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Showing posts from 2011
Obama clearly wants to lose . [No, he's just inept, and stuck with the fruit of identity politics.--ed.] True. Number 1 rule of winning electoral politics for presidents: Get the Midwest. Number 2 rule: DON'T TICK OFF THE GUN PEOPLE! Pete's sake, what happened to Senator Obama? This "President Obama" is clearly someone else.
Carl Trueman is as Protestant as Protestant gets. I read his articles, and I never get the sense that he is changing his mind. But he inspires me. I know Bryan is a fan, precisely because Trueman is willing to tease out the implications of what he believes (and what he doesn't) and to live with them. He's not on a team, as it were. If some piece of the historical data or some ecclesial consideration gives grist to the papists in the court of public opinion, it's no concern of his, long as it's true. What I can recall is thinking that the ground of my dissent or disagreement with the Catholic Church had to be strong. In that, I agreed with Trueman, who wrote that Catholicism was the default position in the West. I could appreciate also the opinion that we as evangelicals needed affirmative reasons to be what we were. If we found ourselves in agreement with Rome, we should return. All this is true, and it had to be so, for the sake of the dogmatic principle, as Newman wou
Tim asks a good question about divorce in the comments to a previous post. The relevant sections of the CCC (let the reader understand) are 2382-2386. But some of the New Testament texts seem to permit divorce, at least in the theoretical, in the case of adultery. But Bryan's article on this is maniacally thorough. [We're used to this by now, aren't we?--ed.] It still shocks me, like the pungent incense at Easter, or the fact that the Cardinals won the World Series, or that Firefly was ever cancelled. [Yeah, that show is great.--ed.] I know, right?
I think it's raining ice at my house. That, or we are being invaded by radical eliminationist termites. [Could be both.--ed.] That's true. "Uncle Bryan" and I saw Bryan's old philosophy instructor from his Reformed seminary days at the midnight Mass at the Cathedral. She was glad to see him, we think. She taught philosophy back not long ago when Reformed people still thought thinking clearly was important. Not that I know anything about that. I've always wanted to ask her if she's inherited the Earth yet. (let the readers understand) And I still find that funny; thanks for asking. For my part, I'm still very glad with my decision. When I saw the Archbishop, my unity with him was palpable. In turn, I knew that I was visibly united to the bishop of Rome, who was and is the visible principle of unity for the Church, and for all Christians. Better still that my bishop holds the Catholic faith, and works hard to uphold those who hold it. I've been sick,
On this day, God in the flesh appeared--Christ the LORD--to reconcile us to the Father. Even as the defenseless baby cried, He held the world in being. May His coming bring peace to every heart, and peace on Earth. May every darkness of sin be banished forever! I love you all, and Merry Christmas.
Permit me to be a bit frank here this evening. If you are working on "marriage" #2 and are not a widow or widower or roped into something on false pretenses, I'm not celebrating squat. You're likely in a state of permanent and public adultery. It's not "fabulous" and I'm not happy for you. Add it to my, "Why Protestantism Sucks" File, #4072. Incontinence with public sanction! Unfair, obnoxious, immoral. Lest you think Mother Church callous, there is provision for separation (but not divorce) in the case of adultery or violence in the Code of Canon Law, canons 1151-55.
Absolutely preposterous. Man, I love baseball. Note to self: I'm never drafting Dan Uggla again. [But he hit 36 HRs and had 82 RBI.--ed.] Dude, I'm a purist. If you hit .233 AFTER the season's longest hitting streak of 33 games, YOU SUCK. (No offense, Dan.)
Here's the Deborah Cox version of the song to which I was previously referring, in case anyone cares. [Great, encourage fornication, why don't you?--ed.] You can use it as a wedding-night song, or even a, "Wow, that was a fantastic first date" song, sheesh. I liked Deborah as soon as I found her; she's like Whitney with better songs.
OK, it's (ex) Protestant Share Time! I'm "in love" with Melanie Fiona . She's awesome. And this means that my three favorite R&B/Soul discoveries of roughly the last 15 years (joining Deborah Cox and Tamia) are all Canadian. Uh oh! C'mon, USA! [They also are very attractive.--ed.] True. But I think the whole movement like, "You don't have to be attractive to be a talented singer" is as manufactured as its opposite. Adele, looking in your direction. [That was harsh.--ed.] Well, we need something real to latch on to if "pop star" doesn't just mean "pretty face." If you're not exceptionally good, being unpretty shouldn't get you a pass. It's like the reverse, PC version of pop star venality. If you're ugly, we'll suck up to you! Bah! I admit my guilt in being a fan of Mya as a teenager for shall we say sensual reasons; however, in my defense, the radio-edit version of "My First Night With You&quo
I cannot write not one, but two semi-sympathetic posts on Christopher Hitchens without mentioning Vaclav Havel. I am a real commie if I don't say anything. I don't know all that much about him, but color me sypathetic to anyone who opposes collectivist totalitarianism. [You are hardly in a position to do that, are you?--ed.] Shush. Did Tim put you up to that? [No, but I like his style.--ed.] I'm sure you do. Anyway, I'd like to think that a whole bunch of professors and other useful idiots--but I repeat myself--wouldn't be so vociferous in defense of their utopian "dreams" if they had to live in one. RIP, Mr. Havel. P.S. Is anyone alarmed by the fact that anti-communism has turned militaristic? Paging Ron Paul! What if the whole worldwide non-left has been tricked into enacting the socialists' plans for them?
