Archive for April, 2012

Collect for the third Sunday after Easter

April 29, 2012

ALMIGHTY God, who showest to them that are in error the light of thy truth, to the intent that they may return into the way of righteousness; Grant unto all those who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s Religion, that they may avoid* those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Christian political candidates: Possible? Impossible? Barely Impossible?

April 28, 2012

This item comes from Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed blog.

What’s your view? Is it possible to be a disciple of Jesus and a politician today?

Tim Suttle, on Paul Ryan, gets to this question and then offers a set of options:

Should politicians really be telling theologians what to think?

I wonder if this is even more evidence that 1) you can’t be a politician on the national level and be a Christ follower. It just makes you a walking contradiction. Your party/ideological commitments will force you to do things that your Christian faith won’t allow. 2) If you are following Jesus it will put you at odds with Democrats at some points, and at odds with Republicans at other points. Conversely it will put you in harmony with Democrats at some points and at odds with Republicans at other points. If your primary allegiance is to Christ, you cannot join with either political party.

It was such a compelling conversation that I had to weight in. Follow this link.

Possible? Impossible? Barely Impossible?.

Rod Dreher: Life after death

April 23, 2012

Here is an item from Rod Dreher’s blog on near death experiences. See what you think.

Neuroscientist Mario Beauregard writes that more and more research indicates that something inexplicable by the standard materialist model of human consciousness is happening with Near Death Experiences. Here’s an excerpt focusing on a medically well-documented case that cannot be explained as the bizarre firing of neurons in the mind of a dying patient:

The rest of the article is at this link:

Rod Dreher.

Collect for the Second Sunday after Easter

April 21, 2012

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given thine only Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin, and also an ensample of godly life; Give us grace that we may always most thankfully receive that his inestimable benefit, and also daily endeavour ourselves to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life; through the same* Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Vatican Crackdown On Nuns Over Social Justice Issues, Women Ordination

April 21, 2012

Oh dear. There is so much to say on this one, but first you need to know, on a strictly personal note, that I would not amount to much without the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Do not underestimate the influence of Catholic education or the religious orders that operate those schools.

There is a lot going on in the news coverage of the crackdown on religious orders, including  bias. The Catholic Church is, after all, run by a bunch of older guys so it simply must be culturally irrelevant and misogynist. That’s just the way boys are, always acting up and starting wars, being ugly. You can’t trust men at all. Got it? And the Roman Catholic Church is the oldest and largest old boys club around. Fortunately, the journalistic community, led by the New York Times, is working hard to bring down this menace to society.

(OK, newer readers of Pat Lynch may need instruction that you just experienced what we often call the “Pat Lynch treatment” in which the author employs irony, satire, and gentle mocking to make a point. It is now safe to continue reading.) Here are some highlights of news coverage.
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Christians, Politics and the Poor

April 20, 2012

There is a great discussion on this over at Jesus Creed. It is an appropriate followup to our recent posting on Benedict XVI, Catholic social teaching, and the federal budget.

As you may know, there’s a “serious” discussion about how best to care for the poor. Some in the GOP think it’s not the government’s business; some in the Democrat party think it is.

Christians, Politics and the Poor.

And be SURE to read all the comments! Some are predictable recitations of talking points, but there are a few that are detailed and insightful……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Southern Baptist leader under scrutiny for Trayvon Martin remark – latimes.com

April 19, 2012

First of all, let it be known here and now that I believe I might fit in just fine within the Baptist Church. Lots of their ministers are big fleshy guys like me. You know who we are. You have seen all of us at the Chinese buffet, not that there is anything wrong with that. Anyway, I could never really get mad at my Baptist neighbors. Besides, you folks give us lots of fun things to kick around and we would have to do serious systematic theology if it were not for you. Here’s the latest.

ATLANTA — Richard Land, the Southern Baptist leader who offended some blacks with his comments about the Trayvon Martin shooting case, is now facing plagiarism allegations that will be the focus of an investigation launched by the church ethics commission that he heads.

Land, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, apologized for the remarks about the shooting in an April 16 letter to the convention’s president, Bryant Wright.

