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« Guard Against Euphoria | Main | Winding Up to a Conclusion »

January 07, 2008

Comments

Margaret

Tim-- I have to confess-- I've never read any Chesterton. Ever. What book would you suggest as a good starting point for someone who's already a Catholic?

Tim J.

Margaret, Orthodoxy is a good start. It gives a broad outline as to how GKC ended up Christian. His writing is great fun to read, but it is much more than a matter of style.

deusdonat

I have two comments here:
1) yes, it is good that hard-line Protestants are now at least on the outside appearing to be more accepting of Catholic theologians. I too have read little of Chesterton, though from his bio, quotes and the few exerpts I have picked up over the years, I can say I rather admire him. I have found, however, that many Protestants who quote him tend to play-up his earlier self-identification as an "orthodox Christian thinker", and downplay or ignore his conversion to Catholicism later in life. I guess the good thing is anyone with half a brain who becomes interested in the man after hearing him mentioned would eventually find out he became Catholic in the end.

2) I know by saying this I will immediately be branded a traditionalist reactionary by many here, but I also find that the reasons for the Protestant vitriol towards Catholcism these days are almost a non-issue; and this is a BAD thing. At the time of Chesterton, Protestants would denounce Catholics as having secretive rites, shrouded in a "mysterious" language with a steadfast devotion to their clergy and pontif. This type of ascertion today would be laughible.

Churches throughout the world (most notoriously in the US) have Protestantized themselves to such an extent in aesthetics, music, liturgical "form" (see: abuse) and architecture that most Protestants would scarcely feel uncomfortable at all (unless they simply don't like the "dress up" part). Years ago I went to St Anthony's church in Sacramento, Ca and was so disgusted by the fact that I had to keep reassuring myself I was actually IN a Catholic church. There were NO signs at all (artistically, aesthetically, at the altar or otherwise) that this was a Catholic church. It could have been Anychurch, USA. Since then, they have added a giant cross (note: NOT a crucifix, but a large plain wooden cross) over the altar, a statue of Our Lady at the entrance and another of St Anthony. But this has not stopped the liturgical clapping, dancing, bastardization of the offeratory prayers etc.

I think anyone who quotes or reads Chesterton can hazzard a guess as to how he would feel about the state of the Catholic liturgy today.

Ed Peters

I smile when someone misquotes GKC. He misquoted everybody, gleefully.

Paul

I'm convinced that Chesterton was one of the brightest bulbs of the 20th Century, and reading his stuff is really starting to make me consider Catholicism. He has a good essay somewhere or other (on the web) where he explained how the Catholic Church circumscribes all reality, and secular thought is always shooting itself in the foot or regurgitating what the Church already said years earlier. Interesting, nonetheless.

Cajun Nick

Chesterton is easily the most quotable person of the last century - or two.

William

A good introduction to Chesterton is Dale Ahlquist's, "Common Sense 101; Lessons from G.K. Chesterton.

deusdonat

Geeze. Apparently this GK has quite a posthumous cottage industry going...

LarryD

To piggyback William's comment - get Dale Ahlquist's DVD series "The Apostle of Common Sense" - it's a great series that originally aired on EWTN, and the actor who portrays GKC is great. Wonderful intro to GKC if anyone prefers a visual medium to the written word.

Elijah

I have to say that I don't see GKC's fiction recommended often enough. 'The Man Who Was Thursday' and 'The Napoleon of Notting Hill' are so funny that reading them is like reading a cartoon. And of course there are the Father Brown mystery short stories that are quite cleverly conceived as well as funny.

the warrior

You know it's interesting. Huckabee flip-floped like Mike Romney did and this is the guy who's never been "pro-choice". Please.

Al

I am a relatively new catholic convert and I try to approach my catholicism with an orthodox approach. However, I listen regularly to Ravi Zacharias who I believe is one of the top Christian Apologists in the world. He is incredibly articulate and willingly defends the christian faith in the most ivory of towers of hostile intellectual typically leftist thought. He quotes G.K Chesterton and C.S Lewis regularly. He is a very gifted defender and knight of the faith and he intimately understands the rising power of secularism, the media and its influence on western cultures. He has opened up an Christian Apologetics degree at Oxford with some well known protestant apologetics and christian theologians.

Pray for him he does God's work

deusdonat

For my money, the best Christian apologist of the day (who happens to be Catholic) is Dinesh D'souza.

Jordan Potter

As Al indicated, Ravi Zacharias is actually one of the stronger voices of contemporary evangelical Protestantism -- a solid, thoughtful apologist, not at all the uneducated, anti-intellectual sort of evangelical that is all too common. Before I became a Catholic, I used to enjoy hearing him on the radio -- he was such a refreshing break from the usual fare of radio evangelists which leave you feeling dumber for having listened to them. Quite the opposite with Ravi Zacharias -- you always felt like you learned something important after having listened to him.

deusdonat

Jordan, first, welcome home. I am very happy you decided to join the true church. But I have an observation here. You seem to be mixing in a lot of Protestant notions, jargon and propaganda in your posts. I don't think it is intentional, but it really does stand out. Maybe you should ween yourself from listening to the likes of Zacharias et al for awhile, as it appears it may be impeding your ability to distinguish what is true Catholic doctrine and teaching from what is clearly not. Now that you are a part of the church, you will find there are centuries upon centuries of learned scholars and doctors of the church you can learn from.

Maureen

There's absolutely nothing wrong with being bilingual. Let Jordan talk however he wants, and don't restrict his Christian and Catholic freedom. People's take on what's Catholic "language" is very generation-dependent right now, anyway. Besides, you can certainly read the saints and the Church Fathers without dropping all other reading material. (As witness my podcast!)

The most amusing thing that ever happened to me in this line was when I went to a Jewish wedding in Boston, and this Irish Catholic guy I met there was sure I was Jewish! I just didn't read to him as "Irish Catholic", because I didn't have any of the immediately obvious traits that in his town defined "Irish Catholic".

Now I certainly wasn't concealing my ethnic heritage; and my fellow Ohioans certainly have no problem divining it under the same types of conditions. I look very Irish to most people here. OTOH, he wasn't totally crazy, as part of the German side of my family was Jewish many generations back, and I guess there are plenty of Jewish people with "Maureen" as a use-name. But it was really hysterically funny. We had different enough cultural assumptions, within the same Irish-American Catholic culture, that he just couldn't see the Irish in me at all.

labrialumn

Sure hope so. Francis and Edith Schaeffer go together with G. K. Chesterton, Russell Kirk and J. R. R. Tolkien very well indeed.

Matthew

I have a copy of Dale Ahlquist's, "Common Sense 101; Lessons from G.K. Chesterton, and it was a great appetizer for the fantastic feast of writing that Chesterton completed. The amazing thing is he writes about the Catholic Church, and even defends her, way before he converts. A must see website for anyone with an interest in Chesterton is at the Chesterton Society homepage: http://www.chesterton.org/.

