Wednesday, August 06, 2008

St. Paul's Teaching on the Organic Relationship of Grace / Faith and Works / Action / Obedience (Collection of 50 Pauline Passages)

[all passages: RSV]

Romans 1:5
through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, (cf. Acts 6:7)

Romans 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, "He who through faith is righteous shall live."

Romans 2:6-7 For he will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; (cf. 2:8; 2:10)

Romans 2:13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. (cf. James 1:22-23; 2:21-24)

Romans 3:22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction;

Romans 3:31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Romans 6:17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,

Romans 8:13 for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. (cf. 2 Cor 11:15)

Romans 8:28 We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel; for Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?"

Romans 14:23 But he who has doubts is condemned, if he eats, because he does not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

Romans 15:17-18 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has wrought through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed,

Romans 16:26 but is now disclosed and through the prophetic writings is made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith -- (cf. Heb 11:8)

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building. (cf. 3:8; Mk 16:20)

1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it.

1 Corinthians 9:27 but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God which is with me.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 16:13 Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.

2 Corinthians 1:6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.

2 Corinthians 1:24
Not that we lord it over your faith; we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.

2 Corinthians 6:1 Working together with him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain.

2 Corinthians 8:3-7 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own free will, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints -- and this, not as we expected, but first they gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. Accordingly we have urged Titus that as he had already made a beginning, he should also complete among you this gracious work. Now as you excel in everything -- in faith, in utterance, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in your love for us -- see that you excel in this gracious work also.

2 Corinthians 10:15 We do not boast beyond limit, in other men's labors; but our hope is that as your faith increases, our field among you may be greatly enlarged,

2 Corinthians 11:23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one -- I am talking like a madman -- with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death.

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are holding to your faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? -- unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 5:6-7 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love. You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?

Galatians 6:7-9 Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Philippians 2:14-16 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

Philippians 3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith;

Philippians 4:3 And I ask you also, true yokefellow, help these women, for they have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Colossians 3:23-25 Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

1Thessalonians 1:3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:8 inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 1:11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his call, and may fulfil every good resolve and work of faith by his power,

1 Timothy 6:11 But as for you, man of God, shun all this; aim at righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.

1 Timothy 6:18-19 They are to do good, to be rich in good deeds, liberal and generous, thus laying up for themselves a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life which is life indeed.

2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory.

2 Timothy 2:22 So shun youthful passions and aim at righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart.

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Titus 1:16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their deeds; they are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good deed.

Titus 3:8 The saying is sure. I desire you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to apply themselves to good deeds; these are excellent and profitable to men.

Titus 3:14 And let our people learn to apply themselves to good deeds, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not to be unfruitful.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Aphorisms From G. K. Chesterton's Book, The Everlasting Man

(New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1925) [ link to online version ]

[citations in blue are not included in my book, A Treasury of Chesterton Aphorisms]


It is strange that aesthetics, or mere feeling, which is now allowed to usurp where it has no rights at all, to wreck reason with pragmatism and morals with anarchy, is apparently not allowed to give a purely aesthetic judgement on what is obviously a purely aesthetic question. (I-5)

Anthropologists and Anthropology

Sometimes the professor with his bone becomes almost as dangerous as a dog with his bone.

A man of the future finding the ruins of our factory machinery might as fairly say that we were acquainted with iron and with no other substance; and announce the discovery that the proprietor and manager of the factory undoubtedly walked about naked -- or possibly wore iron hats and trousers. (I-2)


Art is the signature of man.

All we can say of this notion of reproducing things in shadow or representative shape is that it exists nowhere in nature except in man; and that we cannot even talk about it without treating man as something separate from nature. (I-1)

Every true artist does feel, consciously or unconsciously, that he is touching transcendental truths; that his images are shadows of things seen through the veil. (I-5)


The early Church was ascetic, but she proved that she was not pessimistic, simply by condemning the pessimists.

They were ascetic because asceticism was the only possible purge of the sins of the world; but in the very thunder of their anathemas they affirmed for ever that their asceticism was not to be anti-human or anti-natural; that they did wish to purge the world and not destroy it.

He might stand night and day on the top of a pillar and be adored for being an ascetic, but he could not say that the world was a mistake or the marriage state a sin without being a heretic. (II-4)

Athanasius, St.

It was emphatically he who really was fighting for a God of Love against a God of colourless and remote cosmic control; the God of the stoics and the agnostics. (II-4)


It is the reversal of a subconscious assumption in the soul; the sense that there is a meaning and a direction in the world it sees. (I-8)


Behind all these things is the fact that beauty and terror are very real things and related to a real spiritual world; and to touch them at all, even in doubt or fancy, is to stir the deep things of the soul. (I-5)


Now those who seem to be nearest to the study of Buddha, and certainly those who write most clearly and intelligently about him, convince me for one that he was simply a philosopher who founded a successful school of philosophy, and was turned into a sort of divus or sacred being merely by the more mysterious and unscientific atmosphere of all such traditions in Asia. (I-6)

Christ said 'Seek first the kingdom, and all these things shall be added unto you.' Buddha said 'Seek first the kingdom, and then you will need none of these things.' (II-3)

Carthage and Carthaginians

These highly civilised people really met together to invoke the blessing of heaven on their empire by throwing hundreds of their infants into a large furnace.