I don't even have a good reason why I liked Hitchens' work; I just do. Actually, one of life's more interesting moments came about when discussing him. I was at an event sponsored by the respected Acton Institute, and I mentioned that I respected him and liked to read him. You'd think I killed someone's cat or worse. The table, full of uber-orthodox Catholics, was stunned. I didn't say I thought he was a moral paragon; in fact, the difference between our worldview and his covers some distance. But he always makes me think, and I appreciate that. I may ever be one who admires the unworthy, but my intellectual world is better with him in it. Lucky for me, his words outlive him. I wonder what to make of this? Even the thought of taking this seriously is preposterous. But maybe that's the point.
5 Thoughts After Writing A Certified, Literary Piece Of Crap 5. Where's Tim Butler? Then again, I'm not sure he can help. 4. [Where is this story going, anyway?--ed.] Well, if I knew that, I'd tell you. 3. [You should kill some more people.--ed.] No, that's a cheap trick. [Like everything you write.--ed.] Touche. 2. I might try writing the seventh part to make it better. 1. [You really shouldn't speak so crudely; this is a family site.--ed.] Psssshhh. I can't even pass for Martha Stewart, much less Martha Washington.
Christopher Hitchens has died . I just wanted to say that although the words were relatively few, I enjoyed almost all of his in which I partook. It was Hitchens who convinced me of the evil of water-boarding. It was Hitchens who convinced me not to take solace in the temporary rise of the serial-liar Hillary Clinton. It was his frankness about the war in Kosovo that helped me to revise my thinking on the role of religion in postmodern life. That I need to explain. He had no patience for those who refused to acknowledge or consider the role sincerely-held doctrine could play. If he thought we were buffoons for believing it, at least he didn't view it as an accessory in those he mocked. In this way, he respected us. If I or anyone else had a tendency to compartmentalize or live as de facto secularists, he would remind us that he took such claims seriously, even in denial. I never finished God Is Not Great. Whether it was fear or anger, I can't recall. But the truth is, even if h
YouTube invited me to listen to Michael Jackson's "Will You Be There." Man, I love that song. I'm a fan of his music, I admit it. I wish I could give a wholehearted endorsement of the man. I hope all the accusations made against him are false. I hope he came into the LORD's mercy, and not His wrath when he died.
This payroll tax cut debate is inane. Both Democrats and Republicans believe (or should) that cutting the payroll tax is a good idea. Just do it, then. President Obama needs to realize that the House Republicans want to attach the Keystone pipeline to the bill. Did he fail to notice that they won the last election? Does he really believe his re-election will be thwarted by hordes of depressed leftist greens? Nor do I see any reason or mechanism to stop those who wish to build the pipeline. Of course, he'll claim credit when it produces jobs. Nothing new there. It's not my job to correct the falsities of political machinations; I just know that electoral kabuki is pretty stupid when the people are out of work.
I admit it, I love what I've read of Ayn Rand. I read 'The Fountainhead' when I was maybe 13. I started 'Atlas Shrugged' but have never finished it. I read 'Anthem' at least once a year. But I'm not an Objectivist. I like altruism; I think the Gospel of Jesus Christ absolutely requires it. But the folly of the secular state that destroys the individual can no longer be avoided. The poignance of the critique at precisely that point isn't altered or blunted, no matter who else embraces Rand. Nor does an appreciation of Rand in some limited sense constitute an embrace of her amorality, either personally or philosophically. Mr. Carter needs to re-think this, and definitely apologize to Congressmen Paul and Ryan.
I read 5 more psalms today. I spoke too soon if I conveyed that I had put away the anger. After you've been slandered and cast aside, it's hard not to be. But I read the Catechism section on anger as a check and a warning. I don't want to hurt anyone, but I'm angry. Angry that no one called to talk to me. No one said, "You're going wrong." And then I find that I had done great harm, irreparable harm, that my last warning had been given. It was over before I spoke a word in defense or reparation. No, I don't wish harm. But you have harmed me.
"Take two psalms and call me in the morning." Well, it didn't work. I read five. Heck, at least I'm not sad. I can't say it's productive as emotions go. Just be glad I'm not Ali before the Terrell fight, because Terrell would die. Anyway, I've got nothing useful to say. Thanks for stopping by.
God is enough, more than enough for us. We could spend all day thanking Him for the revelation of His love in Jesus Christ for the rest of our lives, and we could not exhaust the deserving. Because of this, how can we not say words of peace and pardon to one another who have only met because of Christ? I have heard that I am forgiven, but this state does not do justice to those words. If I am not to be trusted, then I never was. Despite my errors, I am the same person. Shall I discard those momentos of happier days? As of now, they mean nothing. They must have signified something false, something unreal. What else can be my conclusion? Can the love which gave the signs their meaning be significant when it is so easily discarded? I admit, I do believe this unhappy state befits a much greater crime. Forgive me if I speak out of turn in saying so.
Day 9. In other news, "Hey Jason, what do you do to preserve your chastity?" I'm glad you asked. I pray to Mary. A lot. [Pagan.--ed.] Sue me. It beats, 'Remember you're already forgiven and victorious,' whatever that means.
