Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Gates of Vienna is on Tammy Bruce Today

The New American RevolutionDymphna and I will both be guests on Tammy Bruce’s radio show later today (i.e. Wednesday June 21st). Our scheduled time is 9:30 a.m. on the West Coast, or 12:30 p.m. EDT. What’s that — maybe 18:30 in Copenhagen? Our tentative topic is Denmark, so all our Scandinavian readers will want to tune in via the weblink. Tammy’s program can be heard on Talk Radio Network. Go to the site and click on her image.

I’ll leave this post at the top until air time. Look for new posts below it.

On Tammy’s blog is an interesting post by Maynard. It dovetails nicely with Dymphna’s piece from last night about the decline of the mainline American Protestant churches as evidenced in the their emergent anti-Semitism.

Maynard poses a provocative question, and then answers it:

…consider this choice: If you’re in a public arena — maybe on an airplane — which of these activities would make you most uncomfortable to be seen doing: Flipping through a copy of Playboy, or reading the Bible? You’d probably have to think about this question, because there are elements of awkwardness in either action. But on the whole, you’ll likely be concerned that somebody nearby will judge you harshly for reading the Bible, whereas Playboy is more mainstream.

This leads him into a meditation on the difference between Christianity and Judaism, which includes this paragraph:

Jewish tradition has it that the reason God created the Jews was to bring the message of ethical monotheism (that is, the concept of a single Supreme Being who is fundamentally concerned that humans choose good and reject evil) to Mankind. This God demands we first pursue Justice, which is a different perception from the Christian view of a God of Love. The God of the Jews does not demand that everyone be Jewish; He promises a place in the afterlife to the righteous of all faiths; contra-wise, a Jew who does evil will not be saved. Thus the Jewish dogma is fundamentally at odds with the Christian assertion that the sole path to salvation lies in accepting Christ into your heart. The Christian does not believe he can earn his way to Heaven through good deeds, although there is likely to be a linkage that will encourage the true Christian to perform good deeds. In other words, the Jewish God demands that Man be good; the Christian God demands that Man be Christian, and it follows that the true Christian will in fact be good, albeit (like all humans) fallible.

It’s worth going over to read the whole thing.

20 comments:

JP Phish said...

Maynard is wrong regarding the Christian belief for salvation; paragraph 847 of The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

"This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation."

This is also confirmed in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Chuch, paragraph 16, which also says:

In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh., and

But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind

Dymphna said...

Thanks for this comment. It's amazing the number of people who get it wrong. However, the Church has to take some responsibility here, because Maynard's expressed opinion was popular teaching for centuries.

I remember when the nuns started to soften the message so that a good and virtuous life, sans Christ, amounted to a "baptism of desire." I still thought that to be excluding God's creations far more than He could have intended. Of course, I base my conclusions about what he intended on what I see (the little I understand) of physics...I cannot meld an exclusionary theology with sub-atomic reality. Just can't jam those pieces into the same puzzle.

Thanks for taking the trouble to comment. I hope you cut and paste it into Tammy's blog if you haven't already. This bit of errata needs to be put in the ashbin of history.

kepiblanc said...

Dympna & Baron -- Nice to hear your voices. But... ummm... I mean, what's the point of inviting guests when the anchor does all the talking herself ? - You got no more than 4 minutes in half an hour....

Zerosumgame said...

I just missed it. Any chance you can get the mp3 file onto your website? Or does she have podcasts I can download via iTunes?

christian lies said...

Best wishes from your Scottish chum. XXX

Baron Bodissey said...

kepiblanc --

Last time we were on the air for a longer time, but, heck -- we'll take what we can get. I just wish we could have talked more about Denmark & Bertel Haarder.

Zerosumgame -- I think you have to subscribe to hear anything but today's shows, but I could be wrong. All I know is that we are not allowed to record the show and distribute it ourselves.

walt said...

JP,

If you read Romans, you'll find that there are no excuses for those who don't believe in Jesus. While those who haven't heard the Gospel can't believe in Jesus, they nevertheless stand under the condemnation of God. Jesus is the "narrow gate." Those trying to enter through other means are "thieves and robbers." There is no other way into heaven but through Christ alone, as Jesus himself said. The "Catechism of the Catholic Church" appears to be at odds with the Gospel. Sorry, but that's the truth.

Dymphna said...

walt--

The Pauline writings are *not* the Gospels; they're separate writings by a Hellenistic Jew who had his own particular agenda in prosletyzing to his fellow Hellene Jews. So take it in context.

Paul is probably the earliest written form, but these are not narratives of Christ's life, they are exhortations...and exhortations from a man who was defensive about his once-removed relationship with Christ since he was not around during His life.

The Jerusalem church had its problems and tensions with Paul's preaching.

The books of the New Testament span probably two hundred years. While Paul's work was written first, there were several documents, derived from oral tradition, that preceded Paul's writing. So in that sense, the synoptic gospels are earlier since they draw on earlier sources.

John's gospel didn't get finalized until about 125, and the whole NT wasn't finally codified until another 200 years had passed.

