Monday, August 15, 2016

Bishop Barron on Morality, Character and Relationships

I've had such good feedback from the previous post with Fr. Robert Barron, a Roman Catholic bishop who publishes regular short video talks in a series he calls "Word on Fire", that I am posting another favorite of mine from that series. In this talk, Bishop Barron zeroes in on the relationship between morality and character, and illustrates beautifully the false dichotomy behind the Gnostic fallacy (that our mind may keep itself pure even if we corrupt our body):

For those whose browsers will not display the video above, here is the link to it on YouTube. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Catholic's View of Episcopal Feminist Theology

A bit tardy, perhaps -- but since she is still giving sermons, and will soon once again be teaching at a school of divinity (this time not as its head, but as the Visiting Professor of Women in Ministry),  some might find this worthy of watching. A Roman Catholic bishop takes note -- as so many others did at the time -- of the strange feminist twist given to Acts 16:16-34 by the former Presiding Bishop of ECUSA in a sermon at CuraƧao, Venezuela, and uses her message to point up the limits of Christian tolerance:

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Thank You -- and a Little Advice -- to Faithful Christians

Thanks to all who commented so thoughtfully to the previous post -- you have encouraged me to continue blogging, even if not to focus any more on the decline of the Episcopal Congregations in the United States of America (this blog's new name for the group that calls itself ECUSA), their mostly  corrupt bishops, or their self-centered wrecking of the Anglican Communion. (And if that means that certain ECUSA-enablers will no longer come to test the limits of the comment policies here, then that will be one small gain for the rest of us.)

Instead of those desultory topics, this blog will redirect itself to issues facing Christians who still respect the faith once handed down to us by the saints: where and how to maintain traditional worship in a secular and increasingly divided (and hostile) society; what has happened to bring us to this point; and where things may go from here. That seems more than enough to take on for now -- although since I remain interested in the interfaces between theology and science, between politics and economics, and between law, legislation and good jurisprudence, the usual sprinkling of leavening will hopefully manage to keep your interest to some degree.

As an experiment in this new direction, I want to offer a few observations and comments on the current (and highly frenetic) political scene -- in particular, the lead-up to November 2016.

The first -- and perhaps most essential -- observation is this: It's not even Labor Day yet!

So take a deep breath, dip yourself in a fresh rivulet of faith, and come up to enjoy the cleanliness for at least another month or so. Not only did the current election campaign begin far too early some twenty-two months ago, but that means we are still suffering from a surfeit of mud. (Old saying of Confucius [intentionally not PC, for humor's sake]: "Man who sling mud lose ground.")

A lot can -- and will -- happen between now and November. What will happen in particular is very difficult to predict, but that something completely unexpected will happen is predictable.

Thus the current daily rush for headlines, Facebook and Twitter posts, and general bouncing around as the mainstream media wants you to, are wholly unnecessary. They won't change or influence what is going to happen, and neither can you or I. Indeed the media are on the horns of a dilemma themselves, so sit back and enjoy their self-made predicament while you still can.

I also find the ivory-tower speculations of academics in the law equally enjoyable to peruse at leisure. Even if they may not be your cup of tea, they show the lengths to which the human mind will go to rationalize anything. (And the phenomenon, of course, is not confined to academics -- even cartoonists are susceptible.)

If you find yourself too caught up in the too-awful, seemingly binary choice that the major parties have presented us with for this November, you might find these reflections by the always-readable Doug Wilson to be just what you need to jolt you out of your anxieties. For this election, as is the case with everything else that is going on just now, is indeed in God's hands. That much can be said with absolute conviction.

So pause, gather yourself, repent of any intemperate quarrels or outbursts provoked by what you read in the media, pray often, and take comfort in the faith you have been given by the grace of God. That is the best election advice I can offer to Christians right now.