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Archive for the ‘Ecclesia’ Category

Pope Benedict on Art

Posted by Remy on October 6, 2011

“The only really effective apologia for Christianity comes down to two arguments, namely, the saints the Church has produced and the art which has grown in her womb. Better witness is borne to the Lord by the splendor of holiness and art which have arisen in the community of believers than by the clever excuses which apologetics has come up with to justify the dark sides which, sadly, are so frequent in the Church’s human history. If the Church is to continue to transform and humanize the world, how can she dispense with beauty in her liturgies, that beauty which is so closely linked with love and with the radiance of the Resurrection? No, Christians must not be too easily satisfied. They must make their Church into a place where beauty — and truth — is at home. Without this the world will become the first circle of hell…. A theologian who does not love art, poetry, music and nature can be dangerous. Blindness and deafness toward the beautiful are not incidental: they necessarily are reflected in his theology.”

– Joseph Ratzinger (1985)

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On the Night of the Superbowl

Posted by Remy on February 25, 2011

“Nobody read their Bible for 3 hours and hollered at the exciting parts.”

-a student

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Sufjan Stevens on the Church

Posted by Remy on October 12, 2010

The church is an institution and it’s incredibly corrupt obviously, but that’s because it’s full of dysfunctional people and people who are hurt and battered and abused. It’s very normal in any institution to have that kind of level of dysfunction. That’s unfortunate. I find it very difficult, I find church culture very difficult you know; I think a lot of churches now are just fundamentally flawed. But that’s true for any institution you know, that’s true for education, universities and it’s definitely true for corporations because of greed, and I think part of faith is having to be reconciled with a flawed community. But the principles, I don’t think the principles have changed. They can get skewed and they can get abused and dogma can reign supreme, but I think the fundamentals, it’s really just about love. Loving God and loving your neighbour and giving up everything for God. The principles of that, the basis of that is very pure and life changing.


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Jumping from Protestantism

Posted by Remy on December 21, 2009

“I am sorry to think that there are people out there whose Protestantism has been so barren that they never found out about sacraments, transformation, community or eschatology. Clearly this person needed a change. But to jump to Rome for that reason is very odd.”

-NT Wright

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ERH on Schism

Posted by Remy on December 20, 2009

“The schism, at this moment, unites the Christians more than it separates them. It becomes a part of every Christian’s real existence in the world. That he is a member of one denomination is one thing, that he is a member of Christendom at large is of at least the same momentum. And the schism between East and West by its depth restores the full size of the decision between the Cross and the non-crucial mentalities; compared to the schism, the childishness and small stature of denominational quarrels is too obvious. And a Christian may become a full-grown adult again instead of a Sunday school boy by identifying himself with his schismatic brothers. Unless he can do this, he has not grown up.”

-Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, The Christian Future

(italics original)

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I’m Catholic

Posted by Remy on December 18, 2009

in the Protestant Rite.

Or as Dr. Peter Leithart puts it:

Liturgical Protestantism is fundamentally catholic.  It is catholic not because it reduces Confessional requirements or advocates a pietist non-Confessionalism.  It is catholic because it recognizes that the center of the church’s life and identity is not humanly constructed Confessions but the God-Man Jesus, communicated to His people through word and sacrament.

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Every Sunday

Posted by Remy on October 26, 2009

is Reformation Sunday.

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Can the Body of Christ be Divided?

Posted by Remy on September 29, 2009

The answer is “no.”

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Women in the Church : Points for Discussion

Posted by Remy on July 4, 2009

  1. Women do not get to lead the liturgical worship (liturgical worship in this case meaning: a covenant renewal service climaxing at the table).
  2. Only elders may lead the liturgical worship and only men can be elders. But that doesn’t mean “men” get to lead lead worship. Male genitals do not qualify you to lead the worship.
  3. Anything laymen do in the worship service, women may also do.
  4. The deaconate is not a liturgical role. Anything deacons do deaconesses can also do.

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On the Early Church

Posted by Remy on May 29, 2009

I love the church fathers. St. Augustine is my number one favorite, but I love reading about St. Athanasius, St. Gregory the Great, St. Ambrose and many others. I love reading about these crazy guys God has used to shape and mature the church. These are the guys that ran from the church and were dragged kicking and screaming into the ministry, because in the early centuries to be a leader in the church was a deathwish. You had to be crazy to take on a life-threatening slave’s role.  

These men were brilliant, though often petty, insightful, though (like us all) blinded by the times they lived in. Teaching through the period I have come to appreciate how God worked in the world through Platonism, Aristotleanism, and other harmful -isms, using them for good, as a corrective (like postmodernism has been a good corrective of modernism, and how whatever-ism will be a good corrective of postmodernism). To see the hand of the Spirit working in the church over hundreds of years is a great comfort. I’m sure there is much to learn in seeing His method, what questions are dealt with first, how they’re dealt with, how the Lord leads His people in the way they should go.

Studying the history of the church shows many starts and stops, many dead ends, many retreadings. This is important to keep in mind as we look over the history of the church. One example was Asceticism; it wasn’t the right way to go. One of the most unsung heroes of the church was St. Benedict who transformed the eremitic movement and saved civilization. So though we look to the past, we are not cemented to it, though we honor the past, we are not locked in their ways.

For this reason an appeal to the early church alone is not enough. This is because -unless you are a premillenialist- we are still in the early church. In a thousand years people will forget who came first Doug Wilson or Chrysostom, Pope John Paul II or Pope Leo X, modernism or chivalry. Go back a seventeen hundred years ago and you couldn’t convince anyone that in the future an emperor would not be the head of the church. There are many other things that went on in the church, that were widespread that have been totally abandoned today.

This is what we should expect, God working slowly, like leaven through the loaf. Leo Tolstoy wrote a short story with the title “God Sees Truth But Waits”. That has become a great comfort of mine. Knowing that the Lord is working, even though at times things look bleak, even though petty squabble distract us from the unity we have in Christ Jesus, the Lord rises each day and unfolds His new creation a little more and pronounces it good. Then rising again the next day to do it again.

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