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Showing posts from September 7, 2014

Sometimes, The Best Prayers Are The Short Ones

Everybody has mountains to climb. Nobody's Golgotha is the same. And what would be a trivial test for one person is a crucifixion for the one who receives it. Here's the bottom line: passing the tests isn't a matter of grand, dramatic acts; it's the little things. If we are persevering, it's in the little things; if we fail, we fail in little things. Our trials are huge to us, but they don't test God or surprise Him. If all we can do is cry out like Peter, "Lord, save me!" it's better than forgetting he's there, and taking the wide, easy road that leads to destruction. Perhaps we have, and many times. Yet Jesus himself said, "He who comes to me, I will never drive away." Our prayer of repentance, which we must pray to hear ever new and more deeply, is, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"

5 Thoughts For Tonight

5. Bryan Price has done an amazing job managing the Cincinnati Reds. Yes, they are 70-78, but the NL Central is murderous. Milwaukee sits in third place, after having led for 150 days. 4. Even the Cubs have been much better than experts expected. Look out for them in the next 2 years. 3. You can be 18-9, 2.56 ERA and not win the NL Cy Young Award as the league's best pitcher. Greg Maddux understands; he should have won at least 2 more. 2. Is there any doubt that Clint Hurdle of the Pittsburgh Pirates is one of the game's elite managers? 1. Maybe there is something to the Cardinal Way.

"God-Breathed And Inerrant" Is Not Synonymous With "Perspicuous"

Protestant objectors like to implicitly or explicitly make this argument that the two ideas are interchangeable. The next claim is that the Catholic apologist believes the Bible cannot be understood or read with profit in any sense. They say the Catholic sows doubt at the same time he promises dogmatic certainty in his own paradigm. This is of course nonsense, but it's not immediately obvious why this is so. The very reason for asserting the perspicuity (full clarity) of Scripture had been the occasion of asserting that the Magisterium (teaching office; pope and bishops in communion with him) of the Church was incorrect in many of its dogmatic pronouncements. If you dispute the very organ at the heart of the Christian's method of knowing divine truth, it stands to reason you'd leave something in its place. The protestors were not atheists, after all. So, if you said the Scriptures were sufficiently clear to establish what the Christian is to believe de fide, you are by ne

No, The Social Doctrine Is Not A Commie Plot

There was this post , which was in response to this one,  and if you don't mind me saying, I found the latter infuriating. Pro Tip: If we are in the realm of the prudential application of general principles, try to disagree with the Pope and other authorities without undermining the Church.  Thanks a bunch. I get it, man. I'm a card-carrying Republican. Every time I hear someone mention a "just wage," I picture Castro and the corpse of Stalin smiling. But the Church condemns all forms of collectivism in the strongest terms. If you even sample the social doctrine, you realize that our shepherds over the centuries haven't been just shooting from the hip. What is the social doctrine? It is the application of central truths of the gospel--the destiny of man and his need for redemption in and by Jesus Christ--in the concrete situations of human living. Precisely because Jesus Christ became man, it leads to the first and most important principle: Human beings posses

I Remember

Thirteen years ago today, some bad people attacked the United States. I want to say it like that, so it makes the most important point: The people who died that day didn't wake up to go into battle; they were not soldiers; they were just people. Whatever else we say--and I may well say things people won't like--this cannot be evaded. A just war not only has a just cause; it's conducted with just means, against warriors; that is, people who know they are in a war. Our friends, family, and fellow citizens were taken from us most unjustly, and though we may cry out in pain to Almighty God asking, "Why?" we also know that people chose to do it, and they had no right. I don't want to read the stories anymore; there is too much emotion even for me, and I didn't lose anyone close. It was 10:30 AM when I found out. I was brushing my teeth. A guy ran in to say that some terrorists attacked the World Trade Center, and that possibly 50,000 people had been killed. T

The 10 Books Thing

I wanted to do this here, so I could be vomit-inducing earnest if I wanted to. I'm like that. Anyway, I'm going to do an odd thing: I'm excluding the Sacred Scriptures, and even spiritual books for the most part; we all know the great saints and Doctors will help us grow in God, if we are Christians. It doesn't tell you anything that I liked the Summa Theologicae, does it? And you wouldn't pick up a book like that without a reason, if you were not Christian or seeking. So, let's not waste time with things we know we should read, or that we know we wouldn't. Congress: The Electoral Connection, David R. Mayhew. This book will transform you from a chronic complainer about the US political system, to a person with solutions. It will actually make you realistic and optimistic at the same time. The data is old, but it's shocking in its relevance. Shoeless Joe, by W.P. Kinsella. I did expect to like this book; it was adapted into the film, "Field Of Dr

