if someone can answer for Adam’s sins and receive mankind’s punishment can Adam and his progeny be saved. God the Son offers Himself as man’s ransom and the Father accepts, proclaiming the supremacy of the name of Jesus. In response, the angels celebrate the Father and the Son. Meanwhile, Satan travels through Chaos and makes his way to the sun, where the angel Uriel is stationed. Disguising himself, Satan feigns an innocent desire to view God’s new creation. Uriel gives Satan directions to where earth—and its two human i…

The Pride that Comes After a Fall

Let’s continue our blog series on Paradise Lost by looking at Book 2.

Summary Satan and his minions plot their course of action. Molech argues they should renew their war with God and seek victory through military effort. Belial advises they lie low, hoping that God may forget them and just leave them alone. Mammon proposes they build a better Hell so they can learn to enjoy their new home even more than Heaven. Satan already has a plan, but he uses Beelzebub to propose it to the crowd so that the demons think it is their own idea. Beelzebub wins the throng’s approval, and they all agree to seek revenge against God by corrupting His newest creations—humans. Satan offers to do this difficult task himself, receiving honor and applause. He then approaches the gates of hell, which are guarded by Sin and Death. Satan demands passage, and he and Death argue. Sin steps in to appease them both, and finally all agree on Satan’s plan. With Hell’s gates opened before him, Satan embarks on his mi…

A Husband’s Guide to Romance: Less is More

I wrote an article for WOG Magazine that went live last week on Valentine’s Day. It explores a specific—and countercultural—way to stoke the flames of romance. You can check it out here.

Psychoanalyzing Satan

Having introduced my plan for blogging through Paradise Lost, I invite you to join me in looking at Book 1.

Summary Book 1 begins with a prologue, including a synopsis of the entire poem’s plot, a plea to the Holy Spirit to aid Milton in composing this work, and a statement about the purpose of the poem. Milton’s goal is to “justify the ways of God to men” (line 26). Then he drops us into the middle of the epic story: Satan awakens from a stupor, having been cast out of Heaven. He finds himself floating in the lake of hell, along with the other rebel angels, all of whom are still catatonic. Satan wakes them from their thunderstruck confusion and gives a rousing speech, instilling within them a renewed hope of reigning in Heaven. He tells them of a soon-to-be new world (i.e., earth) and a new creature to be created (i.e., man), according to an ancient prophecy. Satan leads his minions to dry land, where they build a place called Pandemonium. From this meeting hall, they sit as a counci…

Dan Cathy, Chick-fil-A, and the Love of Jesus

I hate to interrupt our Paradise Lost series right as it gets started, but I wanted to touch on a current event in national news.

Just over a week ago, nationally recognized LGBT leader Shane L. Windmeyer wrote a stunning piece for Huffington Post, entitled, “Dan and Me: My Coming Out as a Friend of Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A.” As a champion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights, Mr. Windmeyer has led protests against Chick-fil-A and what he saw as the bigotry of the Christian-owned company. All that started to change on August 10 of last year, when he got a personal call from Chick-fil-A founder Dan Cathy.

Windmeyer writes, “He was going to tear me apart, right? Give me a piece of his mind? Turn his lawyers on me?” Instead, what he found was a man filled with love and compassion. Their first conversation lasted over an hour, and they continued to interact over the phone. Then they started meeting privately for more dialogue. In the process, something amazing happened…