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Showing posts from July 29, 2012
To Peter Leithart and others, let me take the risk of being rude and say that I'm crying crocodile tears that you judge me in schism from the personal mental phantasm you call "the Church." When you come anywhere close to figuring out what your ragtag band believes to be the most essential doctrines (and agree among yourselves that you're not going to hell, at a minimum) you let me know. I'm super gratified that despite your vehement disagreements with the Church of Rome, many of you consider me part a true "branch" of your mental phantasm, but oddly enough, opinions on that vary almost as numerously as the thousands of separate visible communities in which you have gathered yourselves. I suppose that an open communion table is a worthy goal among you, but doing this indicates of itself that those doctrinal particularities have been relegated to a sphere of secondary importance, a statement contradicted by both your visible separations, and the vehemen
I'm sitting here again with nothing to say. I had a blast at Chick-Fil-A with...everyone. Since I'm not an idiot, I don't walk around worrying about how my actions affect some "community" or other, as if every person that might fit the category thinks and acts a certain way. The problem with people like Rachel Held Evans is that they want to hide the fact that they don't really stand for anything in particular. Does the Bible teach against homosexual practice? It's a simple question. Do you believe in those things? How to say something is a different consideration than whether it should be said. We could flagellate ourselves all day long about failures to show respect, love, or what-have-you, but at the end of the day, we're going to offend someone. If we tell the truth in Christ with love, people WILL hate us. And we need to have a real conversation about whether that's our fault, or theirs. Be willing to say, "I did all I could to respect t
Riddle me this one, you Zwinglian Gnostic masquerading as a minister of Christ: If the New Covenant--the full revelation of God's love to all people, including the Gentiles--is in effect, why would it be less sacrificial than the Old? It makes no sense. You're gonna get bent out of shape about some candles and incense? Really? Moses would be furious. You just called him a Gnostic in your rush to give Jesus all the glory. Did Moses sin against God by doing what the LORD himself said? Stop being a moron, and do some covenant theology, for pete's sake. There's plenty new about the New Covenant, but here's a hint: it isn't what you think. Offer your bodies as living sacrifices. Pretty sure I read that...IN THE NEW COVENANT! So what you're saying is, the glory of the New Covenant--greater than that of Moses--culminates in no actual sacrifice, no priests, and ugly churches with nothing in them? You're so bad off, I almost want to send you to Dr. Luther to ge
Straight-up brilliance from Andrew Preslar: "This is me chiming in on CFA and the American unclean, or at least not exactly urbane, bourgeois masses who have been making their way to that most excellent fast-food restaurant on this day: As long as there have been what can properly be called human societies, people have been in the habit of congregating together and celebrating what they hold dear. In the case at hand, folks are gathering at ... CFA, primarily in the South where the majority of those restaurants are located, to celebrate the institution of marriage. It bears remembering that "those people" are not buying CFA sandwiches and then going to gay bars to shove the sandwiches in the faces of other people. They are going to CFA and eating there, together, as people who love and support the institution of marriage, and who love and support persons who are not afraid to publicly affirm marriage, in a positive way, without lapsing into hate speech or in any
I didn't say a thing yesterday. Odd. Just couldn't muster it. Anyway, we are in the midst today of the Great Chick-Fil-A War of 2012, and I might think it preposterous and slightly manipulative to organize a counter-protest that involves enriching the bottom line of but one firm that provides tasty, life-shortening fried food, but A) I like it, and B) there are some serious freedom of speech concerns that need a forceful response from all freedom-loving people. There has been no shortage of whines to the effect of, "This is much ado about nothing" (false) and, "We need a loving response to the gay community." To which I can only reply, "Please grow a spine, and learn about liberty while you're at it." You can talk about specific ways to reach out to the fallen-away and non-Christian AFTER you've said 2 things absolutely clearly: "Friend, marriage is between a man and a woman, while homosexual practice is beneath your human dignity&q
They could say of me that I was an emotionally abusive swine, a selfish, insecure egomaniac with the maturity of a 2-year-old. I could very well be a deeply-wounded man who takes out my anger on the entire world. There's a lot you could say, actually. Most of it is probably true. But I sleep well knowing at least this: I have NEVER been a flatterer. I mean everything I say. Even when I shouldn't. Forgive me those things I deserve scorn for, and consider letting go of those things which cannot possibly be true. Peace.
I'm sitting here listening to Whitney Houston and wondering if I want to watch the Olympic coverage. Then again, I'm a writer, and writers write. It's the middle of the day. So here we are. I wanted to talk about anger today. Being a man, I have lots of opportunities to think about it. We're used to offering the stock evangelical trope about anger: "Well, Jesus got angry, so there's non-sinful anger!" And then, that's it. I don't recall a discussion that went past this, ever. I'm just being honest. I was some kind of Reformed evangelical for 13 years. I've been Catholic for just a shade over a year. I'd probably qualify as a Catholic evangelical if that was anything other than a nonsense phrase. But I am looking forward to thinking more deeply about it. The way to make me really angry is not to listen. I get angry when I'm not being heard. I get angry at injustice in general. I get angry when people don't say what they mean.
I admit it, I find this really funny. Well, no. It's not a mocking laughter. It's pure astonishment. How can you be surprised that your doctrinal standards are ignored? You're committed to the notion that Christ's Church is fundamentally invisible; of course people will be provisional and selective in their submission to the product of the visible ecclesiastical expression! That's what this ecclesiology does. That's what it teaches men to do. The very same rationale that marched Luther and the Reformers out of the Catholic Church shatters Protestant communites now: "Well, yes indeed, this is an impressive edifice. But the true gospel is X, and we're preserving it over here." Ecclesial Nestorianism. Could be a good reason, could be a bad reason, but the individual decides the extent of the authority over him. The only legitimate points y'all can score against "me and my Bible" amount to a charge of historical ignorance. The monuments
I spent the balance of the evening with the great Timothy Butler. We talked a little politics, some inside baseball about ecclesial politics, and most importantly, women. Praying and hoping for the best, we are. My brother is totally Rico Suave, so I passed on the highlights of what he said to me. Then we mulled clerical celibacy. Not our cup of tea. Moreover, I think the sacramental nature of the priesthood from where I sit adds a whole other element that many of us while Protestant didn't see. Since Tim gets to have his cake and eat it too, as it were, as a member of the separated brethren, (ahem) he has a special difficulty in being ordained clergy and seeking the vocation of marriage. I told him how even deacons in the Catholic Church must remain celibate if they are ordained while unmarried. He agreed that it might be wiser that way. I would hate to be ministering and be attracted to someone I serve when a romantic relationship is not automatically ruled out. If I were marr