Tuesday, 7 December 2010

And Finally...

Also in the news tonight, evidence has been found of Albert's early modelling career...

(Boney M jokes? Feeble...)

25 comments:

  1. Kind of you to think that I look like that. But unfortunately, I'm not old enough to remember the 70s. How about you? ;-)

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  2. Don't be coy, Albert. We know you're dressed like that under the cassock. :o)

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  3. Well at least I have the good grace to cover it up, Daddy Cool. ;-)

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  4. Albert,

    I am sure you have moved on these days. 100% polyester at that price. Calling it double breasted does seem incongruous for the priesthood.

    Looks as if you do dance though.

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  5. Measured,

    I'm not really a 100% polyester/Michael Jackson liturgy man. This is more me:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDwqJw3oia4

    Anyway, the guy dancing to Michael Jackson is an Anglican.

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  6. That looked meaningful and deep. You are evidently more a slow dance, than a disco beat, sort of priest. Still, I reckon you still retain the creases in your trousers just so. :-D

    What's wrong with being an Anglican? Each to their own.

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  7. (i) My trousers are very definitely creased.
    (ii) This is what's wrong with being Anglican:

    http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/defence-of-the-seven-sacraments/13407322

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  8. I leave this to the experts, but all religions evolve; some fast, some slow.

    I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

    1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

    2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

    6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there degrees of abomination?

    7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

    8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

    9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

    Okay, I copied this from somewhere else, but it demonstrates my point. :-)

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  9. Measured,

    Who produces this kind of stuff? Do they really think they've hit on a difficulty? What kind of naivety do they have with regard to religion?

    This is elementary Biblical theology. The Jewish law may be divided into three categories: moral, ritual and ethnic. Only the moral law applies to Christians. The ethnic laws appy only to Jews and then only in the period prior to Christ, before non-Jews were part of the covenant. The ritual law only applied to them in the time of the Temple, now that that has been abolished and replaced by Christ those laws have no place.

    2. Punishments are not prescriptive: they indicate the severity of the crime, and in extreme cases indicate the maximum punishment. So a Jewish council that used the death penalty once in 70 years was considered excessive.

    3. Christianity isn't Islam. We are committed to Jesus Christ, so the Bible doesn't take the same place for us that the Qur'an does for Isalm. "The Bible is the record of Christianity, not Christanity itself" as Newman says. We have a continuous revelation, which is discolsed slowly and climaxes in Jesus Christ. At first they only got part of God's meaning, but in Christ we find the fullness of his teaching.

    The idea that one can cherry-pick the OT in this way, and expect to fox a Christian is frankly risible.

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  10. The kind of person who produces this stuff, Albert, is someone with enough intelligence to read it, but not enough to understand it.

    However, I think that the point is that there are clearly some Biblical teachings that apply to us and some that do not. Whilst it may be clear to you which category a specific teaching falls into, it is less clear to the rest of us how to make that distinction. Who, it might be asked, are we to make that distinction? How can we know that we are right?

    So the end result looks horribly like a cherry-picking exercise, but in the opposite sense. So yes, I think they think they have hit on a difficulty.

    Should we look on the OT as generally less relevant (as being literally pre-Christian) unless validated by something in the NT? I'd be interested to hear.

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  11. Who, it might be asked, are we to make that distinction? How can we know that we are right?

    We are not the ones making the distinctions - they are to be found in the Bible itself. We are right though to think that our own interpretations of scripture may be defective, so we listen to the Church as well.

    Should we look on the OT as generally less relevant (as being literally pre-Christian) unless validated by something in the NT? I'd be interested to hear.

    Certainly it is pre-Christian and defective because the fullness of truth comes in Jesus Christ. That doesn't mean each individual teaching needs to be positively validated by the NT, but it is possible to exclude (so to speak) certain OT positions in favour of NT ones, others need clarifying in the light of the New.

