Thoughts on the ‘Logos asarkos’

Great piece regarding Athanasius’ work On The Incarnation.

Jacob G. Hanby

(an excerpt from a paper I recently wrote for Theopolis Institute)

Athanasius speaks of the pre-existence of the Word; the Son is “by nature bodiless and existing as the Word;” in time He “appeared to us in a human body for our salvation.” (Incarnation, 1) Yet Athanasius also speaks frequently of the act of creation not by abstracting, but in reference to “our Savior Jesus Christ” (particularly in Against the Gentiles, 2). He looks back on the whole of the life of God through the lens of what God has done in Christ on the cross.

Robert Jenson (in the first volume of his Systematic Theology as well as his clarifying article, ‘Once More the Logos asarkos‘) takes this further. For Jenson, we cannot conceive of the Word of God asarkos, without flesh. That is, the Word of God is Jesus of Nazareth, not a metaphysical entity to…

View original post 281 more words


What Lies Between Storm and Shine


The Oxbow – Thomas Cole (1836)

*See Note on the composition of this poem below.

What Lies Between Storm and Shine

For Eva and Eloise and those beloved who have departed to at last find peace.


So odd

I always thought

how light like a pacifist

drifts away on the winds

before the storm conquers the sky

and the sun surrenders its shine

or how barometric conflict

brings such beauty upon the earth.


Stranger still

that on this sphere

of light and shadow and motion

we should chance to live

dare to love

and so soon expire

knowing somewhere

between the agony

and the ecstasy

lies the stillness

for which we so languish

and so long

that conspires to persist

not in the storm’s absence

but in its midst.

© Jedidiah Paschall

I wrote this poem initially in November of 2001, shortly after 9/11 and the murder of a family member. During this tumultuous period I had also dropped out of college (for the first time) following a nervous breakdown, and I was battling bipolar disorder. I would not be diagnosed as manic-depressive for another two years, but the symptoms began presenting in 1999 when I was twenty and reached the first of several catastrophes that I have learned to navigate. The best I can describe living as manic-depressive is if someone were to imagine that they were riding a thoroughbred that is being chased by lightning on the edge of a razor; fall off the edge into the abysses of mania or depression and the whole cognitive-affective balance goes off the rails.

Anyway, aside from removing some mixed metaphors out of the original draft, this present edition is substantially unchanged from the original. I look back on this time in my life, which up to this point was the most prolific in my poetic journey the way a salty old prospector might scour a dry creek bed long after the storm abated – sure it was a snarled up mess, but there was a few precious stones in there as well. Lisel Mueller writes in her poem ‘Cirriculum Vitae’, The death of the mother hurt the daughter into poetry. The daughter became a mother of daughters. It is the incomprehensibility of grief that often drives us to the peculiar order of poetry – of course poetry is more than the sum of our pain, it is also the language of joy and love and hope and longing, but it is in the ability to apprehend the meaning of our scars that we learn to live with them. It was the pain of her mothers passing that made Mueller a mother of so many beautiful poems, and her experience not only as the mother of poems but also daughters became the thread that knit together the rich tapestry of her life’s work. In a very real sense she is my poetic mother, and as a reader I have been able to draw off of the wisdom, texture, color, and experience of her poetry to find my own voice.

On Switchblades and Axe Handles and Love

Heart Sketch


Love is a switchblade

between your ribs

late at night

after your third date

when it dawns on you

she’s the last woman you’ll ever take to dinner,

you’ll know you’re a dead man walking

when you see blood on your hand

after pulling it from your chest.


Love is the furious tears

on your child’s hand

you’re holding to your cheek

through the beeps and chatters of a

midnight vigil beside a hospital bed

as you choke on the bitter pill

that you can’t fix him

and that love wasn’t supposed to feel

this naked

this cold.


Love is the echoes

on the back of your retinas

that you can see every time

you close your eyes

long after the darkness

swallowed the fireworks

that keep you stumbling forward

when there’s nothing left

but stubbed toes

and cussing

and hurt feelings that never seem

to get unhurt.


Love is the boots

that holds your feet fast

to no-man’s land

when your family’s the Bloods

and your family’s the Crips

and you cannot take a side,

all might be fair in love and war

but there aren’t winners in either – only

casualties and survivors,

which are two words for the same truth

and you know that

only in death

is love perfected

and through death resurrected.


Love is the business-end of an axe handle

thrust in your gut

that robs your breath

that steals your strength

that makes you weak in the knees

and in repayment it gives

sorrow mixed with joy

until every memory is filled with both

and the only way to duck the blow

and escape the pain

is to refuse the precious wounds

only love can give.


© Jedidiah Paschall





The Byronic Odyssey


Painting by Thomas Moran – Sunset at Sea (ca. 1906)

Adieu, adieu! my native shore

  Fades o’er the waters blue;

The night-winds sigh, the breakers roar,

  And shrieks the wild sea-mew.

Yon sun that sets upon the sea

  We follow in his flight;

Farewell awhile to him and thee,

  My Native Land – Good Night!

