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Showing posts from May 5, 2013

Franchise Mode Is Awesome

This is a relatively new feature on sports video games, where one controls the finances, the drafting of new players, and of course, the game on the field. In actual sports, drafting is highly inexact. The 3-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Tom Brady was the 199th selection in his draft. In most games, however, you can spend the time to make sure that a high pick is not a bust. My favorite thing to do is trade my roster's highest-paid player (a surefire star) for a very high draft pick. If you can get the same task done for less money, you do it, in this context. There are very few moral dilemmas related to justice when one's employees are super-rich. GMs have to be ruthless. The basic concept behind things like 'Moneyball' is to figure out what you need to win, and giving up the least to get it. The market value of a star will be inflated by his reputation, and by competition over his services. My insight was to figure out a style that worked for my personnel,

Good Point, I Say

http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2011/10/westminster-in-the-dock-reflections-on-the-peter-leithart-trial/#comment-23127 . This is the heart of the entire struggle. Forget the Catholic conclusion; doesn't matter as much as the question. Answer the question: What is the relation between my visible community, and the allegedly invisible Church? If it doesn't have real authority right there, it doesn't have any. See how the ecclesiology in its ambiguity drives doctrinal relativity? This is Newman's great insight. A person is compelled to find the basis for divine truth, not merely by a claim to possess it, but he understands that he himself must have been mistaken in his manner of apprehending it, in his method.

Still Not A Feminist

But this is good . Nor do I have an opinion on this particular matter, because A) I'm Catholic; B) the words don't mean the same thing within Catholic theology and praxis as in this context (or at least it seems unwise, based upon my knowledge and experience, to presume that the meanings of the terms are the same) and C) it seems like we need more precise definitions in general. On a personal note, if it is not manly to watch musicals--and like them--then here are my Man Cards. And yet, those cards would not be worth the paper they are printed on. Because that's stupid. You hear that, Driscoll? Stop turning manliness into an awkward health class video from 1978. One of the things I love dearly about "The Doctrine Of Humanity" by Charles Sherlock (quite apart from the bad arguments for female ordination, and that terrible Anglican/Protestant sacramental presumption) is that he includes a chapter on being a man, and one on being a woman. He says essentially that

The Brilliance Of Catholic Apologetics On The Church

I say this not as an apologist myself, though perhaps I am, but as one who looked and said, "Here are two horns of a dilemma, neither of which are conducive to the position I hold or want to hold, but one must be correct." There were about 8 of these. But let us concentrate on the Church. See, the Fathers insisted that apostolic succession was the principal means by which the Church was identified. The third party in all of this is the Catholic Church of today. So, the interesting problem is this: Both the ancient Church (pick a century; doesn't matter) and the Catholic Church agree that this is correct, and as a necessary inference, that therefore, the Church is fundamentally visible. One problem with the basic claim of the Reformers is that one cannot test their counter-claim (that "apostolic" refers to doctrine) in any meaningful way. Who will definitively establish the body of doctrine from which the ancients allegedly fell away? I have more choices than I c

Offerings Of Many Kinds

I went outside. The sun did seem to make things better. I do not know if I am still slightly ill, or if those friendly byproducts just simply do not clear from the body of a person like myself, but I have a light cough. The worst of the illness was two weeks ago. I feel fine, it's just annoying. And I worry that something worse may occur. I wonder how much Dayquil or whatnot you can take before it's a concern. Should I see a doctor? What will he or she do that I haven't tried? So there was that in prayer. And the acquaintance who has many hurdles in his attempt to study in America. And the heart-wound that won't seem to heal. I feel like the Lord is the only one who is for me on that one. But I thanked Him for the day, for the sun and for grace. I just walked along and prayed. I talked with the saints and the Blessed Mother, because I wanted to. And we do that. I appreciate liturgical prayers of many kinds; the worst error is to spurn them out of some sense of passion

I Still Want To Go Outside

But there are things that must be done. Like this post. And to finish the Romans thing, I hope. In my view, you are absolutely right: Problems with Protestantism do not a Catholic make. But they might re-open an intellectual door or five. And that's all God needs. The Big Interesting for me was the relation between the Holy Spirit, the believer, and the ecclesiastical authority to which he submits, and why. If I was not already thinking in this direction, I doubt Mathison's book would have been so compelling and troubling. Everybody needs to ask themselves on very specific terms, "Why do I believe this and not that? By what means and to what end? I realized very quickly that the reality that most disagreements in theology were absolutely in good faith, and that made it "worse." If I can say it like that. This is what I mean when I call the problem the Tyranny of the Plausible. Because it is not as though to baptize one's children or not has absolutely no scri