Sadness. Anger. Rinse, repeat. So it has been for about a week. But never had the words of the Our Father held so much meaning: "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." I have to let the anger go. We'll certainly have to talk about it someday. Maybe not today. But if I knew I was dying tomorrow or Christ was returning, I'd call. I don't care what they said. They're lucky I haven't done it anyway. Perhaps that's defiant. But I don't take friendship lightly. I don't break it or allow it to be broken without a fight. In this case, especially because of Christ. Aren't we supposed to live each day as though it were the last? I can't do that if I nurture this anger. I wonder what it is, then? I took some advice as a personal attack; I got angry. I replied immediately, always a bad idea. The way I understood the words fed some insecurities of mine. It made it sound as though I was forgetting lots of good things
Last month, we were discussing the Parable of the Prodigal Son, when my new teacher said that a refusal to reconcile is a way of saying, 'I can live my life just fine without you.' For the record, I could never say it. How blessed we are that God never says it, though I suppose it's technically true. Lord Jesus, preserve my life! I offer you these tears and sufferings for the relief of those in pain.
It's definitely time for this again . Read carefully and slowly, friends. Thank you again, Keith Mathison, for writing such a beautifully horrid book! I never would have emerged from my schismatic tendencies without you. Every Catholic apologist on Earth should read and own the book.
5 Thoughts For Today 5. Someone remind me not to listen to James Taylor's Greatest Hits ever again. [What?--ed.] Just trust me. Nothing personal, sir. 4. I once said that I'd like to be known as the greatest theologian of the 21st century. Permit me to revise my statement: If I spend one day not feeling like a complete moron in the face of the mysteries of Christ and His love, I'll be very surprised. 3. Writing sucks. Even if you're good at it or you think you are, it still sucks. 2. I'm happy the NBA got its house in order, but mainly so I can hear Charles Barkley talk about...anything. [They could just give him a talk show.--ed.] Nah, that never works. 1. How many milliseconds will it take the "Truly Reformed" (whatever that means) to say the "And with your spirit" in the English revision of the Mass confirms our body-hating Gnosticism? Maybe I'm just paranoid.
I went to Eucharistic Adoration last night, and I had a thought worth holding on to: "I don't even know what I'm gonna eat tomorrow, much less what I'll be doing in 5 years. I shouldn't hold on so tight." The good things about me and the bad things all come back to the fact that I have difficulty with loneliness. If only I could desire fellowship with God as much as I do with people, I thought. Then, sure as I'm sitting here, Jesus tried to hug me. People who know me know that I hate being startled. Well, I was. I jumped back and shuddered so hard, you'd think it was an earthquake. I laughed at myself and said, "OK, Jesus. We'll work on that one." P.S. The date on MSN's homepage has been screwed up for two solid weeks; it thinks today is January 2, 2012. Not yet.
Dear Cherished Friend, I have these many months chosen the way of Self over the way of Love. I regret every painful word, indeed every painful thought that has caused you grief. I beg you, in Christ's name, to forgive me. I know that I have destroyed your trust, and may never gain it back. This is a heavy cross, but it is nothing, in order to know that you will forgive for His sake. Perhaps we are like Paul and Barnabas; we have separated for the sake of peace. I bless you on your way, thankful for the gifts you gave me. I have no right to be called a friend of yours, but you will always be mine. With all brotherly affection, Jason
Oh, I forgot to say one thing: the severest of heresies in Christendom are not bizarre anomalies from nowhere; they are the direct result of the idolization of individual interpretation and dissent.
Hilarious Com-Box Quote of The Day: "I was caught immediately because it is the Acts of the Apostles, not the Acts of the Holy Spirit Acting Erratically."--Donald Todd, reacting to the inartful opposition of the Holy Spirit and the Magisterium. Mark Galli, an editor at Christianity Today, had suggested that today's "confusion" in evangelicalism replicates a confusion on the day of Pentecost. Mr. Todd commented after this reply , and the original article is here. My thoughts: By what means was this Church-less "consensus" formed? If the Council did not possess the authority to adjudicate such questions, who does? If the Council Fathers did not intend to be the arbiters, why do they say that they do? At the risk of being rude, I would define evangelicalism as, "Whatever I want or need to believe at any particular time." Ecclesial authority to settle a particular question is a step forward, but only as long as, "God alone is Lord of the co
5 Opinions Or Conclusions For Today 5. Tim Tebow may be a Grade-A cheese-ball for all I know, but there is real hostility to Jesus Christ in the public square. 4. It had to be J.R. Though I have an obvious low-level antipathy for all things Kardashian,* I will admit that he danced well. Wounded veteran vs. coddled reality TV star...duh. 3. [More Tebow] Broncos fans remember well that Jake Plummer wasn't exactly Brett Favre back there, so they're gonna cut the kid some slack. They also know that Elway is right, and so does Tebow. 2. What we want and what is best for others is often different. 1. If your interlocutors call your theological insights "one-liners," you might be in the wrong line of work. *Except for Kourtney. She should leave that Scott dude. I would totally take care of her.
