Thursday, May 19, 2011

What is an "evangelical," anyway? You can only read so many seminary texts before you realize that, in context, it means, "People I agree with." It's the opposite of "fundamentalist." Which is why it's actually quite funny when some irreligious "progressive" is sputtering about how the "fundamentalist evangelicals" have thwarted some plan of theirs that would cause misery, poverty, and doom to millions. Anyway, I don't even think "conservative Protestant" covers it anymore. Was Lewis a conservative Protestant? [Sort of.--ed.] Yeah, I don't think he could be marshalled for the litany of sociopolitical causes (many of which, granted, I share) with which faithful Christianity is enmeshed. Let me yell in the direction of First Things: Why do you have a political blog (The Anchoress) sponsored on your site? Look, I understand: Abortion is a huge problem; the acceptance and promotion of homosexuality is a huge problem. For those two reasons, the Democrats (and half the Republicans) deserve to lose every election from now until Kingdom Come. That said, my political convictions are not religious in nature; I believe what Jesus and the Church teach with a thousand times more fervor, and that's even granting the fact that mistakes in economic and foreign policy (Keynesianism and neoconservatism, for example) cost human lives every day. And, in fact, most things are highly debatable. All I'm saying is, if it were me, and I came to realize that your 'gospel' meant I had to hate Obama, etc. I'd want no part of it.
That's not to say I'm a Donald Miller evangelical; I'm not a hipster, I don't read Sojourners, and I don't believe in 'fair trade.' I'm not overly burdened by my affluence; I rather want to know why it's not spreading all over. I think Jim Wallis should put down the mic, and pick up a Bible. And just stick with that. Maybe you can spend a couple years reading some economics or political history on the side before you talk again. I'd rather hear you say, "You don't have to be estranged from God" than, "You don't have to be Republican." Why is everything political? I love politics, but I'd rather not be in a fight all the time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I would pay for going against my Cardinals; Jake Westbrook outpitched Cliff Lee--one of Philadelphia's "Four Aces"--and my fantasy team suffered. (Normally, my brother and I never put an opposing pitcher up against the home team, win or lose, but we both thought it was stupid to bet against Lee with Jake pitching so bad.)
To quote the great American philosopher David Gates on another matter, "And God, I miss the girl." I'm utterly hopeless; I can't go two days without texting her; I wonder if she still reads the blog. I'm gonna drive her away. Someone punch me in the face.
Please pray for me; exam on Wednesday, and I don't care. I just don't. This class has symbolized all the reasons I became Catholic all rolled into one. Not only does noone care about the critical question of who died and made the Westminster "divines" pope, I'm apparently all alone on the island of Hermeneutical Chaos, too; that is, the multiplicity of legitimate good faith disagreements about the interpretation of Scripture are really clashing visions of what constitutes the Church. And I have seemingly written it a million times, but Scripture cannot function as a "rule of faith" for the Christian people if one cannot find the people. You have two choices, if you are foolhardy enough to change the meaning of "apostolic" to avoid the charge of schism: 1) Relativize the boundaries of the "Church," which leads to chaos, or 2) relativize the meaning of Scripture (same difference). Option (1) is the confessional Protestant stance, which goes great, until the honest person, by contact with evident truth outside his community, questions the value of the community's distinctives. In other words, if he can say, "We don't have a monopoly on the truth," he shouldn't be ordained, and he shouldn't be bound. Option (2) gives us theological liberalism, which is as close to Hell as we can get in this life, intellectually.