    Incidentally, it's not the asking of the question that annoys me - it's perfectly reasonable to ask questions of the meaning of scripture, it's the ironically smug, condescending attitude of a certain kind of secularist who thinks that religious people are too stupid to notice and answer these problems themselves. (I'm not accusing either you or measured of this btw, only the person who put the list of questions together.)

    I've just been reading The God Delusion. Dawkins makes exactly this mistake of assuming his simplistic misreading of religion and philsophy is the correct one (because religious people must be that stupid therefore they believe stupid things, therefore we have shown they are stupid). Frankly, it's such a self-defeatingly bad book in this regard, with its embarrasingly misplaced intellectual self-regard that I may recommend it to philosophically literate Christians who are struggling with their faith!

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  12. Frankly, it's such a self-defeatingly bad book in this regard, with its embarrasingly misplaced intellectual self-regard that I may recommend it to philosophically literate Christians who are struggling with their faith.

    ::[takes popcorn from Patently]::

    Albert,

    We are not the ones making the distinctions

    But you are. Well, those high up in the Church are. Surely this is how religion evolves (which was my original point) and survives as it has to remain relevant. You prefer the Catholic Church that evolves more slowly than the Anglican Church. I have no issue with that, but it does not make the Anglican Church an inferior institution, does it? Are you not in danger of displaying a smug, condescending attitude yourself towards certain others?

    You have to have trust to believe, but to see how the Church evolves undermines my trust that it is not a man made affair. I know that is a terrible thing to say but there seems to be so little that is definitive. Having said that, I do sort of envy you your faith, but I think that stems from the way my life is.

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  13. Measured,

    Are you not in danger of displaying a smug, condescending attitude yourself towards certain others?

    Absolutely! But my objection to secularists like Dawkins and the originator of the list, is that they take an attitude of intellectual superiority in a topic they know nothing about, thereby contradicting their own position!

    But you are. Well, those high up in the Church are.

    Only if you count the authors of the NT to be high up in the Church, which would be an unsual way of categorising them.

    Surely this is how religion evolves

    Christianity doesn't evolve. Evolution implies something genuinely new is created and the old discarded. That's not what we are about. There is continuous disclosure of revelation until Jesus and then revelation stops, as it is complete. Thereafter, what we have is a development of doctrine - a deepening of understanding of what it is we have received.

    survives as it has to remain relevant

    The Church's development does not aim at being relevant. Certainly, culture raises new questions that must be addressed, but we are always aiming to remain faithful to Christ, and if the world doesn't like that, tough.

    You prefer the Catholic Church that evolves more slowly than the Anglican Church.

    No, I am a Catholic because I believe it is the true Church, with the true faith. If I wanted the most conservative Church I would join the Orthodox Church. But as it is, I want the Church which proclaims the faith once delivered to the saints, and therefore, I am a Catholic.

    but it does not make the Anglican Church an inferior institution, does it?

    Certainly, it is inferior. The Catholic Church is the Church founded by Christ to proclaim his truth. The Church of England is the ecclesial community founded by Henry VIII to proclaim his annulment. Of course, there is more to the CofE than just Henry VIII, but in the end, the CofE is man made, whereas the Catholic Church is God-made.

    but to see how the Church evolves undermines my trust that it is not a man made affair.

    The Church is both human and divine, so the evidence of frail humanity is not an indication that it is not the Cghurch of Christ. Could you give an example of what you mean please?

    there seems to be so little that is definitive

    That's interesting. Why do you think that? Normally, the Catholic Church is accused of being over-dogmatic.

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  14. Albert,

    Dogmatic? It appears there are certain things you can not question, but these are published by men. This I would suggest is convenient rather than inspired. Do you prefer this rather than the discussions of the Synod? Cast me down as a heretic, but I want to ask. ::[hits the floor hard]::

    the evidence of frail humanity is not an indication that it is not the Church of Christ Ok, but the way in which beautification is decided does not seem divine.