So there I was, [I'm not doing it.--ed.] reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church (we call it 'Triple C' when we want to sound cool or rebel) [Seriously, stop lying. You just made that up.--ed.] when I happened to read this: It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people, Pilate's cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas' betrayal - so bitter to Jesus, Peter's denial and the disciples' flight. However, at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world, the sacrifice of Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly. (CCC, 1851) Did you catch that "inexaustibly"? Can you believe it? Think on this for a moment: The Catholic Church--that allegedly insular, legalistic bastion of rule-m
Hilarious YouTube Comment of the Day: "James Taylor could sing the phone book and I'd buy the CD."--some guy. [Is every one of these going to be about James Taylor?--ed.] Hey, it's not my fault people run out of ways to express their appreciation.
The Significance of 903 In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that I adopted the Duke Blue Devils as my second-favorite team (after my alma mater) sometime in the '90s. College basketball has its share of legend coaches, just like football. In a certain way, there are more of them: Wooden, Smith, Rupp, Knight, and the rest. If you watch the sport, there are those still in the game who are legends even before their sunset: Boeheim, Calhoun, Pitino, Krzyzewski. And now Krzyzewski stands above them atop the win list of men's college basketball. The relatively young man of 64 is numerically greater than all of them. What would have happened if the coach had not led his seriously flawed team past the rising Butler Bulldogs in 2010? Would the celebration of this moment, the adulation, and the editorials be this fawning? No way. And surely that run was energized by leading Team USA to Olympic gold in Beijing. So here we are, facing one incontovertible fact: Arguably t
Happy Birthday, Mom! If having two sons who've both attained the age of 30 hasn't convinced you that you're old, I guess we'll have to leave you in your 28-year-old delusions! But seriously, I love you, Mom.
Average Chris Carpenter Cardinals Season: 16-7, 3.05 ERA. Average Greg Maddux Braves Season: 18-8, 2.61 ERA. Not too bad, Chris. Maddux is a first-ballot Hall of Famer when he becomes eligible in 2013, and is among the 10 greatest pitchers ever to pick up a ball.
Hilarious YouTube Comment of the Day: "I am a total Metalhead all the way but this dude's voice is otherworldly. He could be singing about toasters and it would be art."--some guy, referring to James Taylor.
5 Random, Disconnected Thoughts For Today 5. I played poker last night for the first time in ages (online, play money). Played well, but lost. 4. I got a voter ID card the other day; sorry, if there was something to vote on, it wasn't important enough for me. 3. It turns out there are Republicans in Hollywood. Should have known Eastwood was. 2. If the Cardinals--uh, sorry, I mean, the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals--can't find a manager, I'll do it. 1. You want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.
Today, I'm sad. We had to put down our dog, Cubby. That was his name because he looked like a bear cub, not because we have any affection for the Cubs! (as should be obvious from the blog) Anyway, believe me when I tell you that he was the best dog a person could ask for. Always happy, even to the end. He understood that I had a disability; he just worked around it. He spent long hours just guarding my door. He'd jump around like a lunatic at the sight of us; he'd bark like a mad dog at strangers, and then ask for pets 2 minutes later. It wasn't long ago he'd lay right behind my wheelchair and be jarred to action by the magnetic click of my brakes releasing. He was the dumbest, most adorable Australian Shepherd you ever saw. One green eye, and one clear. My favorite pastime was to put on my affectionate voice and say, "Are you so stupid, Cubby? Yes, you're so stupid!" I used to say, "You're a silly Cubby" and "You're our Cubby-do
I admit it, I gave up. Tons of times. This Cardinals team earned my respect, my scorn, and my hope all in a vicious cycle for these six or so months. They blew a 6-2 9th inning lead against the Mets with about a week to go. They blew the most games they'd led in the final inning of any team in baseball. They are maddening to watch. I have almost nothing left as a fan. I just need to be honest here. And so, after three errors that all led to runs and a 7-4 lead for the Texas Rangers, trying to win the first title of their existence as a team that made their maiden voyage in 1961, I thought, "It's over." My brother was swearing and asking Tony La Russa why Lance Lynn, only equipped for one inning of duty, returned to surrender the leading runs. As for me, I always lack faith. I pronounced our doom, as is my role as the realist yet again. When Allen Craig smacked a homer in the eighth to make it 7-5, I said to myself, "Why are you making it closer? It'll just hu
5 Irritated Thoughts on Tim Tebow 5. Look, Bryan Phillips, we get it: You don't like Tim Tebow (or Brett Favre*, for that matter) but most normal people do, and seriously, what is it with you people? 4. Tebow wins. At every level. Why wouldn't you roll the dice in re-building mode? 3. You're darn right that we like how he appears to be exactly what he says--a real Christian--who's willing to stand up for that weird sub-cultural tenet that we shouldn't kill each other. What a freak. 2. They won the game, didn't they? And almost won the week before. 1. I'll take 10 Tim Tebows over a whole league of "real," "gritty," and "flawed" people you tell us to like. *Brett Favre is, of course, (with respect) a scumbag, whose beauty queen of a wife would have divorced him long ago if she weren't Catholic. But he was fun to watch.
I had to link this as your "Socialism Sucks" Story of the Day, as if anyone with a brain and a history book needed proof. I mean, I pretty much hate cheese, but I DEMAND multiple cheeses! Better to risk gluttony than starve to death.