We can only realise the combination by imagining a number of Manchester merchants with chimney-pot hats and mutton-chop whiskers, going to church every Sunday at eleven o'clock to see a baby roasted alive. (I-7)


It met the mythological search for romance by being a story and the philosophical search for truth by being a true story. (II-5)

Church, Catholic

Surely anybody's commonsense would tell him that enthusiasts who only met through their common enthusiasm for a leader whom they loved, would not instantly rush away to establish everything that he hated.

If we trace it back to such very early Christians we must trace it back to Christ.

It was not an official fashion because it was not a fashion at all.

It was something that could coincide with movements and fashions, could control them and could survive them.

It is ascetical and at war with ascetics, Roman and in revolt against Rome, monotheistic and fighting furiously against monotheism; harsh in its condemnation of harshness; a riddle not to be explained even as unreason.

That is the only explanation I can find of a thing from the first so detached and so confident, condemning things that looked so like itself, refusing help from powers that seemed so essential to its existence, sharing on its human side all the passions of the age, yet always at the supreme moment suddenly rising superior to them, never saying exactly what it was expected to say and never needing to unsay what it had said; I can find no explanation except that, like Pallas from the brain of Jove, it had indeed come forth out of the mind of God, mature and mighty and armed for judgement and for war. (II-4)

We might sometimes fancy that the Church grows younger as the world grows old. (Conclusion)


To compare the Christian and Confucian religions is like comparing a theist with an English squire or asking whether a man is a believer in immortality or a hundred-per-cent American.

The best authorities seem to think that though Confucianism is in one sense agnosticism, it does not directly contradict the old theism, precisely because it has become a rather vague theism. (I-4)

Confucius was not a religious founder or even a religious teacher; possibly not even a religious man. (I-6)

Confucianism may profess to satisfy the need of the philosophers for order and reason; it does not even profess to satisfy the need of the mystics for miracle and sacrament and the consecration of concrete things. (II-1)

Contraception; Anti-Child Mentality

People would understand better the popular fury against the witches, if they remembered that the malice most commonly attributed to them was preventing the birth of children.

This sense that the forces of evil especially threaten childhood is found again in the enormous popularity of the Child Martyr of the Middle Ages. (I-6)

Creation; Creator

Nobody can imagine how nothing could turn into something. (I-1)

God also was a Cave-Man, and had also traced strange shapes of creatures, curiously coloured, upon the wall of the world; but the pictures that he made had come to life. (II-1)

Cross, The

It is true, and even tautological, to say that the cross is the crux of the whole matter. (I-6)

Crowding, Urban

The human unity with which I deal here is not to be confounded with this modern industrial monotony and herding, which is rather a congestion than a communion. (I-4)


An event is not any more intrinsically intelligible or unintelligible because of the pace at which it moves. (I-1)

They talk of searching for the habits and habitat of the Missing Link; as if one were to talk of being on friendly terms with the gap in a narrative or the hole in an argument, of taking a walk with a non-sequitur or dining with an undistributed middle. (I-2)


Democracy is a thing which is always breaking down through the complexity of civilisation.

Anyhow, peasants tilling patches of their own land in a rough equality, and meeting to vote directly under a village tree, are the most truly self-governing of men. (I-3)


Despair does not lie in being weary of suffering, but in being weary of joy. (I-8)


The story of Egypt might have been invented to point the moral that man does not necessarily begin with despotism because he is barbarous, but very often finds his way to despotism because he is civilised. (I-3)

Dogma (Catholic)

What the denouncer of dogma really means is not that dogma is bad; but rather that dogma is too good to be true. (II-5)

All that is condemned in Catholic tradition, authority, and dogmatism and the refusal to retract and modify, are but the natural human attributes of a man with a message relating to a fact. (Conclusion)


And unfortunately doubt and caution are the last things commonly encouraged by the loose evolutionism of current culture. (I-2)

Fairy Tales

Peter Pan does not belong to the world of Pan but the world of Peter. (II-3)


Those that are supposed to derive from the mysterious Manes are called Manichean; kindred cults are more generally known as Gnostic; they are mostly of a labyrinthine complexity, but the point to insist on is the pessimism; the fact that nearly all in one form or another regarded the creation of the world as the work of an evil spirit.

The creed declared that man was sinful, but it did not declare that life was evil, and it proved it by damning those who did. (II-4)

Heresies and Heretics

And it is rather hard that the Catholics should be blamed by the same critics for persecuting the heretics and also for sympathising with the heresy. (II-4)

Higher Criticism

And it is stark hypocrisy to pretend that nine-tenths of the higher critics and scientific evolutionists and professors of comparative religion are in the least impartial. (Introduction)

The date of the Fourth Gospel, which at one time was steadily growing later and later, is now steadily growing earlier and earlier; until critics are staggered at the dawning and dreadful possibility that it might be something like what it professes to be. (II-4)

Historiography and Historians

But we are not supposed to notice such verbal trifles when sceptical historians talk of the part of history that is prehistoric. (I-2)

History, Church

But the first extraordinary fact which marks this history is this: that Europe has been turned upside down over and over again; and that at the end of each of these revolutions the same religion has again been found on top. (II-6)


Socrates, the wisest man, knows that he knows nothing. (II-3)


An iconoclast may be indignant; an iconoclast may be justly indignant; but an iconoclast is not impartial. (Introduction)

Incarnation (of Jesus)

Since that day it has never been quite enough to say that God is in his heaven and all is right with the world, since the rumour that God had left his heavens to set it right. (II-3)

It might well be asked, indeed, why any one accepting the Bethlehem tradition should object to golden or gilded ornament since the Magi themselves brought gold, why he should dislike incense in the church since incense was brought even to the stable. (II-4)


If Christianity had never been anything but a simpler morality sweeping away polytheism, there is no reason why Christendom should not have been swept into Islam.

