29 December 2009

Catching up on a series of items I should have done previously.  Back to regular posting tomorrow. 

A New Year's resolution: cogent, longer thoughts on a more frequent basis.

And another aside: Haven't forgotten, Cuz, thoughts forthcoming on Catholic environmentalists.


Anonymous said...

Responding to people who post on your blog would be a good resolution as well...

Chris J

mtjofmcap said...

Off the top of my head, re: Catholic environmentalists.

I trend toward the "pastor" synthesis of the issue. I find fundamentalists of both left and right on the environmental issues to be intellectually and personally odious.

I think Allen errs when he includes such men as Matthew Fox in the de Chardin camp. Certainly Fox might claim to be carrying the Chardin mantle, but I don't think the facts bear that out.

An aside: whenever I see the adjective "conservative" or "liberal" used to modify the noun "intellectual" I openly wince. Surely they may exist, but I haven't met one in quite a long time,

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I didn't mean to be rude...I didn't know you were referring to me with the Catholic environmentalist comment. When I asked what you thought about that article, i didn't mean the environmental part. I meant the part where the priest thought it was part of humanity's evolutionary progress to discard religion and for Catholics to "put the Bible away for 20 years". I thought that was rather odd for a priest to say. While I like the fact the Catholic church can "think outside of the Book" so to speak, I thought that was a bit too much. Sorry, I should have been more specific.
As for your comments, fundamentalism is almost always odious regardless of the subject. It will be interesting to see where the Vatican goes with environmentalism in the future. Clearly, within the last 10 years it has appeared on its radar with the new 10 Commandments regarding the environment, solar panels on the Vatican and the latest comments by the Pope on protecting the environment. I wonder if this will end up changing Catholic dogma at all. esp. regarding the size of families, etc.
As for your blog, which I like to look at on a regular basis, perhaps you can put some things here on general Christian apologetics. I work with someone who is an outspoken atheist. A nice guy, if a bit haughty. He enjoys reading books by the latest atheist writers: Dawkins, Harris, et. al. I consider him a friend, although that has been a bit strained as of late because we have debated the subject over the past 2 years or so on an irregular basis. I believe I have done a pretty good job in the debate and he would conveniently ignore a lot of my main arguments. Anyway, he has ended the debate, but I would be interested in any books on the subject or the posting of articles on the subject.
Well, I appreciate you responding to me; sorry if I came off as snippy with the resolution comment. I know you are busy. Thanks.

Chris J.

mtjofmcap said...

"I thought that was rather odd for a priest to say. While I like the fact the Catholic church can "think outside of the Book" so to speak, I thought that was a bit too much. Sorry, I should have been more specific."

Thinking outside of the book is likely the worst thing that can be done!

I have a Capuchin friend who is fond of saying, "Outside the box, inside the faith." And you know what? He's right.

The problem isn't that we're overly focused on Jesus; the problem is that we're too concerned about parsing, studying, explaining and politicizing our faith.


I'm not well versed in apologetics, per se. I've read Scott Hahn and I find him scholastically irresponsible.

The funny thing about Dawkins and the rest of the gang is that the oppressed have become the oppressors. For a while, we burnt ateists (metaphorically and literally speaking) at the stake. Now, in the 21st century, all the Catholics deserve the same fate in their opinion. Ironic, isn't it?

This really isn't an answer to your fundamental question, however. For that, I must reflect a bit more.

Anonymous said...

OK, thanks. I have read a Hahn book: Reasons To Believe (which is also a good Springsteen song by the way). Why do you think he is irresponsible?

Chris J.

mtjofmcap said...

A classmate challenged me to read a Scott Hahn book over the summer due to the constant aspersions I cast in his direction. I read the Lamb's Supper and came away mighty upset.

A few reasons:

I find that he oversimplifies weighty topics. As a result, Joe Catholic walks away thinking "Oh, see, anyone who doesn't believe this is a fool." Swarmy pith is not the way someone who casts himself as a serious scholar should write.

Hahn also ignores the last one hundred years of biblical scholarship.

In other words, Hahn has a tendancy to ignore "key" discoveries in biblical studies. For example: it's alright for Augustine to state that the Gospel of Matthew was written first; it's not for Scott Hahn.

In this vein, Hahn also consistently neglects to mention other points of view that fall well within the purview of Catholic thought. He writes in absolutist terms. In my humble opinion, you need to be pretty darn gutsy to analyze the Book of Revelation in absolutist terms. In the Lamb's Supper, Hahn does just that, writing in absolutist terms about the origins of the mass and Revelation (the book, not the Word made Flesh).

I understand that Hahn fills a much needed role right now in the American Catholic Church: Proud Convert and Apologist. I just wish he'd do a better job of it. Learn some biblical languages (or, if he knows them, use them), acknowledge legitimate points made by the "other" side, and for goodness' sake, don't be a Catholic Biblical Fundamentalist.