We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The hermeneutics of sin

The great error of Calvinism is conceiving that election could be discerned through signs of material success (and vice versa). Predestination is an entirely different matter altogether.

From Archibishop Cranmer:

[One]... may apportion his fall to personal wickedness or sin, as though the universal moral order functions like clockwork, meting out rewards to the righteous and punishment to the corrupt, perverted and immoral. But God doesn’t work like that: righteous people are afflicted by suffering (Ps 13:1). Moreover:

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. (Jn 9:1-3).

Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay.. (Lk 13:4f).

Jesus separates calamity and suffering from moral wrongdoing: there is no automatic imputation of guilt. Death, disaster, suffering and failure do not damn the victim with the stain of particular sin: none is pure ..., and none is more worthy than another of suffering. To be innocent and righteous, as Job undoubtedly was (Job 9:15, 20; 10:1-7), is not to be exempt from calamity. And to be corrupt, perverted and guilty is no guarantee of retribution:

There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous (Eccl 8:14).

Monday, August 15, 2016

Global concerns

Well, this blog has been reduced to 'not much' and that lesser portion mostly devoted to cultural issues. But when not writing, there is time for thinking. And Denken ist schwer.

Since the Roman Church insists that our anamnesis is defective, I have been looking at numerous actual and proposed wordings.

But the correct wording is surely directly related to our soteriology: and what if that is all wrong?

Furthermore, hasn't the entire structure been twisted to serve precisely our -- and only our -- concerns? One can certainly see that in TEC: religion is all about us. Happy-clappy. Where is fear and awe? My Puritan forebears had a greater sense of the dangers of sacrilege and blasphemy than almost any contemporary Catholic. Isn't this the old problem of "wrong life cannot be lived rightly"?

Ultimately, it is this disconnect that thwarts François’s conversion to Catholicism. Between the Ancient Christian faith he sees within the terrifying majesty of the Black Madonna’s gaze and the banal, pseudo-Arian humanitarianism preached from the pulpits of the contemporary Church. It was hard not to conclude that the Christianity of the Black Madonna was as inaccessible as the very 11th century that had built her. Some event, both catastrophic and violent, had happened between then and now, forever severing François and by extension France itself, from the strength and virility of the faith the Black Madonna represented. She now stood silent, as a simultaneously both a witness to a forgotten past and a judge upon a present that could only be unrecognizable to her. François ends his journey with a bitter realization: “That old queer Nietzsche had it right; Christianity was, at the end of the day, a feminine religion.”

Does such insight not drive so much of the despair of the Right? After all, how does one revive a “Christendom” without a Christianity?

We, Faustians.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

MoveOn.Org: an analogy

From Jack Donovan:

I’m no longer foolish enough to believe that my opinion, or even my vote — if I were registered to vote — will have any influence on who has been selected to become the next President of the United States.

But I’d still prefer Hillary Clinton.

Specifically because she represents everything I, and most of my readers, hate about what America has become. She’ll really put the nanny in nanny state. When asked about her approval ratings with white men, she has the typically dismissive feminist shoulder shrug that says, “I guess they’d better get used to how things are going to be now.” She’s shown that she will throw any man in uniform under a bus, or a tank, if it serves her own political agenda. She doesn’t care about your rights, or freedom of speech, or the 2nd Amendment, or — apparently — national security or classified information. She and her husband have made their careers pandering to minority (soon to be majority) groups and feeding into race-baiting politics. She gets away with every illegal thing she does, and like her husband, nothing really sticks to her, though she is widely regarded as a career liar of the first order. And if she wins, she’ll ride into office hailed as the first female President, just as her predecessor was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize just for showing up for work and being black.

After Obama, a Hillary Clinton presidency will drive home the reality that white men are no longer in charge, and the United States government doesn’t care what they want, and that it is no longer their country and never will be again. That’s the harsh truth, and Hillary’s the one who will make that truth impossible to ignore.

I want soldiers across the country to grimace and feel a little bit sick every time they salute, knowing that she’s their commander-in-chief. I want men all over America to cry during the national anthem for all the wrong reasons. I want them to become angry and defiant. I want them to get misty during fireworks next July, not because their hearts are filled with Budweiser and Apple pie, but because they are bargaining with themselves.

“If only we’d done something sooner.”

I think most middle and lower class white American men know on some semi-conscious level that America is never going to be great again — at least not for them — but it is going to take Hillary Clinton’s cold, Reptilian resting bitch-face on a Presidential portrait to make them accept it and start working through the rest of the stages of grief, so they can finally move on. So they can finally start imagining a post-American future for themselves and begin developing tribal alternatives, before it is too late. Before there are too few of them left to matter.

Donald Trump will keep them in denial. He will make them believe everything is going to be OK.


“When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong–these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”