The truth is that Islam itself was a barbaric reaction against that very humane complexity that is really a Christian character; that idea of balance in the deity, as of balance in the family, that makes that creed a sort of sanity, and that sanity the soul of civilisation. (II-4)

Islam, historically speaking, is the greatest of the Eastern heresies.

It was a heresy or parody emulating and therefore imitating the Church. (II-5)

Jesus Christ

There must surely have been something not only mysterious but many-sided about Christ if so many smaller Christs can be carved out of him. (II-1)

What he said was always unexpected; but it was always unexpectedly magnanimous and often unexpectedly moderate. (II-3)

Liberalism (Theological)

They call a Parliament of Religions as a reunion of all the peoples; but it is only a reunion of all the prigs. (II-1)


For once that he remembers exactly what work produces his wages and exactly what wages produce his meals, he reflects ten times that it is a fine day or it is a queer world, or wonders whether life is worth living, or wonders whether marriage is a failure, or is pleased and puzzled with his own children, or remembers his own youth, or in any such fashion vaguely reviews the mysterious lot of man.

And any number of normal doubts and day-dreams are about existence; not about how we can live, but about why we do. (I-7)


Man is not merely an evolution but rather a revolution.

Man is the microcosm; man is the measure of all things; man is the image of God (I-1)

Man, Evolutionary Ancestors Of

No uninformed person looking at its carefully lined face and wistful eyes would imagine for a moment that this was the portrait of a thigh-bone; or of a few teeth and a fragment of a cranium.
His body may have been evolved from the brutes; but we know nothing of any such transition that throws the smallest light upon his soul as it has shown itself in history. (I-2)

Mary, Blessed Virgin

But pagan antiquity had much more idea of the holiness of the virgin than of the holiness of the child. (II-3)


What we do know is that it was by experience and education that little commonwealths lose their liberty; that absolute sovereignty is something not merely ancient but rather relatively modern; and it is at the end of the path called progress that men return to the king. (I-3)

Abdication is perhaps the one really absolute action of an absolute monarch. (I-6)

Morality and Moralists

The morality of most moralists ancient and modern, has been one solid and polished cataract of platitudes flowing for ever and ever. (II-2)

Mythology and Folklore

We do not submit a sonnet to a mathematician or a song to a calculating boy; but we do indulge the equally fantastic idea that folk-lore can be treated as a science.

But the ultimate test even of the fantastic is the appropriateness of the inappropriate.

Very deep things in our nature, some dim sense of the dependence of great things upon small, some dark suggestion that the things nearest to us stretch far beyond our power, some sacramental feeling of the magic in material substances, and many more emotions past fading out, are in an idea like that of the external soul.

But the point of the puzzle is this, that all this vagueness and variation arise from the fact that the whole thing began in fancy and in dreaming; and that there are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.

But he who has most sympathy with myths will most fully realise that they are not and never were a religion, in the sense that Christianity or even Islam is a religion.

In a word, mythology is a search; it is something that combines a recurrent desire with a recurrent doubt, mixing a most hungry sincerity in the idea of seeking for a place with a most dark and deep and mysterious levity about all the places found.

It is the voice of a dreamer and an idealist crying, 'Why cannot these things be?' (I-5)

A void was made by the vanishing of the whole mythology of mankind, which would have asphyxiated like a vacuum if it had not been filled with theology.

Mythology was never thought, and nobody could really agree with it or disagree with it. (I-8)

Nature and Nature Mysticism

In other words, the natural mystic does know that there is something there; something behind the clouds or within the trees; but he believes that the pursuit of beauty is the way to find it; that imagination is a sort of incantation that can call it up.

The poet feels the mystery of a particular forest; not of the science of afforestation or the department of woods and forests. (I-5)

Occultism and Spiritualism

But the man consulting a demon felt as many a man has felt in consulting a detective, especially a private detective; that it was dirty work but the work would really be done. (I-6)

Original Sin / Fall of Man

Those who have fallen may remember the fall, even when they forget the height. (I-4)


The Christian creed is above all things the philosophy of shapes and the enemy of shapelessness.

The condemnation of the early heretics is itself condemned as something crabbed and narrow; but it was in truth the very proof that the Church meant to be brotherly and broad.

If the Church had not insisted on theology, it would have melted into a mad mythology of the mystics, yet further removed from reason or even from rationalism; and, above all yet further removed from life and from the love of life.

And that is why the Church is from the first a thing holding its own position and point of view, quite apart from the accidents and anarchies of its age. (II-4)


We feel it in the unfathomable sadness of pagan poetry; for I doubt if there was ever in all the marvellous manhood of antiquity a man who was happy as St. Francis was happy. (I-4)

It is an attempt to reach the divine reality through the imagination alone; in its own field reason does not restrain it at all. (I-5)

Papacy and Popes

A bishop of Rome writes claiming authority in the very lifetime of St. John the Evangelist; and it is described as the first papal aggression. (II-4)

Pessimism and Pessimists

Pessimism is not in being tired of evil but in being tired of good. (I-8)

Philosophy and Philosophers

But in reality the rivers of mythology and philosophy run parallel and do not mingle till they meet in the sea of Christendom. (I-5)

Plato in some sense anticipated the Catholic realism, as attacked by the heretical nominalism, by insisting on the equally fundamental fact that ideas are realities; that ideas exist just as men exist.

