Tuesday, April 12, 2005

A Kiss for the Ages

Christian missionaries in some locations live under the threat of violent death. According to tradition, the apostles themselves, St John being an exception, died horrible deaths. Catholics in communist countries live under the foreboding eye of the totalitarian State that demands their loyalty. I assume people have seen the reports of Muslims killing Christian missionaries.

Now click here .

Now given my very positive feelings about JPII on the political level [anybody who despises communism deserves credit], part of me wants to say that he's "doing as the Romans do when in Rome." However, I myself cannot find any justification for doing what has been done here. I've read the Koran, and it is, to say the least, quite polemical against Christianity. In between what is true in the text are statements that should make a Christian who "knows his stuff" cringe. Now one can live in an inconsistent civil peace with Mohammedans, but a Christian cannot in good conscience cast even a remotely approving eye towards those large parts of Islam that contradict or are in opposition to Christianity. Therefore, whether it be the Pope --- the alleged Vicar of Christ --- or whether it be a no-name thoroughly unimportant Evangelical such as the Pedantic Protestant, such an action should be utterly confounding. Kissing the Koran seems to indicate a friendly or, at the most conservative, a non-oppositional attitude towards something that is antithetical to much of Christianity.

Do I mention this in order "to stick it" to Roman Catholics? If one can read the PP's heart, one would see that the answer is in the negative. But, it seems to me that this is a good litmus test for general intellectual honesty: it should, I think, bother a good RC immensely, given that they are bound to see the Pope as [at the very least] a spiritual leader and somebody for whom the greatest attention and seriousness must be paid. And, in my very small and completely biased sample of three RC's, all three of them are thoroughly bothered by it, so a PP tip-o'-the-cap to them for not reducing their faith to a cult of personality. Just to be sure, I consider much of what is particular to Roman Catholicism to be not strongly supported by the Biblical and historical evidence, but, it is cheering to me to see that there are some good RC's who share my sensibilities.

What do I think about the whole thing? I'm scandalized by it. I cannot see St Paul, given his rhetoric in Galatians, nor St John's rhetoric in his letters --- not to mention St Jude --- doing such a thing. If I were to see St Paul kissing, say, some gnostic document, I'd think that St Paul, a person who according to the text was especially called for service by Our Lord, should go back to making tents.

A Pedantic Protestant coffee mug [or tee-shirt, pick one] is on its way to one Dr. Svendsen at Real Clear Theology for beating me to the punch and giving me a picture to which I might link.

Theologians Gone Wild!

It is, I believe, still within the matrix of the Eucharistic worship and meditation upon the Holy Scriptures, and evangelical experience in the fellowship and mission of the church, that the empirical and theoretical components in our knowledge of God are found fused together, in a kind of stereoscopic coordination of perceptual and auditive images, and thus provide us with the cognitive instruments we need for explicit theological understanding of God’s interaction with us.

OK...here's the game. Is somebody making this up to mock what passes for enlightened theological discourse in the Christian Church these days, or is the above material being quoted as if something profound has been stated? If you can't tell that it is one snippet of today's enlightened theological discourse, you must be some Bible-thumpin' sister-marryin' fundie.

Compare the great theologians in the history of the Christian Church. I have a fondness for St Augustine, and of course, St Paul. I also have a fondness for the English and Scottish divines of the 18th and 19th centuries. I note for myself that
these men of God --- very educated men I might add --- spoke in language that was clear, and they didn't need to resort to the touchy-feely jibberish as exhibited above. Now sometimes what they wrote was difficult; one sometimes has to read their sentences a few times. However, what they said had cognitive meaning, and that was clear even though the first time reading through the material presented a few pickles here-'n'-there. For example, I remember reading through Romans in the Greek and finding myself wondering just exactly what is St Paul attempting to say here, but, for the life of me, I never felt at the outset that St Paul or his secretary was putting forth inkblots of gobbledygook on a scroll or papyrus.

I've often entertained getting a doctorate in NT or OT, but, if I have to interact with the material as exhibited above as part of my studies and growth, I'd just as well be better off to keep the day job!

All professors have academic freedom, but some have more academic freedom than others

This case has been discussed for a while:

My Battle With the Thought Police

What we see is that even though professors can thrust their collectivism and victim ideology to their captive audiences, and, as in Pedantic Protestant's case, have adherence to leftist ideology count as part of one's course grades, one cannot even speak plainly and calmly about matters that will offend the delicate flowers of the Official Victim Groups.

This is truly sickening.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Genesis 1:1

IN THE BEGINNING, there was a man who was curious about getting a weblog started. He brooded over the formless void on his computer monitor. And he said: LET THERE BE A WEBLOG. And, behold [after 10 minutes or so of tinkering with Blogger.com] there was a weblog, and he saw that, at least for the time being, the weblog was most excellent.

Why the title Pedantic Protestant? Well, I'm certainly pedantic, being paid in real life to be so; I'm also Protestant in the classical sense of upholding the main tenets of the Reformation. Finally, I have a fondness for alliteration. Pedantic Protestant --- after a minute or so of thinking "What should I name this blog?" --- seems to be as good of a name as any.

What is the point of this weblog? Honestly, I cannot answer that with any definiteness as of the present other than to say that there are certain ideas out there that, while being silly and requiring the same level of critical thought as does the successful popping of bubble wrap, are viewed as the hallmarks of sophisticated and modern thinking. Having been around such intense intellectual posturing for a respectable period of time, and having been sucked against my will into the midst of the vortex of such immense inanity, I consider myself reasonably qualified to comment on such matters while gleefully pointing out that the Emperor, if not totally naked, is quite scantily clad.

On what other matters will I post? I suppose the answer for now is: whatever happens to inspire me. I hope to balance positive entries with the more polemical entries. [It all depends on my mood, admittedly.] Regardless, I hope that the readers of this blog --- if any ever shall exist --- find the material interesting.