Steve Guthrie

Dr. Steve Guthrie is Professor of Theology at Belmont University, a Rabbit Room board member and Hutchmoot speaker, and also was for many years a member of a Beatles cover band (which we don't hold against him).


Spirit & Sound, Part 6: The Man Who Read with His Mouth Closed (And the Spirit Who Didn’t)

By Steve Guthrie

[Editor’s note: click here to read Part 5: The Preposition of Love.]

“We believe in the Holy Spirit. . . Who has spoken through the prophets.”

—The Nicene Creed

I am sitting in the upstairs office space of the Barn, by North Wind Manor. (The reconstruction of North Wind Manor that has been going on over the past several months is almost finished, and the place looks amazing!) Three staff members are in the room with me: Shigé, Pete, and Chris; each seated at a desk, each reading. What are they reading? I don’t know. I could find out, but I would have to ask. And this is one way in which reading in the contemporary world is different than it was (at least most of the time) in the ancient world. A famous story from St. Augustine’s (354-430) Confessions illustrates this point.

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Spirit & Sound, Part 5: The Preposition of Love

By Steve Guthrie

[Editor’s note: click here to read Part 4: Sounding, Re-sounding, and the Antiphonal Shape of the World.]

How accurate one has to be with one’s prepositions! Perhaps it was a preposition wrong that set the whole world awry.

—Charles Williams, The Place of the Lion

The truth is, I’m not much of a stickler for grammar. But I do love this passage from Charles Williams’ The Place of the Lion. I love the prospect of all of history teetering precariously, balanced on the back of a couple innocuous looking letters. And I love thinking about whether Williams could actually be right. Could a mere “without” where there should have been a “within”—or perhaps an “above” that should have been “below”—really set the whole world out of joint?

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Spirit & Sound, Part 4: Sounding, Re-sounding, and the Antiphonal Shape of the World

By Steve Guthrie

[Editor’s note: click here to read Part 3: God in Motion.]

I believe in the Holy Spirit . . . 
Together with the Father and the Son He is worshipped and glorified.

—The Nicene Creed

On a recent Saturday morning, a text message popped up on the Rabbit Room Staff thread. Leslie Thompson, one of our staff members, was in Kentucky with her husband, hiking. She texted to tell us that as they drove to the trailhead that morning, they had passed a handmade sign fixed to a tree. It read: “Is He Worthy?” A hundred yards or so further along there was another tree, and another sign: “He is.”

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Spirit & Sound, Part 3: God in Motion

By Steve Guthrie

[Editor’s note: click here to read Part 2: The Breath Between Us.]

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
The Lord, the Giver of Life,
Who proceeds from the Father (and the Son)

—Nicene Creed

Toward the beginning of the current pandemic, an article appeared in Wired magazine, its title articulating a subtle but meaningful distinction. It read: “They Say Coronavirus Isn’t Airborne—but It’s Definitely Borne By Air.”1

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Spirit & Sound, Part 2: The Breath Between Us

By Steve Guthrie

[Editor’s note: click here to read Part 1: The Sound Breath Makes.]

I have spent the past few months thinking about what it means to say the Holy Spirit is the Breath of God. (For more about this, you may want to have a look at the first post in this series.) I’ve been writing about this theme in connection with the arts, not current events. But the Spirit (as Jesus says) blows where it pleases, and it’s seemed almost impossible to think about breath without also thinking about the conversations going on all around me.

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Spirit & Sound, Part 1: The Sound Breath Makes

By Steve Guthrie

“The pneuma blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it.” (John 3:8)

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly from heaven there came a sound. . . ” (Acts 2:1-2)

One of the scribes . . . asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel . . . ’ ” (Mark 12: 28-29)

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Hero-worship, Humor & the Harrowing Rescue of Jojo Rabbit

By Steve Guthrie

The montage that runs under the opening credits of Jojo Rabbit is one of the most insightful moments in a movie full of insights. Newsreel footage of Nazi youth rallies is accompanied by The Beatles’ “Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand” (a German language version of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” that The Beatles recorded in 1964). Frenzied, dewy-eyed teenage girls scream “Heil Hitler!” But if you weren’t watching their lips closely, you might think they were screaming “Paul!” or “Ringo!” Arms wave frantically in the air, like those of excited fans at Shea Stadium. It is only after the second or third shot that you realize that the hands are extended in a Nazi salute. Likewise the hysterical cheering running along in the background might have been recorded at the Nuremburg rallies, or it might have been the crowd at the Ed Sullivan Theater (“Ladies and gentlemen . . . The Beatles!!”).

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Tiger King and a Pathology of Beauty

By Steve Guthrie

“If you ask a twenty-one-year-old poet whose poetry he likes,” Annie Dillard declares, “he might say, unblushing, ‘Nobody’s.’ In his youth, he has not yet understood that poets like poetry, and novelists like novels; he himself likes only the role, the thought of himself in a hat.”

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