5 Thoughts For Today

5. I laughed at one of those allegedly offensive Mark Driscoll internet comments from 2001. I could be persuaded to be sorry about it, if you think it's truly hurtful, and you don't write for Salon. 4. "Homophobic" is not a real thing; it's a fake word, created to shame those who question the gay activist project of "homo-normativity." Seriously, have you ever heard this word used to denote anything other than this? 3. If Driscoll wasn't putatively a pastor, I doubt he'd be so shocking. It may cause us to evaluate how many pot-stirring, edgy, conservative radio hosts we have, but that's a different discussion. 2. Just to be clear, I think he's an immature adolescent, who's ironically made millions telling other people to "man up." 1. I also think the conversation about a truly Christian view of sexuality had better have more in it than, "Don't watch porn, and don't fornicate." A spokesman is only as

Abortion Politics, Reconsidered (Feminism Still Sucks)

I would not say that I know anything about the matter under discussion, primarily because I am not a woman. At this point, for legions of people, that's the end of the discussion. We should call out that intellectual laziness whenever it appears. Nobody gets a pass on considering the moral question, regardless of their sex. Side note: I said "sex" because "gender" is a fabricated word, created to confuse people. I wouldn't say I know for sure that every politician who says crazy things while advocating for abortion is seared in their conscience, and possibly suffering post-abortive emotional wounds. That's true in many cases, but surely not in all. I think it's more about belonging. There are now several generations of people who will not, and cannot, re-consider the morality of abortion because a "woman's right to choose" means, "The right to not be told what to do." It means feminism; it means freedom. We might say tha

5 Thoughts For Tonight

5. There are 2 songs that AUTOMATICALLY make me happier: "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," by Wham!, and "I Love Your Smile," by Shanice. I'm sorry. But not. 4. It's hard to think of a modern dance song that isn't obscene. Good luck. 3. Even the ones I named are mildly suggestive, and pretty old. 2. I love the romantic ballad, "For You," by Kenny Lattimore, but it's certainly an example of the Great Song Divorce Coefficient, which is more than slightly depressing. 1. The same band that gave us "Always," Atlantic Starr, also gave us the disturbingly popular ode to adultery, "Secret Lovers." That's messed up.

The Implications Of Principles

I don't say, "Hurry up and become an atheist" as a real suggestion, or as an accusation that someone actually is one. In fact, it's quite the opposite. I know that most of the people reading this are Christians, or at least thinking about it. I'm counting on that. I'm counting on the fact that you'll be repulsed by the knowledge that a principle applied consistently will lead in the opposite direction of where you intend. The same thing happened to me. It's not meant as an offense, especially with those who wrestle to be consistent with good principles, and to reject bad ones. Most of the wrestling in fact comes from the effort of knowing the difference. I'm direct because it was direct in my heart and mind. The whisper of conscience and the Holy Spirit is pretty insistent. It's Him I'm attempting to echo. If I do it imperfectly because I'm a jerk, (very likely) then that's fine. Don't listen to me. I still know that God is

If God Says Something

Let us leave aside what has been already said, and zoom in for a moment on supernatural revelation and communication. It is no trouble to grant that man would not be able to receive revealed truth from God unless he were assisted. In fact, he has been assisted. But if we are to say that salvation rests in the assent and application of divinely revealed truths, then man's deficiency must be overcome. It would seem that this has not been difficult, for the prophets have spoken infallibly even under the first covenant. One obvious reason why God would cause this to occur is that he wishes to be known, and in that knowledge, humanity may obtain salvation. Even granting that salvation does not consist solely in knowledge, but in love, we call to mind the axiom that one cannot love what one does not know. God wishes to be known, and man has the capacity to know. The question is therefore, "To whom has God made Himself known?" In the first place, the patriarchs, Moses, and tho

Don't Need Infallibility? Hurry Up And Become An Atheist

From a Facebook comment: Jamie Stober  "It doesn't bother my Lutheran mind that the Councils have the possibility of erring. God does not fail. We do not get to order his words or works of providence. The Father provided the Son in flesh for us because he loved us and we needed saving, not because we decided on Christ's atonement and commanded it from below to God on high. Historically, we can trust the Christological Councils as faithful witnesses to the Holy Scriptures' witness about the Incarnate Word and Holy Trinity because of the miraculous consensus among Christians that has surrounded them. . Explain to me how 99% of Christendom throughout history has accepted the substance of the Christological Councils' teachings about Jesus in light of the confusion about who He was that existed among many in the early Church on into the tumultuous times of the later Christological Councils and the confusion of a few a heretical Christians that has continued today. Th