Whatever Biblical Principle

Whatever Biblical Principle February 2, 2023

Many a good writer, podcaster or Youtuber can be identified by their particular niche unique to their brand of social media.

Jimmy Akin for example podcasts, youtubes and writes about informative apologetics and the mysterious world around us that contains both supernatural and natural mysteries looked at through the lens of faith and reason.

Many readers of this book will be familiar with the story of the discovery and excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb. It is a story we never seem to tire of hearing: the down-on-his-luck archaeologist who teams up with a wealthy English lord to search for a lost tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Then we have the treasures, the thousands of objects the boy-king intended to take with him to the next world—so many objects that it took the discoverer, Howard Carter, and his team ten years to clear the tomb, pack the fragile thrones, beds, shrines, and coffins, and place them on steamers to take them down the Nile to Cairo to be displayed in the Egyptian Museum. For most people, this is where the story ends—but it doesn’t. There is much more to tell.
Bob Brier, Tutankhamun and the Tomb that Changed the World (2022) Oxford University Press

Dr. Bob Brier tells more as Jimmy’s guest on Jimmy Akin’s Mysterious World.

Steven D. Greydanus (Deacon Steve) writes catechetical and reflective homilies and also writes about politics on social media, but most of all is known for writing about movies at Decent Films. Everything that graces his cyber pen is dipped in the inkwell of his Catholic Faith.

There are two things Avatar: The Way of Water does supremely well — more about that in a bit — but let’s acknowledge up front that, in all the ways Avatar was mediocre, The Way of Water represents no great step forward. The plot is less conventional than the 2009 film, but no less tropey, with a similar thematic blend of eco-spirituality, anti-imperialism, xeno-naturalistic wonder, and thundering action set pieces.  For a while I began to wonder if this return to Pandora might not finally be the extravagant folly that so many suspected that Titanic and Avatar would be.

Then came the second hour, and then the third: each with very big, very different “Never bet against James Cameron” energy.  In fact, other than Tom Cruise’s last two extravaganzas (Top Gun: Maverick and Mission: Impossible – Fallout), I can’t think of a single Hollywood action movie in the last five years with set pieces that hold a candle to The Way of Water. Steven D. Greydanus –Avatar: The Way of Water is everything James Cameron wants movies to be – Decent Films

Karina Fabian is not only one of the founding members of the Catholic Writers’ Guild, but she writes fantastic fantasy and superb science fiction stories again from the wonder of her Catholic faith. Sometimes her books are a mystery.

Humans were made in God’s image. Dragons, on the other hand… We came from God’s Imagining. We are the eighth day creation, limited in number but unending in days, and God gifted us to the Faerie world so no one would forget His great power. We commanded the respect of empyrie from Ur-kuk, the Harbinger of Hiccups, to Zeus himself. Elves described our virtues in poetry that took days to recite. Dwarves honored us by creating expansive cave lairs in their mines just in case a dragon decided to visit. And humans? Well, Image often clashed with Imagination.
Karina Fabian,  Murder Most Picante: A DragonEye, PI story  (2020) Laser Cow Press

One thing that all these particular personalities share in common, besides their overt Catholic faith, is that they don’t just write strictly about Catholic faith, but bring their Catholic faith to everything they write or produce. They live out the (WBP) Whatever Biblical Principle in their daily creative endeavors.

Whatever is true,
Whatever is noble,
Whatever is right,
Whatever is pure,
Whatever is lovely,
Whatever is admirable—
Anything that is excellent or praiseworthy
—Write about such things
so others can think about such things.
Philippians 4:8-New International Version (modified).

Finding the Truth, Beauty and Goodness in the created world and sharing it with others is a very Catholic thing indeed.

Catholics believe that the sacred is everywhere and walks among us. Everyday pursuits and objects convey God’s presence to us and stir our natural impulse to seek the divine in the world. God is not confined to the pages of the Bible. For Catholics, he is immanent, inextricably woven into daily life. In the eighteenth century, Jesuit priest Jean-Pierre de Caussade wrote, “Are not all times the successive effects of the divine operation which pours itself forth on all the instants of time, filling them, sanctifying them, supernaturalizing them all?” he wrote. “Everything is a means and an instrument of holiness; everything without any exception.” The divine flows through the ordinary stuff and ordinary moments of life.
Jay Copp,  150 People, Places, and Things You Never Knew Were Catholic (2022 ) Our Sunday Visitor 

It’s good and important to have strictly direct Catholic things.

Where two or three gather in your name, Lord, you promised to be with them and share their fellowship. Look down upon your family gathered here in your name, and graciously pour out your blessing upon us.-Morning Prayer for Monday in the 4th week of Ordinary Time

Divine Office – Liturgy of the Hours of the Roman Catholic Church (Breviary)

But it is also good and sometimes in certain situations to have non-direct Catholic things.

