Friday, February 25, 2011
I want to give a heads up to any faithful Catholics out there that read this and any Christians in general realy that care about truth. Real Catholic TV is a great resource. They have "the Vortex" each day and a good news clip to watch for free. Their premium service is $10 a month, and I am finding it well worth it. Check it out. Voris is respectful, but he pulls absolutely no punches and takes no quarter in the fight for the truth of the faith. I love it! This program is from RealCatholicTV.com
This is my comment to Brandon Vogt concerning his interesting post on his blog. Hey, interesting. I would just caution against the idea of worrying about what secular types think though. Keep in mind, they think we are crazy if Gen. 1 is literal or not! And they certainly think we are crazy because of our belief in the literal resurrection. I love Bob Barron, but one thing I have noticed is he is far to worried what people think. They WILL find something to make fun of in scripture, period. Who cares. Also there are non-fundamentalists who make a very well reasoned case for a traditional reading of Gen. 1 and 2. http://www.amazon.com/Creation-Six-Days-Defense-Traditional/dp/1885767625 I would say I am about 75% on the side of a more face value reading. IMO, certainly man must have been created ex nihilo no more than ~6000 years ago. I would not have become Catholic if I could not have kept this belief, unless it could be reasonable explained otherwise. Here is what keeps me with that interpretation (notice it is not a knee jerk literalism) 1. Death would need to occur before the fall for evolution to be true. This is theologically impossible. Adams sin brought death. 2. The genealogies in genesis are given as real history and have very specific years for the men's lives, and when you do the (simple) math, they go back to 4004 BC for the date of Adams creation. This is serious business because it has to do with the line of the messiah. As Catholics we are bound to believe as de fide that Adam and Eve were real people and all humanity descended from them. Did Adam have a "monkey grandpa" that died? Were there other ape-humans that "evolved" alongside Adam but had no soul breathed into them? These options are far more silly to my mind than a more literal reading. I really have not heard an attempt at a good answer to these questions. Also, I caution you with your statement that "The Church says they [the Gospels] weren't meant to be historical accounts but textured Jewish story." I say hogwash to that. I don't think the Church says that, I would love to see a citation, and I think if you reflect on what it would mean if the gospels are just a story it is devastating to Christianity. Of course I don't think you mean it this way, but then why say with the words you did? It is better to default at: A. The gospels are the real history of the incarnation of God, the events recorded are not merely a "story". Default at option A and then explain that the exact wording (Example: "kingdom of heaven" in Matthew and "kingdom of God" in Luke), order of events etc may be not scientifically literal, but that it need not be in that type of literature. But we should not default at "it is not a historical account but a story"! That is so reactionary and unnecessary, and requires much more backtracking to then explain "well, it's not history EXCEPT the resurrection and EXCEPT the miracles and EXCEPT the virgin birth, and EXCEPT the incarnation..." The point is that it is much more history than it is story, it is just not history done in a laboratory. I think what you are saying is they weren't meant to be a police report type record of exactitude. As in it doesn't matter if Jesus went from point A directly to point C or stopped at B in between. The point is He WENT TO POINT C, and going to point C is the historical fact that cant be denied, while the exact CSI type examination of the events order of occurrence and such is not in the writer of the gospels mind and we need to see it as the way that type of literature is legitimately written. OK, assuming this is what you mean, I got ya, the fundamentalists get hung up on that, and that is to their detriment. **BUT**, we need to be way more careful in just saying "it isn't history it's a story" which taken at face value is simply untrue, and really can come close to sounding like blasphemy because it touches on the veracity of the incarnation. (NOT that that is what you or Bob Barron are saying, but I guarantee some listeners of his are thinking "gee I guess the born of a virgin thing and the resurrection are just a feel good story after all, and are not real history and not literal") I know you and him would not want that impression given. Nice blog btw. -Peace to you. PS, if anyones interested, check out the soft, pliable tissue found in a TRex bone. The modren scientific religionists are saying it must have remained soft for MIIIIILLLLLIONS of years! Talk about a miracle!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Last night in the midst of brushing my teeth before bed, I had an epiphany. "The elven waybread is the Eucharist!" I don't know where that even came from, as I was not even thinking about the Lord of the Rings. As a fan of the Lord of the Rings, I love to find little gems in the book that relate to the faith. Well, this is one I missed. It took becoming a Catholic to see it. But wow it fits so well! Galadriel even gives the "lembas" to them, which points us to the Blessed Virgin Mary who gives us Jesus in the Eucharist. They must only eat quite small pieces of the bread to become full, and the bread lasts and lasts on their journey. The bread also has special properties (if I remember correctly) where it's potency grows the more it is relied on as a food source. All these have obvious parallels to the receiving of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ in the Eucharist. Now I will go look online and type in "elven waybread Eucharist" into google and I am sure this has already been discovered by others. But I feel good that I got to have that "aha!" moment with this one. Very cool indeed. What an incredibly rich story the LOTR is!
