Skip to main content


Showing posts from February 3, 2013

The Three Things

There are three big poles that are the basic thrust of what the Church fathers had to say: 1. Petrine primacy, 2. Apostolic succession, and 3. Eucharist. Sure, they had tons of interesting opinions on other things, but these three things tell us how the Fathers identified the Church. (But see for yourself.) Interestingly, the Catholic Church stakes its claim on these same 3 things. That's how someone like me can choose to seek full communion with the Catholic Church. "It's a match," I said. It doesn't matter whether or not I understand the theology of any one particular thing; first I must establish that the one proposing it has the credibility to do that. If the one proposing it is in fact God, via the Church that Christ established, it matters very little that whatever it is (say, Marian dogmas) might be something I had never heard before. I wasn't going to say anything about this, but the commenters made me do it! Anyway, for intellectual honesty's

5 Humorous Thoughts

5 Thoughts For Today 5. I don't know who gave me these sour jellybeans, but they are fantastic. This is like the food version of Michael Bolton's, "I Said I Loved You But I Lied": "I said I loved you but I lied/'Cause this is more than love I feel inside/Said I loved you but I was wrong/'Cause love could never ever feel so strong..." [I said I loved you...but I lied.--ed.] Honestly. 4. I drew a cat that looked like a table. So Confirmation Sponsor Lady drew a proper cat sleeping on a table. I might be an artist, but not that kind of artist. 3. Consider the following syllogism: Our end or goal is to see God in the Beatific Vision. Because it is our highest end, it could be called The Answer. But God is our highest end. God is The Answer. God is Love. Therefore, Love Is The Answer. [The song is still hideous.--ed.] Speak for yourself, dude. 2. I saw a picture of Gisele Bundchen sitting there holding her baby--and if I'm lyin

Why Is The Tu Quoque False?

Wait, I can't back that up. That's too ambitious. I'm an idiot with a keyboard. But here goes: The claim is that people use reason to discern that the Catholic Church is the Church Christ founded, so that is no different than anyone else using reason to decide anything other than that (like the Catholic Church is a hapless gang of Mary-worshipping pagans, for example). But I want to suggest that these are not the same. Firstly, reason can only take you so far in that endeavor. It can only help you say, "This is credible," or, "This claim is not credible." If you say that the claim is credible, it doesn't make you Catholic. It might. It should. But there is no necessity of that, and no compulsion, until such time as you conclude that there is a theological meaning to looking for "the Church Christ founded" in the first place. You could easily say that was the wrong question to ask. might be. At the beginning, I phrased it like t

5 Biscuits In Your Basket

5 Completely Random Thoughts 5. No, seriously, Bud Light is disgusting. 4. "I hear your name in certain circles/And it always makes me smile." 3. Whether you go campy or classic or popular, the 1980s were pretty solid for pop music. 2. Two of the greatest sci-fi lead actors in history are Canadian. 1. I miss Dick Clark.

Sola Scriptura Up Close and Personal

I find this hilarious. No, not because they're getting nasty, but because it puts the lie to the perpiscuity thesis once again. Aside from a lack of patience and supernatural charity perhaps, is there anything inherent in the hermeneutical process being used to say that Strachan's conclusion is wrong? Is there anything to say Siebert is wrong, absent the Magisterium, or at least a makeshift one? Dr. Enns believes that Siebert has an interpretation or at least questions worth considering. Others do not. Isn't "tribalism" inevitable when there is nothing to definitively establish the "correct" view? Isn't it also inevitable when the ecclesial structures in play are nothing more than non-binding societies of people with a common interpretation? Bad faith is almost a given, even if it is polite and subtle, if one believes the interpretation he holds is divinely directed. Maybe even protected. This is what I have long called "The Noltie Conundrum.&

How's This For Post-Partisan?

The Republican Party is now the War Party. Somewhat distressingly, the Democratic Party always was. What's missing from our political discourse actually is anthropology. I'm not a philosopher; I'm just a man who loves his country, and yes, its politics. What is Man? What does he do? What does he owe to his Creator? What does he owe to the nation he calls home? And to his neighbors and fellow citizens? These are pretty basic questions, but ones that never get asked before we start. The truth is that you and I may have different answers. And that's fine, as long as we can talk. They are right to say that our politics is noxiously partisan; what never gets said is that it really is mindless. And most people give an answer that sounds like, "If only those people were not insane..." You know what? I do think most people who call themselves "progressives" are insane. Or, to be polite, they have the wrong anthropology. That wouldn't be that bad, if t

Chris Carpenter

The word has come down from Cardinals brass that "Carp" isn't coming back. Typical Carpenter, he's avoiding the "r" word. I wouldn't be surprised by anything from this guy. But if this is really it, I'm going to try to put into words what we're feeling. He's not just a good pitcher with occasional bouts of unfathomable greatness. That is what the numbers say. In between the injuries, he was the definition of "elite." But in between the lines, he's the very definition of a pitcher. You'd call him a "grinder," but that's an insult. We give that word to role-players who shine in a big moment, or whose love for the game outshines their talents. Carpenter sucked every ounce of life out of this beautiful game like it was the air he breathed. The ones we love are those guys. I have rarely seen that. And when I have, they've been teammates or friends of Carpenter. He's the perfect player for a fan like me:

Sorry, But...

 "[Name],  the RCs (especially Reformed converts) like to say that the Bible requires an interpreter (infallible), otherwise it's hermeneutical anarchy in which everyone believes what is right in their own eyes (as in garden variety American eva ngelicalism). They respond that the "Church" (i.e., their branch of the Church) is the infallible interpreter. Fine and good, but who interprets the interpretation? You ask who are the good Catholics, and the response is, "those who agree with the Church's teaching." Duh. But how do we know who agrees with the Church's teaching? By interpreting the Church's teaching and deciding *with our own judgement* (except in cases in which the "Church" has officially and specifically acted or spoken) whether or not person X agrees with the teaching of the Church. So when RCs point to the disagreements among Protestants and suggest that this makes a mockery of our doctrine of the perspicuity of Scripture (

5 Is Alive

5 Thoughts For Today 5. Thank God no one reads the National Catholic Reporter. Oh, wait. 4. I sure love it when my Catholicism is attacked as out of the mainstream by a bunch of dissenters. 3. I sure love it when Protestant leaders, seeking for "unity," present those dissenters as good Catholics and attack the authority of the Church. 2. I love it when those same leaders, professing to lament the political radicalization of American church culture, sign up for the political agenda of Catholic dissenters. 1. A brief note: The Catholic Church will NEVER change its position on the ordination of women. It can't. And I'm glad.