Aristotle anticipated more fully the sacramental sanity that was to combine the body and the soul of things; for he considered the nature of men as well as the nature of morals, and looked to the eyes as well as to the light.

The pagan philosopher was seldom a man of the people, at any rate in spirit; he was seldom a democrat and often a bitter critic of democracy.

The temptation of the philosophers is simplicity rather than subtlety.

They are always attracted by insane simplifications, as men poised above abysses are fascinated by death and nothingness and the empty air. (I-6)


But for some reason I have never heard explained, it is only the minority of unpoetical people who are allowed to write critical studies of these popular poems.

In this sense it is true that it is the ignorant who accept myths, but only because it is the ignorant who appreciate poems. (I-5)


Gods and demigods and heroes breed like herrings before our very eyes and suggest of themselves that the family may have had one founder; mythology grows more and more complicated, and the very complication suggests that at the beginning it was more simple.

In short, there is a feeling that there is something higher than the gods; but because it is higher it is also further away.

It meant that ancient light of simplicity, that had a single source like the sun, finally fades away in a dazzle of conflicting Lights and colours. (I-4)

Polytheism fades away at its fringes into fairy-tales or barbaric memories; it is not a thing like monotheism as held by serious monotheists. (I-5)


It is the Catholic, who has the feeling that his prayers do make a difference, when offered for the living and the dead, who also has the feeling of living like a free citizen in something almost like a constitutional commonwealth. (II-5)


This deep truth of the danger of insolence, or being too big for our boots, runs through all the great Greek tragedies and makes them great. (I-5)


It is no more transcendental for a man to remember what he did in Babylon before he was born than to remember what he did in Brixton before he had a knock on the head. (I-6)

Religion (and Reason)

The truth is that the Church was actually the first thing that ever tried to combine reason and religion. (I-5)

Religion, Comparative

Putting the Church apart for the moment, I should be disposed to divide the natural religion of the mass of mankind under such headings as these: God; the Gods; the Demons; the Philosophers.

It is really the collapse of comparative religion that there is no comparison between God and the gods. (I-4)

Nobody understands the nature of the Church, or the ringing note of the creed descending from antiquity, who does not realise that the whole world once very nearly died of broadmindedness and the brotherhood of all religions. (II-1)

It is rather ridiculous to ask a man just about to be boiled in a pot and eaten, at a purely religious feast, why he does not regard all religions as equally friendly and fraternal. (II-5)


When Ibsen spoke of the new generation knocking at the door, he certainly never expected that it would be the church-door.

At least five times, therefore, with the Arian and the Albigensian, with the Humanist sceptic, after Voltaire and after Darwin, the Faith has to all appearance gone to the dogs. (II-6)

Revolution and Revolutionaries

It is chiefly interesting as evidence that the boldest plans for the future invoke the authority of the past; and that even a revolutionary seeks to satisfy himself that he is also a reactionary. (I-3)

Robes (Clerical)

They will complain of parsons dressing like parsons; as if we should be any more free if all the police who shadowed or collared us were plain clothes detectives. (Introduction)

Scholars and the Learned

But I can use my own common sense, and I sometimes fancy that theirs is a little rusty from want of use. (I-3)

Scientists and Scientism

It is precisely the unknown God of the scientist, with his impenetrable purpose and his inevitable and unalterable law, that reminds us of a Prussian autocrat making rigid plans in a remote tent and moving mankind like machinery. (II-5)


The Church is justified, not because her children do not sin, but because they do. (Introduction)


We miss the real moral importance of the great philosopher if we miss that point; that he stares at the executioner with an innocent surprise, and almost an innocent annoyance, at finding anyone so unreasonable as to cut short a little conversation for the elucidation of truth. (II-3)

Spirit of the Age (Zeitgeist)

A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it. (II-6)


Nobody understands it who has not had what can only be called the ache of the artist to find some sense and some story in the beautiful things he sees; his hunger for secrets and his anger at any tower or tree escaping with its tale untold. (I-5)


Superstition recurs in all ages, and especially in rationalistic ages. (I-5)

Theism and Monotheism

Whatever else there was, there was never as such thing as the Evolution of the Idea of God.

Even on the external evidence, of the sort called scientific, there is therefore a very good case for the suggestion that man began with monotheism before it developed or degenerated into polytheism. (I-4)

It is precisely the God of miracles and of answered prayers who reminds us of a liberal and popular prince, receiving petitions, listening to parliaments and considering the cases of a whole people. (II-5)

Trinity and Trinitarianism

Even in the days of my youth, I remarked that there was something slightly odd about despising and dismissing the doctrine of the Trinity as a mystical and even maniacal contradiction; and then asking us to adore a deity who is a hundred million persons in one God, neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance. (I-4)

For if there be a being without beginning, existing before all things, was He loving when there was nothing to be loved?