Friday, February 11, 2011
On Tuesday, I was in attendance for a debate between Dr. Robert Sungenis and Dr. David Pence at the Twin Cities famous Argument of the Month Club meeting. It was loosely about the relationship between Church and science, but ended up being mainly about geocentrism. Unfortunately Dr. Pence was self admittedly a bit unprepared, so Sungenis handily won the debate. My main beef was that there was not enough emphasis on what to me was the ONLY issue: what MUST Catholics believe about cosmology, paleontology, etc? The questions at the end of the debate reflected an interest in the novel (to modern man at least) idea that the earth is motionless. I admit, it is interesting to talk about! You quikly realize how much you do not know about cosmology, and how many presuppositions and philosophical assumptions scientists make. For the sake of argument, I consider myself an agnostic on the whole helio/geo centrism issue, if only for the simple fact that I am just not a scientist and cannot defend either position on the basis of anything other than feelings and hunches. I did buy Robert Sungenis book Galileo was wrong, the Church was right from him at the debate, and plan to read it in much the same way I read a Brief History of Time by Hawking. It is interesting to try to wrap my feeble noodle around these cosmic mysteries. I read a post by Dave Armstrong which my friend and fellow parishioner Zeb pointed out. It was quite revealing and quite convincing. In a word, it is clear to me that Sungenis is trying to bind consciences where they should not be bound when it comes to geocentrism. Which as a recent convert is exactly what I want to get away from! I did not leave the "self-Papacy" of Protestantism behind to become Catholic and have some guy try to do the magisteriums job for it. Sungenis needs to show where the magisterium has made this a doctrine I must submit to and that it is a doctrine of faith or morals. He has not done that. It amazes me because his debate with James White on papal infallibility was so memorable. In that debate he made a great case that Pope Honorius did NOT infallibly teach heresy. Well, we all agree Honorius was certainly a heretic when it came to a doctrine of faith, so if we can dismiss Honorius, why can't we dismiss this one belief of the fathers and popes that defended geocentrism which is almost certainly not a matter of faith or morals and which they certainly did not teach infallibly? Sungenis seems to CLEARLY understand what makes a doctrine infallible and binding on the whole Church, yet he seems to ignore his own knowledge in this case. He also did not make the case that it matters to the extent he seems to think it does. So the fathers of the Church were unanimous in their geocentric belief and used scripture to back it up, OK fine. But using scripture does not make this a doctrine of faith or morals! I agree with Sungenis that many scientists cling to evolution and and perhaps heliocentrism because of a desire to deny their creator. But so what? That does not mean geocentrism is an issue of faith or morals. Scientists don't get to decide that (thank you God). The one good point Dr. Pence made in the debate a few times was that even in a heliocentric system, there are still many unexplainable scientific things that point to our unique situation in the cosmos and should point us to God. We do not need geocentrism to be awestruck at what we see in a telescope. Robert Sungenis is such an awsome apologist and debater and I am really disappointed that he has gone down this rabbit trail. What a waste of his talent as an apologist.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
I read an article about the age of the earth on a site called "rapure ready" (don't ask) It was interesting. There are some great points I had never heard like the lake in Japan with 45,000 layers of yearly sediment. 2 things that I wish he would have addressed though. And I think these concerns touch on a certain cavalierness I have noticed among some Catholics to "swallow" whatever modern science throws at us and claim that the Bible is not to be interpreted litterally so therefore anything goes. Anything does not go, and these issues of the age of the earth and geocentrism do matter in how we view our faith. If evolution is proven beyond doubt, my faith will not be shaken, my reading of Genesis chapter 1 will need to change somewhat though. But that does not mean I will sit by and quietly nod my head at scientists like Steven J. Gould who posit simply ridiculous theories like punctuated equilibrium to prop up evolution. As christians, we have nothing to fear from science. But people like Gould filter their science through philosophical assumptions that they hold as dogma. Gould sees no transitional forms in the fosil record and makes a new theory to fit with his philosophy about the universe and its origins from chance and time. This is bad science and he should be called out by christians for it. If he turns out to be right, it is still bad science, because the philosophical assumptions behind it were bad. On to the article: 1. In the article, Todd Strandberg said: "The scriptural references to historical events are extremely brief. It would only take one unknown factor to explain that there may have been scores of millennial ages between the time of Adam and the present." To this I answer: No, there could not have been scores (a score is 25 I think) of millenia since Adam. Before him, perhaps, but not after. There is a record of geneologies in Genesis that are presented as solid historical fact and they allow for perhaps a couple dozen millenia if things are really really stretched. 6000yrs if taken at face value like Usher did. These geneologies are repeated in the New Testament, they have specific ages of the men, and there is zero reason to think they are "historical epic" (like Genesis ch. 1) style literature where time (24 hour days) is not nessesarily to be read literally. In fact, I will claim that their point is to root the salvation narrative in real human history by pointing to real men with real lifespans. These geneologies must be accepted as literal unless proven otherwise beyond any reasonable doubt. (ref: geneologies in Gen. 5 and Gen. 11) 2. Death before Adam. This is very important. If there are animals dying before Adam, this would make no sense theologically. If evolution is true, then the implication is there were humans (or an ape man who was 99.9% human) before Adam who died. Why would they die? Sin had not occured yet. This is a huge problem for theistic evolutionists. Animals and people being created with death as part of their nature is impossible. In my opinion, as Catholics, (and Christians in general) we need to have an attitude as follows: Our faith is not going to be shaken if evolution is proved or the earth is shown to be 999.67 trillon years old. But for goodness sake people, lets not jetisson our traditional beliefs on these issues at the first sign of some godless scientist with godless philosophical assumptions shows us his data and interprets that data for us. Lets have a bit of scepticism at these modern philosophers who see science as their religion, and themselves as it's interpretive magisterium.