Friday, 27 February 2015

If Christianity is not true, let's be pagans, atheists, or TV executives

Lopez: Is theology ever practical, really?

Kreeft: Theology is always practical because nothing is more practical than living in reality, living in the real world, and God is the origin, center, end, and meaning of reality. If that’s not true, let’s be pagans, atheists, or TV executives.

That from an interesting and wide ranging interview with Peter Kreeft here

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Bill Murray on the No. 1 cause of failed relationships

Statistics show the number one cause of failed relationships is opening your mouth and letting words come out.

Via: Bill Murray on Twitter

That's basically a rehashing of what the Bible says here, here, and here

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Karl Barth the postmillenialist?

Writing on this day in 1962, theologian Karl Barth concluded in a letter:
The day will come one day when we shall no longer speak of Roman Catholic and Protestant Christians but simply of Evangelical Christians forming one body and one people. Karl Barth Letters: 1961-1968,  #25 (p. 34-35)
Such fantastic hope makes sense of the postmil (and biblical) view that not only will the earth be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (and this before the LORD returns) but also that when that times comes, it will be seen in the tremendous unity that our LORD prayed for so beautifully expresses by Karl Barth. As Jesus put it elsewhere:
The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.
Do you believe this?

Monday, 9 February 2015

How Capitalism helped the State embrace the pomosexuality agenda

Up until [recently] the Church, in hunting down [the sin of lust], has had the active alliance of Caesar, who has been concerned to maintain family solidarity and the orderly devolution of property in the interest of the state. Now that contract and not status is held to be the basis of society, Caesar need no longer rely on the family to maintain social solidarity; and now that so much property is held anonymously by trusts and joint stock companies, the laws of inheritance lose a great deal of their importance. Consequently, Caesar is now much less interested than he was in the sleeping arrangements of his citizens, and has in this manner cynically denounced his alliance with the Church. This is a warning against putting one’s trust in any child of man – particularly in Caesar. If the Church is to continue her campaign against lust, she must do so on her own – that is, on sacramental – grounds; and she will have to do it, if not in defiance of Caesar, at least without his assistance.
– Dorothy Sayers, from The Other Six Deadly Sins

Now I know that is not the full story. I'm aware that with any such seismic shift in culture as we have seen with the widespread embrace of so called 'gay marriage' there is more than one factor that has lead to this point. As someone has said, a tall tower requires a deep foundation whose bricks were laid long before the visible ones at the top. I've actually written elsewhere about how the Church is largely responsible for the tragic car crash that is the decline of Christian morality in the West. However, I think Sayers is onto something here in that the State has been encouraged to care less about the traditional family with the depersonalization of property. As Matthew Jepsen says:

The rise of the legal contract (versus inheritance by blood), the stock market, and public corporations, set the foundation for people to act as free agents apart from their money and land and families in a way unprecedented in civilization before. During the sexual revolution, Caesar (the government) woke up one day and realized that IT no longer cared who slept with who and so the champions of traditional morality lost a powerful (though incidental) ally. The irony is that this new foundation was often laid by conservative capitalists – sometimes very religious ones – who never dreamed of it’s far-reaching consequences.

Wow. Yikes. Let me give you a moment to recover...and then having recovered we need to think quickly how as Christians who are committed to Capitalism (is there another sort?) need to respond biblically and faithfully. Answers on a postcard please.

Friday, 6 February 2015

How to see death as both a friend and deliverer

Stunning words of comfort from C.S. Lewis, written a few months before he died:

“What in Heaven’s name is ‘distressing’ about an old man saying to an old woman that they haven’t much more to do here? I wasn’t in the least expressing resentment or despondency. I was referring to an obvious fact and one which I don’t find either distressing or embarrassing. Do You? . . .             Pain is terrible, but surely you need not have fear as well? Can you not see death as both friend and deliverer? It means stripping off that body which is tormenting you: like taking off a hairshirt or getting out of a dungeon. What is there to be afraid of? You have long attempted (and none of us does more) a Christian life. Your sins are confessed and absolved. Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind. . .         Remember, tho’ we struggle against things because we are afraid of them, it is often the other way round—we get afraid because we struggle. Are you struggling, resisting? Don’t you think Our Lord says to you “Peace, child, peace. Relax. Let go. Underneath are the everlasting arms. Let go, I will catch you. Do you trust me so little? Of course this may not be the end. Then make it a good rehearsal.”

Not only a good writer but an excellent pastor.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

What Google can't provide


Having just finished Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, I can concur with Julia Keller's comment that "Google can't provide the goose bumps that go along with being in the presence of a 14th century book." This is just another way of saying that sometimes (often?) the incarnated form is better than the dazzling graphics on our various media devices no matter how high the dpi.