I Want To Go Outside

This exposition of Romans 6:1-14 is kind of annoying. It's finally a nice day. Perhaps the warmth after so cold a spring will be good for the remnants of this cold I'm fighting. On the good side, let everyone be assured that being a loyal son (or daughter) of the Church does not make the Bible any less of an effort to understand, nor does the Magisterium's guidance make biblical expositions any less of a soul-squeezing enterprise. And that comes with my frank statement that Sola Scriptura is still the dumbest idea ever conceived, besides schism, and I am so glad that I am not required to believe it. Indeed, I'm obligated not to believe it. Let's just say I don't have to make an effort of the will on that one. As much as I may willfully try to stir up jazz on the point, honestly, I still feel like an explorer and an explainer more than anything. I do not deserve some of my reputation as an opinionated jackwagon, simply because I am a verbal processor, and a v

How To Tell You Are A Distracted Academic (And Are Old)

You are ROCKING OUT to the Gin Blossoms. Dude, that was '95 at the latest. Look, I'm sorry! I missed my 20s entirely. I cannot be 33; it's just wrong. Why did things happen this way? It's OK; I'll be fine in a minute. Sigh. And I'll get back to the matters at hand in a moment. But before I do, I'm going to listen to "Anna Begins" by Counting Crows like three times. What a great love song. Creepy, but great. I take Mr. Duritz in his metaphorical oddness to mean that he's afraid of commitment, and the things that make her Anna. [But is she real?--ed.] That's a good question. I always thought so. [You would.--ed.] What? The Somebody who actually matters has a different plan for my life than I do or did. It just makes you wonder if you took a huge wrong turn, or something is wrong with you (I mean, worse than normal). I know, stop thinking like that. [I wasn't saying anything.--ed.]

Dolan's Right: Mass Is Not A Protest

Everything stops at the church door. Fine, I admit it. I'm a politically conservative Catholic, so I'm inclined to agree with Dolan at the level of the political anyway, and tell these fascists to can it. But it doesn't really matter. If they were angry pro-lifers (even though that's an infinitely more worthy cause) WE DON'T BRING POLITICS TO MASS! Why is this hard? I don't know what you are doing, but when I enter the church, nothing else matters. I won't even talk to you unless you make me. One of the things I love about the Church is that one is generally expected to be quiet in sacred spaces. I was used to noise in the sanctuary in my protesting days, but I didn't like it. The other day, the priest told people to be quiet in the sanctuary; I was so happy. That's supposed to be one of the theological advantages the Church has over other Christian communities. (Yes, I intentionally phrased it that way to annoy you. Maybe you'll think crit

On The Verge

I promise, I was going to do continuous work, like for more than an hour. But the truth is, I'm not built like that. I need two minutes to clear my mind and breathe. It doesn't matter how inspired I am. I just can't allow those minutes to become hours and days. I'm going to get off this keyboard and pray. That's what this is really about. Sometimes, you get a grace to know that you can't do anything without God. And I'm not so great and spiritual; I'm just telling you. I just don't care. I could be convinced that all the work and tasks before me are not as important as [fill in the blank]. You'd laugh if you knew. And then, you would cry. I'm glad you don't know what I'm thinking most of the time. I don't want to scare you. On the other hand, I'm a pretty simple man. If I tell you that I love you and I'm thankful for you, you'd find out that in the secret recesses of my soul, I think exactly that. It's more ent

Maybe Stop Trying To Change The World...

And love someone.  I think I learned something about God this week. He wants my heart. And yours. I can give him my heart even if I don't leave my office today. I can fail to do that even if I really do change the world .  I see God in people. This is how I know He has been at work. I saw a Rich Mullins clip last week. He was reflecting on writing the song "Hold Me Jesus," thinking about temptation, and he said, "I was talking it over with my spiritual director, and he said, 'Maybe it's not that you are so bad, it's just that you weren't meant to go out by yourself.'" I don't want to minimize anything, but how true that is! The priest in Confession told me to reach out a little more. [He told the likes of you to be even more outgoing?--ed.] Apparently. "Christ in mouth of friend and stranger." There are infinite levels of, "It is not good for the man to be alone." Quite aside from the obvious reading, I sense th