Bezalel's Compass

April 20, 2014

Dying to One’s Self and the Glory of Resurrection Day

peter-paul-rubens-holy-trinityDon’t answer a man by studying about him – the horrid concept that spurns difference, rather study to show yourself approved toward God. Build the relation. Get to know your man. Let him tell you what he thinks, knows and believes. Let him trust you that you will listen to his thoughts, ideas and words. Let his confidence be ensured that you will not condemn his concept, rape his reason, disparage his decision, a priori. Know him intimately, as a friend. What point is there to win the argument only to lose the man? To build a wall only to keep civility and its discourse outside? Embrace the awkwardness of not knowing. Cherish the confliction of concepts. Desire the disparity of mental genealogies. In the endgame, reason doesn’t win the battle, that’s belongs to the middle ground. The beginning and end is a gift of love.


July 20, 2013

Liturgy, Architecture and Theology

“Liturgy is a splendid NT word that carries a wealth of meaning, all of which is bound up with the idea of service to God. It is applied to the priests, the offerings, the vessels of the temple used in the service of God (Luke 1:23, Heb. 9:21),  the “sacrificial service” (Phil 2:17), and the service of officers of the Church. That this evensongword liturgy should come to be used of worship indicates the importance with which worship was rightly held as service! But the service of worship must be governed not by tradition, let alone by aesthetics, but by theology. Thus Conrad H. Massa has well said that for the Reformers “the liturgy of the Church was the working out of its theology in the activity of corporate worship.” Thus, there is a propriety in speaking, as does Hammond, of “liturgy and architecture,” and meaning very much the same as “theology and architecture.” Architecture, however, must be liturgy (i.e., service to God) in working out the theology of a church [building] in its physical structure. Just as liturgy is theology in action, so architecture is theology in material structure. Thus liturgy seems a word more appropriate to describe the role of architecture, rather than its underlying basis. Both architecture and liturgy must be determined by theology”. -Bruggink and Droppers, Christ and Architecture

July 19, 2013

Christ and Architecture

Geneva“The situation of the Presbyterian/ Reformed churches in America is very much akin to that of the Church of England, so well described by Peter Hammond (in Liturgy and Architecture, 1960). Like the Anglicans, we have simply not given enough thought to our to our theology in relation to church architecture. Unlike the Church of England, however, we are not imitating the “traditional” churches of an earlier age; rather, we are being tossed about on a shifting sea of eclectic borrowings. This situation will continue until we are willing to give some very serious thought to our understanding of the relationship between gospel and architecture. If the gospel and its proclamations are important, and if architecture can proclaim the gospel in a significant way, then we must consider with absolute seriousness its architectural proclamation” -Bruggink.

If art is a language endowed with meaning, how has church architecture proclaimed the gospel to you?

In response to the quote above, I present to you G.K. Beale’s “The Temple and the Church’s Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God“.








The church building where Calvin preached in Geneva

January 7, 2013

Essence of Christian Architecture

How we worship effects and shapes how we live. What then should we expect of christian architecture to support our thanksgiving? Some basic principles should guide how we think churches ought to be (and look like) churches…and enunciate the testimony of Christ’s kingdom on earth and as it is in heaven.

1) A church should have verticality – it reorientates our vision towards Christ enthroned and His majesty over the horizon of our earthly being.
2) A church should be durable – it proclaims that Christ’s kingdom is established, is meaningful and here for the long haul.
3) A church should be objectively beautiful – it’s a glorious thing He has done. The re-creation of our fallen world inaugurated at the cross and its final eskaton is provided as a glimpse during the act of corporate worship.

If your or your church is striving toward this end…lets talk. Its a conversation I’m passionate about. Art is fundamentally a creation in community and ultimately a reflection of our theology. More on this in near future posts.

December 11, 2012

Crossroads Baptist Church

Crossroads Baptist This project is currently in the design development phase. It is a church commission in the greater Memphis area built in the Georgian manner of early American architecture. The 30,000 square foot campus consists of a sanctuary for 500 people, classrooms and a great hall. The project will built in two phases with ground breaking scheduled for early 2013. This rendering depicts the first phase of the building project.

February 13, 2011

Leithart on Transignification and Sacramental Union

Filed under: In Other's Words, Theology — Eric G. Ivers @ 5:27 am

Category: Theology – Liturgical

“Sacramental union” between the “sign” and the “thing” can and has been used to separate: Because there are two entities, sign and union, it’s possible that there is one without the other.

In classic Reformed theology, “sacramental union” usually has exactly the opposite import: Because of the sacramental union, the sign is never a “bare” or “vain” sign; because of the union, God is sincerely offering the thing when He offers the sign.

The 1562 Hungarian Confessio Catholica highlights another aspect of the “sacramental union.” That confession says that God has “united and bound together by heavenly means and union, the sign and thing signified.” Borrowing Chalcedonian language, it continues with a denial that the “natures and substances” of thing and sign are confused or blended, nor is one transformed into another. That is, water doesn’t magically become something else, nor do bread and wine become body and blood substantially. Rather, both the sign and the thing retain their natural qualities, and what changes is “the purpose, condition and name of the sign.” ”Sacramental Union” is a way of affirming “transsignification” rather than “transubstantiation.”

This Confession is also revealing in the way it talks about sacramental language. When Scripture calls the bread “body,” the point is not that there has been a transformation of the substance, but rather that the sign takes on the name of the thing signified, “metonymically, metaphorically, or synecdochically.” The example is that water baptism is sometimes called “purification” or “remission of sin.” To say this language is rooted in “sacramental union” means that the transfer of language doesn’t imply that a special jolt of power is added to the water, but that water, while retaining all its natural properties, is changed in its use and end. Instead of simply washing dirt, it is now part of an action of God.

posted by Peter J. Leithart on Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 2:33 pm

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