The God of Christ, Abba, comes across in the Gospels as a loving Father -- one who would not give a child a stone when he asked for bread...

...so, imho, your exclusionary view of what the gospels say is not only wrong, it's unmerciful...perhaps you ought to go back to Matthew 5 and read the whole thing; it's the backbone of the Christian message. I especially recommend the Beatitudes.

When you talk like that, Walt, apology or no, you give Christians a bad name.

walt said...

Dymphna,

Looks like not much has changed between Christians and Romists over the past 500 years. Paul and Jesus agree with one another, just read John 10. I guess Jesus gives Christians a bad name also: "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except by me." If you doubt the inerrancy of Scripture, well that's a different story.

walt said...

Dymphna,

The argument that the New Testament evolved over the first two hundred years is an argument commonly used by non-Christians to refute Christianity. Is that what you're trying to do?

The gospels were written within the first fifty years after Jesus' death. The Pauline epistles were as well. Revelation was written sometime after AD 70.

The Jerusalem church indeed had problems with Paul's teaching. Paul was preaching that the Law was fulfilled in Christ! Some of the Jews (including Peter) had a problem with that. That doesn't mean that they were right. It just means that the truth is unpopular to most people. Paul ended up winning the argument.

You are correct in saying that Paul's epistles were exhorations. But they were exhortations to 1. Believe the Gospel, and 2. live in light of the Person and Work of Christ.

walt said...

Dymphna,

I took you're advice and re-read Matthew 5. Then I kept reading up to Matthew 7, where I found this, which seems to agree further with John 10:

Matt 7:13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

Matt 7:21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Which ties in nicely with what Jesus said in Chapter 6:

28Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"

29Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."




Is Jesus being unmerciful, or is he telling the truth? The truth is merciful.

Dymphna said...

Walt--

Your snarky comparison between "Romists and Christians" proves my point: an unChristian attitude on your part since both groups consider themselves Christ's disciples. Or do you, Pope Walt, find that unacceptable.

The only diff bet the Romists and the rest is that the Romists (what a word!) have one Pope, while the others are all Popes unto themselves...

As for the inerrancy of Scripture...m.e.g.o, pal.

Inerrancy of exactly which Scripture? The Q document? The other original sources now lost? The few Aramaic words that were left to actually make it to codification? And exactly *which* language doesn't err, Walt? The Jerusalem Bible? The NRV? The King James? The Douay? The Oxford?

Personally, I like the French version of the Jerusalem bible myself, but I have only the English version from which it was translated...

Do you read koine Greek? Maybe you could give us some lessons then?

My advice is to remember that language is fluid, ever-changing, and ultimately ambiguous because one word can mean so many things. As as example, take a simple word like "mean" and see how many meanings you can find...

..and this language is a gift of GOd, as fluid and ambiguous a gift as it is...

Inerrancy is ultimately a dead end to me. IMHO it is a raft for the insecure to cling to, hoping for some security in a sea of words.

The process of living those three years of Christ's life, then telling the stories, then beginning to gather them in scraps and memories of someone else's memories, and then beginning to make larger collections for different congregational needs (Mark was compiled first and for reasons of exigence -- people in Rome were dying for this new faith. Matthew wrote for the Jews, though, to prove Jesus' Jewishness), and finally gathering the synoptics and John together, adding the Epistles (boy, the fights over *that*), plus all the other smaller writings, with the final tacking on of Revelations...

...we're talking three hundred plus years and many redactions in several languages and you want inerrancy? What...human good faith and devout belief isn't good enough?

One man's inerrancy is another man's heresy and frankly, Scarlett, I don't give a damn who wants to argue jots and tittles. Life is too short.

So go back to your Gospel and I'll return to mine.

Amen.

walt said...

Dymphna,

At least we're agreeing that the two Gospels aren't the same. The slope you're on is very slippery, as mainline American Protestant churches that you (and I) condemn have proven. They're just further down.

If you want, I can help you find some resources that prove the historical accuracy and inspiration of the Scriptures. Pointing out errors in doctrine and calling you a "Romist" (was that inaccurate?) is not being unChristian. It's just stating facts, calling a spade a spade, if you will.

walt said...

Dymphna,

Here's some for you:

The New Testament Documents:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0802822193/ref=ase_flatwave-20/103-9118225-4994244?s=books&v=glance&n=283155&tagActionCode=flatwave-20

The Cannon of the New Testament:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0198269544/ref=pd_sxp_elt_l1/103-9118225-4994244?n=283155

Enjoy.

Dymphna said...

Pope Walt,

When you differentiate between Romists and Christians, you lose my vote and my interest.

No, I don't want to read your links to books that cover material I read 30 years ago. Already served my time in NT studies, but thanks anyway.

Your view of me as being on a slippery slope is *your* view and it's not persuasive. I don't answer to you, and I sure do hope you're not held accountable for the judgmental attitude you bring to this comment thread.

Adios. Vaya con Dios, mate.

walt said...

