ICOC and Historical Roots

I came across this quotation from Alexander Campbell, founder of the Church of Christ, from which the ICOC springs. It reads,  "I have endeavored to read the Scriptures as though no one had read them before me, and I am as much on my guard against reading them today, through the medium of my own views yesterday, or a week ago, as I am against being influenced by any foreign name, authority, or system whatever."  This is interesting because there seems to be a trend within the Evangelical world to disassociate with their historical roots. I know many Protestant Evangelicals, including the ICOC, who are squeamish when I call them "Protestants." 'We're not Protestants,' they'll object, 'We're just Christians.' This is to be completely ignorant of history. While I consider "Protestant" to be something of a bad word, I don't understand why it would be to a Protestant. I can use it in a value-neutral way, and it can easily inter…

Thoughts on Peggy McIntosh

I had to read and give an assessment of Peggy McIntosh's essay on White and Male privilege for my Feminist Philosophy class.
Peggy McIntosh writes about the parallel between white and male privilege. She defines privilege as “unearned assets” to which she is designed to be oblivious to. What these assets are exactly, she doesn’t exactly say, but she does give some personal examples of white privilege from her own life, carefully qualifying them as “not a scholarly analysis” and “not intended to be generalizable.” From this list she says there’s some similar male privilege, like being dominant in school teachings. She expresses her frustration at men for not seeing and denying this privilege. Given this, she takes a meritocracy to not exist in the US. She makes a helpful distinction in these privileges by saying that they aren’t unjust to have, and that everyone ought to have them. But distinct from that are certain privileges that are mutually exclusive to the rights and justice o…

Thoughts on Audrey Lorde's Speech

I had to read Audrey Lorde's speech "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House" for my Feminist Philosophy class, and then give an assessment. 
Audrey Lorde is calling fellow feminist to give more attention to poor and colored minorities, as well as other minorities. To ignore such perspectives is to be part of the racist patriarchy, which is antithetical to feminism. She cites one paper in the conference she was attending, saying it was too limited in scope by not acknowledging her point of view, it presumes she had nothing to say. Shes goes on to emphasize that differences are good, and can be strengths, so they shouldn’t be ignored, and so she shouldn’t be ignored either. It is these differences that will defeat the racist patriarchy. She brings up an interesting point that if the women who attend such conferences are really concerned about the plight of women in the racist patriarchy, then they would be hypocrites to ignore poor and colored wo…

Did Aristides Believe In Original Sin?

Some Protestants have cited the following from Aristides, a 2nd century Christian, against the doctrine of Original Sin.  And when a child has been born to one of them, they give thanks to God; and if moreover it happen to die in childhood, they give thanks to God the more, as for one who has passed through the world without sins. Does this show that Aristides taught children (some translations have "infancy" instead of "childhood", while other translations, like the Syriac, doesn't have it at all!) don't have original sin? Not at all, and to think that it does is to read it into the text. So, the Protestant wants to say that if a child dies in infancy, then he dies without sin. And he can only die without sin if he has no Original Sin. This is not true. Catholics believe in Original Sin and we also believe that infants can die without sin. How? Through baptism. An infant who is baptized can pass through this world without sin. It isn't true that the on…

Revisiting Andy Warhol

The iconic soup can. What is the big deal? Well, it's not really a big deal, and that might be the point. This paper on Andy Warhol's possible Eastern Christian aesthetic has helped me see that. It's an interesting paper, and I think it's worth a read, especially if you are Catholic or Orthodox. The basic idea is this: the aesthetic style of icons, no context and no space, is present in some of Warhol's work, as evidenced by the soup can, Golden Marilyn Monroe, and Silver Liz. Okay, I see that. I think that's pretty plausible. And I didn't really see that before, but I did have some vague sense of it. I just never really unpacked it's a can of soup. Icons help us encounter a transfigured and holy person. That is why icons lack space and context. Is Warhol trying doing this too? Well, if he is, it doesn't work. Yes, in some sense, all of creation is good, and goodness is convertible with beautiful, so in some sense, all of creation is be…

Baltimore Catechism Lesson Outlines and Quizzes

This last year I had the honor of helping teens at my parish go through their Confirmation. I put some work into it, and I want to share that work with others. We used the St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism and below are my lesson outlines and quizzes. Let me know if this benefits you in any way! 
Lesson Outlines

Genesis & The Immaculate Conception

I just watched one of the videos from the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology for their "The Bible and the Virgin Mary" series. It's good stuff all around, and they presented an argument for Mary's sinlessness and immaculate conception I hadn't heard before, but is really common sense. The argument is from Genesis 3, when God is rebuking Adam, Eve and the Serpent, and God says to the devil,  I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her seed The seed here is Jesus Christ, who crushes and defeats Satan, and the woman is Jesus' mother, Mary. There can be enmity between Jesus and Satan because Jesus is sinless and perfect. He is not under Satan's domain. And likewise, Mary has enmity towards Satan because she too was not born under his domain. But this means Mary is likewise sinless, and this, as Saint Pope John Paul II said, necessitates her immaculate conception.