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Thursday, October 23, 2008


Ed Peters

Carl, before you stop reading blogs completely, take a quick look at my post on formal defection, occasioned by the Polish bishops' recent "guide to leaving the Church":

After that, might I suggest substituting Big 12 football for reading blogs. At least on Saturdays. Works for me, anyway.


The one word, glib, with-a-smile answer to Bill is Kumbaya.

However, if he does place some importance on Jesus, even though he rejects Christian dogma, (as Chesterton would point out, he still has dogma, just not Christian dogma) perhaps he might just want to look at what Jesus actually said. That would give him a better footing to either go all the way or continue to hedge his bets and hang onto a little bit of Jesus in his world-view.

One quote comes to mind.
"If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him."
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments."

That sounds rather dogmatic, coming from Jesus himself. And for someone who was baptized Catholic these words of Jesus are particularly unequivocal,
"he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

As C.S. Lewis pointed out in Mere Christianity, Jesus didn't give us the choice to blend him into history as just a great teacher, just a Jewish prophet, just a nice guy, or just a "Jesus principle" of the cosmos. No, he said he was God and he said "follow me." And he was an "all in" kind of guy. He said to give up everything and follow him.

No, what Bill wants is what many want. He wants what C.S. Lewis called a "tame God", one that doesn't interfere with his life.

Dan Sheehan

Carl, is there is any point in history that Christianity taught anything that could even have been mistaken for reincarnation? In the long history of silly New Age diatribes, I don't think I've seen an author say Christianity used to teach reincarnation, as this gentleman claims.

Carl E. Olson

Dan: The short answer is "No, orthodox Christians have never embraced or taught reincarnation." More in this excerpt: "Reincarnation: The Answer of Faith" by Christoph Schönborn, from From Death to Life: The Christian Journey.


Meet the new gnostics, sames as the old gnostics.

Dan Sheehan

Thanks! I think you just made a book sale, to boot.

Carl E. Olson

Dan: It's my favorite Schönbon book. Seriously. Very good stuff.

Mary Ellen

Going East is what one does when objective reality and the maintenance of faith become too boring or too rigorous. It is pure cop out to buy into "there is not right or wrong in the universe, there is only what is." That way you never have to deal with taking a stand, making a decision, suffering emotion. (Having done this and come home, I speak from experience.) As for someone who is willing to take a stand, I hope it is within the permission of this blog to suggest: today's National Review Online, The Corner, Ramesh Ponnuru, "Obama's Catholics" for a slam-dunk answer to Cafardi, Kaveny, and Kmiec.


"Christianity teaches that someday Jesus will return to save us. Why hasn't He come yet?... It's a ridiculous tenet."


"The truth is that Jesus comes into the heart of anyone who is willing to except His message, which is to always choose peace and love."


"I, Bill Chatigny, am the Light and the Truth of the World. He who follows me will not live in darkness."

This opinion piece resembles uncannily a conversation I had recently with a lapsed Catholic. For some (un)reason, these people still believe they are "following Jesus" and letting "Christ into their lives" while rejecting practically every historical understanding of Christianity and the Church that exists. For them, every source of knowledge about Christ and His life is valid EXCEPT the orthodox sources: the Bible + Church tradition. Thus, Paramahansa Yogananda (not an apostle of Christ) trumps Sts. Paul & Peter (actual Apostles).

Deacon Harold

"Christianity teaches that someday Jesus will return to save us. Why hasn't He come yet? We've been killing each other for centuries and not a glimpse of Him, except for an occasional image somewhere. It's a ridiculous tenet."

Maybe before Bill left the Church, he should have read what the Church actually teaches:

CCC 675 Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth."

It sounds like Bill has been deceived.

dim bulb

"The truth is that Jesus comes into the heart of anyone who is willing to except [sic] His message..."

Funny how the real truth of "Bill's" message comes out through a misspelling.

Concerning his take on the second coming: I was reminded of 2 Peter 3--First of all you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation." 5 They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago, and an earth formed out of water and by means of water, 6 through which the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist have been stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
8 But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up.
11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be kindled and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire! 13 But according to his promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Joe Fromm

Dear Carl,
I'll bet it was through a Catholic that Bill found Hinduism and Buddhism, most likely at a retreat were well meaning but misguided cleric/s introduced Bill to Yoga. Syncratism, I would not bet my salvation on it.


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