If the moderns really want a simple religion of love, they must look for it in the Athanasian Creed. (II-4)


Perhaps there are no things out of which we get so little of the truth as the truisms; especially when they are really true. (I-6)


A man does not want his national home destroyed or even changed, because he cannot even remember all the good things that go with it; just as he does not want his house burnt down, because he can hardly count all the things he would miss. (I-7)

War (and Christianity)

They will suddenly turn round and revile the Church for not having prevented the War, which they themselves did not want to prevent; and which nobody had ever professed to be able to prevent, except some of that very school of progressive and cosmopolitan sceptics who are the chief enemies of the Church.

As for the general view that the Church was discredited by the War -- they might as well say that the Ark was discredited by the Flood. (EM, Introduction)

There is nothing that throws any particular light on Christ's attitude towards organised warfare, except that he seems to have been rather fond of Roman soldiers. (II-2)

Wise Men (Three)

They were those who sought not tales but the truth of things, and since their thirst for truth was itself a thirst for God, they also have had their reward. (II-1)

Writing, Origin Of

It is overwhelmingly probable that the ancient priest had a great deal to do with the discovery of the art of writing. (I-3)

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Appearance of Crazy Horse

One of my many interests is American Indian (or Native American) history. And the figure who is most fascinating to me is Crazy Horse (Lakota: Thašuŋka Witko, literally "His-Horse-is-Crazy"), the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) warrior and mystic (c. 1842-1877). Shortly we'll be heading out for our vacation and will be visiting the sites of some of Crazy Horse's famous battles (including Custer's Last Stand and the Fetterman Massacre), sacred meeting areas, the location of his vision, and the Mt. Rushmore-like Memorial. Many are in the Black Hills region of South Dakota.

It is said that he was never photographed (which, of course, adds to his considerable mystique). So we have to go by drawings. Here are two that I have found; apparently regarded as the best ones.


The sketch above was done by William J. Bordeaux around 1952, based (as Wikipedia states) "on a description of him by both Bordeaux's father, Louis Bordeaux, and Crazy Horse's relative, Julia Clown (aka Iron Cedar Woman). Both Bordeaux and Clown said he was never photographed, and they knew him personally."

The portrait below appeared in the article by the Oglala Lakota Charles E. Trimble, "What Did Crazy Horse Look Like?," Indian Country Today, 28 July 2005. The text below it is his own:


Descriptions of Crazy Horse's facial and physical features are abundant, both from Lakotas and a few whites who knew him well. These are included in letters, transcripts of interviews and in books based on those primary sources, and all are consistent in their descriptions. These descriptions generally help disprove the claims of authors and some respected historians that any photo purported to be that of the great leader is the real thing.

Sometime prior to 1940, Oglala Lakota artist Andrew Standing Soldier rendered an ink and watercolor sketch based on descriptions of old men and women who knew Crazy Horse personally. Standing Soldier created extremely accurate portrayals of Lakota life in the 1930s and 1940s, as well as of historic events. Of his Crazy Horse portrait, relatives and close friends of the war leader reportedly pronounced it an excellent likeness.
I found seven more recent portraits online (one / two / three / four / five / six / seven).

Papal Infallibility ("his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly styled irreformable")

It is incorrect to say that the pope is not infallible in and of himself when he properly exercises that gift, and this is contrary to the proclamations of Vatican I and Vatican II. Though the pope in fact almost always acts in concert with the bishops, it is not intrinsically required that he do so, and they are always subject to his supreme authority.

A clear example of this is Humanae Vitae: an infallible document that not only was not produced in concert with the bishops, but whose truth was denied by many bishops and priests, as a current post on this board details. To deny the charism of papal infallibility for the pope alone is the medieval heresy of conciliarism. Conciliar infallibility (also considerably developed by Vatican II) applies only when a council is subject to the pope, and his approval in all respects. Thus, Vatican I stated:
Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God our savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion and for the salvation of the Christian people, with the approval of the Sacred Council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.

So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.

[ link ]
Accordingly, Fr. William G. Most wrote:
C) Third Level: Pius XII, in Humani generis:

    Nor must it be thought that the things contained in Encyclical Letters do not of themselves require assent on the plea that in them the Pontiffs do not exercise the supreme power of their Magisterium. For these things are taught with the ordinary Magisterium, about which it is also true to say, 'He who hears you, hears me.' [Lk 10. 16]. . . If the Supreme Pontiffs, in their acta expressly pass judgment on a matter debated until then, it is obvious to all that the matter, according to the mind and will of the same Pontiffs, cannot be considered any longer a question open for discussion among theologians.
We notice: (1) These things are protected by the promise of Christ in Lk 10. 16, and so are infallible, for His promise cannot fail . . . (2) Not everything in Encyclicals, and similar documents, is on this level - this is true only when the Popes expressly pass judgment on a previously debated matter, (3) since the Church scattered throughout the world can make a teaching infallible without defining - as we saw on level 2 -then of course the Pope alone, who can speak for and reflect the faith of the whole Church, can do the same even in an Encyclical, under the conditions enumerated by Pius XII. Really, on any level, all that is required to make a thing infallible is that it be given definitively. When a Pope takes a stand on something debated in theology and publishes it in his Acta, that suffices. The fact that as Pius XII said it is removed from debate alone shows it is meant as definitive.

( "Hierarchy of Truths and Four Levels of Teaching" )

* * * * *

This is reiterated in Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, III, 25, which cites the earlier definition and expands upon it:
And therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly styled irreformable, since they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, promised to him in blessed Peter, and therefore they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other judgment. For then the Roman Pontiff is not pronouncing judgment as a private person, but as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the charism of infallibility of the Church itself is individually present, he is expounding or defending a doctrine of Catholic faith.

