Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Surprise Surprise

What's your theological worldview?
created with
You scored as Roman Catholic

You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Roman Catholic


Neo orthodox


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan








Reformed Evangelical


Classical Liberal


Modern Liberal


What I find interesting is not my highest score, but the scores that follow. 86% Neo-Orthodox? 71% Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan? But - my favorite - I'm 39% Fundamentalist. I hope Jim West can still like the other 61% of me.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone out there had a great Christmas. It has certainly been a really blessed time for me this year. I've gotta say - in a moment of personal business - my mom is pretty much the best mother one could ask for. Instead of, "What do you want for Christmas?" she asks, "What books do you want for Christmas?"

A few books I got this year are:

And the one I was most surprised/excited about:

I'm so excited. It was a little difficult to explain to people why this is a cool gift...but such is life when you're a nerd.

Friday, December 21, 2007

A la Descartes

I've been thinking lately about Descartes' idea that we are simply a res cogitan. I completely disagree (as the ultimate subject of attribution in a rational being is the person, not a nature and certainly not a power). But, while thinking about this, my brain naturally went to a joke I had heard a few years ago.

Descartes walks into a Cafe in Paris to have a coffee. As the waiter pours his coffee for him, he asks, "Sir, would you care for any cream or milk?" to which Descartes replies, "I think not." and disappears.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

If you haven't already watched these....

Then repent. These are links to Ben Witherington's Parchman lectures given at Baylor last October. I love Dr. Witherington's work and he's probably one of my favorite lecturers (perhaps because we are both sons of the Old North State and as Southern genetlemen, we have a somewhat kindred spirit). Go give these a watch:

By the way, Video 3 is Dr. Ben talking about the authorship of Gospel of John and his theory that the BD is actually Lazarus.

Heresy and the Church

Awhile back both Chris Tilling and Alan Knox gave a go at defining "heresy". Tilling focuses more on heresy as a lived out endeavor whereas Knox focuses mainly on heresy in relation to Scripture. I think both of these are true - but I think both lack an element: the Church.

When the first great heresy arose, there wasn't a Biblical canon. How did the early Church combat it? By the Church's authority. Out of the 318 Bishops that showed up, all but 2 voted against Arius, and the decision was signed by the Papal Legates sent by Pope Sylvester.

Also, heresy is not just a simple belief (as Tilling pointed out) - but is rather the continuation in a belief after having been corrected. The Catholic Church differentiates between material and formal heresy. Material heresy is simply done out of ignorance (and isn't even a sin), whereas formal heresy is when one knowingly goes against the teachings of the Church.

I think this is completely in line with Scripture, as well. For Paul, the Church is the pillar of Truth (1 Timothy 3:15). Notice when Paul mentions heresy (αιρεσεις) in 1 Corinthians 11:19 - it's within the setting of the liturgy. It's not simply a wrong belief, it's going against the Church. In Galatians 5:20 - Paul states that heresy is an offense which will keep you from inheriting the kingdom of God.

I suppose my point is - if you use Scripture as the sole rule of doctrine, how exactly do you say anything is heresy absolutely? You can say, "Well, this sounds like heresy to me and mine." But you certainly can't say so for all of Christendom (not Chrisendom, which is chock full of heresy anyway) with any kind of authority. The Angelic Doctor is as erudite as ever:

The subject-matter of both faith and heresy is, therefore, the deposit of the faith, that is, the sum total of truths revealed in Scripture and Tradition as proposed to our belief by the Church. The believer accepts the whole deposit as proposed by the Church; the heretic accepts only such parts of it as commend themselves to his own approval. (S.Th. II-II:11:1)

Personally, I'd like to see this word get a little more mileage. We're all a little too PC these days. Let the H bombs fly!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Noah's Nakedness and the Curse on Canaan

I've been chock full of links lately simply because I've been so busy. This time it's a link to an article that appeared in JBL (Spring 2005) concerning Genesis 9:20-27. I think Drs. Bergsma and Hahn have argued for an interesting interpretation - maternal incest on the part of Ham. Really intriguing. Give it a read!

Noah's Nakedness and the Curse on Canaan (Gen. 9:20-27)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Exams and Bible Resources

Exams are finished, I'm all packed up and set to drive back to NC tomorrow for Christmas break. I just wanted to pass along this great resource that Chris Tilling pointed out. It's called Bibliaclerus and it's a website that has Scripture along with commentaries written by the Fathers. It also has some of the writings of the Church Fathers as well. Very neat.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tis the season

Since there's quite a bit of talk about "smack downs" as of late, since it's the Advent season, because I'm studying for my Theology of Christ exam, and because I don't have time to write much more - I figured I'd talk about the real St. Nicholas. There's a bit of legend concerning his life, but I'm not going to go into an historical analysis of it all.

St. Nicholas became a monk during the time that his uncle was the Bishop of Patara. Shortly after his becoming a monk, however, he was supposed to have heard the voice of God telling him to "set about your work among the people." So, he was thereafter appointed Archbishop of Myra. St. Nicholas was known as the "Wonder Worker" for his charitable acts (and supposedly for miracles he performed as well). In 325, the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea was called and St. Nicholas attended. After hearing Arius try to defend his views and being so infuriated by the heresy, jolly ol' St. Nicholas smacked Arius right in the face! This is my kind of saint! He was supposedly taken out of the council for it and imprisoned (not his first time being in prison). However, some of the Bishops apparently saw a vision from God and St. Nicholas was released.

Regardless if the story is true - I think it's awesome that it was well-spread in the early Church that St. Nicholas smacked the business out of Arius.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Maurice Robinson's Case for Byzantine Priority

It's that wonderful time of the semester - finals! Therefore, I don't have much time for blog posts, but I do have time to pass this link on. I read Robinson's case for Byzantine priority at the beginning of this year, and I've gotta be honest - I'm not sure I completely understand everything he writes (my fault, not his). I'm interested in Textual Criticism, but I'm less than a novice on the subject. However, I found his reasoning interesting and somewhat compelling - particularly how he accounts for the historical transmission of the text. At any rate, give it a read.