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Showing posts from June 29, 2014

It's A Mystery

I'm not saying I've got it figured out. Ha! But something Johnny Irish was trying to tell me finally makes sense. Do you ever get that two-headed monster of a feeling that no one understands you, and no one really loves you? It's deeper than that, actually: It's that existential realization that you long for a completeness that nothing here can touch. And I mean nothing. I'll be straight with you: I'd hear that quoted in a CS Lewis book, or people walk around with it plastered on their social media front doors, as it were, and I'd just roll my eyes. Because the people who share that quote--I'm convinced--have never actually experienced it. It sounds like the set-up to a "gospel presentation." And that's mostly what it is, for American evangelicals: A trite opening line that ends with telling the drug addict or the pervert or whoever that only Jesus can satisfy. Prepare yourself. But that's not even remotely true. Jesus doesn't tak

95 Theses XVIIII: The End Of Heresy

91.  If therefore, indulgences were preached in accordance with the spirit and mind of the pope, all these difficulties would be easily overcome, and indeed, cease to exist. My comment: I don't recall reading that Luther had repented. Maybe I missed it. 92.  Away, then, with those prophets who say to Christ's people, "Peace, peace," where in there is no peace. My comment: Kinda like those who preach justification by faith alone. Oh, wait. 93.  Hail, hail to all those prophets who say to Christ's people, "The cross, the cross," where there is no cross. My comment: It's right above the altar, buddy. But you're right; somebody should tell St. John of the Cross and St. Francis that they've wasted their entire lives. 94.  Christians should be exhorted to be zealous to follow Christ, their Head, through penalties, deaths, and hells. My comment: Why do that, when you're "covered by the blood"? 95.  And let them thus be more con

The World Is Stupid, And I Want To Cry

I have adapted my title from the Star Trek: The Original Series award-winning episode "For The World Is Hollow, And I Have Touched The Sky." This blog is not a gossip magazine, but here you go . I saw Kendra's show a few times, and at the risk of sounding like The Church Lady--given the fact that a few things have to go wrong for a nice girl to end up in Playboy--she seems like a person you could hang out with. If you ever saw that show "My Boys," Kendra Wilkinson is like Jordan Spiro: comfortable with men, a little tomboyish, but not too much. You'd understand the poor guy who fell for her, because it messes up the dynamic. In any case, Hank Baskett was the marginal NFL receiver that's good-looking enough to land the nice girl who ended up in Playboy. Seems nice, or as good as a life apart from God could be. But a house of lies is just that. "Transgender" is not a thing. Do you know what that means? "A person with a broken family

95 Theses XVIII: Heresy, Interrupted

86.  Again: since the pope's income to-day is larger than that of the wealthiest of wealthy men, why does he not build this one church of St. Peter with his own money, rather than with the money of indigent believers? My comment: This has the suspicious feel of denying the widow the right to give her mite. St. Peter's is not the pope's personal Shake Shack; it's a gift to the entire Church. 87.  Again: What does the pope remit or dispense to people who, by their perfect repentance, have a right to plenary remission or dispensation? My comment: I'm sure this happens, but who would know for certain, besides God? And if you're mad because we can't know, this is why we're not supposed to go on a mythic quest for absolute assurance. Personally, it'd be a fruitless effort. 88.  Again: Surely a greater good could be done to the church if the pope were to bestow these remissions and dispensations, not once, as now, but a hundred times a day, for the bene

95 Theses XVII: The Bonfire Of The Heresies

81.  This unbridled preaching of indulgences makes it difficult for learned men to guard the respect due to the pope against false accusations, or at least from the keen criticisms of the laity. My comment: Burning the papal bull of my excommunication would be my first step in guarding the reverence due to the pope, and blunting the keen criticisms of the laity. Or not. 82.  They ask, e.g.: Why does not the pope liberate everyone from purgatory for the sake of love (a most holy thing) and because of the supreme necessity of their souls? This would be morally the best of all reasons. Meanwhile he redeems innumerable souls for money, a most perishable thing, with which to build St. Peter's church, a very minor purpose. My comment: Is there any actual evidence that St. Peter's was built with ill-gotten money? Moreover, the pope cannot release anyone from anything, apart from God's will. 83.  Again: Why should funeral and anniversary masses for the dead continue to be said?