    The issues I was thinking of were the ones we all know, such as the recognition of women and birth control.

    The Catholic Church is the Church founded by Christ to proclaim his truth. The Church of England is the ecclesial community founded by Henry VIII to proclaim his annulment.

    I know there are differences between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church, but you have never shown evidence before of being a snob. Both Churches revere the same Book and the same God. Surely it is sibling rivalry with the Anglican Church being the younger sibling?

    It also occurred to me that philosophical questions do not have to be answered. We seek answers, but the questions are just there and are just another part of the amazing tapestry of life to be enjoyed with others.

    I know this is a busy and a very special time of year for you. I also know we may return to these discussions, so no worries if God calls you away from this blog. I have to confess I am also busy. You know, no rest for the wicked. :-)

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  15. Measured,

    these are published by men. This I would suggest is convenient rather than inspired.

    How else can they be published, except by men? BTW the Church isn't inspired in these moments, only guided.

    Do you prefer this rather than the discussions of the Synod?

    There are number of problems here. Firstly, as I understand it, General Synod is not a doctrinal body. It does not claim authority in such matters, only in government. Secondly, the Church of England does not claim authority to dogmatize (though it does in practice because in actual fact, you cannot separate dogma from practice). In other words, Synod is not an alternative to the Pope/Ecumenical Council. This is why the Church of England has so many problems - it makes decisions and then people can challenge whether it had the authority to make those decisions.

    but the way in which beautification is decided does not seem divine.

    Go on...

    The issues I was thinking of were the ones we all know, such as the recognition of women and birth control.

    The issues I was thinking of were the ones we all know, such as the recognition of women and birth control.

    So because you disagree with the Church on these matters, that means the Church has not received divine guidence on them? Is that what you mean? If so, why might it not just be that you are mistaken. After all, if the Church needs divine guidence, that would be because the answers are not necessarily obvious.

    you have never shown evidence before of being a snob.

    Snobbery implies an irrational judgment. I do not think my judgements about the CofE are irrational. The claims of the CofE and the claims of the Catholic Church contradict each other at points. They cannot therefore both be correct. When I was an Anglican I thought Rome was wrong - I wasn't a snob then. Now I am a Catholic I think Lambeth is wrong - I don't see that makes me a snob now!

    Both Churches revere the same Book and the same God.

    Indeed, so why does the Church of England remain separate from the Catholic Church, when our Lord's dying prayer was that we all be one?

    it is sibling rivalry with the Anglican Church being the younger sibling?

    No, it is about which is the true Church and which is a breakaway.

    philosophical questions do not have to be answered

    Some of the time, anyway.

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  16. Albert,

    Returning to the original post (a pun here is intended), I am grateful you have not proposed I be burnt at the stake. We have never had another Queen named Mary since Mary I, and I suggest it is highly unlikely we ever will. Times have evidently moved on.

    Doesn't everyone claim to be the true Church? I am not sure I will let you get away with that without evidence. :-)

    ::[white flag raised]::

    I will cease winding you up on the differences between the Churches since I do not know enough and you have firm beliefs on the topic.

    Our Lord's dying prayer was that we all be one..

    This exemplifies one of the reasons I think Christianity is a force for the good, why it has followers and why governments have supported it. However, in the Lord's prayer we say "and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us," which is identical for Catholics and Anglicans, although 'trespass' may be replaced by 'sin' or "et dimitte nobis debita nostra, Sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris".

    This is so convenient on so many levels.

    I forgive because I choose to forgive, but having to say this in Church grates. I don't know why, possibly because I see it as a way to ensure societies keep functioning and ignoring that sins that have been committed and hurt has been inflicted, especially on the personal level.

    In conclusion, do philosophical questions have to be answered? Some people go through their whole lives without asking a philosophical question. It is true. They have never been made to think. Never. It is scandalous.

