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A genocidal God?

May 12, 2010

At Vox-Nova there have been several very interesting conversation on violence in the Old Testament and God’s apparent command to the Israelites to commit genocide.

Referencing 1 Sam 15, fellow EC blogger Kyle Cupp, posted his view that moral reason and Christian conception of God deny the possibility of God having commanded genocide. Nevertheless he wished to maintain the inerrancy of the Bible. He explains: Read more…

Catholics and Politics

March 7, 2010

I was originally going to post this as a reply to Joshua’s latest post, but I ended up having more to say than I think is appropriate for a com-box.

Joshua observes that “we see church’s splitting over some of these issues on which conservatives and liberals tend to disagree.” This is a sound observation, and here is one attempt to explain it.

Man is a political animal, we learn from book one of Aristotle’s Politics. This reality might not have been as obvious during the Middle Ages, when the interests of Church and State were often one and the same. But we now live in the age of ideology, an age during which for billions of people around the globe, political ideologies replaced religious beliefs as the spiritual axis their lives revolved around. This was most obvious of course in the countries that fell to Marxism-Leninism and varieties of fascism in the 20th century.

But the West was not and is not immune. As religion becomes less relevant or at least less of a unifying force for more people, politics fills the void. The “end of ideology” proclaimed by certain intellectuals after the collapse of the Soviet Union has turned out to be one of the most bogus claims ever uttered, triumphalism at its worst. But how have political conflicts made their way into the Church, and why do they continue to rend and tear at the body of Christ?

Read more…

Eucharist: miracle or mystery?

March 6, 2010

Recently I have read a series of posts on the Eucharist. Most of them have been concerned with the change of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. In response one commenter wrote,

Sure on some level the creator of the Universe can of course do this or that – but than again why literally create miracles out of something utterly invisible – please oh Lord have mercy with us poor souls and have the Holy Spirit inspire somebody to cry that the emporer is utterly naked. Sure we can spin all kinds of air castles as trappings for our thoughts – in the end for me these are all vehicles to give some formal expression to some deep human desire to be godlike.

In light of such sentiments I think it is important to point out the historical issues involved in the development of the theology of the Eucharist. Read more…

Conservatives and Liberals, Catholics and Protestants

March 4, 2010

I have been aware for some time that broadly speaking, at least in this country, conservative Catholics tend agree more with conservative Protestants (or atheists for that matter) than they do with liberal Catholics (and vice versa) concerning those issues which people seem to care about most, that is those issues which are most hotly debated. In light of this, a few questions come to mind:

1.It seems that this is the case because we are no longer formed by the authentic Christian witness of our liturgical communities, which is also to say that most of us are not primarily formed by the Word of God, but rather are formed by our secular/political communities. What effect might this have on ecumenical and/or evangelical effort? What might be changed to reverse this trend?

2.We see church’s splitting over some of these issues on which conservatives and liberals tend to disagree: ordination of women/female pastors, gay marriage, etc. Is it possible that Catholics and Protestants can agree with these issues while disagreeing with members of their denomination because these issues are now more important to them than are issues of justification and the like?

The Personhood Initiative

January 19, 2010

Deal Hudson at Inside Catholic wrote recently about the divisions in the pro-life movement over the Personhood Initiative, a nation-wide effort to legally define “personhood” as beginning at the moment of conception. The testing ground for the initiative was Colorado, where the movement’s founder, an admirable 19 year-old by the name of Kristi Burton, hails from. The lowdown, according to Deal, is that,

Colorado voters turned down the amendment by a stunning 73 percent to 27 percent, in spite of support from Focus on the Family, American Life League, and legal advice from the Thomas More Law Center. But the effort had failed to gain the support of either National Right to Life (NRTL) or the Colorado Catholic Conference.

Whether or not that extra support would have resulted in a less unbalanced result, I cannot say. For those wondering why the Catholic Conference, and many American bishops are hesitant to embrace the PI, the concern was apparently that if it were taken to, and shot down by, the Supreme Court, it would have the effect of “actively reaffirm[ing] the mistaken jurisprudence of Roe.” According to Deal, however, some Catholic bishops are reconsidering their position on the PI.

Not long ago, in the context of the debate over the efforts of Bart Stupak and the pro-life Dems, I wrote about pro-life pragmatism. I argued that the much-derided “incrementalism” is actually the most viable way of winning the long-term war against the abortion industry in light of the facts about where the American electorate stands on abortion. With respect to the PI, and with all due respect to the founders and supporters of this movement, I must reaffirm that position.

Read more…

Interactive Bible?

January 12, 2010

Experience the Bible like never before.

That is the promise of Glo, the worlds newest, most technologically advanced interactive Bible.

But what makes it so different from a standard biblical text?

The multi-faceted computer-based creation does things a conventional Bible cannot, bringing the Word of God to life through HD video images, animations, maps, 360-degree virtual tours and more.

With thousands of photos and encyclopaedic articles, there is a diverse array of visual imagery to accompany the Bible’s text.

Glo also allows you to read through the Word of the Lord, in anyway you see fit. You can look up where a biblical event took place, check out timelines for the Bibles events or use the search tool to find specific topics or themes.

MyGlo, you can take your personal Biblical experience to a new level by setting up reading plans and goals. Or simply type in your mood for the day and Glo will pull up passages tailored to your own emotions.

H/T to Fr. Steve.

The Glo Bible can be purchased for $59.99 or 2 for $99.99. It sell in stores for $89.99

What do you all think of this? It could be a great tool, especially for classroom use. But I am very wary of introducing technology into a regular experience of the bible. Multimedia seems to often work against real prayer and reflection, distracting and entertaining instead.