“I believe that any Christian who is qualified to write a good popular book on any
science may do much more by that than by any direct apologetic work…. We can
make people often attend to the Christian point of view for half an hour or so; but
the moment they have gone away from our lecture or laid down our article, they
are plunged back into a world where the opposite position is taken for granted….

What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by
Christians on other subjects—with their Christianity latent. You can see this most
easily if you look at it the other way around. Our faith is not very likely to be
shaken by any book on Hinduism. But if whenever we read an elementary book
on Geology, Botany, Politics, or Astronomy, we found that its implications were
Hindu, that would shake us. It is not the books written in direct defense of
Materialism that make the modern man a materialist; it is the materialistic
assumptions in all the other books. In the same way, it is not books on
Christianity that will really trouble him. But he would be troubled if, whenever he
wanted a cheap popular introduction to some science, the best work on the
market was always by a Christian.”

― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics

1 Minute Clip of Trent Horn’s commentary on this quote.

I’m not sure of my particular niche. I suppose if I do in fact have one it is editing and putting together organized and specific lists and quotes of books, music, movies, history, Catholic teaching and particular Catholic authors I want to share others.

There are three kinds of people in this world: 1) People who make lists, 2) People who don’t make lists, and 3) People who carve tiny Nativity scenes out of pecan hulls. I’m sorry, there isn’t really a third category; it’s just that a workable list needs a minimum of three items, I feel. I am, as you might have guessed, a person who makes lists: daily To Do lists, long-term To Do lists, shopping lists, packing lists.

I make lists to keep my anxiety level down. If I write down 15 things to be done, I lose that vague, nagging sense that there are an overwhelming number of things to be done, all of which are on the brink of being forgotten.

― Mary Roach, My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places (2013) Reader’s Digest

We must not forget that even a prodigious reader never has access to more than an infinitesimal fraction of the books that exist.” (1) And just because people can “can buy books, unfortunately,  they can’t always buy time to read and to understand them or to apply them fully to their life.“(2) But a person can usually read lists of good thought provoking quotes.

I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.” (3)

In the Catholic world “the diversity of thought within Catholic teaching, like variety within the strictures of sonnets, is one of its most beautiful features. It is nevertheless important to listen, as much as we can, to a broad chorus of Catholic thinkers. I have found great consolation in the fact that someone holier and smarter than myself has likely asked my questions already; my job is to find them and to listen, and then to make as many people as possible read block quotations about it. (4)

So this search for quotes  has turned me into a quote collector.  I like to construct posts put together with cyber glue and glitter that bring together these bits of collected thoughts I searched diligently for. They are  brought together in one post so folks can easily browse through and consume ideas, nyucks, and AWES! without having to read a gazillion posts, articles or books to do so. I  will continue to scan books, videos, and podcasts, both Catholic and secular, brining the Whatever Biblical Principle to them and then share the splendid spoils with others by creating Bountiful Beautiful Book Blurbs we can read in the Haven’t Read Book Club.

So what is your creative endeavor
you bring the Whatever Biblical Principle to?

Some examples of secular non-Catholics that produce excellent or praiseworthy stuff.

Comedian Youtuber Ryan George

Travel, Language, History Writer Bill Bryson

Hannibal had obviously had better days, but even they couldn’t have been all that great. The Hotel Mark Twain was boarded up. That’s a sad sight—a tall building with every window plugged with plywood. Every business in town appeared to trade on Twain and his books—the Mark Twain Roofing Company, the Mark Twain Savings and Loan, the Tom ’n’ Huck Motel, the Injun Joe Campground and Go-Kart Track, the Huck Finn Shopping Center. You could even go and be insane at the Mark Twain Mental Health Center—a possibility that would, I imagine, grow increasingly likely with every day spent in Hannibal. The whole place was sad and awful. I had been planning to stay for lunch, but the thought of having to face a Tom Sawyer Burger or Injun Joe Cola left me without any appetite for either food or Hannibal.
-Bill Bryson, The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America (1989)

Podcaster Aaron Mahnke

If you like Mysterious World you might like this podcast also.

Most of the frightening folklore we talk about takes place on the ground.
But a little over a century ago, one ancient belief found new life in the skies above us
—and the results were terrifying.


1. Pierre Bayard,How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read
2.  Mark Brumley (Jan 14, 2023 on FB) (Modified)
3. Marlene Dietrich
4.Sharon Kabel , OSB vs. UFO: Stanley Jaki and the Theology of Aliens (June 16, 2021)- OnePeterFive

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