Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
You possess many gifts, but patience isn’t one of them. You’re tough on yourself — and on others. You’re independent, too, and you don’t like to be told what to do. You wish the Church would be a little tighter in discipline. As for the pagans, you’ve pretty much written them off. Sometimes you think the Church would be a better place if you were in charge.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
"The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator."
Friday, August 8, 2008
This squares rather well with a string of tragedy in our own church family: breast cancer seems to be running rampant, we just heard about a young child who has what appears to be terminal cancer, not to mention the various bumps and bruises of everyday life.
How do we, as the people of God, deal with tragedy? Is God responsible? Can God be trusted in these moments? We often pay lip service to the idea that God is good, but do we really believe it when reality hits us with all its cruel force? Some food for thought.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
In a recent Mere Comments posting I mentioned in passing that egalitarianism involves anthropological modalism. A friend wrote for clarification, asking me, “What is anthropological modalism and how is it related to the Egalitarian heresy?” This, for any who may have the same question, was my reply:
I am drawing an analogy here. A theological modalist effaces the critical distinctions between members of the Godhead by reducing the Persons to functions or modes of existence of a single member. Classically, under the influence of strict monotheism, the existence of a Son and Spirit were admitted, but they could only be "modes" of the existence of the one God--not the discrete personal existences (hypostases) recognized by Christian theology.
An egalitarian is an anthropological modalist who effaces the critical distinctions between man and woman by making the sexes into functions or modes of existence of the "human." The idea of humanness is thus made to serve a scheme in which the differences between the man and the woman, which include the priority that orthodox anthropology recognizes in the man, are subject to egalitarian reduction.
Because of the relation of God and man in Christ, any anthropological heresy also inescapably infects theology and becomes a theological heresy as well--although some egalitarians with more conservative instincts do not understand this or will not admit it. A Christ who is Human in the egalitarian sense cannot be Man in the orthodox sense, but is merely the apotheosis of the egalitarian ideal. He cannot be the head of the man as the man is the head of the woman as God is his own head; the ordinal relations of which the Apostle spoke, and in which the Church believes, are utterly broken on the egalitarian wheel. That is why egalitarianism is a heresy and no orthodox Christian can be an egalitarian.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Today is the feast of St. Benedict of Nursia, most famous for the "Rule of St. Benedict," which has had an incredible influence not just on monasticism, but on Western Christianity and, I would argue, western civilization itself.
What I have appreciated in the years since I was first exposed to Benedict's Rule was the necessity of discipline in Christian prayer. Prayer does not just happen, and it does not grow haphazardly. It is something that must be planned for and lived out. Of course, the Rule of St. Benedict is not terribly practical for most of us, though its underlying principles can find expression in many aspects of life outside the monastery. But I would suggest that a personal Rule, a personal discipline, is a magnificent way to progress in the Christian faith.
An ally in this venture would be Martin Thornton, who has included in his book "Christian Proficiency" an entire chapter devoted to developing a personal Rule. Here is what he says about the importance of a Rule:
"Rule" is a literal translation of the Latin word 'regula,' - rule, pattern, model, example - from which we derive 'Regular' as both noun and adjective. Both words are technical terms of ascetical theology associated with, but by no means exclusive to, St. Benedict, and they present...a problem...their meaning is not quite the same as that of common us. Rule, llike pattern, model, or system, is an essentially singular word, in some ways directly opposite to a list of "rules," and a 'Regular' Christian is one who "lives the Rule."
It implies status more than quality, efficiency more than keenness or brilliance; volunteers and conscripts might prove braver and more zealous than regular soldiers but they are unlikely to be more generally proficient.
Let it be said at once that the Rule is a help and not a hindrance, something liberating and not restrictive, expansive not burdensome, in accord with the freedom of the Christian spirit and absolutely opposed to 'legalism.' It is always the means to an end and never an end in itself...
A rule could be as simple as saying the Lord's Prayer a few times a day. It is not the amount, but our faithfulness to it. And if we are faithful, God will open up new doors and new revelation to us that will continue to draw us closer to Him. All we need do is take a small step, be faithful, and listen well.
May the Lord bless all his people through the example of St. Benedict, and through a life of devotion and service, modeled by Benedict, may we all come to the rewards of a righteous life.
If St. Francis could preach to the birds, why can't I pray with them?
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
"The Anglican Church is committed to proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ crucified and risen. For some, however, the Church is itself the message. By this they mean that the Anglican Church’s own diversity, and its ability to live with plurality and contradiction in its own membership on matters of faith, is precisely the witness it gives to a plural society today."