Jon

I don't think one can read too much GKC. However, "The Everlasting Man" and "Orthodoxy" are two good books to read if you can only read two.

Justin West

I hope they canonize him soon...St. Gilbert, patron saint of common sense.

deusdonat

Maureen, kudos to blending in at a Jewish wedding. I'm sure you were introduced by many elligible bachelors that night. I have a similar experience; before I was married I went to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. FYI, there are usually Bar Mitzvah's going on non-stop there, and the men are separated from the women. I was wearing regular casual clothes and had a gold cross on a necklace I always wear. But I suddenly found myself in the middle of a throng of older women; all wanting to know everything about me, but most of all: "Was I Jewish?" Each time I was asked, I responded with a smile, "No, I'm Catholic." And I was asked over and over again, sometimes by the same woman. When I replied to one woman, she quickly responded, "So, you still gotta eat, right?" And then came the inundations of dinner invitations, invariably to be set up with their daughters. At that point after 15 minutes of interrogations, it was as if these women didn't even care I wasn't Jewish, and simply saw me as a string of DNA their family tree had to have for their daughters.

Regarding my comment to Jordan, I disagree with you. If you are going to embrace Catholicism, you need to understand ALL the differences between the true faith and the sects which came in spite of it. ESPECIALLY if you are claiming to speak for Catholicism or hold a "Catholic" viewpoint. If Jordan (or any convert, I don't want to seem like I'm picking on him here) qualifies his/her statement with, "As a convert, I believe [X,Y,Z] but I realize this has nothing to do with Catholicism..." then that's fine. But making statements that "Catholicism does not allow this" or "Catholicism says we must do that" when it really comes out of a fundie playbook is doing a disservice to anyone who is coming to this website to learn about Catholicism.

I for one will resist the Protestantization of the true faith up to my dying breathe.
For that reason, I invite anyone wishing to understand his or her faith to stick to Catholic sources, at least until knowledgeble enough to distinguish between Catholic teaching and that which is not.

Sifu Jones

I live in Front Royal near Christendom College, where Chesterton is required reading in at least a few courses. He's been alive and well out here for years!

For Chesterton noobs, I do recommend actually avoiding his work "Utopia of the Usurers", at least at first. It's a collection of his newspaper articles for a socialist mag in Britain, and it would give a very incomplete picture of his views without having read "Orthodoxy" or "Everlasting Man" first.

And while we're on the subject of Chesterton, don't forget Hillaire Belloq!

Thomas

I was delighted when Huckabee referenced G. K. Chesterton.

I was however immediately turned off when I realized he called him G. K. ChesterSton.

Stefan of the North

I teach Chesterton to my highschool students. The academic English students get a healthy dose of essays (On Lying in Bed, Dogs, On Cheese, A Piece of Chalk) and my history kids get whole chapters of Everlasting Man. I always talk about the man, how well-known he was, how people would come to halls to hear him speak, the people he knew, the people he bested in public debates. They love him by the time we're through and they're indignant that secular history and literature have forgotten him. Nothing rickles me more than seeing a bunch of adolescents with their ipods and grunge haircuts enraged on behalf of a man like Chesterton. Massive, corpulent, wildly orthodox; the hippies must shiver every time a young person falls in love with Chesterton (but then, so must the industrialists... that's part of his charm.)

New readers can find lots of his shorter work on the net. I agree that books like Orthodoxy and Everlasting Man are some of his greatest works, but the shorter and equally intelligent (and sometimes hilarious) work might be a better doorway to the great man. Try the essays I mention above. There are so many more.

And yeah, Belloc is great too. I just got started on him (ok, so I'm youngish... I had no idea who the man was.) Also great reading, also incredibly insightful and compelling.

Huh... that's what I get for not proof-reading. Nothing TICKLES me more... I, to my knowledge, have never been rickled.

Sifu Jones

Stefan, I agree.

My wife actually tries to gift me with something Chesterton every Christmas (this year it was his reflections on St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis, and "What's Wrong With the World"). But she's apparently found a set that includes everything he's ever written: reflections, histories, every article, transcripts of live debates, personal reflections and letters, even the mystery novels!

Yes, it's huge. And expensive. But worth saving for!

Jamie Beu

Justin: "I hope they canonize him soon...St. Gilbert, patron saint of common sense."

G. K. Chesterton is not going to be canonized anytime soon, because he's doing a better job posthumously *without* the label.

Most Protestants will willingly read a Brit who wrote about Christianity (e.g., C. S. Lewis), but are very hesitant to read anything written by anybody who's name starts with "St." (even St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas), unless that person wrote a Gospel or Epistle. Chesterton, while he is merely G.K. and not St., is still converting souls to the Catholic Church by using stealth tactics.

This is not to say that he is without honor in the Catholic Church. Pope Pius XI awarded him the title Defensor Fidei in 1936, shortly after his death. The last Brit to receive this honor was Henry VIII (See http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07222a.htm>New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: "Pope Leo X was highly pleased with it and conferred upon the king the title of Fidei Defensor (Defender of the Faith), which is maintained to this day as part of the royal style of the English Crown.") So, you can see that any more Papal attention to Chesterton may cause a rift with the British monarchy.

Still, he is working on converting his country and other Protestants from beyond the grave. (And there's no harm in praying for his intercession, since he can even plead on our behalf from Purgatory, if that's where he still is.)

As for GKC material, I too recommend the EWTN series "The Apostle of Common Sense" and Orthodoxy: the Romance of Faith. After that, read The Everlasting Man.

Terence M. Stanton

A.M.D.G.

"Handbook of Christian Apologetics: Hundreds of Answers to Crucial Questions" by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli is a great book to share with atheists and others who doubt the divinity of Jesus Christ.

deusdonat

So, you can see that any more Papal attention to Chesterton may cause a rift with the British monarchy. Oh, heaven forefend any challenge to the solid megalith and bastion of christendom that is the British monarchy!

By the way, Jamie, I REALLY liked your post. Stealth Catholicism....it has a nice ring to it.

Esquire

In the Collected Works of GK Chesterton published by Ignatius, The Everlasting Man is included within the volume containing Chesterton's biographies on St. Francis and St. Thomas Aquinas. Both of those are fascinating reads, and they shed great light on some of GKC's work in The Everlasting Man (which is sandwiched between the two biographies in that particular collection).

The Masked Chicken

For those who want to read Chesterton's works in digital (i.e., text and free) format, one of the best places to start is Project Guttenberg . Click on the link or go to Google and type in those two words. Once on the main page, type Chesterton's last name in the search box. Once you download the material, it can be reformatted for easier reading.

Dale Ahlquist's site is also a good place to start. Does anyone know of any other good collections on the internet? Project Guttenberg does not have his essays or G. K Weekly. Ignatius Press is issuing the complete works.