I believe in capitalism. I do not believe in it as a concession, a middle-ground until grace perfects something better. I do not hold my material goods with a closed fist, nor adore them as gods. I believe in the dignity of the human person, first as an individual, and then in larger groups. I will accept some limits on the rights of individuals to buy, sell, and trade goods, ideas, or anything of value, consonant with Christian truth, given by the Catholic Church (whether directly or indirectly). I DO NOT automatically accept appeals to the "common good" in the regulation of markets, because "the government" (or the State) cannot be called to account when its meddling creates the very injustices that we all decry. If the efficiencies of markets lead to the valuing of the wrong things, the Church exists to exhort her children (and everyone else, for that matter) to use our freedom to alter outcomes as she sees fit, guided by the Holy Spirit. It may well be unwise fo
You know, this world is tough. We might be tempted to anesthetize ourselves to this fact with pleasure or unreasonable Pollyannish optimism, but it doesn't take long to realize the futility of this. People die suddenly. Friends get sick and injured, the earth beneath us quakes and traps people in rubble and we're left wondering why. When things are going well, there is a part of me that waits for the other shoe to drop. I'm not cynical; in fact, I'm quite the opposite. But I am, as they say, acquainted with grief. Right now, I struggle to love a person who doesn't like sad songs, who doesn't want to hear of misfortune, who doesn't know that we live in a sick, sad, world that would have nothing going for it but that Christ Jesus took on flesh and died for us. It's a beautiful world, too. But make no mistake: He made it that way, we messed it up, and Jesus came to set it (and us) right again. It's not that I don't feel joy, I don't laugh, or lo
A note to commenters: Though Holy Mother Church does not see fit to "inquisit" Lutherans these days, be advised that enthusiastic Lutherans, whose quarrelsome tendencies naturally lead to that manifest evidence of error known as the "double post," will be mocked in sufficient measure. As for the Reformed, because their system's obvious contradictions warrant only the most uproarious laughter, but they, being highly disinclined to smile, much less laugh at themselves, we can only pray for them (while chortling in solitude). Being dispossessed of that sure aid when confronted with supernatural mysteries, 'I need a drink,' we strongly advise our Baptist brethren to try, 'I need fried chicken,' in the hope that it anecdotally has served the same purpose for generations of their best theologians.
5 Facts On My Right Ear 5. The hole in my eardrum is causing the block, not fluid. This is not good. 4. The eardrops I was using may have made things worse. 3. He thinks I'll get my taste back soon, but he's given me nasal spray to clear things out a bit. 2. I'll have a hearing test in about a month. 1. Surgery is likely.
So there I was, surveying YouTube like always, (I started with my favorites, which means Buble first) when I had to click on "Motownphilly" . If you can't groove to that, there's no saving you. When I was a teenager, Boyz II Men was it. IT. Because it has a beat, and these kats called it "hip-hop doo-wop" (besides their indebtedness to so-called "New Jack swing") we might have to blame them for the horrid fusion now called 'hip-hop'. On the other hand, while parents and pastors got a little jumpy at their sexy songs, you could always count on Boyz II Men to generally sonically make the world a better place. I love them to this day. Darn hard to dislike this one . I smell bachelor-party video montage! [You're not even close to getting married.--ed.] Look dude, I'm like a woman; I've thought about this a lot. Anyway, I was almost sucked into a largely Babyface-penned vortex of Awesome for three hours, when it showed me an advertis
5 Random, Disconnected Thoughts For Today 5. The reason TD Jakes gets invited to prominent evangelical conferences is that there's no definitive final authority for doctrine beyond the self, AND they may be a teensy bit racist. Just sayin.' 4. I will not vote for any of the Republicans that happen to have an 'r' in his last name. 3. Nor will I vote for a Mormon. My Trinitarianism is firm. 2. That's right, the evangelical insistence on creedalism is entirely arbitary, though admirable, and it takes a pretty recalcitrant heretic/fundie for anyone to notice the problem. Keith Mathison already pointed out the problem, even if he refuses to see it. 1. I am a good time!!!
5 Thoughts That Changed My Life 5. Derivative authority is a sham. 4. Good intentions are not enough. 3. All truth is connected. 2. "Have you thought of being a writer?" 1. "That Eucharist is for me."
Look out. Poetry is dynamite sometimes; it is not a trifle, not meant to be mocked. I'm still recovering from this one. What would Tim Butler say?
This is another entry in the "I'm 59, and a living legend" file, along with the celebrated Coach Summitt. I found myself listening to Country (Western) music after a full weekend of swimming in the vast sea that is Catholic theology. I understand that this form of music is not everyone's cup of Earl Grey; hot, (let the reader understand) but I have two words: George Strait. 59 #1 singles, people! The 12th best-selling musician in American popular music history. And this isn't even one of the chart-toppers. Hey Cross, after you're done with that MacIntyre , you could check him out. I love this one. I admit it, that cover by Taylor Swift you might see further down was fantastic. [Don't even act like you dislike Taylor Swift.--ed.] You're right; there's no fighting it! But anyway, George is one of my Big Three. [How should we feel about the fact that 2 of the 3 are Country artists?--ed.] You should feel that this is awesome.
5 Thoughts on Monday's Tea Party GOP Debate 5. I'm going to call "Mittens" (let the reader understand) the "Republican John Kerry" until he goes away. 4. Does anyone want to send Rick Santorum to Afghanistan with a copy of "Dulce Et Decorum Est" to see how eager he is for war then? Maybe it's just me. 3. Ron Paul may not be able to speak an entire paragraph without getting angry, but that doesn't mean he's wrong. 2. Bachmann, please shut up. Please. 1. Rick Perry? Really? No, seriously. Bonus: If we had Gingrich's brain, Santorum's faith, and Mittens' cool, our candidate could beat 1984 Reagan. I hate it when this happens.
