Natural Family Planning & Theology of the Body, 17th Century Style

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St Francis de Sales, take it away: “The elephant, not only the largest but the most intelligent of animals, provides us with an excellent example. It is faithful and tenderly loving to the female of its choice, mating only every third year and then for no more than five days, and so secretly as never to be seen, until, on the sixth day, it appears and goes at once to wash its whole body in the river, unwilling to return to the herd until thus purified. Such good and modest habits are an example … [Read more...]

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Thiel And Strange Gods

The great and lovely James K. A. Smith has what I must call a frankly bizarre review of Peter Thiel's book Zero to One. A philosophically well-grounded Christian, and an innovative thinker, Thiel provides much grist to the mill of Christian thinkers.Smith's accusation against Thiel is that he is a proponent of an ideology or heresy called "startupism." According to Smith, this has four planks, and Thiel exhibits them. Frankly, I don't see how else to get that other than from an uncharitable r … [Read more...]

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How Sleazy Am I? Let’s Find Out

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A fellow Patheos blogger in the Progressive Christian Channel, Fred Clark, writes that I am being "sleazy" (and "passive-aggressive", after passively-aggressively accusing me of racist innuendo) in a column I wrote for The Week on the historic understanding of Christianity.Am I a sleazeball? Well, I am certainly marred by concupiscence and a disordered will as a result of original sin, so I can't exclude the possibility. Just how sleazy am I? Let's try to find out.In the piece, I note … [Read more...]

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The Facticity of the Church

Christianity went screaming into the Ancient World proclaiming not an ethic, not a philosophy, nor even really a religion, not even first a person, but simply a fact: that Jesus of Nazareth had risen from the dead.That Christianity rests entirely on a purely empirical claim--the person named Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead--is very important. It is an epistemological roll of the dice.It is also an assertion that something is the case. What Christianity asks is not that you evaluate t … [Read more...]

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The First Rule Of Cardinal Fight Club Is…

The Synod on the Family is starting, and within that there is the drama of the question of communion for divorced-remarried Catholics, and within that there is the drama of the fight between cardinals Burke and Kasper. Balthasar was right: we are always in the theodrama!I join my Patheos co-bloggers in expressing astonishment at the utterly biased presentation of the issue by the Catholic(!) News Service. And I've already written about my views on the substance of the issue.I want … [Read more...]

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