The Chicken

Esquire

Some more can be found here.

The Masked Chicken

Esquire,

Cool...

The Chicken

Nick Milne

Better even than Project Guttenberg (no offense intended, Masked Chicken) is Martin Ward's excellent site, which has more Chesterton than could be read in a lifetime. Definitely worth checking out.

Jordan Potter

Deusdonat said: Maybe you should wean yourself from listening to the likes of Zacharias et al for awhile, as it appears it may be impeding your ability to distinguish what is true Catholic doctrine and teaching from what is clearly not.

????

Really, now, you need to be more careful and less apt to make presumptions, Deusdonat. I became a Catholic nearly 8 years ago and I haven't listened to any Protestant evangelists on the radio in more than 8 years, not even Ravi Zacharias. However, he was one of the better ones during my Protestant days, and from what I hear that hasn't changed.

As for a purported impediment of my ability to distinguish what is true Catholic doctrine and teaching from what is clearly not, apparently you are referring to my recent statements about Catholic social doctrine and how the secularist political philosophies of libertarianism and liberalism are in conflict with them. You also seem to be unaware that Catholic teaching insists that the human government is established by God (though not at all in the way He has established His Church). You perhaps are insufficiently educated regarding the basics and the history of the Church's social doctrine. I've found the thought of Thomas Storck to be very helpful, and since he is an orthodox Catholic (and, as far as I know, not a mere convert like me) he should be to your liking.

Now that you are a part of the church, you will find there are centuries upon centuries of learned scholars and doctors of the church you can learn from.

Yes, and I've been reading and studying them for many years. How do you think I ended up in the Catholic Church, silly.

If you are going to embrace Catholicism, you need to understand ALL the differences between the true faith and the sects which came in spite of it.

Assuming that it's possible to have a solid intellect grasp every difference between the Apostolic Faith and the doctrines of non-Catholic sects, your stipulation would result in far fewer conversions to Catholicism. Adding steep intellectual hurdles is not the way to lead lost souls to their Mother Holy Church. It would also exclude those who for whatever reason just cannot understand ALL the differences between the Faith and its imitations. We Catholics aren't Gnostics, and one can embrace Catholicism without having a solid grasp of every difference between the Catholic faith and other religions.

If Jordan (or any convert, I don't want to seem like I'm picking on him here) qualifies his/her statement with, "As a convert, I believe [X,Y,Z] but I realize this has nothing to do with Catholicism..." then that's fine. But making statements that "Catholicism does not allow this" or "Catholicism says we must do that" when it really comes out of a fundie playbook is doing a disservice to anyone who is coming to this website to learn about Catholicism.

Well, as long as we're inventing new and arbitrary requirements about what adult Catholic converts are allowed to say and not allowed to say, perhaps you could suggest a cut-off point for when an adult convert is allowed full initiation into the exclusive, elite club of Expert Catholics? Is seven or eight years too soon? Perhaps we should muzzle adult converts for at least 20 years, and then, if they pass a tough exam, we can allow them to tell people what the Church teaches.

Anyway, I haven't said anything that could be construed as coming out of a "fundie playbook." Frankly it seems to me that your concern that I am insufficiently Catholic in my beliefs and points of view (which is, of course, quite true, and not just because I'm not in heaven yet -- and no, Deusdonat, I don't mean to imply that I presumptuously believe my salvation is assured) arises from your disagreements on matters of the Church's social doctrine. You disagree with some of the essential things the Church has taught in matter of social doctrine, but are obviously unaware of what the Church teaches (hint, Thomas Storck can help you there and point you to see key Church documents).

I for one will resist the Protestantization of the true faith up to my dying breathe.

A noble conviction, but if you're going to do that you need to know what the true faith is and what Protestantism is. I don't think your grasp of those things is as firm as you may believe.

For that reason, I invite anyone wishing to understand his or her faith to stick to Catholic sources, at least until knowledgeble enough to distinguish between Catholic teaching and that which is not.

I cannot agree with such a stultifying and anti-intellectual approach. It's in fact exactly what I was taught in the sect in which I was born and raised -- we were discouraged from reading sources written by people who didn't belong to our sect, to keep us from being "led astray" (actually to keep us from finding out that our sect's doctrines were a heap of steaming manure). But the Catholic approach is liberating to the human intellect, and does not involve erecting artificial walls against other ideas. Catechesis need not, and usually should not, be characterised by such an exclusive approach to reading materials, but should equip the catechumen with the intellectual tools to discern truth from error.

Vesa

deusdonat: For that reason, I invite anyone wishing to understand his or her faith to stick to Catholic sources, at least until knowledgeble enough to distinguish between Catholic teaching and that which is not.

Jordan Potter: I cannot agree with such a stultifying and anti-intellectual approach. It's in fact exactly what I was taught in the sect in which I was born and raised -- we were discouraged from reading sources written by people who didn't belong to our sect, to keep us from being "led astray" (actually to keep us from finding out that our sect's doctrines were a heap of steaming manure). But the Catholic approach is liberating to the human intellect, and does not involve erecting artificial walls against other ideas. Catechesis need not, and usually should not, be characterised by such an exclusive approach to reading materials, but should equip the catechumen with the intellectual tools to discern truth from error.

Jordan,

You seem to have entirely missed deusdonat's point:

"I invite anyone wishing to understand his or her faith to stick to Catholic sources, at least until knowledgeble enough to distinguish between Catholic teaching and that which is not."


I tend to agree with him --

I mean, how exactly is one not actually knowledgeable about their Catholic Faith ever able to "discern truth from error"?

The Masked Chicken

Dear Nick Milne,

Cool squared...Wasn't it sneaky of me to get Chesterton's works listed :)

The Chicken

Jordan Potter

Vesa, since Deusdonat jumped to the conclusion that I am not knowledgeable enough, even though I've been a Catholic for nearly eight years, I would say I have good reason to question the advisability of his counsel of extreme caution for neophytes. How do we determined who is and who isn't knowledgeable enough? It is by finding out if they agree with Deusdonat on matters of Catholic social doctrine? ;-)

Nick Milne

Masked Chicken,

Cool squared indeed. It may also interest you to know (in reference to something else you asked about in your post above) that G.K.'s Weekly: A Sampler exists. It was put out by the Loyola University Press in 1986, and was edited by Lyle W. Dorsett. 552 pages, encompassing some thirty complete facsimile issues of the paper from 1925 to 1936. It includes both the first issue and the one published at Gilbert's death, as well as many in between, naturally.

ISBN: 0829405313

I can't imagine how much more information would be necessary to help you find it, so I hope this will suffice.

deusdonat

VESA, thank you. You captured my sentiments precisely.

JORDAN apparently you are referring to my recent statements about Catholic social doctrine and how the secularist political philosophies of libertarianism and liberalism are in conflict with them.

