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Showing posts from February 17, 2019

Unity, Continued: Dogma, And The Mechanisms Of Certainty

I know that many theologians and converts have written on these subjects better than I could, but I still want to look at the problem of dogma and the question of certainty as I essentially understood it on the eve of seeking full communion with the Catholic Church. One of the more mystifying developments in Catholic and Reformed dialogue in recent years is the abandonment of certainty in matters of dogma among the Reformed. Indeed, there seemed almost a tendency to spiritualize the lack of knowing as a sort of virtue, that it was somehow inappropriate to desire certainty in faith. On the contrary; our most cited definition of faith in the Scriptures in the letter to the Hebrews presupposes it (11:1). It could be said of all the "heroes of faith" that they acted upon what they knew, even if it wasn't plain to their reason. And what did they know? They knew that God was speaking and had spoken, and that He would not deceive them. To get right to the point, it's wi

Thoughts On Christian Unity (A Quasi-Response To Cara Wiskow)

Let me just start in an odd place: I'm happy to lose friends, in order to foster as much unity among all Christians (and frankly, all people of good will) as I possibly can. There may be people out there who have a vision of being Catholic that is more concerned with an image of "pure" Catholicism than with the truth. I believe both of these two statements are simultaneously true: 1. Catholics should affirm, celebrate, and rejoice in truth wherever it is found; and (all together now: "Grace builds upon nature, but does not destroy it.") 2. The Catholic Church is the one true Church founded by Christ, and all people everywhere should be in full visible communion with her. (see CCC, 811 and Lumen Gentium, 14) I believe these two things, precisely because the Church believes them. Many people see these two statements as embracing a contradiction, but I do not. My new friend Cara Wiskow has some thoughts on Christian unity , and I appreciate so much of it, becaus

The Same Philosophy

"My body, my choice." A person can rightly see the error in this. A baby is another person. What if we changed it a bit? "My money, my choice." "My life, my choice." My. The same philosophy that permits the taking of a life in the womb is that which permits suicide, or paying people a substandard wage. And, the language of the Declaration notwithstanding, there is no "general welfare" in classical liberalism; there are only sets of individuals, whose one or more interests coincide. Government is only legitimate insofar as individuals or sets of individuals deem it so. Only a lack of will to start another revolution, or the power to succeed, keeps the peace. That's why something like, "We have an obligation to protect the environment" is met with, "What about the right of individuals to make money?" The common good is said to be preeminent over the private good, according to St. Thomas Aquinas, but liberalism exactly re