Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Differences Between Jesus and Mohammed

While it's not exactly the theme of this post it is in the background:

The Appeal of Islam in a Poorly Catechized World:

Are We Losing the Apologetics War with Islam?

Islamic cultures are honor cultures, and the religion of Islam might justly be described as an honor religion. Allah is in charge and he...

Read the whole thing.

(Via .)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What Do Parents Wish For?

That is to say are they looking forward to the future or gazing fondly at the past?
8. Parents are more likely to long for an earlier time in their lives: Fact

One of the poll question that asks people whether if they could, would they rather go back in time or forward into the future. Parents are 12.5% more likely to choose going back in time. Non-parents are 30% more likely to say they’d rather go into the future. This could be interpreted a couple ways: Perhaps parents wish they could go back to their early 20s or high school. Or maybe they wish they could go back to an earlier era altogether, when family life seemed more idyllic.

My mother, God rest her soul, led a, to say the least, challenging life from her youngest days on. But late in life she confided to me that what she longed for the most was those days when her house was full of her children.

I was amazed since I remember those days as being stressed for her–to the point that I wondered how she kept her sanity. Fast forward to the present: what is my fondest memory? My little girls excitedly rushing to open the front door to greet me coming home from work: "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" You can't buy that with any amount of money.

So for my money, that is what parents are thinking about: the days when their children were driving them crazy while at the same time making precious memories:

Non-parents have “better” lives according to worldly measures:

…except for one thing: they aren’t as happy as people with kids.  File under “the last shall be first” and other gospel paradoxes.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Catholic and Enjoying It!.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

TV as Prophecy

Although this is aimed at Obama's foreign policy, I've been thinking of H. Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State. She reminds me very much of Hacker but without having learned as much as he did.

She still thinks she's entitled to the Presidency, though: "I'm a woman, I'm inevitable".

Obama's Foreign Policy Explained:

(Via Campaign Standard.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My List

includes reading some contemporary philosophers. Among those would be Alasdeir Macintyre. Pending that being checked off here is some interesting tidbits to whet my appetite. (Be sure the read the whole of the original essay):

Francis, Benedict, and MacIntyre:

I enjoyed this essay, by John Haldane, called "Francis, Benedict, and MacIntyre," which is up at Ethika Politica.  Here is a taste:

MacIntyre shares with Benedict and Francis three central beliefs: first, that contemporary Western culture is at sea when it comes to thinking about the foundations of morality; second, that it is characterised by a pervasive relativism; and third, that this relativism is not only “cognitive” but is also affective and practical.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Mirror of Justice.)

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Not News

To my jaundiced eye there is a never-ending drip, drip, drip confirming the blatant bias of the MSM. But once in a while I like to point it out:


The nice thing about having a Democrat in the White House is that there is never any bad news...

...for Democrats.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Lex Communis.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Love is a Many-Splendoured Thing

It's certainly a lot more than "I feel like I'm in love". Dr. Kaczor gives us some insights:

Dr. Christopher Kaczor on big myths about love and marriage:

Dr. Christopher Kaczor, author of The Seven Big Myths about Marriage: What Science, Faith and Philosophy Teach Us about Love and Happiness, was recently interviewed by Kathryn Jean Lopez, author of National Review Online:

KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: Does anyone really believe “love is simple” — your first myth?

CHRISTOPHER KACZOR: Unfortunately, I believed this first myth until fairly recently! I suppose there are at least some other people who believe something like I did. I used to think that love was just a matter of good will. If I choose to do what helps another person, then I love that person. Once I learned more about the nature of love, I learned that love includes not only good will for the one you love but also appreciation for and seeking unity with the beloved. All forms of love (agape) involve all three aspects, and the forms of love are distinguished primarily in terms of the third characteristic, the diverse ways in which unity is sought. 

Read the entire interview on the National Review website.

(Via Insight Scoop|The Ignatius Press Blog.)

Why Jesus is God: A Response to Bart Ehrman | Catholic World Report - Global Church news and views

Besides the brief critique of Hume's reasoning on miracles (circular) Father Barron uses a wonderful term: Semiotics.