Once again, dispite the fact that everyone else here has corrected you again and again on your errant ascertion that libertarianism is equated with liberalism you still persist in your willful ignorance on the matter.

You also seem to be unaware that Catholic teaching insists that the human government is established by God

No, you just don't seem to understand the concept yourself. There is no official Catholic dogma saying human government is established by God. What you MEAN to imply is that all authority comes from God, and hence that of the government. This is not only Catholic teaching, but it comes straight from the bible in Corinthians Romans 13:1-7. It does NOT teach that governments (or STATES as your formerly and erroneously wrote) are founded or "establised by God." If you can quote me a Catholic theologian who states this in your exact words, then please present your sources. The only place I have EVERY heard this is from Fundies. Je t'accuse.

one can embrace Catholicism without having a solid grasp of every difference between the Catholic faith and other religions.

Yes, but at the same time one should close his mouth and not pretend he speaks for Catholicism or "Catholic teaching" unless he knows what he is talking about.

Anyway, I haven't said anything that could be construed as coming out of a "fundie playbook."

*ahem* Jesus founded the state? All governments "established by God"? A heretic is a "Godly man"?

Frankly it seems to me that your concern that I am insufficiently Catholic in my beliefs and points of view

Not necessarily. There are people who call themselves Catholic who don't believe in the real presence. There is nothing I can do about that. However, if someone claims to be Catholic and speak for Catholic teaching and says something false on this or any other subject, I will continue to call that person to the carpet. As Vesa correctly pointed out, say what you will about anything your heart desires on any subject. But when you speak of Catholicism, if you can't distinguish between what is Catholic doctrine, what is from your own Protestant past, and what is basically your own opinion, then you should not claim to speak for Catholicism. Period. End of Story.

Clara

Romans 13:1-7 It does NOT teach that governments (or STATES as your formerly and erroneously wrote) are founded or "establised by God."

Quoting from Romans 13, it says all governing "authorities that exist have been established by God." What is your distinction between government and governing authorities?

Jordan Potter

Deusdonat said: Once again, dispite the fact that everyone else here has corrected you again and again on your errant ascertion that libertarianism is equated with liberalism you still persist in your willful ignorance on the matter.

Okay, if you and others don't want to admit that libertarianism is a descendant of and a form of liberalism, be my guest. But in that can it's you who are being willfully ignorant, not I.

There is no official Catholic dogma saying human government is established by God.

You're right in the sense that it is not a dogma, but you're otherwise wrong.

Really, if human government is not ordained by God and a part of the natural order He established, where do you think human government comes from?

What you MEAN to imply is that all authority comes from God, and hence that of the government.

Not good enough, Deusdonat. You can't slice out "authority" from human government and say that authority comes from God while human government and civil society doesn't.

This is not only Catholic teaching, but it comes straight from the bible in Corinthians Romans 13:1-7. It does NOT teach that governments (or STATES as your formerly and erroneously wrote) are founded or "establised by God."

Read more carefully. I never said "states" are founded or established by God -- though in one sense all of them are, though only in a rather indirect way. I said the State is (". . .Jesus, who created the State . . ."). The two spheres of Church and State are ordained and established by God. Jesus is not just a man, but is God Incarnate, fully divine, coequal and coeternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Since God created all things and established human nature, and ordained that men should have governments, and Jesus is God, therefore His Divine Lordship and Authority means that human government has its origin in Jesus. Through Him, with Him, in Him, you know.

If you can quote me a Catholic theologian who states this in your exact words, then please present your sources. The only place I have EVER heard this is from Fundies. Je t'accuse.

Can't help you there, Deusdonat. In fact, I can't even quote MYSELF stating it in those exact words, and neither can you.

Yes, but at the same time one should close his mouth and not pretend he speaks for Catholicism or "Catholic teaching" unless he knows what he is talking about.

Well, we should always be willing to take our own advice. . . .

A heretic is a "Godly man"?

Which heretic did I call a "Godly man"? Yeah, I've said some nice things about Ravi Zacharias' quality as an apologist and teacher, as compared to his evangelical brethren, but I never called him a "Godly man." You must have me confused with somebody else. I notice in the "Guard Against Euphoria" thread, you take StubbleSpark to task for praising Mike Huckabee as a "godly man." But I never said any such thing, nor, for the record, am I a fan of Mike Huckabee.

However, if someone claims to be Catholic and speak for Catholic teaching and says something false on this or any other subject, I will continue to call that person to the carpet. As Vesa correctly pointed out, say what you will about anything your heart desires on any subject. But when you speak of Catholicism, if you can't distinguish between what is Catholic doctrine, what is from your own Protestant past, and what is basically your own opinion, then you should not claim to speak for Catholicism. Period. End of Story.

So far you haven't demonstrated that I can't distinguish between what is Catholic doctrine, what is from my Protestant past, and what is my own opinion. (You probably wouldn't be able to guess this, since you seem to have a different idea of what a fundamentalist Protestant might think about such things, but my former view was that all human government was established by Satan the Devil and would only be brought under Christ's Lordship after the Second Coming, and therefore Christians must not vote or serve on juries or be involved in politics in any way. Thank God I was rescued out of such a Manichaean approach to human society.) All you've done is demonstrated that you've got an itchy trigger finger, are a little too apt to "call others on the carpet" and jump to conclusions without getting all your facts straight, have a poor memory of what I said, and don't have as solid an understanding of Catholic social doctrine as you seem to think.

deusdonat

Clara, this is THE finepoint of the passage. If you say God establishes governments, then one has to ask, does this include governments based on Communism? Shari'a law? Secular Humanism? The answer is firmly and unequivocally "no". God is the source of all authority, but He did not "create" political parties or civil offices.

There are some theories (note: THEORIES, not dogma) that state a government is only acceptible if it exercises that authority which comes from God, and those who falsely overstep their authority are subject to the wrath of God, which may come in the form of rebellion. Others say the "authority" is merely the power to maintain the population from anarchy. A good explanation can be found http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02137c.htm>HERE. Notice, it's quite a lengthy subject : )

deusdonat


You're right in the sense that it is not a dogma, but you're otherwise wrong.

LOL! And I guess it depends on what your definition of "is" is.

You can't slice out "authority" from human government and say that authority comes from God while human government and civil society doesn't. Um...yes, you can. Rad the link I posted above to New Advent on the subject.

Read more carefully. I never said "states" are founded or established by God

Uh...yes, you did. In the "Guard against Euphoria thread you state (and I'm copying and pasting here) "No, that is not permissible, for it would mean the State would be held exempt from having to answer to Jesus, who created the State and is the rightful ruler of all Creation". Then in the last post here you said (once again copying and pasting here) "You also seem to be unaware that Catholic teaching insists that the human government is established by God". And once again; find me a Catholic theologian that puts this in YOUR exact words to back this up or be a man and admit this is either a) your opinion or b) something you heard on some Fundie radio show etc. Because it simply is not "Catholic teaching".

