Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I doubt you or I are one of the two who could understand...

...but the post linked is worth reading.
What we can really be certain about in life is very, very little, and it seems with the passing of time it becomes less and less. Certainty as a sentiment is not the test of faith, deeds are. It is not that we have to lie about our difficulties, our opinions, and our failures in order to believe. The key is to accept them and to keep going. To keep going to Orthros at four in the morning, to keep going to Mass on Sunday even if everything is not perfect, and to keep striving to love even if you know you will fail is how we will make it through this vale of tears. There is no certainty in this: there is only duty and resolve, and that duty and resolve must come from the heart.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I commented previously...

...on Protestants taking an interest in history ceasing to be Protestant and enjoying reading the works of Protestants who do indeed take an interest in history. I have found a delightful web-log run by Protestants who take a look at history and seemingly aren't ceasing to be Protestant. In the process, they write some delightful articles, like the above. A precis: he criticizes Mark Driscoll, apparently big name, for his publicized approach to sermon writing for its making the sermon the focal point of Christian worship rather than, say, the sacraments or God's Word [I'd throw in: "or God"], which was the focus in historic Christian worship. Incisive, ecumenical, historically-accurate, and, most of all, defends my point of view. Gets the panheresy seal of approval.

More of the same: an article which points to and summarizes a better article which demolishes the Warfield's assertion that, "The Reformation, inwardly considered, was just the ultimate triumph of Augustine’s doctrine of grace over Augustine’s doctrine of the church." Augustine! Defeating sloganeers! Medieval history and theology! Pointers to a longer work on the same! And the discussion below contains several key insights into how these sorts of arguments work and how to get beyond propaganda to the core of the real issues - quite helpful for those whose model for ecumenism is ecumenism by return. Delightful.

Fun folks to read, they even defend us from time to time. Fascinating world they must live in.

One temptation to resist is to use these digested web-logs as substitutes for my own digging into primary sources, or at least good secondary sources. Quite a temptation because, though I have a passing interest in this sort of subject, my time is finite and I have a lot of other stuff to do. John Cassian and Isaac the Syrian are far more important scholarly concerns if I had the time to pretend to be scholarlike, credibility theory if I had the time to pretend to fulfill professional obligations, the Greek Septuagint if I had time to pretend to fulfill etc etc. In short, it's not that high on my priority queue and my spiritual and professional well-being are a bit more important than chasing the references of so many heretics twice or thrice removed from Christ's Church arguing about how far the second leap-frog is from the third.

Maybe I should just be a sandwich delivery biker and devote my time to higher pursuits rather than being an aspiring quaestuary. Or something.