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Origin of the phrase, ‘In necessariis unitas’

Like me, you’ve probably heard some variation of the phrase, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” It’s a translation of the Latin phrase, “In necessariis unitas, in dubitas libertas, in omnibus caritas.” Nineteenth-century church historian Philip Schaff calls it “the watchword of Christian peacemakers.”(1) The phrase is […]

Knowledge of the past

“Most of all, perhaps, we need intimate knowledge of the past. Not that the past has any magic about it, but because we cannot study the future, and yet need something to set against the present, to remind us that the basic assumptions have been quite different in different periods […]

On Christian scholarship

“Of all scholarly communities, the Christian academy should be marked by the cooperative principle, with its connotations of charity, fellowship, and mutuality. But particularly as I read what we say on the Web and our readiness to ridicule others, I wonder how far our scholarly communities are realty distinguishable from […]

Listen to the prophets

“When the cause is just, nothing other than the inflated rhetoric of the prophets, it seems, can shock us out of our complacency and shove before our eyes in all their starkness the alternatives we need to face. It forces us to confront them and to take a stand one […]

On writing about oneself

“A person can write about himself from angles that are charmed, fond, delightfully nervy; alter the lens just a little and he crosses over into gloating, pettiness, defensiveness, score settling (which includes self-hate), or whining about his victimisation. The truck is to realize that one is not important, except insofar […]