Once again, Jesus did NOT create the state. You are wrong. And as much as you deny it now, you DID say it.

In fact, I can't even quote MYSELF stating it in those exact words, and neither can you. Yes, I can. And I just did.

Which heretic did I call a "Godly man"?

On this, you are correct, and I am wrong (see how easy that is?) You did not say this, but rather Stubble referred to Huckabee, a heretic, as a "godly man". Funny, how could I EVER get the two of you mixed up? Hmmm...

So far you haven't demonstrated that I can't distinguish between what is Catholic doctrine,

Yes, I have. But you haven't demonstrated that you can be a man and admit when your wrong, neither do you seem to be able to defend a position without a lot of denial and double-talk in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

you seem to have a different idea of what a fundamentalist Protestant might think about such things

Actually my view is that Protestants are like tapeworms; cut one in half and you will soon get two whole worms. There is little Protestants can agree upon in general. Whatever they do or don't believe is none of my concern. I don't claim to be an expert in this area at all.

but my former view was that all human government was established by Satan the Devil and would only be brought under Christ's Lordship after the Second Coming, and therefore Christians must not vote or serve on juries or be involved in politics in any way.

Interesting. The only people I have come across who believe this are Jehova's Witnesses or 7th Day Adventists. I wouldn't call them Fundies, or even Christian, as they are cults. Regardless, I applaud your fortitude and rational thinking which led you to the true church.

All you've done is demonstrated that you've got an itchy trigger finger, are a little too apt to "call others on the carpet" and jump to conclusions without getting all your facts straight, have a poor memory of what I said, and don't have as solid an understanding of Catholic social doctrine as you seem to think.

Once again, apologies on the "godly man" statement. But no, I am right on the money on the other issues as I correctly pointed out.

Jeremiah

I don't know if I would describe Descartes' position as "Life is meaningless"

Leo

As the discussion has strayed into what is and is not authentic Catholic Social Teaching on political authority, may I recommend the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

, as an up to date and reliable summary of Catholic Social Doctrine.

Especially in an election year, we would all benefit from studying it before automatically assuming "... of course the Church's social values coincides with mine." We are all challenged to deeper conversion.

This might whet some appetites Select quotes from the Compendium - LA archdiocese newspaper

As well as reading Chesterton!

Jordan Potter

Thank you for acknowledging your error in confusing me with StubbleSpark. It's obvious how you could have confused us, as you have shown yourself to be hasty and careless, and apt to criticise and accuse when you should ask, "What do you mean by that?" when you encounter a statement that sounds wrong. Instead, ironically, you engage in denial and double-talk, demanding that I find a Catholic theologian who says it in "exactly" the same words that I used and claiming I meant something I couldn't possibly have meant, misdefining and misapprehending words so as to find me guilty of heresy. You've not been reading and interpreting my comments either charitably or accurately, and it was a dead give-away the way you jumped on my comment about Ravi Zacharias. Pope Leo XIII and other Popes have plainly taught that God is the author and ordainer (which is obviously what I meant by "creator" -- especially obvious since I've said that's what I meant) of human government. Government, civil authority, is not something extraneous to life, something unintended by God or optional, or a necessary evil as libertarians or conservatives in this country might tend to think, but is a part of the natural order established by God. No, not each and every *form* of government; no, not this specific government or regime -- I never said nor implied that, but maybe you've got such a need to be "right" that it doesn't matter what I say in explanation. But I've said and explained what I meant, and what I meant is what the Church says, even if the way I expressed it doesn't fit your own standard of orthodoxy -- and if that's not good enough for you, well, I can't help you. It's not like I answer to your panel of inquisition, but I don't appreciate being misunderstood or misrepresented either.

P.S. Seventh-Day Adventists may be Judaising heretics, but they are Trinitarians and their baptisms are valid. Therefore the Church accepts them as fellow Christians, unlike the Jehovah's Witnesses who are Arians and not Christians according to Catholic teaching. Let's just say that it might be a wild stretch to say that the sect of my childhood and youth could be classified as Christian with valid baptism. But my former sect (or cult, if you will) was nevertheless marked by fundamentalism -- though Fundamentalism strictly speaking is a Trinitarian Protestant phenomenon, namely in origin, it's somewhat wider than that, and many fundamentalists lapse into theological or christological heresy.

deusdonat

Jordan, you weren't misunderstood or mirepresented, you were just plain wrong. And not on one but several issues. And I don't need to prove this more than I already have.

Paul

I would like to put my two cents in here if that's okay. Take my comments as you will.

First of all, Jordan's argument that libertarianism descended from liberalism makes a lot of sense to me, if we're talking old-school liberalism, not today's American incarnation, which is more deserving of the tag "leftism." Old liberalism wanted political and social freedom and limited government, whereas today government regulation is the hallmark of "leftism."

Second, criticizing someone for having even mentioned one of those dad-gum Protestants strikes me as...dare I say it?...fundamentalist Catholicism. Did Jordan really say he likes Ravi Zacharias, the heretic? This sounds like all-or-nothing to me: either Ravi Zacharias should be a Catholic apologist out there on the front line, or he shouldn't be an apologist at all. Nevermind if he's leading people to Christ--he's a heretic, so he's unworthy of our consideration.

So, for the record, is it a venial sin to consider the following people "Godly men" and not heretics? The sooner someone clarifies this for me, the sooner I'll sleep peacefully.

Billy Graham
John Piper
John Stott
J.I. Packer
Philip Yancey

It's funny that all of the above names could probably claim they have good friends in the Catholic tradition. I guess that would make those Catholics wishy-washy, don't you think?

Jordan Potter

Yes, we're all impressed by your cogent arguments, I'm sure. This "conversation" is clearly at an end, Theodore.

Jordan Potter

That wasn't a reply to Paul, of course.

Jamie Beu

Billy Graham was the first American to conduct an interview with newly elected Pope John Paul II. It was actually because he had started the interview with Cardinal Wojtyla, when they were interrupted by a phone call that summoned Karol back to the Vatican due to the death of John Paul I. Once he was elected Pope, he continued his interview by Billy Graham at his earliest convenience.

I doubt that our beloved, late pontiff would have been so accommodating to someone he considered a heretic and ungodly. To use his terms, Graham is more likely, "our separated brother in the Faith."

Paul

"Actually my view is that Protestants are like tapeworms;"

"Whatever they do or don't believe is none of my concern. I don't claim to be an expert in this area at all."

Well, if you were even half a novice on this subject, you would know that many of them look past their differences and strive for ecumenicism. A lot of them even tend to...goodness gracious...engage in conversation with members of your tradition! And in public too!

Shouldn't what they do or don't believe absolutely be your concern, or do you simply not care that 2/3rds of Christianity (E. Orthodox and Protestants) are not members of Christ's church? If a Protestant walked up to you and asked you what Catholics believe, would you order two milkshakes and have a civil conversation with them, or would you run the other way in fear of getting a tapeworm?

