Friday, August 1, 2014

  1. Bad Bishops, Good Bishops
  2. The Faith Once Delivered
  3. Richard Dawkins loses his cachet
  4. Daily Signal update
  5. USC Impacts Students; Call CPS!

1

For too many bishops, their motto is, L’eglise, c’est moi. What these bishops don’t understand is that the office of bishop is essential; no particular bishop is. If you’re going to alienate the people in your diocese, do it for the right reasons.

(Rod Dreher on Bishop John Nienstedt) My general theory is that since I’m not Roman Catholic, and since anti-Catholicism is rampant, there’d be something a bit unseemly or even voyeuristic about me following too closely the RC priest sex abuse/Episcopal coverup scandal, which is Dreher’s larger story surrounding this quote. Dreher is both a pundit and a former Roman Catholic, driven from the Church by his reaction to the scandal, so he must figure out for  himself when enough is too much.

But his point about Bishops, which Orthodoxy of course has (Pro Tip: if your ecclesial assembly lacks bishops, it’s not The Church) is valid.

I saw “alienate for the right reasons” in action when a Bishop interrupted a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy for 5 seconds to proclaim sternly “Put your cameras away! No more pictures!” and later (hours later – this was Russian Orthodox) admonished “Don’t laugh! This is a serious matter!” when his reminder that one of the Church’s four annual fasting seasons began the next day elicited nervous giggles. Teachable moments, seized to teach the flock something they needed to internalize.

A good shepherd guides his flock where they need to go. He doesn’t follow them any damned place they want to wander.

2

Another good Bishop at work.

A friend of mine who is a Priest reported in a homily that once he was talking to a friend of his, who is a Bishop: not his own Bishop, mind you, but rather a trusted friend and mentor. My friend, the priest, was complaining about all kinds of things until it went from simply whinging to nearly ranting. Suddenly the Bishop said, rather loudly, “Father! Guard your peace!”

(Huw Richardson) Huw continues, reflecting on what “peace” is:

Christian salvation is not the following:

  1. We sin.
  2. God exiles us from Heaven/banishes us to Hell.
  3. Jesus paid for our sins.
  4. We get into Heaven/get out of Hell free.

There are many claiming to be Christian who teach that. But the Church founded by Christ has never taught it.  Salvation Can’t be taught in a sound bite or in a four-point tract from Campus Crusade. Here rather, is the Faith Once Delivered to the Saints:…

For the rest (which, like any blog-length bullet-point summary is likely inadequate), go read Huw.

3

Dawkins has been arrogant for years, a man so convinced of his intellectual superiority that he believes the one domain in which he happens to be an expert, science, is the only legitimate way of acquiring or assessing knowledge.

You don’t have to be religious to find this level of hubris baffling. In his review of The God Delusion, Terry Eagleton remarks:

Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology.

Dawkins’ narrowmindedness, his unshakeable belief that the entire history of human intellectual achievement was just a prelude to the codification of scientific inquiry, leads him to dismiss the insights offered not only by theology, but philosophy, history and art as well.

(The Guardian, via Rod Dreher)

4

I have concluded quickly that except for Ryan T. Anderson, the Daily Signal’s noise ratio is too high.

Now: Is Ryan Anderson worth the other din?

5

Call me a snob if you must, but I have trouble taking the University of South Carolina seriously. Not because it’s in the South, but because it touts its Masters in Educational Administration as empowering you to “Impact more students as a Principal or Administrator” (e-mail).

Or maybe you should call me a “former low level healthcare worker, who rendered occasional assistance to impacted patients.”

It’s just not a good thing to be impacted, and a school teaching people to do that to children is really cruel, dontcha think?

* * * * *

“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.