95 Theses XVI: The Unsinkable Martin Heresy

76.  We assert the contrary, and say that the pope's pardons are not able to remove the least venial of sins as far as their guilt is concerned. My comment: Once more, the Church agrees, if by "pardons," he means indulgences. If he means to assert the pope has no power at all by virtue of the keys, that's just heresy. A priest does not merely announce, declare, and proclaim the forgiveness of sins; he is, by virtue of his ordination, an instrument for its accomplishment, by the will of Christ. 77.  When it is said that not even St. Peter, if he were now pope, could grant a greater grace, it is blasphemy against St. Peter and the pope. My comment: I know where he's trying to go, but it's actually true: No more than one person has the jurisdiction of the See of Peter at one time. So, in fact, the pope has no more or less power than Peter, in that sense. That said, Pope St. Peter, pray for us! 78.  We assert the contrary, and say that he, and any pope whateve

5 Thoughts For Today

5. I struggle to believe that a Supreme Court justice could make arguments this bad . If these are the best, we are doomed. 4. More troubling than the ethical errors that proceed from whatever made this a close decision is this shocking disproportion: Our government believes partially-hydrogenated soybean oil is too dangerous to be in our food (AKA trans fats) but they will sell us a grade 1 carcinogen that hurts women and girls every day (and often kills them), and call it "necessary health care." So necessary in fact that all of us should pay for it. I want my "free" lifetime supply of Fritos, Mr. President. 3. I promise: I'll read the whole case when I have more time. 2. This one is hilarious:     "The exemption sought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga would…deny legions of women who do not hold their employers' beliefs access to contraceptive coverage."   I was completely unaware that the CEO of Hobby Lobby owns and controls all birth control

Pope Francis Is Like Columbo

No, seriously. I need you to hear me out on this one. They don't do things in the right order; they don't say things quite the way people would like. They either trap you, or charm you into admitting you were wrong. The wrong sort of person thinks he's too good for them. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness find a friend and champion in both. You don't miss them until they are gone. I thought of this because Nicole DeMille happened to post that she was watching Columbo, one of the eleventy thousand things of pop culture we both love. I don't know if I am out of time or what, but no, I'm not in my early 40s. It just works out that way. If I ever try to play it off like I'm going to sing "Seasons Change" ironically, you can call malarkey. I don't do anything ironically, unless I write a post called, "Nancy Pelosi Is The Greatest Catholic Ever!" As established earlier this week, I can't even eat a Snickers bar indifferen

A Consideration: The Legend Continues

Does anybody remember Evangelicals and Catholics Together? Reading that thing was uncomfortably hilarious. The good part about being evangelical is the freedom from whatever theology Dr. Live In The Moment decides is a buzzkill to his theological free love session. On the other hand, being ad hoc about it all is more than slightly not in character for the God of order. Comedic generalizations aside, I need to warn you about these Catholics. They were and are setting you up. They took the dogmatic declarations from the sixth session of the Council of Trent, put them in evangelical-speak, and dared you to affirm them. And God bless you all, that's exactly what those evangelicals did. I'm telling you, that's exactly what happened. You've got to decide what even unwittingly agreeing with the Council of Trent means for you, but for me, that meant the war is over (if you want it). Sorry; I couldn't help myself. In fairness to the Reformers, R. Scott Clark is completel

An Important Consideration

I'm taking some moments even on a Sunday to write a few things down. It has been my practice in recent days and weeks to write, even if I have nothing to say. Today is not that sort of day. What is the mechanism by which the Protestant community (conceive of one individually for the moment, if you would) knows its dogma? It would seem to be a mechanism, if there is one, for there is no reason to appeal to the community as preferable to the individual, unless it were to possess something--either in kind, or in degree--that the individual does not have. In one way, we bracket out the charge that the individual appealing to the Holy Spirit speaking in his portion* of the Scriptures is really only appealing to his own interpretation of them, in order to ask why it is with this community and its dogma one has made his stand? This makes people very uncomfortable, because most of us have just made "Reformation" ecclesial assumptions and accepted the resulting disunity as a f