Paul

"I doubt that our beloved, late pontiff would have been so accommodating to someone he considered a heretic and ungodly."

Correct me if I am in error, (please do!) but wasn't that one of the reasons everyone liked P.J. II so much? He didn't think of Protestants like Graham as "bastard sons of 1517" or anything like that, and he wouldn't have gone on the tirade we see someone has done on this thread.

Maureen

Anyway, Jimmy has previously pointed out that it's very difficult to define _anyone_ as a heretic. Being born into a heretical sect, or believing a heretical sect's teachings because one doesn't know any better, does not make one a heretic. The same goes for people who are part of schismatic groups. There is such a thing as invincible ignorance -- and it's not just charity but truth which demands that we not throw around presumptions of guilt.

Calling people "separated brethren" is not just a nice way of putting it. It's a recognition that for the most part, they are indeed members of Christ's Church, even though not in full communion with it.

This does not make it less important to bring them into full communion, of course. Heirs have a right to every part of their heritage, and people who know more of the truth should point them to it. But it does make it more important not to accuse people of sins they have not committed.

Esquire

Thank you Maureen. Well put.

Vesa

Being born into a heretical sect, or believing a heretical sect's teachings because one doesn't know any better, does not make one a heretic.

But we should not neglect/overlook the fact that their beliefs are, in fact, heretical.

To do so would merely lead to a compromise to the Faith that is "Catholic".

Vesa

Being born into a heretical sect, or believing a heretical sect's teachings because one doesn't know any better, does not make one a heretic.

Yes -- but let us not neglect/overlook the fact that their beliefs are indeed heretical.

To do so would eventually lead to a compromise in the Faith that is "Catholic".

deusdonat

Paul, first, on liberalism vs libertarianism, I already stated on the "Guard against Euphoria" thread there was a drastic difference between 18th century Liberalism and that of today. What I objected to was the constant insinuation that Libertarianism = liberalism (or leftism as you imply) of today. And that is exactly what Jordan has been trying to do.

Second, are you yourself a heretic? If so, your two cents are noted, but not really meaningful to this discussion.

Third, you write do you simply not care that 2/3rds of Christianity (E. Orthodox and Protestants) are not members of Christ's church? . Whoah! RED FLAG. Do NOT use the Orthodox and Protestants in the same sentence as they have NOTHING in common, save the fact that they are all a part of the World Council of churches (which many Orthodox object to). Orthodox are NOT considered heretics, nor are they "not members of Christ's church". They are "schismatic" in that they are not in full communion with Rome, but theologically they are absolutely concilliar and are not espousing heresy.

And to answer your question about calling Protestants you consider "godly men", let me respond with the story from Acts, Acts 16:16-21. The slave girl seems to be saying all the right things, yet Paul is annoyed and casts our her demon. Why? Because she was actually using pagan phrases such as "the most high God" and "the way to salvation" which were easily understood by Pagans, but not part of legitimate Christian phraseology.

I think that answers your question.

Tim J.

"Why? Because she was actually using pagan phrases such as "the most high God" and "the way to salvation" which were easily understood by Pagans, but not part of legitimate Christian phraseology."

Huh? That is a rather unique interpretation of that incident.

Paul cast out her demon because
a) she had one, and
b) divination and consorting with spirits is forbidden and evil, EVEN if the predictions and hidden knowledge obtained are accurate.

It had nothing to do with "phraseology".

I have never heard anyone who thought the phrase "the most high God" or "the way to salvation" were especially or exclusively "pagan", at all, at all.

California Star

Interesting article - but I must admit that I've never heard of this Chesterton guy before.

Paul

"Second, are you yourself a heretic?"

Well, I'm a Protestant considering Catholicism, but if one of the requirements of being a Catholic includes adopting your mentality I'll kindly worship Christ elsewhere, thank you.

You didn't answer my question, either. Are you going to keep distance from Protestants, call them "tapeworms," let them have their fun and yell "heresy" all the live long day? Does that solve anything? To quote myself: "Shouldn't what they do or don't believe absolutely be your concern?"

Jordan Potter

What I objected to was the constant insinuation that Libertarianism = liberalism (or leftism as you imply) of today. And that is exactly what Jordan has been trying to do.

Just a note to remind everyone that Deusdonat has not exactly had a very strong record of discerning "exactly what Jordan has been trying to do." I wish he'd stop trying to guess and just ask.

I have never heard anyone who thought the phrase "the most high God" or "the way to salvation" were especially or exclusively "pagan", at all, at all.

Yes, I'd be very interested in finding out the origin and basis for that interpretation of St. Paul's exorcism of the girl who had a Pythoness spirit. "Most High God" is a biblical name for God, and the Book of Acts several times calls Christianity "the Way." Perhaps Deusdonat could explain?

deusdonat

Tim, it's not a unique interpretation at all and actually a standard one taught by many church scholars and you will invariably hear this description during a homily. It does require the knowledge of biblical tradition in that the woman's "demon" was actually a "spiritum pythonem", which were supposedly the "oracles" of the pagan temples. Her verbage came straight out of the pagan jargon of the day and was not in keeping with either Helenic or Hebraic Judaism. The only time the term "god the most high" (it's actually "Dei excelsi" in the Latin Vulgate which is more precise than the English rendition) comes up in the bible before this is in the story of the firey furnace. Coupled with her phrase "the way to salvation" (viam Salutis), Paul knew by her language who was really speaking here. How else would he have known? On the outside, it seems as though she is just a woman praising them. It was her words which actually gave the "python spirit" away. Once again, these two phrases are not "exclusively pagan", but at that time and era, they were not Judaic/Christian. Ask your priest about this passage for further clarification.

PAUL To quote myself: "Shouldn't what they [Protestants]do or don't believe absolutely be your concern?

No, I can only work out my salvation through fear and trembling and lead by example by following the gospel in every day life. But this is the internet, and it is a forum for writing and expressing opinions and beliefs, in this case on Catholicism. Should you chose to join the true church, you should know what you are getting into, and not simply pick and choose the parts you like while retaining Protestant/heretical beliefs. I do not have the power nor the authority to impose MY beliefs on ANYONE, even my own family. If you or any other Protestant wishes to profess heresy against that which has been established and ordained by God, then that is your decision and I can do nothing about it. At the same time, I can continue to pray for all who are outside the church to allow God to guide them to the right path. This is the extent of my "concern" in their/your belief system. Does that make sense?


Tim J.

"...it's not a unique interpretation at all and actually a standard one taught by many church scholars"

Could you point me to some?

deusdonat

Tim, not online, sorry. As I mentioned, your priest or anyone who has taken Christology courses may be able to help you there.

Inocencio

I would just like to add what Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition says about Acts 16:17.

Ver. 17. These men are the servants of the most high God. Evil spirits in possessed people, are sometimes forced to tell the truth.

