Translate

Friday, November 05, 2010

Top 5 Jokes At The Celebrity Roast Of Huldrych Zwingli

5. "I told Zwingli not to get torn up, but he never listens."

4. "Huldrych was mad because his wife forgot their anniversary; she said she wasn't fond of liturgical observances."

3. "He was mad Marty and John didn't bring birthday presents; they said the gifts were merely symbolic of their affection anyhow."

2. "Your cheese isn't the only thing full of holes. The Platonists waved, and promised a postcard."

1. "Roger Goodell called; he said you'd make an excellent commissioner of the No Fun League."
5 Reactions To The Republican Takeover of the House of Representatives

5. Geez, I hate Republicans, in a pro-liberty, God-fearing sort of way.

4. At least they won't have Nancy Pelosi to kick around anymore.

3. The only thing I see being repealed is common sense.

2. Maybe we shouldn't give franking privileges to people who don't read the bills they pass.

1. Maybe we can dig our children out of mountains of debt by turning off the war machine.

Monday, November 01, 2010

In this journey of mine that will most likely end in Rome [Don't bias it.--ed.] (fair enough), one dear friend of mine has taken to jokingly calling me a "papist dog." [Good friends, sheesh.--ed.] I think it's two-headed: first, we deeply regret many of the nasty things we said about Catholics over the centuries, in light of many faithful, biblical, Christ-loving Catholics we know (and the last two popes). And second, it demonstrates a great fear that particular Catholic distinctives (Mary, the saints, possibly Eucharist) are idolatry. Now, I have to say, my bias of experience spending loads and loads of time with "traditional" Catholics and learning Catholic theology pushes me in the direction of rejecting such a charge as unfounded. Still, idolatry is a serious charge for one Christian to make against another. In fact, it is so serious a charge that it puts the lie to much of our ecumenical talk these days. If Catholics are idolaters, we can have nothing at all to do with them. This means that we cannot reasonably hope to see any orthodox (according to them) Catholics in Heaven/New Earth. When I read John H. Armstrong's book "The Catholic Mystery" and the suggestion via Barna that perhaps 20% of Catholics have an evangelical faith as a conservative Protestant would understand it, I thought 2 things: 1) "Oh, crap, do we really want them to be as messed up as us?" (theologically, mostly) And 2) (after considerable time in their company) "That's preposterously low. Maybe even half, despite the weakness there." When we conservative Protestants say 'evangelical' we mean, "A living, active, saving faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ that affects the way I live, and God-willing, the world in which we live." If we attempt to define it any more precisely, our own biases (such as the means by which gospel truth is received, and where it is contained) begin to affect our vision, and it's little wonder we put the number so low; we're judging it by Protestant notions of authority and the nature of the Church! I don't think I realized this for a long time. On the other hand, there is a pernicious and debilitating Catholic culture that leads a great many to ignorance and presumption (and possibly, straight to Hell). No matter where I go, I hope and pray that renewal efforts continue and multiply in the Catholic Church. Still, the nature of being Catholic in the best sense is to accept what the Church teaches (and obey it) because it is the Church that Christ founded. To trust the Church is to trust Christ, and vice versa. In that case, then, some have levelled the charge of Sola Ecclesia ("the Church Alone") against the Catholic Church. [I already know what you're going to say, you papist dog.--ed.] Well, that's better than No Ecclesia. [So predictable.--ed.] Because Protestants struggle, to say the least, defining the boundaries of fellowship that they share in common despite their visible disunity, the inevitable result is/will be a complete loss of a dogmatic principle. It's as if the persistent egalitarianism at the heart of the Reformation ("priesthood of all believers") mitigates against the pursuit of truth! Because, unless ecclesiastical authority attains an authority it was never meant to have in such a setting, individual interpretation rules the day, only tenuously connected with love for Christ and holy living. It's this invocation of ecclesial authority at curious points that provokes a person like myself to ask what governing authority the Westminster Assembly was given in the first place. [Once you get there, it's almost over.--ed.] I guess we'll find out. But if our church bodies intend to govern with quasi-Catholic authority, there goes 'Mere Christianity.' It might be better if we all thought each other were doomed, because we'd abandon this kumbaya anti-intellectual crap we're doing now, which leaves us all vulnerable to heresy of the worst kind, because we're not specific enough. If you ran into some Nestorians or Arians with jeans, funny jokes, coffee, and a good youth program (gotcha there, didn't I?) would you recognize them? So, a deeper investigation into Mariology is warranted, because I cannot consent to practices which are contrary, it is alleged, to the worship of God alone, even if I wanted to for ecclesiastical/historical reasons.