After Existentialism, Light

A theology blog

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”

Isaiah 60:1-3 (NIV)

San Francisco, summer 2014

San Francisco, summer 2014

Name: Kevin Davis

Location: Charlotte, NC


B.A. (Religious Studies), University of North Carolina, Charlotte

M.Th. (Systematic Theology), University of Aberdeen, Scotland

Currently an M.Div. student at Union Presbyterian Seminary, Charlotte

Denomination: Presbyterian

Interests: modern dogmatic theology, the history of philosophy, old movies, new movies, good music, super mario bros.

Theological Perspective: I am influenced by the wide range of Christian history and experience, East and West, Catholic and Protestant, from Irenaeus to Barth. I am an evangelical Presbyterian. You can read the Heidelberg Catechism for a good summary statement.

M.Th. dissertation research: John Henry Newman’s moral epistemology in the assent of faith. Advisor: Professor Francesca Murphy.

Email: [at]

In the Aberdeen Divinity Library

In the Aberdeen Divinity Library

King’s College Chapel, University of Aberdeen

“It is not the pursuit of pleasure and the aversion for effort which causes sin, but fear of God. We know that we cannot see him face to face without dying and we do not want to die. We know that sin preserves us very effectively from seeing him face to face: pleasure and pain merely provide us with the slight indispensable impetus towards sin, and above all the pretext or alibi which is still more indispensable. …It is not the flesh which keeps us away from God; the flesh is the veil we place before us to shield us from him.”

Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace, pp. 58-59

24 Responses to “About”

  1. Kevin:
    I came upon your blog via your comment on Beggars’s All. I was very impressed with your charity and straight forward answering of the assertions that were put forth there. I commend you and suspect God will use you greatly regardless of which side of the Tiber you are on. Thanks for setting an amazing example in the blogosphere, where we often think we no longer are constrained to love our enemies or those who disagree with our version of the truth.

  2. Alexander Greco said

    Rebekah and family are doing great. Rebekah and I have a one year old daughter, and another daughter on the way (mid-June). Rebekah graduated UNCC last spring as a Religious Studies major (Senior Seminar paper was about the invalidity of women priests in the CC, and its underlying femminist theology…she didn’t gain much favor with the professors on this, as you can imagine). Are you in contact with Fr. Martin? How is your family? Are they still at Hickory Grove? Rebekah’s father has relocated to Midway Baptist in Raleigh.

  3. Richard said

    Apologia Pro Vita Sua is a superb book! ;-)

  4. Kevin:

    I have been consistently delighted with and enriched by your posts ever since a random google hit first led me to your blog. I have been blessed by what you have posted for yourself, and have been encouraged by how broad a spectrum of believers have gathered at your online “salon.” It is a privilege to be one of the commenters on your site.

  5. chad said

    Just wanted to say as a seminarian at St. Mary’s in Baltimore, I thoroughly enjoy your posts as they accessibly summarize grand theological concepts.

    It’s good to see pictures of Aberdeen, I had the privelege of visiting a friend there when during a semester at UCC (Cork).

  6. David Meyer said

    Hey, just thought I would point you to a site that has caught my interest lately. It is a bunch of very well trained former Reformed Protestants trying to enlarge the Catholic church. Very intelligent discussion there.

  7. I am most familiar with your Alma Mater, I owe a considerable amount of my own intellectual formation from those in Scotland like George Steiner and Mackinnon. Steiner is very much in indebted to such a man. Peace. I invite you to check out my blog its only ten days old. Peace.

  8. Eric said

    I am another who has “stumbled” here – what a great blog you have created. Best of luck on your dissertation, Newman has long been one of my favorite 19th-century writers.

  9. John B said

    This is a wonderful blog! I’m just posting in order to subscribe.

  10. Michael Black said

    Apparently like many others I came to the site through the Spirit and am indeed moved. Please register me.

  11. imarriedaxtian said

    I have a suggestion. Please add an RSS feed on your home page.

  12. […] this Dutch guy named, Bavinck. He has intrigued me ever since I have heard of him. I know of some theobloggers who are intrigued by him as well, and even one who is working with him for his PhD research over in Scotland. I am not sure I will […]

  13. Perry Fuller said

    Interesting blog. I appreciate your own appreciation of Barth. I am, perhaps, one of the few PCA guys who actually enjoys reading his Church Dogmatics. I’m curious: What is your take on Barth’s alledgedly adulterous relationship with his secretary, and how did it affect his relationship with God and his value as a theologian?

    • Kevin Davis said

      There’s no denying that his working relationship/friendship with Charlotte von Kirschbaum caused strain in his family, but there’s absolutely no evidence that it was adulterous. From what I’ve read on the topic, it appears that both Barth and Kirschbaum were convinced that their work together (the Church Dogmatics) required her moving-in with the family. As they saw it, their work was more important than the stigma attached to their relationship.

  14. What are treasure mine you have here Kevin. I will tag along enjoying you glorifying God with your beautiful mind.


  15. Very much enjoy your broad perspective. Enjoy the musical criticism as well as the new insights on Simone Weil. I very much am impressed with your scholarship.

  16. Wyatt said

    I added your site to my blog roll!

  17. Fariba said

    You have no idea how glad I am that I stumbled upon your blog. I am a Catholic who loves my Ratzinger, von Balthasar, Rahner, and Congar but not a day goes by in which I do not read Kierkegaard (who has initiated me into the world of Barth and Bonhoeffer). I am always struck by Kierkegaard’s statement in his journal entries on Luther that the relationship between Protestantism and Catholicism is like a building that cannot stand alone and buttresses that hold it up.Lutheran theology is existential and dialectical. Catholic theology is linear and objective. I think there is a need for both approaches. The first is personal and speaks to the actual struggles of being Christian while the second is universally applicable (as in, no law/gospel or anguished conscience is needed).

    • Kevin Davis said

      Thanks, Fariba. I agree that there is a fascinating mutuality between Catholicism and Protestantism/Evangelicalism — perhaps one cannot truly stand without the other. The former is analogical, creational, aesthetic; the latter is dialectical, subversive, existential. The former leads to idolatry of the church; the latter leads to idolatry of the self.

  18. Hi,

    Your blog is really impressive. I came across it by way of a Google search for Helmut Thielicke. Keep it up.
    By the way, I’m Reformed in perspective.

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