Author

Brian Phillips

Dr. Brian Phillips is the Director of CiRCE Consulting & the Headmaster of the CiRCE Academy.  He also serves as a pastor in Concord, NC, where he lives with his wife and their four children.

Brian Phillips May 1, 2014

“Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.”

- From “Manifesto: Mad Farmer Liberation Front” by Wendell Berry

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Brian Phillips Apr 3, 2014

We're getting pretty excited about this summer's conference!  Here's a recent video from one of our speakers, Wes Callihan.

 

 

 

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Brian Phillips Mar 28, 2014

Bright red numbers glow, burning my sleep-heavy eyes.  It takes a few moments for my brain to process what I’m seeing, but there’s little doubt now – “5:30.”  Surely such horrific buzzing should be reserved for air raid alarms.  I only use the torturous device when I have to awaken early, and then only for its persuasiveness.  It is 5:30 a.m. on a Monday morning, and I do not want to get out of bed. 

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Brian Phillips Mar 19, 2014

The Bookends

Several months ago, I posted an article that introduced the subject of patterns and types in St. Matthew’s gospel.  Particularly, I pointed out how Matthew portrays Jesus as the beginning and the end, the fulfillment of all God’s promises.  You can read part one here, if you like. 

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Brian Phillips Mar 11, 2014

"It is easier to be enthusiastic about Humanity with a capital 'H' than it is to love individual men and women especially those who uninteresting, exasperating, depraved, or otherwise unattractive. Loving everybody in general may be an excuse loving no one in particular." – John Stott, commenting on 1st John 3:17

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Brian Phillips Mar 8, 2014

Journalist: “What are your thoughts on Hell?”
G.K. Chesterton: “I regard it as a thing to be avoided.”
 

One of the most obvious benefits of reading Dante’s Inferno is that it provides a vivid reminder that sin destroys and heaps horrific consequences upon the sinner.  Temptation, by definition, entices one because of the apparent pleasure that the sinful act will bring, but Dante cuts through such transitory appearances, directing us to the frightening aftermath. 

Paolo & Francesca

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Brian Phillips Feb 28, 2014

Leaning forward in the black and white armchair, I slowly close the back cover of The Rector of Justin, with whom I have spent much of the last day.  It is fiercely cold outside and I can see the wind whipping violently through the bare trees and tall weeds of the seemingly endless snow-covered fields.  The windows of my room groan with every gust.

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Brian Phillips Feb 24, 2014

I begin as many days as possible with this “Morning Prayer,” which I have seen attributed to both St. Basil the Great and Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow (1782-1867):

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Brian Phillips Feb 14, 2014

Virtuous Pagans

Awakened from his first swoon by a “monstrous clap of thunder,” Dante finds that they have crossed Acheron and are now positioned “on the very brink of the valley called the Dolorous Abyss, the desolate chasm where rolls the thunder of Hell’s eternal cry” (Canto IV.7-9).

Yet, as they descend into the first circle, Dante reports…

“No tortured wailing rose to greet us here
but sounds of sighing rose from every side,
sending a tremor through the timeless air,

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Brian Phillips Feb 7, 2014

The Good of Intellect

Dante’s voyage into hell formally begins in Canto III as his guide, Virgil, reach the entry gate.  Above the gate, carved in stone, is the foreboding inscription:

“I AM THE WAY INTO THE CITY OF WOE.
I AM THE WAY TO A FORSAKEN PEOPLE.
I AM THE WAY INTO ETERNAL SORROW.

SACRED JUSTICE MOVED MY ARCHITECT.
I WAS RAISED HERE BY DIVINE OMNIPOTENCE,
PRIMORDIAL LOVE AND ULTIMATE INTELLECT.

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