On the off chance that someone cares about my reactions to the political process, I watched the entirety of the Republican debate on September 7 (thank you, YouTube, though Part 4 seemed snipped) and I'd have to say that I'm assured by what I saw. There are no obvious morons in the bunch,* and all of the big ideas on all the issues of the day are on the table, simply due to the sheer number of candidates and the diversity of perspectives. I thought that I'd give a short little pithy summary of each candidate's evening (hopefully humorous) and then offer some concluding thoughts: Rick Perry: "Dude, I'm good-looking, folksy, Christian, and Texan. No, you've never seen this before! Just sit back and enjoy the ride." Mitt Romney: "I am the only person on this stage who's read a real book in two months. I believe nothing I'm telling you, but I'm not Obama." Newt Gingrich: "The term 'policy wonk' was coined for me. I'
OK, I admit it: I love the song "Me and Mrs. Jones" by Billy Paul. If you're not familiar with it, (or steadfastly opposed to clicking my links) it's about an adulterous affair: "Me and Mrs. Jones/We got a thing goin' on/We both know that it's wrong/But it's much too strong/To let it go now." I came across this song listening to the satellite radio channels on Dish Network/U-verse/DirecTV and those Time-Life classic soul collection infomercials. This is the Michael Buble version. On my initial hearing/re-introduction, I sanctimoniously felt that songs like this glorified evil and were the reason we're so screwed up. And there may be some truth in that. Home come owever, what's even more screwed up is that today, this song isn't even scandalous. You couldn't even write a song like this. It'd be like, "Well, $#*! happens. You love who you love." I like how Billy's character says that they know it's wrong. I l
A plane crash in Russia has killed 43 members of Russia's Locomotiv hockey team of the KHL. 6 current or former NHL players were killed, including Pavol Demitra, Karlis Skrastins, Ruslan Salei, Brad McCrimmon (a player in the '80s), and others. Demitra played the balance of his career with my hometown St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League, and it's fair to say, he's beloved by Blues fans. If sports is responsible for the expression of some of our current ills, it also brings us into a kind of friendship with people we would not otherwise know. I'm sure that Demitra's line-mates on the Blues' celebrated "Slovak Line" (Michal Handzus and Lubos Bartecko) are mourning today. As we say, "May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace."
Daytime Replacement Haiku (Late-Night Haiku XXXV, On Psalm 1) The righteous man me. Though stumbles invite turning, The Lord comforts me.
5 Uncouth, Unfair Thoughts On Politics 5. If certain noisy factions actually cared about the poor, they wouldn't bribe the middle class with entitlements. 4. I might have cared about my carbon footprint once, but then I remembered The Gathering Of Urgent Concern, which naturally required a private plane, and first-class service. 3. All things considered, no matter what else I say, there is a difference in the state killing murderers, and the state killing children. 2. No, I'm not scared of Michelle Bachmann, or Sarah Palin. 1. Short of Romney, (for the sake of the gospel) I'm with the Republican nominee in 2012. (In that case, I'll write in Ron Paul without hesitation. Which I should have done last time.) Bonus: Our only democratic ally in the Middle East is neither democratic, nor an ally.
Late-Night Haiku XXXIII (On Ephesians 2:5) Gracious life to us; Together with Him we reign, Though death bound us fast.
Daytime Replacement Haiku (Late-Night Haiku XXVIII, on John 20:23) To whom, Lord Jesus? Do you leave us quarrelling? One to bind, to loose.
Daytime Replacement Haiku (Late-Night Haiku XXV, on John 7:38) Yes, Lord, I believe; Still, I tremble, asking You If my water lives.
Daytime Replacement Haiku (Late-Night Haiku XXIV, on John 5:7) They don't go before Me now, because I'm made strong By your word, O Christ.
I had decided to write two extra haikus to make up for being gone this weekend, but failed, so now I'm going to write 3 and 1 tonight. Daytime Replacement Haiku (Late-Night Haiku XXIII, on John 2:3) When I have no wine, There is none but Him I seek; Beseech Him, O Mother.
I found this as a Facebook status of a friend: "I have no faith in human effort... especially my own. True strength comes from Jesus Christ, and Him alone." Discuss.
Late-Night Haiku XXI (On Colossians 1:15-20) Lord, giver of Life And all things seen and unseen, Make peace here with us.
Here you go. I can't let you off that easy, Mr. Hays. Let's zoom in; let's talk about the formation of particular denominations, with particular distinctives. By what authority does such a body come into existence? What processes or means make the conclusions drawn by such a group authoritative? If it is but a part of the Body of Christ, let's say, who or what defines the relations to the wider whole? You might say one group's conclusions about what the 'Church' is are good, but how and why? What makes those suppositions any more true than any other group of people? Hey, I'm just working under the assumption that the Church is invisible, as the Reformers believed. There seems to be a whole lot of reliance upon the Holy Spirit to guarantee individual interpretive decisions, which would be great, if John Q. Methodist or Bob F. Lutheran didn't do the exact same thing. (To say nothing of Susie Mormon, who noone desires to listen to. But you should get j
Late-Night Haiku XX (On Luke 19:9-16 and Hebrews 1:1-3) Thrust aside in wrath By a stiff-necked people proud, The Son triumphs true.