– Lord Byron: Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage – Canto One. XIII

As I continue to research the American Romantic Era’s painters most closely associated with the Hudson River School and the Luminism style for one of my upcoming projects, I am also diving back into the work of the English Romantic poets, specifically Lord Byron and John Keats. My primary concerns are the exploration of the the civilizational move from the Edenic/Arcadian, to the decadence of Empire, through the inevitable fall of Empire, on into the renewal of an eschatological and cosmopolitan Eden/Arcadia. I’ll probably post some more of my sketches for Inter Æons that will filter in some way into the completed work.

One of my favorite aspects of artistic research is that it is never as detached or disinterested as disciplines like scientific research necessarily must be. So, as I am reading through Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage I am reading through the words of a master who knew all too well the sort of journey that the manic-depressive writer must traverse in order to create. While the notion of a tortured artist is a well-worn cliche, it can only be this way because of the truth that lies beneath it. Harold – a character that is said to resemble Byron himself, is a mercurial wanderer beset by the kinds of contradictions that most anyone who has battled bipolar disorder knows in the most visceral terms. While my own contradictions and battles might not be exaggerated to such a degree that I am some sort of Byronic Hero (or anti-hero), Harold’s revelries with wine, women, and song as he journeys far from home are something that I can identify with – sometimes his lines leave me laughing in stitches or cringing over memories of my much wilder past.

All of this brought back one of the most important works in the field of Bipolar Disorder research – Touched with Fire by world renowned psychiatric researchers, Dr. Kay Jamison. In Touched with Fire, explores the correlation between art and mental illness (featuring several bipolar artists, Byron included). Jamison herself battles bipolar disorder, and writes with intellectual flare that is uncommon for this sort of research literature. In it she notes:

From virtually all perspectives – early Greek philosopher to twentieth-century specialist – there is agreement that artistic creativity and inspiration involve, indeed require, a dipping into pre-rational or irrational sources while maintaining ongoing contact with reality and “life at the surface” The degree to which individuals can, or desire to , “summon up the depths” is among the more fascinating individual differences. Many highly creative and accomplished writers, composers, and artists functioning essentially within the rational world, without losing access to their psychic “underground”… The integration of these deeper, truly irrational sources with more logical processes can be a torturous task, but, if successful, the resulting work often bears a unique stamp, a “touch of fire,” for what it has been through.

So, like Byron, the artist’s task is to be able to oscillate from life at the surface and the subterranean depths. Perhaps there’s a little madness on this odyssey, but I would argue that certain kinds of madness are necessary for good art. Whether you’re temperament is even-keeled or manic depressive, if you’re inclined to create don’t fear to tread paths that might seem a little crazy to the outside observer.


Seven Sketches for Inter Æons


I am working on a larger piece of poetry, which will take me a good deal of time to complete. I enjoy the poetic process because, if nothing else it affords me the opportunity return to my most natural state; namely the exploration in that liminal zone where I can test the limits of sanity in search of truth. The trick is not to get lost there – I suppose the embers of madness will always burn in my mind.

I use the Haiku form to sketch poetic works I intend to develop further in the future, as well as some directed narrative reflections. What I share here is by no means complete, instead it should give the readers of this blog a sense of the project I am working on. It should be a fun process of sharing some of these fragments as the larger work, which I hope will survey the history of salvation between Eden and the Heavenly Zion, takes shape.

Sketches for Inter Æons

I. The Eternal Law

First in Beauty’s Truth –

The Infinite must also be

the first in power.

II. Our First Garden

Enlightenment’s Age

is a return to Eden

And to our first fall.

III. Chaos Theory

The negative space

opens possibilities

for good or for ill.

IV. Arboreal Calvary

So the tree inhales

an oxidized carbon death

and exhales new life.

V. Pedagogy of Violence

Eagle’s talons tear

iridescent salmon flesh –

the beauty in pain.

VI. The Present Age

Sempiternal rose

always blooms and always dies

under lucid skies.

VII. The Heavens

Seven Dimensions –

Permeate all creation;

present now within.





Four Quartets over at Eclectic Orthodoxy


[The Above Image ‘The Fire and the Rose are One” by Makoto Fujimura is a work inspired by Eliot’s final Quartet ‘Little Gidding’. To see more of Fujimura’s work inspired by Eliot, see his Four Quartets Gallery at]

Fr. Aidan Kimel is back to his meditations on TS Eliot’s Four Quartets. This work by Eliot is immense in scope and difficulty, but to the patient reader it yields treasures that are dearly earned and forever unspoiled. I might tackle a longer reflection on this work someday, but for now I am grateful for the yeoman’s work that Fr. Kimel is doing for all of us who love Eliot and his poetry.

Here is his second meditation on Little Gidding III which comprises part of Eliot’s final Quartet dealing primarily with the element of fire.

Here is the link to Kimel’s Meditations on Eliot’s Four Quartets to date.

Demons & Thieves – A Novel by Brae Wyckoff



Brae Wyckoff is the founder of San Diego Kingdom Writers Association, and acclaimed fantasy author (and incidentally, a dear friend). Brae has taken his talent for storytelling and branched out of fantasy into a piece of historical fiction that still bears his uncanny knack for the extraordinary that traces the story of the two thieves on the cross. It will be coming out this month and it is well worth taking a look.

For more info see Brae’s Website: Demons & Thieves