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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Solid Pick, Mr. President

You don't make many good selections, so, as a patriotic American, I have to give credit where credit is due.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Shades Of...Answer The Question

"Nuance" refers to valid interpolations within the accepted definition of a term or terms. There are definitely times for nuance. There are times for circumspection, definitely. And then there are times to simply answer the question. You owe it to yourself and others to say how you know what you know, especially on the most important matter that any human will ever consider: the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. Catholics and non-Catholics obviously answer these questions in different ways. Shouldn't be news there. But are you willing to not only stand by a position, but defend it? You'll have to answer that yourself. But we do ask hard questions here. We owe that to ourselves, and to God who made us. The Reformation wasn't all that complicated; the basic outlines of the two notions of how a Christian knows what he knows are pretty clear. Make a choice, and go with it.

Of course it's a trap. God sets little traps for us all the time, when we go wrong. I do want you to reach the same conclusion I have concerning Christ and the Church. Do what you like. But forgive me if I don't really think you've found some new, innovative way to be Protestant that no one prior has thought of. Every person who does theology has to, sooner or later, say how he arrives at "X, and not Y."

I admit it, I'm just arrogant enough to answer repeated offerings of, "No, you wouldn't understand" with, "Try me."

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Just Sayin.' Again.

One interesting objection to this chart has been to say that one gets stuck in a "loop" that doesn't resolve. This is a thinly-veiled way of putting forward the argument that we don't need absolute certainty in religious dogma. But Fred Noltie already dealt with this in the comments on another post. And to the specific objector, no less. I'll be blunt: The only principled thing to do is put down your Bible, resign your pulpit, and lead tours in Europe. Because a man must be able to distinguish dogma from human opinion, and this epistemology doesn't allow us to do that. One of dogma's distinguishing characteristics is infallibility; another is certainty. Without this, essential characteristics of God Himself are put into question. If we say that the most important Person any person could know is God, and the content of that knowledge (doctrine) is the means by which we know Him, it must be certain. This Reformed argument that certainty is a dangerous or unnecessary illusion is a blind alley, and one whose end is atheism. This is entirely separate from the disputed means by which we know revelation, but it's much more important.