Land, on a recent episode of his radio show, called some black religious leaders “race hustlers” for stirring up interest in the case, in which an unarmed black teenager was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Land also accused President Obama of pouring “gasoline on the racialist fires” when the president said that if he had a son, he would look like Martin.

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House Republicans versus Catholic bishops, meet the newest Cafeteria Catholics

April 19, 2012

It is a notable development that Roman Catholic Bishops seem to be giving House Republicans a bit of push back on the FY 2013 federal budget. “Federal Budget Choices Must Protect Poor Vulnerable People, Says U. S. Bishops’ Conference” includes references to letters by Bishops Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, and Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairmen of the Committees on Domestic Justice and Human Development and International Justice and Peace, respectively, urging Congress to resist proposed cuts in hunger and nutrition programs at home and abroad.

Bishops Blaire and Pates reaffirmed the “moral criteria to guide these difficult budget decisions” outlined in their March 6 budget letter:

1.Every budget decision should be assessed by whether it protects or threatens human life and dignity.

2.A central moral measure of any budget proposal is how it affects “the least of these” (Matthew 25). The needs of those who are hungry and homeless, without work or in poverty should come first.

3.Government and other institutions have a shared responsibility to promote the common good of all, especially ordinary workers and families who struggle to live in dignity in difficult economic times…

Just solutions, however, must require shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and fairly addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs.

In April 16 and April 17 letters to the House Agriculture Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee addressing cuts required by the budget resolution, Bishop Blaire said “The House-passed budget resolution fails to meet these moral criteria.” Bishop Blaire also wrote that cuts to nutrition programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP- food stamps) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) will hurt hungry children, poor families, low-income workers and other vulnerable people. Additionally, he wrote that if cuts to the federal budget need to be made, savings should first be found in programs that target more affluent and powerful interests.

While Catholic teaching on social justice issues may be a surprise to some, it has quite a lengthy history and is held at the highest levels. In his first encyclical letter, Deus Caritas Est (2005), Benedict lays a biblical foundation for the theology of Christian charity beginning with the Old Testament concepts of man’s creation in the image of God and the radical love represented therein. This idea is identified in three principle NT parables

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‘FOR HARDNESS OF HEART’—A HERMENEUTICAL KEY FROM JESUS

April 16, 2012

Some of you serious bible readers may find this essay by Ben Witherington useful. I did. Oh, and, about that big word, “hermeneutic,” that is that stage of biblical interpretation in which the commentator says to himself, “I know what the text says (exegesis), but what does it mean (hermeneutic)?

One of the perennial problems Christian readers of the Bible have is figuring out the relationship of the OT to the NT, or the old covenant to the new covenant, and in particular the relationship of the Mosaic covenant to the new covenant. Too often what happens in conservative Protestant circles is that the Bible is read in a flat way, such that it is assumed that anything said in the OT is just as revealing of God’s good and perfect will or highest and best for humankind as anything said in the NT.

Sometimes this is even linked to an assumption that such a hermeneutic is required if you are going to have ‘a high view of Scripture’. And sometimes this whole line of thinking is held at arms length by discussions about ‘progressive revelation’. As much as I agree that we must indeed see the earlier revelation in light of the later and fuller revelation in Christ, this is not the whole story.

‘FOR HARDNESS OF HEART’—A HERMENEUTICAL KEY FROM JESUS.

Tim Tebow booed at Yankee Stadium

April 15, 2012

Tim Tebow has been booed at Yankees Stadium. Yes, booed, and at Yankees Stadium. Say it ain’t so! Somebody must carry the blame for this heinous act of trechery. Let’s round-up the usual suspects.

The lamestream media.

The liberal media.

Liberals (Yes, the whole damn bunch of ’em!)

Atheists.

Everyone who believes in climate change.

Socialists (may be synonymous with liberal)

Progressives (See entries on socialists and communists)

Communists (Previously dormant category revived by Allen West)

Permissive parents.

Gay activists. (Can’t leave them out!)

Feminists.

Illegal immigrants.

Ill-mannered New Yorkers. (Careful, we are dangerously close to a suspect classification that may bear some actual responsibility for the incident!)
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