There are a few things that inspire me to want to raise eleventy billion dollars. Because throwing money at most actual problems doesn't work, you can safely assume I'm not talking about anything serious. Anyway... Remember when pop music wasn't horrible? Not long ago. Less than 20 years ago, even. [Shut up, you like Lady GaGa.--ed.] Gotta love that 5th Amendment, y'all! I digress. I was in one of my "George Michael is awesome" phases again, and I heard a song of his I didn't know. Amazed, my brain struck gold. Would you not sell your house to pay for the studio time to hear Michael Buble sing this ? And then, it turns out, he did . That figures.
Yes, the Iowa Straw Poll is only slightly less pointless than the Iowa Caucuses, but I told you so; the first establishment finisher on the list is Pawlenty. Pawlenty will be your nominee, I'm telling you. You don't have to be a centrist, you just have to look like one. No matter what my sympathies with the Tea Party, the label screams, "I'm not centrist!" Winning politics is about appearing balanced and sensible. Bachmann can't do this. Cain can't, either. (And, Obama ruined Black prospects for president for at least 4 elections; sad but true.) The Catholics will do in Romney; the cafeteria ones will vote Obama; the orthodox won't vote for a Mormon. Bonus: Pawlenty is a tad "fallen-away," if you will, but he's socially conservative, and he fell away because his wife is an Evangelical (and so is he). Political gold, friends. It's not just because I like him; he's a perfect general election candidate. Just watch, he'll get th
Safe Haven, Foreign Computer Edition: The comments on the 'My wheelchair was nearly destroyed by a car' post have been great fun. Let me deal with one argument commonly advanced against Rome's reckoning of the Ecumenical Councils: "It wasn't truly a council, because the Orthodox were not present." I can't be polite, here, sorry. What? Are you going to invite the Arians, too? Do you need the unanimous consent of all humanity before a Council of the Church becomes so? Don't hear what I'm not saying. I don't believe that Orthodox and Arians are in the same boat. Blessedly, they're not even on the same lake. But you see the flaw in this argument, don't you? You could choose any group of dissenters, and by the fact of their non-participation, call the Council invalid. Frankly, this is a bad argument. On the earth right now are 2 and only 2 candidates for Visible Church Founded By Jesus Christ. Other communions either have broken the physical
Late-Night Haiku XIV Truth and error mix; If the Church errs unceasing, What does Christ protect?
I hereby apologize if any of the previous lacks in the winsome manner for which I am reputed. [You've never been mistaken for winsome.--ed.] Just work with me here, OK? I do approach these questions with an intensity for which I surely am reputed. Anyway, I would like to say that I think Mr. Timothy Butler will a great PCA pastor, who will serve his people with love, honor, and distinction. Be nice to the FV hippies among you, Timothy. True, they may be nothing more than papist spies, but I promise, the first few waves at least, I had nothing to do with. If you serve there near your home, you must get to know Father Kevin Schroeder [shrayder] as long as he's there. Hilarious. He's our kind of papist, Comrade. [All papists are your kind of papist.--ed.] Not true; just the good ones. [Good with respect to what?--ed.] My editor is Captain Jack? What? That would be awesome. [If I was Captain Jack, you might actually listen to me.--ed.] Not likely! Speaking of things I learned f
5 More Inconvenient, Perhaps Offensive Thoughts Or Questions 5. Which community of Christians ought I to join if Catholic claims to be the Church Christ founded proved false? Does it matter if none that I'd join bother to claim it? 4. If councils may err, why hold a council at all? 3. If people may err in interpretation absent a charism of the Holy Spirit, why would simply increasing the number of people help? Why should anyone trust an ecclesial community that wasn't infalliable? 2. If the answer to (3)b is, "You shouldn't," are you saying I should trust myself? 1. If we are imperfect, the hermeneutical process is imperfect, and the Church (however conceived) is not infalliable, how do we arrive at the truth of revelation? Are you at all bothered by the fact that godly people using the same means and process cannot agree on the precise content of that revelation?
5 Uncouth Thoughts on Authority and History 5. I'm still waiting for Calvin to tell me who the "true bishops" are. 4. If the New Testament is so plain, how come no one can agree on what it says? 3. Some people (attempted to) trained me to exegete the Bible in the original languages. Oddly enough, my confidence in its perpiscuity was destroyed. (Good thing faith in Jesus Christ doesn't rest on the perpiscuity of Scripture!) 2. Nevermind; I'm not waiting for Calvin to tell me anything, because his opinion on this matter means precisely squadoosh. 1. Being neither a saint nor a Protestant , I'd like to say that, well, nearly everything I believe is on the basis of the Magisterium's teaching.
