- I normally want nothing to do with Al Mohler, but I think he is exactly right when he notes that "divorce is now the scandal of the evangelical conscience". It's hard to excerpt, because it's so good, but here are some key quotes:
See also:As Smith argues, the Bible is emphatic in condemning divorce. For this reason, you would expect to find evangelical Christians demanding the inclusion of divorce on a list of central concerns and aims. But this seldom happened. Evangelical Christians rightly demanded laws that would defend the sanctity of human life. Not so for marriage. Smith explains that the inclusion of divorce on the agenda of the Christian right would have risked a massive alienation of members. In summary, evangelicals allowed culture to trump Scripture.
But divorce harms many more lives than will be touched by homosexual marriage. Children are left without fathers, wives without husbands, and homes are forever broken. Fathers are separated from their children, and marriage is irreparably undermined as divorce becomes routine and accepted. Divorce is not the unpardonable sin, but it is sin, and it is a sin that is condemned in no uncertain terms.
- Catholic or no, I think Elizabeth Scalia makes a fabulous point in this article.
Intellectual rigor and loyalty are not mutually exclusive, as some progressives are prone to insist. What Newman models is, perhaps, a willingness to apply one’s own intellect to any question with enough openness as to leave room to be surprised at one’s own conclusions.
Sometimes, the commingling of faith and reason is a neat and natty thing. More often it is a bit messy, but once our intellects have thrashed a matter to its frayed ends, we realize that we have stumbled into mystery and then, if we are open, we (very reasonably) throw our hands up to heaven and submit to it, because we know mystery for a good adventure, and we are loyal to it.
I'm always intrigued by people who say things like, "I could never be Catholic because I don't want anyone to make me believe all those things." It's always said with kind of a sneer, as though it's obvious that there is no one who does in fact believe all those things, and that all those unthinking Catholics have clearly signed the Catechism at gunpoint (or something) and are to be viewed with disdain. As though thinking about what you believe, reasoning it out, talking about it, all within a general framework of loyalty is impossible, or totally not allowed in the Catholic Church. It also makes me ask the question: do other churches - Lutherans, Anglicans, and other less uh... historically tethered protestants - not have lists of "things you have to believe"? Like, you know, the Creeds or something?
- I think I am frustrated here by the general sense I get that not being married or having children completely disqualifies me from having anything to say about marriage or children/children's ministry. Parents who disagree with me don't say, "Hmm...well, I see your point, but I still think..." No, they say, "Well, as a parent, I can tell you that..." At the wedding I was at last week, that I didn't even officiate at, the father of the groom looked quite obviously at my left hand, and then proceeded to say in all seriousness, "Well, you're not married, so of course, you don't know anything about any of this." Thanks. Because I don't already feel like a failure at life for being 29 and unmarried, I need you all to point it out and start removing my pastoral authority, all at the same time. Awesome.
- I think that being asked to preside at funerals, particularly the graveside portion of the service, is perhaps the greatest honor I have ever had. I complain a lot about all of the funerals there have been, and I think that they can really take a toll on a solo pastor. And while I'm really enjoying my time here, I'm not sure that I'm sold on "I really really wanna be a pastor here for the rest of my life." But I will miss the funerals. There's a very real, almost tangible, intersection of life, death, God, humans, love, loss, natural, and supernatural all at once. I want to say that it's "cool", but that does no justice it to whatsoever. There just is not the right word.
- I think that there are a lot of grocery items where one can get by with using the inexpensive Wal-Mart brand. Like canned vegetables, or shredded parmesan cheese, or hot cocoa mix. Ranch dressing is not in this category.
- I think that it is way too late in the year for the high temperatures to be in the 70s. I know that it needs to snow on or before my birthday.
- I think that I would move back to Europe, especially Germany, in a heartbeat. With a good job offer, and hopefully a couple pre-fab friends in the area (connected to a job, or school, or just an expat community), I'd pack my bags and go right now.