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Showing posts from October 12, 2014

Sola Scriptura And Perspicuity Denied, In One Sentence

It is not reasonable to hold set of doctrines x, in contradistinction to doctrines y, based upon a shared appeal to the Scriptures, in that the dispute alone demonstrates the appeal not dispositive. In English: Neither man has any reason to believe that the Holy Spirit is not speaking to him. So either God is lying or in error, or this isn't the way to figure out what God said. Pretty simple, but you actually have to consider in humility that the other guy might not be Satanically deceived, simply because he disagrees. If you see this in good faith often enough, you'll doubt not God, but this hermeneutical method.

I Could Just Water Stuff Down

I could make non-negotiables into adiaphora, and I could remain blissfully uncritical about my interpretations, and where I got them, in order to believe in perspicuity and Sola Scriptura. But my problem was, I believed that God couldn't lie, or err. Which means that, whether I believed my interpretation or another, I had to face the reality that Scripture would not adjudicate between them; each retains a plausibility structure which itself causes enough doubt that preference and cultural inertia are the only basis upon which to choose. I can think of nothing more unfitting for something that purports to be from Heaven. Ben Carmack, Gregory Shane Morris, and Tim Dukeman may not be willing to face the implications of it, but I couldn't ignore it. Sorry, guys. The whole Reformation is self-refuting.

The Truth Is...

I'm not unsympathetic to arguments like this one . Indeed, the very fact that a phrase like "Cosby conversation" (where a black man speaks the truth about the harm black America does to itself, that a white person isn't allowed to say) exists shows that many have justly tired of the race grievance industry. BUT...I happened to see that one David McCallum was exonerated of murder, after 29 years in prison. I hoped before I clicked that he was white. It happens sometimes, right? But no. Frankly, in that moment, it was not hard to imagine what much of black America was thinking: "Great. One guy. What about all the others? And the ones who died before justice was served?" I believe in the greatness of what America stands for; I believe it's the best to live and die on the Earth. I don't believe in that ideal enough to not look frankly at where things actually stand, as opposed to where we want them to be. I believe in structural racism and white priv

5 Thoughts For Today

5. I agree that "Kasper The Unfriendly Ghost" is funny, and does reflect the orthodox opinion of His Eminence's views regarding divorce and re-marriage, but it likely borders on a lack of charity. Let us instead pray His Eminence is merely misinformed, and that he changes course while the opportunity remains. 4. Anti-Catholic bigotry is real. It would simply merit a mention alongside anything that opposes Christ but for the fact that other Christians engage in it also! And to be direct, that's biting the (divine) hand that feeds you, whether you know it or not. 3. I try to practice a "gradualism" in eating my candy nowadays, with less success than in years past! Nomnomnom! 2. We need a win. Go Cards! 1. Dear Facebook, I do not know why you have deactivated the great Bob Lozano's Facebook account, but his witty banter is comedy gold. You have made it appear that I enjoy talking to myself, and for this, you have earned my scorn. "If [Facebook

It's Not Always A Happy Story

If any of you listen to the Bobby Bones radio show in the mornings, you may know that their colleague Amy's mom is dying of cancer. I can't find the link right now, but suffice to say, it is heartbreaking. There may be a mercy in the time to say goodbye, but I look back now, and I'm glad I lost my dad suddenly, and before I was me. Sometimes certain people are just the kind who torture themselves with what they should have said and done; I am one of those people. We have only one enemy greater than death, which is sin that kills our souls. Find true goodness and forgiveness in Christ and the Church while we have time. Death doesn't wait until all the fences are mended. We need to know mercy for the most important relationship of all. This culture offers us easy believism, and a humanistic universalism, as if merely being human were enough. You probably know their magisterial declaration by heart: "He's in a better place." Don't mistake that human g

Everybody Loves Reagan (Lk 11:47-54)

I chose a provocative title to grab you again. Maybe those of you not in the habit of reading the day's Gospel will do it, just to see what I say. Well, that's vain. Then again, this blog fits in that misty grey between public and private space. I couldn't get pop culture out of my head as I read this. Do you remember that part in Les Miserables fairly early on, when the king gives the slain labor leader a state funeral, though he orchestrated his death? That's exactly what I imagine when I read Jesus here. There may have been a great many people who were fond of being God's chosen people, but wanted no part of what God requires. God seems to remind us again and again that His grace is for something; we don't get to hoard blessings, or, if you will, to bury talents. Would I be angry if God showed mercy to the wrong sorts of people? Would I cling to some work of God in the past, or some privilege of mercy he granted, but not to Him? That's exactly what Je