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  17. We have never had another Queen named Mary since Mary I, and I suggest it is highly unlikely we ever will

    Mary didn't kill more people than Elizabeth I, but we still have a Queen named Elizabeth. It's not the crimes committed that count - it's who writes the history. In this case Anglicans. Personally, I think it surprising that Mary wasn't more unhinged when you consider what she went through. She didn't murder her own crowned cousin either, as Elizabeth I did!

    Doesn't everyone claim to be the true Church?

    The CofE only claims to be part of the true Church, or perhaps the true Church in these lands. But even if everyone did claim to be the true Church, that would not mean that there was no one who was right in that claim.

    I am quite happy to argue the case for Catholicism, though I can't really do better than Newman's An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. I think it is possible to falsify every other form of Christianity by universally accepted standards, and leave Catholicism standing.

    I forgive because I choose to forgive, but having to say this in Church grates. I don't know why, possibly because I see it as a way to ensure societies keep functioning and ignoring that sins that have been committed and hurt has been inflicted, especially on the personal level.

    Forgiveness is certainly hard, though I wonder about your social point here. Societies tend to flourish well under group violence - it binds people together and makes them ignore what divides them (cf. the Neo Con idea of creating a mythical enemy or the difficulties faced by the West since the fall of Communism).

    As for the personal side of forgiveness. God knows we cannot do this by ourselves, therefore he gives us grace to forgive, and the reason he does so is because when we forgive, the forgiver is himself set free too.

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  18. Mary didn't kill more people than Elizabeth I

    Perhaps we would be better examining the rate per annum. It is a good thing Mary was not Queen for longer to be totally honest, as well as bearing in mind the mode of killing. (I made a mistake many years ago by buying a beautiful looking book without looking closely at the contents. If you would like it for Christmas, you may have it because you have given me so much pleasure discussing these issues. It is fascinating and horrendous all at the same time.)

    She didn't murder her own crowned cousin either, as Elizabeth I did!

    Couldn't it be very easily argued that the Catholic Church forced her into that position. They did so ruthlessly over a sustained period, assisted by that Mary not being wiser.

    I think it is possible to falsify every other form of Christianity by universally accepted standards, and leave Catholicism standing

    Ok. Ok. I am not sure what the others have done wrong. The Quakers don't seem to be causing much controversy for example.

    I like your point on group violence; declaring a war or stirring up some persecution always helps the ratings. Here we possibly have short term vs. long term. The UK without revolutions has benefited compared to more aggressive regimes. Tolerance is a key feature to a civilised society in my view.

    Am I set free? I don't feel it.

    Maybe it is all in the mind though. ;-)

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  19. Couldn't it be very easily argued that the Catholic Church forced her into that position

    There's the rub, if you are able to justify Elizabeth killing Mary QofS, then you are equally able to justify Mary Tudor killing Protestants. It then comes down not to the kind of characters they are, but the circumstances their opponents put them in. So I think that our picture of people from the past relates to more than just the facts of who did what.

    I am not sure what the others have done wrong. The Quakers don't seem to be causing much controversy for example.

    My meaning was theological: how does each Christian community enable one to encounter the living Christ?

    Am I set free? I don't feel it. Maybe it is all in the mind though

    Well that's certainly cryptic!

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  20. Albert,

    I think about them, but they won't be thinking about me. There were no crypts involved. Honestly.

    I was not justifying any executions. Do you think they were justified??

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  21. I do not think that executions for belief, as such, can ever be justified - especially in the name of Christianity. At the time they would have justified it as a defence of the common good. In an age of religious terrorism, we can perhaps begin to understand a little better how that logic works than we could a generation ago or so.

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  22. We are agreed.

    I may have been harsh. I cannot deny religion the right to evolve. We, as individuals, continue to grow spiritually throughout our lives. As you point out with the reference to terrorism, the world is constantly changing.

    Happy Christmas, Albert.

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  23. Happy Christmas to you too measured. Thank you for the lovely link! Here's a Christmas greeting with a difference (it's amazing what happens at papal audiences).

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