Dymphna,
Quote from JP Phish above:

"But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind"

This is the quote I took issue with, which is from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. If Mohammedans are part of God's plan of salvation, then what is the point of critiquing them and their actions? They're going to heaven, according to the CAtholic Church! Why be a Christian, when you can get into heaven through Islam? Why did mankind need Jesus? Better yet, what right do you have to judge them?

All I did was quote Scripture, and now I'm accused of being judgmental. I pointed out that regardless of what the Catholic church says, according to Jesus, only those who put their faith in Christ will escape God's wrath. I'm guessing you don't agree, but haven't really stated why.

It seems you've studied various higher critics of the NT, which is why you have the stance you do on the New Testament. The arguments you gave have been refuted by various scholars for quite some time. I think if you studied some conservative NT scholars, you'd have a different point of view, and you'd have a much stronger argument against the Muslims. Frankly, as it stands right now, you're not in a position to judge them.


Sincerely,
Walt

walt said...

Dymphna,
Quote from JP Phish above:

"But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind"

This is the quote I took issue with, which is from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. If Mohammedans are part of God's plan of salvation, then what is the point of critiquing them and their actions? They're going to heaven, according to the CAtholic Church! Why be a Christian, when you can get into heaven through Islam? Why did mankind need Jesus? Better yet, what right do you have to judge them?

All I did was quote Scripture, and now I'm accused of being judgmental. I pointed out that regardless of what the Catholic church says, according to Jesus, only those who put their faith in Christ will escape God's wrath. I'm guessing you don't agree, but haven't really stated why.

It seems you've studied various higher critics of the NT, which is why you have the stance you do on the New Testament. The arguments you gave have been refuted by various scholars for quite some time. I think if you studied some conservative NT scholars, you'd have a different point of view, and you'd have a much stronger argument against the Muslims. Frankly, as it stands right now, you're not in a position to judge them.


Sincerely,
Walt

Dymphna said...

Pope Walt said:

It seems you've studied various higher critics of the NT, which is why you have the stance you do on the New Testament. The arguments you gave have been refuted by various scholars for quite some time. I think if you studied some conservative NT scholars, you'd have a different point of view, and you'd have a much stronger argument against the Muslims. Frankly, as it stands right now, you're not in a position to judge them.

To which I will reply, weary from your sermons, that you're in no position to judge *me* ...

Go pontificate in peace but for heaven's sake do it somewhere else...

...and don't let the door knock the miter off your head on the way out.

walt said...

Dymphna,

I think I'll take your advice. I guess the Westminster Divines were right about the Catholic church, and sadly not much has changed since then.

I'm really more interested in having reasonable discussions than contending with vitriolic spewings.

This blog sure seems overly concerned with followers of a religion (Islam) that the Catholic church has approved. Hey, Mohammedans worship the same God, what's to worry about?

The Mad Fiddler said...

It is interesting to watch the fistfight here between the "strict" reading of selected [albeit significant] passages of the Bible, versus statements from the official catechism of the Roman Catholic faith.

I recall seeing a comment from an exasperated Protestant Clergyman some years ago expressing his vexation that so many folks were then compiling their own personal religious beliefs, browsing from the vast dessert bar of nutty fruity "feel-good" philosophies and psychological frauds, self-help publications, and for-profit-pyramid-ponzi-scheme fake religions.

It does make a body long for the simpler old days.

I suppose that's the great value of the Jihadis. They sorta clarify the murk, and remind a lot of folks that there really is a choice to be made.

The year I bought myself my first Bible (realizing I'd only been presented selected excerpts throughout my life) I also bought a copy of the Koran.

The Old Testament was eye-opening, and the contrast between the Old and New very compelling. Haven't been able to penetrate much of the copy of the Qur'an bought then... it was a 17th century translation by a Brit. I've been reading a lot from online sources, trying to make sense of a religion that has been slaughtering its internal and external opponents pretty much continuously for fourteen centuries.

You may legitimately ask, "So how is that different from Christianity?"

Simply, Christ preached love and forgiveness.

Mohammed during his lifetime was the organizer and military commander of fierce onslaughts against those who opposed him, and personally ordered the summary execution of captives. The leadership of Islam changed several times in the first decades after his death, each time by the assassination of one leader by his aspiring replacement. Within a century after the death of Mohammed, Islam had been imposed by military assault — NOT by the example of lives well-lived — on the neighbors of Islam northward to Turkey, and westward across north Africa, across the Straights of Gibraltar into Spain. The invasion of Islamic armies was halted in 732 by the Frankish armies lead by Charles Martel in the battle of Tours, deep into territory now called France.

As you may have heard, France is again the target of Muslim takeover attempts.

One faith founded upon Peace, Love, forgiveness.

One faith founded upon killing, beheading, violence, coercion.


What am I missing?


Sure, a lot of psychotic bastards have slaughtered “in the name of the Church.” But the founding of the faith is in love and forgiveness. I do not doubt that there is much in the teachings of Islam that is concerned with acts of charity, mildness, generosity, and love. But Jihad and intolerance of the infidel, and violent coercion to enforce submission all seem to be structural.

I’m not hearing any great outcry by the alleged “Moderate Muslims” against Islamic fanatical terrorists.

And no-one is jamming their transmission.