The links at New Advent for Acts 16:17 also give the same understanding.

The CCC #434 states "...The evil spirits fear his name,..." and then list Acts 16:17 as the first footnote.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J


Inocencio

The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible has the following commentary for Acts 16:17.

16:17 servants of the Most High: A true confession forced out of a lying spirit (Mk 1:24; 5:7)

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Jordan Potter

The only time the term "god the most high" (it's actually "Dei excelsi" in the Latin Vulgate which is more precise than the English rendition) comes up in the bible before this is in the story of the firey furnace.

However, "the Most High God" and "Most High" ("Elyon") as a name for God ("El") appears throughout the Old Testament. "Most High God" first appears in Gen. 14, where we meet God's priest Melchizedek, "priest of the Most High God," from whom Abraham received a blessing and to whom Abraham paid a tithe of the spoils. Even in the New Testament, we find Christ's Jewish enemies asking Him, "Are you the Son of the Most High?" In light of these textual witnesses, it seems a stretch to identity the girl's use of "Most High God" as a pagan shibboleth

The Masked Chicken

Could someone turn of the bold, please. I am the Masked Chicken. I am rarely bold!

The Chicken

deusdonat

Jordan, I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here. I said clearly that the phrase "Dei excelsi" COUPLED WITHviam Salutis. Independently, the phrases were not exclusively pagan, but used together left no doubt. It's as if I said to you, "I am awashed in the blood of the lamb." That is a very fundie phrase, but you might still give me the benefit of the doubt as being Catholic. Yet, if I said, "I am awashed in the blood of the lamb, and have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior." then this would leave little/no room for doubt.

Why? These phrases on their own are not contradictory to church teaching. But they ARE used ad nauseam in fundie churches. THE SAME with the case of the slave girl. As I mentioned, "Dei excelsi" (forgive me for not being able to use the authentic Koine Greek here) was NOT common to Judaism, but it WAS common to helenic paganism (specifically used by the Oracles). The same with viam salutis.

I hope this makes sense now. I can't really do a check on whether what you say is or isn't accurate because a) English is a very inprecise language theologically and b) there are too many English versions of the bible floating around.

The Masked Chicken

Oh, blast. That should read, "Turn off the bold."

The Chicken

Paul

I thought witnessing was important. Furthermore, I thought a thorough understanding of another person's religious views is a step in the right direction if you're going to convert them. If a JW or Mormon were to knock on my door, it would be best that I know what they believe, where they have erred, why they hold fast to what I clearly see as error on their part, etc. It is only then that I can actually have a knowledgeable conversation with them and perhaps sway them in the right direction.

Nowhere in my posts did I advocate cafeteria Catholicism, and understanding someone else's positions doesn't require imposing your beliefs on them. It seems to me you simply don't want to take Protestantism seriously, keeping your distance and dismissing them as "tapeworms," to the detriment of both Protestants and Catholics.

Jordan Potter

Deusdonat, I did see that you identified the use of "Most High God" together with "way of salvation" as allegedly constituting pagan terminology. I have no idea if what you say is true. Your interpretation of the exorcism is not at all an obvious one. The girl was saying something that was true -- over and over and over again -- and she was possessed of a Python spirit and was being used by her owners to make money by the Python. St. Paul would seem to be more concerned that she was under demonic influence, was being taking advantage of by her owners, and was interfering with his work, than that she was using pagan shibboleths.

As for checking what I say about "Most High" ("El Elyon"), I don't have my own reference material handy right now, but it only took me a few minutes to go to online Hebrew-Greek concordances and lexicons. That name for God is found many, many times in the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms. "Most High" appears once or twice in at least one of the Gospels, indicating that it was then current among the Jews. But I don't know about the currency of "way of salvation." It appears only once in Scripture, in Acts 16, the text under discussion, so on that ground it might be a specifically pagan phrase.

deusdonat

I thought witnessing was important.

As our humble Saint Francis stated, "Preach the gospel always; when necessary use words." Catholicism does not have the same version of "witnessing" that Fundies do.

Furthermore, I thought a thorough understanding of another person's religious views is a step in the right direction if you're going to convert them.

I have a working understanding of most Protestant heresies and cults. The bottom line is they are wrong and outside of the church Our Lord founded for us.

I know what they believe, where they have erred,

Ah...but that's the point. Unless you are Catholic, you don't know exactly where they have "erred"...nor where YOU have, theologically speaking. I take Protetants seriously in that all heresy is an afront to God and His church. And of course there are good people who are Protestants, Jews, Pagans etc. But that does not excuse the fact that their beliefs are in error. And given this forum, we should not be expected to turn a blind eye here under the guise of false eccumenism.

The Masked Chicken

Third time. Would someone, please, turn off the bold. All of these comments are coming out in bold letters on my screen and I assume they are on everyones. Are you guys really that angry with each other?

The Chicken

Inocencio

Chicken,

The text is normal on my screen.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Jordan Potter

The text is normal on mine too.

deusdonat

Chicken, you might have some formatting issues. If you're on windows, go to tools/internet Options then click delete files. That might clear it up.

The Masked Chicken

Thanks, guys. I'm using Linux, so who knows what's going on :)

The Chicken

The Masked Chicken

Test. Please, ignore (that is, unless I screw up the combox!)

Inocencio

A New Testament Commentary for English Readers by Ronald Knox has this commentary about Acts 16;17.

"The way of salvation" in verse 17 was probably understood by the bystanders as "a way of safety"; for the Gentiles among them, the word was not likely to carry any theological significance.

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary and the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible (see links above) both say that the spirit was telling the truth when saying "These men are the servants of the most high God.

New Advent.org hyperlinks for the same verse take you to articles about God and salvation as understood in Christian theology.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

The Masked Chicken

No, I'm not crazy, I looked at the source code. Someone had an unclosed bold. I guess your operating systems are smarter than mine and closed it. I just went back and manually closed it so it should be closed for all OS, now. Mine is now normal.

The Chicken

Tim J.

Thank you, Chicken. Mine was bolded. also.

Paul

"The bottom line is they are wrong and outside of the church Our Lord founded for us."

The bottom line is that you can repeat that over and over to yourself until "your dying breathe" and it will not help bring a single person closer to Catholicism. This mentality frustrates me to no end. On another blog I was trying to explain to a proto-evangelical, who thinks Catholics aren't "saved" and are heretical because they believe in the Real Presence, just how much church history flies in the face of his argument. But he was so locked into what he believed what he wouldn't budge or even consider the evidence.

FUNDIE: "Hi, let's talk about our differences. I'd like to come to a better under-"

YOU: "You're part of a heretical break-off sect of the one Church Our Lord established. Everything you believe is wrong, from your Christology to your soteriology, all the way up to your pre-millenial eschatology. Your entire denomination's a sad joke."