[ link ]

* * * * *

Further clarifications on what infallibility does and doesn't mean:

The pope must always act consistently with received Tradition. That's a given in Catholic ecclesiology (theology of the Church). He can never declare something out of the blue that has no precedent whatsoever. It has to be in line with the apostolic deposit, that goes all the way back to Jesus and the apostles.

The Church is not ultramontanist. That position was shot down in 1870, if by it (people sometimes disagree on its definition) someone means that absolutely everything (or even a great deal of what) the pope says is infallible, even going beyond the constriction of such decrees having to do with faith and morals. This is not true. There are carefully defined, strict conditions when his words are to be regarded as infallible.

The Catholic doesn't accept every word a pope utters as Gospel Truth. I dissent from the present pope and the last one, for example, on the war in Iraq. I think a reasonable, traditional case can be made against their views on capital punishment (I would disagree in the case of mass murderers; otherwise I agree with them). I've also written papers that referred to saints in the past rebuking and correcting popes (and the Iraqi war issue):

Are All Catholic Laymen and Non-Theologians Qualified to Freely and Frequently Criticize the Pope's Opinions and Prudential Judgment?

Laymen Advising and Rebuking Popes

Is It Dissent Against the Pope and the Church, and Downright Disobedient For a Catholic to Favor the War in Iraq? (+ Discussion)

We mustn't deny the special charism given to Peter alone (both/and, not either/or), simply because something like it was also given to others. Lumen Gentium stated, to the contrary:

. . . they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, promised to him in blessed Peter, and therefore they need no approval of others, . . .

There are many indications in Scripture that Peter and by implication also later popes receive a special charism unique to them:

1) He alone is given the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matt 16:19).

2) All the apostles were given the power to bind and loose, but only Peter received it by name (Matt 16:19).

3) Peter is regarded as the Chief shepherd (Jn 21:15-17; cf. 1 Peter 5:1).

4) Jesus prays for Peter in particular, that his faith would not fail (Lk 22:32).

5) Peter is exhorted by Jesus to "strengthen your brethren" (Lk 22:32).

6) Peter alone is told that he has received divine knowledge by a special revelation (Matt 16:17).

7) Peter utters the first anathema (on Ananias and Sapphira), which is confirmed by God: they were killed (Acts 5:2-11).

We gain nothing good by watering-down the prerogatives and charisms of the Holy Father, which are unique in the Church.

Nor does the orthodox Catholic deny conciliar infallibility. I wrote above:

Conciliar infallibility (also considerably developed by Vatican II) applies only when a council is subject to the pope, and his approval in all respects.

I not only acknowledged conciliar infallibility (rightly understood) but even noted that it was developed by Vatican II. This was emphasized by Fr. John A. Hardon, in his catechism that I was required to read when I was received into the Church by him. I've written at length about both papal and conciliar infallibility:

Biblical Evidence for Papal and Church Infallibility

Reflections on the Papacy: Papal Infallibility and Concluding Postscripts

Dialogue: Is the Vatican I Proclamation of Papal Infallibility Non-Negotiable and Orthodox or "Radical Papal Tyranny" and the Triumph of Ultramontanism?

Vatican II: Is it Orthodox and Binding? / The Infallibility and Sublime Authority of Conciliar and Papal Decrees / Different Levels of Church Authority

Newman on Papal Infallibility

The 1968 Papal Encyclical Humanae Vitae: Infallible Teaching Prohibiting Contraception

Conciliar Infallibility: Church Documents

Protestant Historian Philip Schaff Confirms Church Fathers' Acceptance of Conciliar Infallibility Based on the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15)

The medieval heresy of conciliarism, on the other hand, held that the council was the supreme authority in the Church, not the pope. The Church declared against this. I've written about it, too:

The Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:6-30) vs. Sola Scriptura and James White

Was Conciliarism an "Orthodox" Option in Medieval Catholicism?

Do Church Councils Possess a Higher Authority Than the Pope?

Short Dialogue on Binding Conciliar Authority

Tim Enloe's Missing Definition of "Orthodoxy" & the Logical Circularity of His Thesis on Conciliar Ecclesiology

Council of Constance (1414-1418): Triumph of Conciliarism or its Kiss of Death?

Reflections on Medieval Ecclesiology ("Fallibilist Conciliarism"?)

The Legitimacy of the Term Anti-Catholic as a Noun as Well as an Adjective

Dr. Eric Svendsen is an Anti-Catholic

It's been stated that anti-Catholic, if used at all, is properly utilized only as an adjective and not as a noun (e.g., "the anti-Catholics on the Internet often blast Catholic Mariology"). The much more frequent usage is indeed as an adjective, but it is not altogether improper to also use it as a noun. As an analogy, take, for example, anti-Communist. That word can be either an adjective or a noun, in the same form, too:

1) adj.: characterized by opposition to Communism.

2) noun: one who is opposed to Communism.

To illustrate, a Canadian news source included this sentence in an article from 25 July: "In Berlin, Obama almost sounded like Ronald Reagan, who became a strong anti-Communist by fighting them in Hollywood."

Or, see an article by Rich Lowry, from 2-29-08, where he wrote: "[the late William F.] Buckley was an anti-Communist to the marrow of his bones, whose lifelong mission was to crush totalitarianism."