Why Jesus is God: A Response to Bart Ehrman | Catholic World Report - Global Church news and views:

...In this most recent tome, Ehrman lays out what is actually a very old thesis, going back at least to the 18th century and repeated ad nauseam in skeptical circles ever since, namely, that Jesus was a simple itinerant preacher who never claimed to be divine and whose “resurrection” was in fact an invention of his disciples who experienced hallucinations of their master after his death. Of course Ehrman, like so many of his skeptical colleagues across the centuries, breathlessly presents this thesis as though he has made a brilliant discovery. But basically, it’s the same old story. When I was a teenager, I read British Biblical scholar Hugh Schonfield’s Passover Plot, which lays out the same narrative, and just a few months ago, I read Reza Aslan’s Zealot, which pursues a very similar line, and I’m sure next Christmas or Easter I will read still another iteration of the theory.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Insight Scoop|The Ignatius Press Blog.)

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Black Legend

as it is called by some, is beginning to disintegrate, at least among the educated and disinterested. The popularity of Monty Python's send-up of it might be a marker of the ebbing of that tide. Check out the video that is in the link below from (of all sources) the BBC. It's interesting and educational:

Cosmos in the Lost offers Praise…:

for the Inquisition.  I always enjoy it when pseudoknowledge gets spanked.

(Via Catholic and Enjoying It!.)

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Computers Can Do That?

So asked Homer Simpson. I'm wondering if this doesn't prove more (and less) than the article is admitting. In other words does it only (apparently) prove the existence of a "Necessary Being" which is only the first of several logical steps on the road to finding the Father of Jesus and us all?

Scientists Use Computer to Mathematically Prove Gödel God Theorem - SPIEGEL ONLINE.

(Via Reddit Catholicism.)

Friday, January 31, 2014

What Bias?

Father Z nails it:

Child violators get a pass from liberals when they are “gay” right activists:

From NewsBusters:

Pedophiles Are Not National News — When They’re Gay Rights Pioneers

Read the whole thing.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

What I Believe

The recent attempt at a dialogue with a Bible-only commenter hasn't borne fruit, yet. That's ok, not everyone is into discourse.

Perhaps what is needed is to first establish the common ground that we have. To effectively disagree with someone you must first have something you both agree on. Otherwise you have no common terms or concepts which you can both appeal to. The debate ends up being two unrelated soliloquies interrupting each other. So what, potentially, do I have in common with most Bible-only Christians?

First and foremost, we have Jesus Christ, Lord and Saviour. No one and nothing takes precedence, once you have recognized Him. As a Catholic I feel obliged to point out that this includes, logically speaking, the Bible. Not that they are opposed to each other or in tension somehow. Rather, that the Bible only stands–directly and indirectly–on Jesus Himself:
“[S]cripture cannot be broken”

(John 10:35 RSV)

And I find the ancient Roman baptismal formula (via Tertullian) to be an excellent summary of Christian beliefs about Jesus:
We,...believe that there is one only God...that this one only God has also a Son, His Word, who proceeded from Himself, by whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made. Him we believe to have been sent by the Father into the Virgin, and to have been born of her-being both Man and God, the Son of Man and the Son of God, and to have been called by the name of Jesus Christ; we believe Him to have suffered, died, and been buried, according to the Scriptures, and, after He had been raised again by the Father and taken back to heaven, to be sitting at the right hand of the Father, and that He will come to judge the quick and the dead.

Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, eds., Latin Christianity: Its Founder, Tertullian (ANF III; Accordance electronic ed. 9 vols.; New York: Christian Literature Company, 1885), n.p.

This testimony [circa A.D. 213] is an early example of the ancient belief of those who eventually defined for us the canon of Scripture. Of course the remainder of the formula will refer to "the Holy Church". And examining what the First Christians meant by that may well divide us.

Second, we have the Scripture, though my Protestant brethren have a truncated version. We will both profess, I hope, verbal plenary Inspiration of Scripture. For the meaning of this the Wikipedia gives a good summary:
This view gives a greater role to the human writers of the Bible, while maintaining a belief that God preserved the integrity of the words of the Bible."[18] The effect of inspiration was to move the authors so as to produce the words God wanted.[17] In this view the human writers' "individual backgrounds, personal traits, and literary styles were authentically theirs, but had been providentially prepared by God for use as his instrument in producing Scripture."[18]

Admittedly that might actually separate me from some Catholics today but it doesn't have to. This language is generally associated with Evangelicals but is fully compatible with orthodox Catholic thought.

