Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The Bible, Outlined: Genesis

I am going to make broad outlines of the books of the Bible, for my use, and to assist a project I am working on. I'm going to try to keep them really simple, but as I go, you may see more detailed outlines if it serves. It is good to get a broad picture, and thereby to become personally familiar with the Sacred Scriptures that God has given us. Note: This overall outline will include the seven books of the Old Testament, rejected by Protestants. With that said, here we go:

Genesis: "In The Beginning"

(Chapter) 1-11: The Primordial History
                12-36: The Patriarchs
                37-50: Joseph
Note: Tamar, Interrupted (38)

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

It Still Looks Like A Hillary Win To Me

Our friend Mitt Romney demonstrated the phenomenon of leading the national polling, but losing the race, because the state polls never shifted. Ironically, Trump partisans are citing national polls as evidence that Trump is winning, or will win. But the states that are toss-ups according to Real Clear Politics would have to break better than 3 out of 4 to Trump for him to win. Not likely. There is nothing real to indicate that Trump is broadly more liked than Romney was. For a bunch of close states to shift all in one direction, there would have to be a strong indicator that Trump is leading the national race. Not only is he not leading national polling in any discernible sense, he's lost ground. States don't shift first; the nation shifts, and then states realize they don't want to miss the party. Debates rarely change the fundamental tenor of a campaign, but they tend to reinforce earlier trends. He shouldn't have to fight for GA, and NC; these are GOP strongholds. The fact that Clinton may win there is indicative to me of a Democratic win in the manner of at least 2012. I don't see a great groundswell of support for a rebuke of the president, in favor of a nonsense-spewing neophyte. I'll acknowledge my bias here, in that stupidity is the most generous characterization I can give for what Trump says. And I was wrong about Romney winning. But Americans might still vote for someone they aren't overly fond of, if they believe he or she can do the job. Like Bush, '88, or Clinton, 1996. But if you're unlikeable and incompetent, you are doomed. It's over, and thank Heaven, at least until President Clinton starts doing the normal Clinton things.

I might be able to register mild disappointment when it occurs. Sorry, but not.

PA for the GOP is like a girl who flirts mercilessly with you, and then marries that guy you can't stand. Every 4 years. I'm not falling for it. I also believe that if Ohio votes for Trump, it indicates that it's losing its "bellwether" status, in the same way Missouri has. This is more likely than the idea that the solution to GOP presidential woes is to nominate a more crass, less intelligent, less humble version of Rudy Guiliani. I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

I won't be shocked if Clinton flirts with 400 electoral votes. The only thing that would shock me is a Trump win.

The Spirit Of The Liturgy: Chapter 11 (Part Four, Chapter 1)

Ratzinger says that liturgy and liturgical development retains a connection to the places where God revealed Himself in Christ. The worshipping community was created by the saving action of God; therefore, any attempt to respond "creatively," or with a view toward the community's self-actualization, will end in failure, at best.

We might say that Sacred Tradition is the living memory of the People of God, as they meditate on the Scriptures. Therefore, no person has the right to alter the liturgy as he sees fit. Ratzinger writes, "The greatness of the liturgy depends...on its unspontaneity."

Adding to his thoughts that Sola Scriptura could not serve a unifying function for the Church, he also writes, "Scripture is Scripture only if it lives within the living subject that is the Church."

Liturgical development would have to be the obvious consequence of the lived experience of a living subject. It will be interesting to hear his account of this, going forward.

Monday, October 03, 2016

There Is No Salvation Outside The Catholic Church

It is a great mercy that the possibility exists that those who are not presently in full communion with the Catholic Church may be friends with God, despite their ignorance concerning His Church and the gospel she preaches. Nevertheless, we have to be clear on that.

In practical terms, I know more than a few people who were baptized Catholic, and in their terms, "got saved" in some Protestant community, and mistakenly think everything is fine. Firstly, every person is called to the Catholic Church. It's the one that Christ himself established, and he did it for our salvation. Secondly, if you know that the Catholic Church was made necessary for salvation by Jesus Christ, and you leave anyway, you're in danger of Hell itself. DON'T DO THIS. Just don't.

For my part, I found my way here, and though it was largely a joyful experience, I can tell you that the Church's exclusive claims made a difference. I should say it more strongly: There is no reason to become Catholic besides acknowledging this truth, and in so doing, we save our eternal souls.

I can and do appreciate many things done and taught (to a certain extent) by our separated brethren. But, in a certain way, the mercy flows one way. That is, toward one end. You surely could find a nominal Catholic to tell you whatever you wanted to hear. I am not that guy. Because the Church does not teach that all religions and professions are the same. They are not.

Someone will say, "But what about dialogue, ecumenical dialogue?" I'm all for it. Do you know why? I'm trying to convert that person. (Or, better said, I'm attempting to be an agent used by God for their conversion.) It's true. Ecumenical dialogue is a discussion concerning the matters of revealed truth, for the purpose of reaching agreement in that truth. That's my definition of the term, and I think it's a good one.

We don't coerce. We don't force people to believe or do anything. But if I am a friend, I owe you the truth, in all things, when possible and prudent.