Anti-abortionist is habitually used in the same way. And anti-Catholic works similarly, by straightforward analogy:

1) adj.: characterized by the viewpoint that Catholicism is not Christan.

2) noun: one who believes that Catholicism is not Christan.

So we could say, "John Knox's position on the Catholic Church was anti-Catholic: that is, characterized by belief that it was not a Christian system of theology or Christian worldview." That's a lot of work, especially if multiple use is involved. So we can express the same sentiment by using a noun instead: "John Knox was an anti-Catholic." I don't see anything ungrammatical about that at all. If I did, I certainly wouldn't use the word in this fashion myself.

For some reason, dictionaries often don't list anti-Catholic. This is the case in my huge 2129 page volume, that looks like the New York white pages. But it has several analogous "anti" terms listed (in identical form) as both noun and adjective, or noun only:

antiabolitionist n. one who opposes abolition. (no adjective listed)

antichristian a. opposed to Christians or Christianity.

antichristian n. one opposed to Christians or Christianity.

Antifederalist (both forms listed)

anti-Gallican (both forms listed)

anti-imperialist n. (no adjective listed)

antimason n. (no adjective listed)

antinomian (both forms listed)

antisabbatarian n. (no adjective listed)

antislavery (both forms listed)

antitrinitarian (both forms listed)

That's sufficient to more than rest my "grammatical case" on this, I think, but I can also cite (non-Catholic) scholars using anti-Catholic as a noun:

. . . in 1688, anti-Catholics in and around Maryland . . . (p. 85)

Anti-Catholic memories were long and hatreds were deep . . . anti-Catholics in America conveniently portrayed the church as a juggernaut poised to crush the United States . . . the editor of the Protestant Home Missionary picked up the cry for the West, where was to be fought a great battle "between truth and error, between law and anarchy -- between Christianity . . . and the combined forces of Infidelity and Popery" . . . Samuel F.B. Morse, both the inventor of the telegraph and the noisiest anti-Catholic around . . . (p. 273)

(Martin Marty [widely-respected Protestant Church historian, University of Chicago], Pilgrims in Their Own Land: 500 Years of Religion in America, New York: Penguin Books, 1984)

Bigotry, especially by anti-Catholics, has been so common that any criticism of Catholicism is likely to be labeled by intellectuals as well as by pro-Catholics as intolerant and unfair . . . (p. 300)

Many anti-Catholics are convinced that long-range plans of the Catholic Church include repeal of the First Amendment . . . (p. 304)

The Protestant Irish from Ulster were among the most fervent anti-Catholics a century ago. (p. 312)

Christian controversy with science has not involved Catholics alone, as anti-Catholics sometimes imply. (p. 331)

(David O. Moberg [professor of sociology at Marquette University], The Church as a Social Institution: The Sociology of American Religion, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 2nd ed., 1984)

Catholic historian James Hitchcock wrote an article in Touchstone Magazine: July/August 2000:, entitled "The Real Anti-Catholics".

Christian Research Institute, founded by Protestant anti-cult researcher Dr. Walter Martin; review of Karl Keating's Catholicism and Fundamentalism, in the Christian Research Journal, by Kenneth R. Samples (current President of CRI is Hank Hanegraaff, the "Bible Answer Man"):

How should evangelicals view Roman Catholicism? This is an extremely controversial question, and often emotionally charged. The spectrum of opinion among conservative Protestants generally ranges from those who see the Catholic church as foundationally Christian (but with many doctrinal deviations), to those who dismiss Catholicism outright as an inherently evil institution. It would seem, however, that those of the latter persuasion ("anti-Catholics") are in the ascendancy. . . .

An additional criticism is that the book does not always distinguish carefully enough between anti-Catholics and those who are merely critical of Catholic doctrine. If this distinction is not made, then all Protestants become anti-Catholic. By the same reasoning, all Catholics become anti-Protestant. In Keating's defense, however, I do believe he normally makes this distinction . . .

If we do a Google Advanced Book Search for anti-Catholics (since the plural form can only be a noun), we find many dozens more examples, including such use by historian Denis G. Paz, in a book published by Stanford University Press, Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman in his famous work, The Idea of a University, in the Catholic Encyclopedia, again by historian Martin Marty, apologist Bertrand Conway, in his bestseller, The Question Box, an article in The English Historical Review, by Chesterton, Cardinal Wiseman, historian George McKenna in a book published by Yale University Press, and many others.

I'm not trying to do beat this topic to death, but since I have been so criticized by anti-Catholics themselves for my use of the term (whether as adjective or noun), I wanted to do a little research on this aspect as well.

Generally speaking, I think the meanings and definitions of words are extremely important to any discussion. Again, since I am so often challenged in this regard, I have made another defense, that I think can stand up very well to scrutiny because I approached the topic from several angles.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Bishop James White: My (& Steve Ray's) Wicked, Nefarious Motives As "Bad" Catholic Apologists / Objects to Use of His Own Publicity Photo (!)

Reacting to an insightful and funny You Tube video that we both posted (here's mine), White launched into his usual ad hominem salvoes on his blog (the bolding is my own):

Sola Scriptura, Bad Roman Catholic Apologists, and More on The Dividing Line

07/31/2008 - James White

Used a recently posted Roman Catholic YouTube video, posted by both "Jerusalem Jones" Steve Ray and Dave Armstrong, as the jumping off point to listen to portions of past debates with Gerry Matatics, comments on sola scriptura, etc. Took some calls, one on sola scriptura and the early councils, the other on the idea of an "inspired interpretation." For those dealing with Roman Catholic claims of authority, this program will be helpful. For those dealing with those Roman Catholic apologists who really are not serious about truth but do what they do for less-than-noble reasons, you will find more information about that "ilk" as well. Here's the program (free/high quality).