FUNDIE: "Well, that's not very nice. I'd really like to know why you believe what you bel-"

YOU: "Read the catechism if you want to understand how wrong you are. BTW, God's very offended by your theology, heretic."

FUNDIE: "Wow! You Catholics are as mean-spirited as my bigoted father said you were! I guess this conversation is over. Have fun worshiping Mary and buying indulgences, jerk!"

YOU: "Okay, fine. I'll continue to pray for you to see the error of your ways, since I'm not capable of having a civil conversation with you about it. Later."

Dumb & DUMBer

There's nothing like an UNDIE that puts FUN in FUNDIE!

deusdonat

D&D LOL!

Paul, your proposal of "Hey, let's sit down and talk about our differences" wimplies Catholicism has somehow something to gain from Protestantism. I just don't see that as the case. And your childish attempt at satire falls short because I have not been denouncing the MANY silly/sillier concepts of Protestantism. I am however willing to answer any/all questions or comments you have about Catholicism. But in order to do that, I have to show you where I am coming from. And regardless of whether or not you care to deal with it, you ARE "part of a heretical break-off sect of the one Church Our Lord established" as you yourself put it. This much is true, and to any honest Catholic, to deny it is pointless. I could sugar coat it and say, "you are my separated brother in Christ. We don't believe the same things, but we can all agree that Jesus is the Son of God and that we are all carbon based lifeforms" then strum a guitar while we all join hands and sing kumbaya. But this is the internet, so I really don't feel the need to water it down for you.

If you want to talk about differences on an "equal" basis, maybe you should go to a site like beliefnet.com My experience there is that they are more than willing to bash Catholicism at any turn, and the moderators do nothing to prevent or curtail this.

Tim J.

"...your proposal of "Hey, let's sit down and talk about our differences" implies Catholicism has somehow something to gain from Protestantism"

Funny, I didn't read it that way.

deusdonat

Tim what way would you read it? Two parties coming together to talk about their differences usually means that both are willing to arrive at an agreement or compromise. What am I missing?

Clara

I read "sit down and talk about our differences" as meaning the inquiry is to be free, carried on with the aid of teaching or instruction, communication and dialogue, in the course of which men explain to one another the truth they have discovered, or think they have discovered, in order thus to assist one another in the quest for truth.

Clara

And in a manner proper to the dignity of the human person and his social nature.

deusdonat

Clara, I honestly don't see the value in learning about the perceived truth discovered by someone professing Protestant theology. Been there, heard it. Yes, I know they don't believe in the real presence, papal authority, apostolic succession, sacraments, perpetual virginity, mother of God, communion of saints etc. I think these are examples of the common heresies among Protestants (although many Lutherans these days are actually leaning towards the concept of real presence). I know there are a host of other heresies and falsehoods I could learn about. I'm just not that vested or interested. I find that most Catholics don't even understand their own faith, so don't you think it is more valuable for us to spend our time learning more about it rather than the "differences" we have with heresies? Does that make sense?

Tim J.

"I honestly don't see the value in learning about the perceived truth discovered by someone professing Protestant theology."

Then you will never be able to communicate the Truth to them any more effectively than you are now, which ain't much.

Dr. Eric

Mark Shea has a little video on his blog with GK Chesterton's voice on it.

Paul

"your proposal of "Hey, let's sit down and talk about our differences" wimplies Catholicism has somehow something to gain from Protestantism"

It most certainly has something to gain: converts. I'm not talking about ecumenical dialogue; I'm talking about what you would do if a Protestant walked up to you and tried to have a conversation about religion. Would your initial reaction be, "Great! An opportunity to possibly bring someone towards Rome!" or "This is a waste of time. This may pollute my intellect"?


"I think these are examples of the common heresies among Protestants (although many Lutherans these days are actually leaning towards the concept of real presence"

Lutherans have always believed in the real presence, a good example of how you don't know enough about Protestantism. And how does the ignorance of many Catholics about their faith have any effect on your choice to understand Protestants? Why do you assume that dialogue entails compromise and a dumbing down of tradition?

Al

I don't view listening to a protestant Christian apologist as something that affects my catholic lifestyle. I don't think there would be a priest that would tell me not too. I enjoy listening to RAVI because he truly understands the consequences of the secular onslaught that many people are not grasping or seeing at all. This includes very many good catholics. His entire agenda is about christian apologetics and he doesn't get explicit on any protestant theology. He targets the real enemy..Secularism/Materialist Philsophy/Hedonism etc. He knows the secular onslaught being waged in our education system,liberal media, and government is the REAL ENEMY TODAY and he looks beyond the bickering of brothers and sisters to face the giant wave which is coming to crush them both. What a son of ADAM, the guardian of the garden. I wish our catholic leaders would have the foresight to send our own Catholic Knights up to the front lines to fight the battle right beside him.

What did Gandalf say in the Hobbit before the battle of five armies..."Behold, Doom has come upon you all whilst you bicker over trinkets, the GOBLINS of the north have come down out of the mountains and they have WARGS in their trail, it is time to cast aside your differences and face your common foes as one, lest you all perish".

Gotta love Tolkien...awesome Catholic.

TheApologist

Hey Tim,
Would you recommend the book mentioned in the article? What's a good book, if this isn't the absolute best, to give to an atheist friend? Would this be a good one to read for myself and my friend? What's a good Catholic book on the defense of theism?
TheApologist

Matthew

deusdonat,
I admire your zeal, but your approach cuts off any opportunity for real dialogue with non-Catholics. I agree that you cannot "compromise" in the sense of softening your beliefs for the sake of agreement, but you can still (or maybe you can't, I don't know) be charitable. I don't see Pope Benedict, nor John Paul II, throttling non-Catholics, Muslims, Jews, etc. with ipso facto doctrinal epithets. Again, I admire your zeal for the faith, but as someone said above, you will never draw anyone to the [Catholic] faith in that manner. All things must be done in the spirit of charity and love. That is what draws people to the Catholic Church. Please think and pray about it.
In Christ,
Matthew

labrialumn

I was under the impression that name-calling was not allowed here, yet I see the term "fundies" used quite a bit, as well as a comparison to tapeworms.

If someone were to refer to "papists" and Catholics as oh, roundworms or whatever, what response might you have to that? Considering that, how might you wish to rephrase things in the future?

Deusdonat, I may be misunderstanding, but you seem to be rejecting the teachings of the Church regarding believing Protestants, and be promoting the Feeneyite heresy making you an heresiarch.

Chicken, I too, am using the One True Operating System, and I see the bold where you see it as well. I'm also using FireFox instead of filtering things through the works of the Beast of Redmond.

DuH & Duh-ER

I was under the impression that name-calling was not allowed here, yet I see the term "fundies" used quite a bit


Don't get your undies in a pinch just because you mistook Paul's usage of "Fundie" as being perjorative -- that was far from his intent.

Furthermore, he is not even Catholic.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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