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.)