If you go to this post on his blog you can "see" the whole show as well as hear it (courtesy of You Tube). White fancies himself as the anti-Catholic fundamentalist version of Rush Limbaugh.
Here are a few highlights, to save you the tedium of enduring the entirety one of White's inane Dividing Line shows:

He starts in at 5:06 on the tape, talking about myself and Steve. He blessed me with yet another nickname: "the chihuahua of Roman Catholic apologetics" (at about 5:18). This adds to his massive array of existing epithets; the most recent being "the Wall-E of Catholic apologists." Well, hey, my wife Judy always said I was a "cuddly and cute" kind of guy. What can I say? White continues:
The little yip yip yip yip yip dog? That's Dave Armstrong, because he never does anything original on his own. He always borrows from somebody else. So when Steve posts this video, it's not long before Dave Armstrong throws it up there.
That's me, folks! More than 2000 articles, 16 books, scores of radio appearances and published articles, but not one of them, alas, "original"! That would be quite a feat, wouldn't it? The only problem with White's wishful thinking scenario is that I never saw it on Steve Ray's blog before I posted mine. I posted my piece because the man who made the video (whom I didn't know from Adam) wrote to me directly and told me about it, on the same day that he posted it.

Moreover, I find it hilariously funny (in light of White mocking and reprimanding me for borrowing), that this person borrowed two things from me for this very video. He wrote in his letter:
In need of an image for the montage, I photographed the attached images. After a while, I realized that Bishop White was not really a "bishop" per se. And trying to remember where I first heard it, I finally realized I got it from your blog. When I went back to look, I decided to use the image you had of James White as part of my video. I thought I would forward you the images of the white bishop [chess piece] since that inspiration came from you . . .
The "bishop" thing, of course, does completely originate with me. I've used it ever since White called himself a bishop, in a futile "dialogue" we had on 10 January 2001. Here's what he himself wrote (I didn't make any of this up):
I am an elder in the church: hence, I am a bishop, overseer, pastor, of a local body of believers.
White stated it. Not wishing to offend anyone by not giving them their proper title, I have obliged ever since. I alone among Catholic apologists show White the proper reverence, deference, and respect, by referring to him with his self-proclaimed ecclesiastical title. But back to White's continued DL rant. As usual, he is seriously offended by my posting of his own picture, that he himself posted on his website. He states (at 7:20):
. . . same thing, Dave Armstrong . . . blow up a big picture of me and show the top of my head or something. I mean, that's always real deep, brilliant, wise type of thing, and very compelling type of argumentation. . . . I guess that's why I wear caps now . . . . .
Imagine that: a deliberately bald guy (trying to be cool and "with it" according to present fashion), ashamed of the top of his head? So now White is reduced (in his embarrassed shame over having a shiny head) to wearing golf caps, Dion-style? Once again (all humor aside), this business about my 'blowing up" his photograph is so much blather and nonsense. It's very simple.

I went to White's resume / "bio" page. At the top it says "click here for media bio and photos." The curious, wide-eyed, awe-inspired follower of the bishop then goes over to that page and sees four formal photographs on the left side. I had the unmitigated gall and irreverence to choose one of these to accompany an article of mine ("Hi-resolution photo #3"). One then clicks on the title for a larger version. But then one notices that the little "plus" sign is indicated when scanning the larger photo, meaning that an even larger version is available. So, a left mouse-click and one arrives at the humungous "jumbo" version (which is the actual size of the picture). All I did was select the head portion only. I didn't "blow up" anything; I didn't mess with it; I simply cropped it: a thing that happens all the time in the use of photographs. It was White's own publicity photo, utilized for a mug shot taken from it, yet White objects to that.

The same man thinks nothing of commissioning his artist to do two lying caricatures of me (see them here). He can't take any humor directed at himself. He can't even take his own publicity photos, for heaven's sake. I can laugh at myself, which is why I'm having fun with his latest insults, posting images (at the top) that he suggests characterize me. I think it's the funniest thing in the world. But White can't take the slightest suggestion that he is not all that he cracks himself up to be.

At the end of his rant (59:00), he states:
. . . try doing it truthfully. Try presenting both sides; maybe try listening to both sides sometime. You're not gonna get that kind of example following Dave Armstrong and Jerusalem Jones [Steve Ray], but I call you to a higher standard.
Right. This, from the man who has run from substantive written debate with me for 13 years now: the one who has left unanswered eight major challenges (as I've documented). This is the man who fled from our one lone live chat encounter when I asked him some difficult questions: the one who has turned down two challenges to do further live chats, with a double cross-examination format: the one who has left 36 pages of my challenges in our first postal debate completely unanswered since 1995; the one who kicks me out of his chat room as soon as I show my "face" in there, for fear of what might happen, and who never allows comments on his blog.

And I have probably close to 500 posted dialogues and debates, where I document all of my opponents' words, so that the reader can judge for himself. But Bishop White informs his adoring audience that I have the most difficult time "presenting both sides". Yes, we all know that. The truth is the exact opposite.