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Showing posts from December 8, 2013

Stellman: JK's Take

I watched the whole interview , and I have a few general comments. First, we're talking about Jesus Christ, and what he does. Being sons of the Catholic Church is not a matter of waving a flag, or wearing a pin on your lapel. If you accept her authority, the only defensible reason to do so is because what she guards and protects has been revealed by God. Catholicism isn't so awesome in the practical living out that "smells and bells" would be enough without this. Please pause and reflect on the inanity of what you are saying before you accuse any convert of doing this for an aesthetic reason primarily. [climbs off soapbox] Are our liturgies rightly executed beautiful? Of course. But they are precisely that because they are true. God, who is Goodness, Truth, and Beauty has revealed Himself. If you make the effort to claim that the true Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is not limited to the Catholic Church, but is invisible, including all true believers from whatever

Fiction vs. Non-Fiction

I'm not saying there's no good in reading fiction; I just don't have an infinite amount of time in which to read the things I must read, the things I'm inclined to read anyway, and anything else. And I just flat-out don't agree that fiction is superior, anyway. They're all stories; at bottom, human stories, so I don't see the difference, myself. You need imagination and creativity to make a difference for God and people in this world, in any case. And I'm telling you, if you don't think you can get it from reading non-fiction, you need to read better non-fiction. And there's no merit badge at the end for having read Middlemarch. It's true I don't trust people who willfully don't read anything at all; it's quite another to tell people what they must read, and why. You can't possibly know that. I'm only insistent about this point because I am but a mortal man, and because "for pleasure" has no meaning in my uni

My Ten Books

The Ten Books That Have Stayed With Me: 10. Shoeless Joe, by W.P. Kinsella 9. War, by Sebastian Junger 8. Dead Man Walking, by Sister Helen Prejean 7. Anthem, by Ayn Rand 6. Radical Son, by David Horowitz 5. Congress: The Electoral Connection, by David Mayhew 4. The Days Of Martin Luther King, Jr., by Jim Bishop 3. Upon This Rock, by Steven Ray 2. Dune, by Frank Herbert 1. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee I could easily do another 10, and perhaps I will. But these were the 10 I first thought of, and my basic criteria are: 1) I say, "This book changed the way I think and feel about the world," or 2) Someone else said I needed to read it, and I finally did. I didn't put any books up that I haven't finished, and I won't. So, there are dozens and dozens more books I have yet to finish, so I can't mention them. Also, if I read a book, and I feel I can't articulate the main theme or purpose, (that is, understand it) you won't see it on a list like this

No Principled Difference, Again

Today, a Reformed person said this: " The 2nd commandment means something. But the idea that it prohibits absolutely all images doesn't add up. As Brian pointed out with the carved cherubim. But recall that those cherubim were not at the focus of Israel's worship. When a church sets up an  image of Christ or the saints in a central spot to where you can't help but look at it during worship, and then you have people kneeling, engaging in prayer, bowing etc, that's a problem. "You shall not bow down to them or worship them" means the 2nd commandment has a liturgical context to it. God is warning us away from vain liturgy that forsakes the Word and tries to capture God in a picture." This is why we have ecumenical councils, my friend. No one really cares what you or I think about what the 2nd Commandment means. Any dude with a Bible can pick it up and attempt to tell someone what it means, in any place. And an ecumenical council isn't one unless i

They Went Out From Us...

A little note on this new propensity for people to call themselves, "Reformed Catholics". It's dishonest. If you believe that the Catholic Church has distorted the gospel (and in all fairness and sympathy, this is what the children of the Reformation believe) then separation from a false 'Church' is an honest and principled course. In fact, if I may make a brief digression into Catholic moral theology, it is a sin to act against certain conscience, even if that conscience turns out to be badly misinformed. This is why a person who grows up in what was a schism is not a schismatic, properly speaking. If a person knowingly persists in schism, knowing that it is one, that's a different story. That's why Lumen Gentium, 14 is so carefully worded, with respect to knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ: If you know that, and refuse to enter or stay, you're rejecting Christ, not some guys calling themselves the 'Catholic Church'.

Kenny Loggins, Redux

Granted, I like Kenny a lot. I've been hanging out with his music a lot, as a result. One song I really love by him is called, "Forever" . I was thinking about this song recently, and it came to me: Change the gender in the second verse, and this whole song verse corresponds to Song of Songs 3:1-3. Stew on that for a while. And in general, the song captures that theme throughout the book: "Love is as strong as death." Have I said this before? I don't know. But alas, here are the words to that verse: Once, I dreamed that you were gone I cried out, trying to find you I begged the dream to fade Away, and please awaken me But night took a hold of my heart And left me with no one to follow The love that I lost to the dark I'll always remember... [Me again] I'll bet you don't read the text or hear the song the same way again. You're welcome.

Unity And Life In Christ

One of the things that I appreciate about holy mother Church and our deepening understanding of the implications and the depth of the riches of Christ is that we don't have to choose between unity and truth, for Christ is the fullness of those things; that unity and truth is defined in Him, and by Him. Some people think that Vatican II fundamentally changed the way Catholics understood the manner in which the Catholic Church is the Church that Christ founded. They see the conciliatory words toward especially Protestant communities as a concession to a modern ecumenical reality. We have to reject this, even as we are aware that many groups within the Catholic Church had explicitly or implicitly adopted a(n) hermeneutic of discontinuity in their thinking about the Council. But let's define "ecumenism" first. Ecumenism is dialogue for the purpose of establishing agreement in the truth concerning God. Ecumenism is not a passive acceptance of mutually exclusive dogmas or p