“What Made Dagon Bow?” Read my essay in Comment and find out.

Ever found yourself at a fancy party, looked around at the impressive guests, and wondered, "How did I get invited to this thing?" That's how my month has gone. One day my byline is at First Things' On the Square blog, sandwiched between much more august contributors, and next thing you know, I have an essay in the latest print edition of Comment. The theme of this issue, edited by Peter Leithart, is "The Word of God and the City of Man," and it includes writing by Marilynne Robinson, Richard Mouw, Al Wolters, Calvin Seerveld, Makoto Fujimura … and J. Mark Bertrand. 

Just typing that sentence felt a little surreal.


A couple of points: First, if you care about Christian thought and its impact on worldview and culture, you should be subscribing to Comment. Every issue is a keeper. 

Second, my essay for Comment, called "What Made Dagon Bow?" is one of the free sample articles from the latest issue, which means you can read it right now. Please do. I appreciate the support you show by reading Bible Design Blog, and would love for you to experience another side of my writing. 

"What Made Dagon Bow?" by J. Mark Bertrand

Here's a taste to whet your appetite:

The ark had an agenda of its own. No Israelite army on its own strength could have penetrated deep into Philistine land to install the ark inside the temple of Dagon. Only God could do such a thing, and he could do it without their help. Later God would propagate the faith by sending his missionaries to the four corners of the earth as humbled captives, turning defeat and diaspora to good ends, and the Roman beast would draw the Gospel close to its breast by exercising its powers of arrest. Likewise, the ark needed no human strength, no protection from the threat of the outside world. If only the Israelites had realized, there was nowhere the ark could be taken where creation would not welcome it.

Now click over and read the whole thing and let me know what you think. And thank you for reading!

6 Comments on ““What Made Dagon Bow?” Read my essay in Comment and find out.

  1. Wow! what powerful writing! You’ve not only earned your invitation to the soiree, you give it style and life. I hope to read more of your essays in Comment.

  2. Mark, you hit all the pop cult references for capture of Standards that I could think of. You certainly have a command of pop cult. And bringing up Adam and his naming of the animals reminded me of when I read Genesis as an adult and discovered that taxonomy was truly the World’s Oldest Profession (he knew he was to farm but he hadn’t actually farmed yet). Adam could get away with such a geeky profession since Eve had yet to be created.

  3. Okay. So I took forever to finally read your essay. All I continued to think of whilst reading was a quote for the movie Arthur. If you have not seen the movie — this will be meaningless. It was the point at which Hobson (Sir John Gielgud) said to Gloria (“You obviously have a wonderful economy with words”). Anyway, the substance of the article was well reasoned but the writing was spectacular. For me, it was somewhat similar to reading Philip Yancey. Great essay Mark.

  4. Very nice of you to say, Kyle. I appreciate the compliment!

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