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Showing posts from November 17, 2013

You Shall Know The Truth...

"The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth, whether it's scientific truth, historical truth, or personal truth. It is the guiding principle upon which Starfleet is based!" Thus said fictional captain of the USS Enterprise, Jean-Luc Picard, in rebuking young Ensign Wesley Crusher for his role in an Academy training accident cover-up. We'll have to forgive the captain for not saying "moral truth," but obviously, the German idealists had not been purged by the 24th century. But the statement holds; there exists one Truth, ethically, scientifically, and theologically. Another way to say this is, there is one reality, not many. The right and most human thing to do is to take one's proper place in reality. There is so much we see that is contrary to reality. Injustice is a denial of reality. Bound up with reality itself is the concept of justice; that is, to give every person what s/he is due. True liturgy is the worship of God in accord with

Easy For Me To Say, But...

I realized something profound in a new way today. I spend a lot of time talking to people when I'm not reading theology or writing. And the most important thing I have ever done is encourage others, and pray for them. And frankly, the thing I pray about most often is suffering. Doesn't matter if it's theirs, or someone else's. It's just there, all the time. Large or small, it's probably the most obvious thing you see from day to day. We're not going to escape it, and here's the key: we shouldn't try. Because even though Heaven will be the absence of suffering, amongst all the glories, He came down here to suffer not only for us, but with us. God with us. How do you feel now about your suffering? If we're supposed to find God, find Christ, then the truth is, He's right here, in our suffering, and we will find ourselves in His. What are we doing, trying to escape it? That's our key. Recall it was written, "My power is made perfect in

5 Thoughts For Tonight

5. Coke actually goes good with anything. 4. OK, I know that she is actually extremely attractive, but seriously, the music of Susanna Hoffs is really good. 3. I am thankful for new friends in Christ, no matter how distant, or how divergent the paths of our lives. 2. God, pour out your loving mercy on our former president, George W. Bush, and we thank You for his service to us. 1. God shows his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

What's The Question? And Have I Understood You Correctly?

I had to look up "begging the question" for seemingly the millionth time, because A) I'm not Bryan Cross, and 2) I've used it wrongly in that informal sense of "raising a question" at least 72 trillion times. It means assuming the point in question in dialogue, and using that assertion to prove a further thing. It's a type of circular reasoning. Fascinating stuff. I wonder how many times I've gotten angry in a discussion because I begged the question, or failed to ask my partner if I had recapitulated his statement or point accurately? (And listened for the reply) I don't have time to argue much anymore, so it probably seems as if I'm calming down. At least on my social network of choice. But it isn't so. You can see why the informal usage of the term would come about. The prudent way of phrasing a question in this type of setting would be "Whether..." and in such a way to produce a yes or no answer, if you get that far. And t

A Book Doesn't Answer Follow-Up Questions

That's the other thing. Even if you completely ignore the "arbiter/receiver" problem, (at your peril) the Catholic interpretive paradigm is superior on its face. That is, it claims and does more stuff. Whether it's true is something you have to seek out yourself. But if the Christian quest is to distinguish in a principled way between divine revelation and human opinion, we'd have to admit, the Catholic IP actually does it. This wouldn't mean anything in itself, but for the fact that the Reformers claimed that the new way of finding and receiving doctrine would be clearer. The failure of the Protestant IP (Sola Scriptura) to deliver on its own terms is the reason why Newman says the burden of proof is there, not on the Catholic Church. Every Christian desires to know the will of God, and do it. The Protestant communities have no way to tell anyone what it is. Their authority is contingent upon the consent of the individual, and their concurrence with him

Liturgy, Community, And Ecumenism: Why An Invisible Church Destroys The Gospel

I'm just gonna say it: There is no principled distinction between Sola Scriptura and "Solo Scriptura". Protestants, like Dr. Anthony Bradley of King's College, NYC or Keith Mathison, or Peter Leithart, or whomever can attempt to make one, but it doesn't exist. If Scripture is the final authority, then man must be the final arbiter of what it says. The principle arose in the context of a Church whose received dogmas, practices, and jurisdiction were believed to be fraudulent. If you reject ecclesiastical authority, you reject it. Even if you try to be cool about it, and start a rival community, you can't get that back. You've made the individual the arbiter of divine revelation, and set up a scenario of unremitting, irreconcilable hostility between the man and the ecclesial community to which he belongs. This is the real reason why there are so many denominations. Sola Scriptura should really be called, "The Principle of Ecclesial Fallibility," be