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Joe Scheidler Tribute

6a00d8345191b869e200e54f4685898833-800wiThe sayings of the Desert Fathers are an absolute treasure trove of spiritual wisdom. I recently ran across the following story that has absolutely captivated me. I have an inkling of what it means, but I’d be very interested in anyone else’s perspective:

Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, ‘Abba as far as I can I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace and as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?’ then the old man stood up and stretched his hands towards heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, ‘If you will, you can become all flame.’

“If you will, you can become all flame.” This is one of the most incredible things anyone has ever said as far as I’m concerned. I’m just about ready to make it my new motto and base my entire life around it.

So, thoughts? What is the meaning of this?

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I’m very happy to announce a new venture that myself and several other converts from the reformed faith to Catholicism have started. It’s a website we’ve dubbed “Called to Communion.”

The site’s goal is to foster communication between the spheres of the churches of the reformation and the Catholic Church.

All of us have learned and grown in our faith during our time in the reformed communities and appreciate the depth that lies therein. But we have all come to agree that the fullness of the Christian faith subsists in the Catholic Church and we want to talk about those ideas with our reformed brethren.

The roster of guys who will be writing on this site blew me away the first time I read it. These are the most irenic, respectful, even keeled converts I know on the web. There’s even a few PhD’s in the mix! There will be no Jew-bashing, turn-or-burn polemics here. Only reasoned dialogue between brothers in Christ.

The main part of the site will consist of peer-reviewed articles on topics of major difference between Catholics and reformed. There will also be a blog where readers can discuss the articles and other subjects pertinent to the mission of the site.

So, I hope you stop by early and often. I think it’ll be a great site to discuss the issues that divide us now so that one day, by God’s grace, they will unite us.

In the most recent First Things, a collection of the best of the best from The Public Square section of the journal by the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, may his memory be eternal, was published.

The lead article was a piece from 1997 entitled “The Unhappy Fate of Optional Orthodoxy,” in which Fr. Neuhaus put forward the thesis that, where orthodoxy is optional, it will soon be proscribed.

That is to say, the moment we tell people that truth is a matter of what one believes in his heart of hearts, not the faith handed down from the Apostles with the sure safeguard of Apostolic Succession, it will only be a matter of time until what was in the early stage a tolerated opinion becomes an orthodoxy of its own.

In fact, Doug Wilson himself has acknowledged this principle in his analysis of conservative politics in America. The conservative Christian position used to be A. Then people came along questioning A, and next thing you know people were arguing for B and C. It then became the conservative position to argue for B, only a troglodyte would argue for A, after all. And so on and so on until the conservative position is barely defending K.

Nowhere is this clearer than in liberal Christianity’s positions on sexuality. First a little creeping liberalism lets in some ambiguity on contraception. Next thing you know, it’s become a sin of the highest order to question sexual perversion of any kind. Read the rest of this entry »

***UPDATE*** I lost the contest. Frown. Still, Abra’s got a cool blog, the game’s fun, and I’ll still have the contest. First three people. Go! ***END UPDATE***

Because I thought it would be fun to win a contest on Abra Carnahan’s blog, I’m now obliged to hold one on my own.

To wit, the first three people to link to this contest on their blog or Facebook status get a free thing from me. No promises as to what, but I’ll be creative and you can rest assured it will be individually tailored to you, my friend.

Ready…Set…GO!

ambrose1My son thought up his very first joke tonight. It goes like this:

Ambrose: Cows

Momma or Daddy: Moo

Ambrose and Momma or Daddy: Unrestrained laughter

This has been going on all night.

And it turns out, the more you think about it, it is pretty hilarious that cows say moo. Props to the youngster for finding the humor in the mundane

The day after the March for Life I had the privilege of joining Stand True Ministries’ Bryan Kemper and pro-life teens from the Youth Life Alliance in a jam packed day of pro-life activism.

Over 350 teens came out to stand up for life. It was totally inspiring and I took a bunch of video, which I have distilled down to this:

Enjoy, and go get active in pro-life ministry in your neighborhood, slacker.

twentyfive Well, I was tagged on Facebook so, by the law of the internet, which cannot be rescinded, I am obliged to tell the world 25 random things about myself.

Though I will obey the law of obligation, I will not make other people partake in this spectacle, though feel free to pick it up yourself if you’re it suits your fancy.

1. I once wandered the streets of Hollywood for an entire night, having no money and no place to stay. The freaks do indeed come out at night.

2. I have terrible eyesight.

3. I know a guy who’s cousin used to date Mel Gibson.

4. I’m gonna steal one from my wife, I really don’t mind changing diapers all that much. I kinda fail to see what the big deal is.

5. I can play the bassoon. And not badly, either. Read the rest of this entry »

…if any of them still read this blog.

The claim goes that the very most central thing to the Christian religion is “the gospel”, typically defined in conservative protestant circles as believing that faith in Jesus Christ, apart from any work of any sort, is one’s only hope of salvation.

So the question comes, what if a denomination was to continue to approve this (or whatever nuance you care to put on this) formulation of the gospel, but then approved something like female ministers. Or approved of homosexuals. Or declared that marriage was not necessary for God-blessed sexual unions.

Would this Church still be a proper Church in your understanding?

That is to say, if you don’t violate the reformation understanding of the gospel, how far can you go and still be considered within the pale of protestant “orthodoxy”?

…for the new hit record from Seven Society – Think Absurdly About Them

sevensociety

Not really. I never do these memes, but this one looked fun. It’s the Band Name Meme and here’s how you play:

  1. Band Name: Random Wikipeda Link
  2. Album Title: Random quote generator (take the last four words from the first quote on the page)
  3. Album Art: Flickr Interesting Photo (pick one)
  4. Tell what your band sounds like, where they are in their career, etc. (That’s my own addition)

Seven Society has that sound that somehow gets played on both Top 40 and alt rock stations by some mystery of the cosmos. You know, heavy guitars with whiny “I might kill myself toniiiiight” kind of lyrics in big feel-sorry-for-me choruses. Most of their songs start with a plinky guitar arrpegiated guitar riff and you know that bass player’s laying on the 5th string of that bass like it’s going out of style. They wanted to play hardcore, but the money just wasn’t there.

Their sophomore album, Think Absurdly About Them, seeks to match the success of their debut, Where the Pain Lives”, which featured the hit single “Dead Without You”. It is not likely to do so.