My wheelchair was nearly destroyed by a car last night. That's a bit melodramatic, I suppose, because it is intact and undamaged. But we'd left my power chair ("Red Sam" in the official designation) in-between the maze of cars parked out front of Chris Yee's house for Bible Study. [Isn't that a Protestant Bible study?--ed.] They are good friends, and it is not under any official auspices. [Not BSF?--ed.] They're BSF guys, but it's not a BSF study. Anyway, I wasn't worried; I made a joke about calling the vendor the next day: "What seems to be the problem, sir?" 'Well, it was destroyed by a car.' As it happened, a guy bumped into it at slow speed. His car got the worst of it. And this only reinforces what I've said for a solid 13 years [Quickie commercial coming] If you want a power wheelchair that lasts, get a Quickie. They're fast, obviously, and they're tanks. Heck, my old one still would work, but the batteries ar
Haiku For A Pretty Girl (Late-Night Haiku IV) She likes Bono, man. From that state bigger than life. Wish I was Reformed.
I had a fantastic time with the Called to Communion boys in New Orleans. Grateful thanks go to Mr. Jerry Tate, who I trust didn't mind all the papists crawling in his house! [ Well, one of them is his son.--ed.] Which is a guarantee of precisely squadoosh in terms of acceptance. [Good point.--ed.] Maybe we're all a hive-mind, but I wondered at how similar our stories were in coming to the Catholic Church. Another thing that must be noted is how free of bitterness and disaffection we truly are toward our former Reformed home. To a man, we were provoked to ask questions we never thought to ask, and they were answered in a way we never thought possible. The one word that sums up our journeys is joy. This is not to say we are untroubled, but it is to frankly acknowledge the goodness of God to each of us through the ministry of the Church. I feel almost guilty for having used that word so many times without knowing what it meant, and without sharing in its fulness. Please understa
To follow up on a post from yesterday, it was put to me whether culture rather than race explains the data on evangelicals and interracial marriage attitudes. I can't say; I didn't study the poll. [Then why'd you use it to bash evangelicals?--ed.] Because it's easy, and they deserve it. [You are one.--ed.] That may well be true. Anyway, my first sense is that most of the media can't research itself out of a wet paper bag. Nor does anyone actually have any idea what an "evangelical" is. Besides all that, I still say that evangelical church culture (read: "white") is more racist than not. You're still weird if you date or marry interracially. Even if noone would say it outright (and plenty would). And I'm mainly speculating about St. Louis, Missouri here. That bastion of Southern pride. [sarcasm] Whether we can use "culture" as a valid filter for exclusion in the romantic pool depends on what we mean by it. Values? OK. It is real
I now have sound on this computer! And my music is all back! I've gone YouTube crazy. And for a lot of stuff I don't actually own. George Michael , Michael Bolton , Dru Hill , New Edition , Deborah Cox, etc. It's been awesome. Don't dare ask me why I'd date a black woman after you watch Lark Voorhies ("Lisa Turtle" for you Saved By The Bell fans) in the "These Are The Times" video. And of course, that tune was a huge hit for Dru Hill, and yes, it was written by Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds. Anyway, what I came to talk about is a recent study reporting that 17% of white evangelicals believe that interracial marriage is inappropriate, in contrast to 8% percent of the white population in general. What? I thought evangelicals were supposed to understand the love of God better than those liberals, and heaven forbid, Catholics? I guess not. In case anybody cares, I'd just say that I find a lot of black women attractive. Hey, I'm still p
I'll be honest: Origen's commentary on Romans has had a huge impact on my decision to become Catholic, but in ways I did not expect. It was actually the soteriological continuity (in a sacramental synergism) between he and Augustine (yes, you'll be fine, just breathe) that has made it tons easier to see, understand, and believe what the bishops taught at the Council of Trent, which is itself a restatement of Thomas Aquinas, applied to those present difficulties. Once I saw that Thomas, though brilliant in any case, was not the product of some corrupt medievalism but instead simply built upon what had always been believed, it was all academic from there. Hey Reformed people: That Paul Helm dude is good; I definitely enjoyed reading that guy's blog. Regent; I should have known.
A reader of the blog asked me how Albert Pujols's struggles this season affect his free-agent prospects this winter, and I forgot to answer it. I answer that Pujols has not adversely affected his value at all. Before his hopefully minor injury today, he had gone 3 for 3 with a home run--bringing his season total to a non-meager 17--and raising his batting mark to .279. A normal Pujols batting mark is anywhere in the neighborhood of .315-.340, with a frightening boat-load of runs batted in (RBI) and runs scored. Put simply, unless he is badly hurt and misses a great deal of time, the monster is becoming locked in. The reason seasonal averages are still important in baseball is that no player, no matter how great, is unmitigated terror-inducing perfect all the time. But the truly great ones can slog it out over 162 games, put up the numbers, and make you tremble in fear as the opponent most of the time (in other words, Pujols). He's gonna make a borderline unholy amount of money
I went to Mass with my family (my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew) this afternoon. Worth noting that the 'LifeTeen' or maybe 'Life Teen' nature of this Mass generally means the songs will be catchy and simple, though why this is so is a mystery to me. [Rant deleted] [Praise the Lord!--ed.] Hey, our reader enjoys my rants. [Lies.--ed.] Anyway, the eldest member of the pastoral staff was retiring today, and this old priest gave ample evidence of having "priested," as it were, for quite some time. [Fitting, whatever I think of the whole thing, to have him retire on Father's Day.--ed.] I thought so. The homily was adequate; this being Trinity Sunday, he noted that the entirety of human history has been a wrestling to understand God, which in some sense is futile, because we will never exhaust Him, or get a handle on his character and majesty. Still, we try. And in Jesus Christ, we get the fullest picture of God; he is God, after all, and He shows us the