If my interlocutor avers the Dictation Theory of Biblical Inspiration then we must part ways and begin our conversation there.

Is that enough to begin with?

Just Sharing

a profound thought from Father Roderick:
Willpower isn't something you either have or don't have. It's something you schedule.

Stick that in you pipe and smoke it.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Farewell, WoW

WoW and I are parting ways and it's making me a little sad. I started playing a few years ago with a good friend. The whole imaginary world appealed to me. Most of the characters are ugly in some way or other but they grew on me.

But I've been playing on my own of late and it's not the same. Mind you, having your escort constantly correcting your inappropriate behaviour wasn't a good experience. I was fine with it but it was wearing on them. Now they've moved on to other games and I guess its time for me to, also.

I will remember the fantastic landscapes of the many different regions: the savannahs of the Northern Barrens; the dinosaur-filled jungles of Un'Goro Crater; the appropriately bleak Hellfire Peninsula; the exotic colouring of the swampy Zangamarsh with it's humongous mushrooms. Even the new continent, Pandaria has some beautiful places.

But the time to move on has come. Commander: Europe at War, anyone? What about Hearthstone?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Some Racists Are OK

At least that is the conclusion I and others have reached when things like the quote below are said and the political elite doesn't even deign to notice:

Two kinds of racism:

Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.

Read the whole thing.

(Via SoCon Or Bust.)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Theology Properly Taught

This is how to teach the Summa to high schoolers:

Batman v. Superman: Helping High Schoolers Understand the Summa

In the Church History Class I teach, we have finally arrived at the Scholastic period. I simply did not want to gloss over the scholastics without having my students at least try and read St. Thomas Aquinas (we were going to look at the existence of God questions, primarily Book 1, Question 2, Article 3); yet, I was wrestling for a way to try explain Thomas, the scholastic method in a way that they would understand -- I mean an argument free from most technical terms for which the average high school Senior would be familiar.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Catholic And Enjoying It.)

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Evangelization and Arguments

I recently deleted a comment because it had no relationship the post it was allegedly commenting on. I’ve been thinking about the comment, the writer’s purposes, his assumptions and his method.

HIs topic was the Catholic honouring of the Saints. He argued against it by citing Bible passages that contain the words Saint or Saints and showing that none of these passages refer to a dead saint. HIs purpose, seemingly, would be to lead me from Catholic “error” into Biblical truth. There’s nothing wrong with trying to increase the amount of truth on the Internet.

The assumptions he makes about the Bible are interesting. He seems to assume that the Protestant canon of Scripture is correct and so ignores the clear testimony of 2 Macc 15:11-17. But that book is one of those which isn’t in his canon so he ignored it. And I’m wondering if he’s assuming the Perspicuity of Scripture based on his doing an English word search and basing his conclusions on that. That is not at all unusual amongst "Bible Only” Christians.

I assume that he didn’t do this study especially for me since it wasn’t related to the post. So how to rate his effectiveness? In the end my intellectual curiosity was aroused by his comment, even if I deleted it. But what chance did he have of persuading me when we’re so far apart in some key beliefs?

 The kinds of issues he would need to deal with would include: 

  • The process and authority of the closing of the canon of Scripture;
  • The clear Scriptural reference to the difficulty of interpreting Scripture (2 Pet 3:15-16);
  • The failure of Scripture to claim for itself the authority that “Sola Scriptura” claims for it;
  • The fact that both written and oral Tradition are honoured in Scripture.
  • The ultimate circularity of the Bible-Only position.

That’s a lot of ground to cover. Perhaps you would like to comment on this post.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Test # 2

Testing again this time with an updated Marsedit.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

As Long As We're Talking about Modern Shibboleths

Let's talk about men and women being equal in every way:

The Problems of Women in Combat – From a Female Combat Vet

Because most women wouldn’t even qualify to be in the military if they didn’t have separate standards. Men and women are different, but those pushing women into combat don’t want to admit that truth. They huff and puff about how women can do whatever men can do, but it just ain’t so. We’re built differently, and it doesn’t matter that one particular woman could best one particular man. The best woman is still no match for the best man, and most of the men she’d be fireman-carrying off the battlefield will be at least 100 lbs heavier than her with their gear on.

Read the whole thing.

(Via SoCon Or Bust.)