I Want To Make This Clear

I studied political science as an undergraduate. Whether I learned anything is a debatable proposition, but what this area of study does is shed light on how (especially) our government works, or at least how it's supposed to work. If you study it long enough, you pick up an ingrained bias against reactionaries; you appreciate the system. You begin to understand why enemies deliver glowing tributes at an opponent's funeral. We say, "We've got a good system; we have reason to be proud, optimistic, etc." I will never forget the day my favorite instructor put me in my place about Senator Charles Schumer. I was complaining rather vociferously about his obnoxious liberal-ness, and my instructor simply said, "Hey. Senator Schumer loves his country, and he serves his constituents well." (We can argue that supporting abortion doesn't serve anyone, but you get the idea.) I am inclined and sympathetic to that species of person who tells everyone else to st

I Can't Help It

I told you so.  It still doesn't mean the war was prudent or just in its waging, but it does in large measure vindicate George W. Bush, and his honesty. I await the progressive apologies with bated breath. It's cool; when they paint Rubio as some dangerous reactionary, pining for the days of George W. Bush, I'll be happy to point out what they said then. [Didn't you vote in 2008 against the foreign policy of George W. Bush?--ed.] Yes. I thought we were on the wrong road, and have been for a long time. But for the record, I never believed the president had bad intent. One weird aspect of this for a non-interventionist like myself is that I join with hawks in criticizing the waging of the war, in limiting it for PR purposes. A war more quickly concluded makes for the swift return of peace and justice. On the other hand, an unjust means cannot be used to achieve a just end (e.g., atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ). I hate it when that happens.

That's The Craziest Thing I Ever Heard (Lk 11:37-41)

This reads as a typical tearing into the Pharisees at first, and we'd probably just let it wash over with little more than a self-satisfied chuckle, but for the fact that Jesus wants us to hear this, and apply it to ourselves some way. Look at v. 41; if you are a good little papist reading this liturgically, you don't have the verse number, but do yourself a favor and pick up a Bible. Now, this may be the only time that the New American Bible is superior for both accuracy and clarity, at least in English, to the RSV. Look here at the NAB rendering: " But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.” Give alms?!? What kind of Mickey Mouse Pelagian operation is being run here? Indeed, what we might call the Crass Pelagian Reading says, "See? Salvation by works. You want to be saved? Try harder and do stuff." But wait! What sort of error did these Pharisees make? They strained out a gnat, and swallowed a camel. Same thing i

Listen To Father

This . I have no further comment on it. I am too simple a man and theologian to waste time worrying about who said what, or to wring my hands, as they say, about dissenters (even if they are bishops). We have the Catechism (and numerous other good ones) if we ourselves have any doubt concerning what we are to believe and do. This had better be enough, because nothing more has been said. Lord, we pray that you will give us loving hearts that welcome sinners, and that, by the burning fire of charity that wells up within us, we may be instruments of Your love for their conversion. Forgive us and teach us, we ask, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

When The Fascists Do Come...

They will be too stupid or evil to care about justification, Sola Scriptura, or whatever else. As I have said many times, they will ask us if we are with Jesus, or with them. And we'll die together. That will not relieve you of the right and the duty of reconciling with holy mother Church, but it probably will make it easier. Turning from a "red" martyrdom to a "white" one, did you know that temptation is a participation in the sufferings of Christ? I might have known this intellectually, but not really. I found it highly encouraging, myself. Know that if you sense a need to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and go there, you may have failed--as we all do--but you are not a failure. In fact, you are on the road to success. Our adversary will tell you that you are hopeless, and that God does not love you. Anything to keep you from receiving the very mercy you want and need. Don't listen.

5 Thoughts For Today

5. You need to see "The Judge." Don't argue with me; just do it. 4. I don't think "legend" is too strong a word for Robert Duvall. 3. Those years that Robert Downey, Jr. stole from himself are being paid back now. I hope he is finding God's mercy as well. 2. Fathers, love your sons. You don't want to be played by Robert Duvall. 1. I am not alarmed or offended by jury nullification, for the record.

Carry Me On My Way

Sometimes, you stress that you've showed up late for God's mercy, but that's why it's mercy: it comes right on time. It is possible to presume upon it, but the way to do that is to live in such a way that there is no similitude between you and Him, as it is written, "if you love me, you will keep my commandments." I do not act as though I have attained eternal life, but I hope for it. I am not the Bread of Life, but I am sustained by Him. I am neither innocent in myself, nor among the wicked. I am needy, but not alone. Carry me on my way, Good Shepherd.