Of the Making of Latest Real Jesuses There Is No End

12/24/2010 Comments (1)

Here’s a piece in which somebody projects some good old-fashioned postmodern identity angst on Jesus.

It’s a common enough thing in our world.  People are continually manufacturing Latest Real Jesus to suit the cultural priorities of their age.  Albert Schweitzer, the great Social Gospel Protestant, went on a Quest for the Historical Jesus and discovered that Jesus was basically a Social Gospel Protestant.  Frank Barton wrote The Man Nobody Knows in the 20s, just as the stock market was soaring and Calvin Coolidge was declaring that “The business of America is business.”  Turned out Jesus was the first businessman.  In the 30s, the Nazis discovered that Jesus was actually an Aryan with no...READ MORE

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You Know What's Missing in Your Life?

12/22/2010 Comments (4)

A degree from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology

Master of Theological Studies (MTS) is a new program at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (DSPT) in Berkeley designed for working professionals who intend to remain in their current profession and integrate the skills and knowledge acquired at DSPT into their profession. The MTS program at DSPT is unique because it takes seriously the professional experience of its students, and weaves that experience into the ongoing philosophical and theological conversations of our community of scholars. The program is suitable for professionals with a minimum of 2 years of experience in a specialized field such as business,...READ MORE

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God Save us From Christmas Inquisitors!

12/20/2010 Comments (70)

Christmas is a time for making merry and rejoicing in the birth of the Son of God, not for one more chance to turn every freaking thing into yet another bit of Culture Warrior hypersensitivity.  You know those silly people who go around looking for racism under every rock?  The ones who make normal people think “You are a human toothache” because they flip out over greeting cards and other trivia?

Well, normal people have the same reaction to silly Christians who go into the Holiday season itching for opportunities to police everybody else’s speech and actions for telltale signs of hostility to Christmas.

Look, I’m a believing Christian who not only thinks we should keep Christ in...READ MORE

Filed under culture warriors

Which Unpatriotic Conservative Said This?

12/17/2010 Comments (24)

Some foes of American Greatness are actually suggesting that, when we are 13 trillion dollars in debt, it might be wise to start asking ourselves why wealthy countries like Germany, Japan, South Korea and other nations require us to have troops on their soil, doing what they should be doing themselves.  One such Unpatriotic Conservative remarked recently*:

“Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other.  Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and...READ MORE

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How Do We Fill Up What is Lacking in Christ's Sufferings?

12/15/2010 Comments (8)

A reader writes:

Your article at insidecatholic, “Little Systems of Order” was great. Every point you made resonated with me.

Something you wrote was particularly pertinent to something I’m struggling with now. Wonderful how the Holy Spirit works.

For instance, as an Evangelical, my eyes fell, for years, on passages like, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Col 1:24). I didn’t “reject” such passages. I simply . . . didn’t see them. It was one of those weird things St. Paul said. Nobody knows why. If I read similar words in any other context (i.e., from a Catholic...READ MORE

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There's a Reason the Catholic Tradition is Suspicious of Usury

12/13/2010 Comments (102)

Ecoland - Bubble story from Denis van Waerebeke on Vimeo.

English Major Alert:  The following remarks contain dangerously high levels of pedantry and trivia.

One of the interesting and unexpected connections Dante makes in his Inferno is that he links the sin of sodomy with the sin of usury.  Don’t see the connection?  That’s understandable.  You live in a civilization that no longer has a big problem with either.  However, Dante’s thinking is this: He regards human activity as oriented toward fruitfulness that must spring from only two sources: Nature and Art. So, for Dante, a man is legitimately wealthy if he, say, grows a crop and sells it or makes a hat (or a poem) and sells them. ...READ MORE

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Peg Noonan…

12/10/2010 Comments (44)

channels and articulates the enormous pool of anxiety and fear upon which our civilization precariously sits.

A culture of death is a culture of fear.  And as long as it is impenitent, it will persist in attempting to stick more and ever more band-aids on the thousand open and running sores instead of repenting being a culture of death.  That’s why we are so rapidly morphing into a security state.  We hope that technology, regulation, and force will save us.  The narrative of this world is that trusting God is pollyanna nonsense.  As long as we embrace that folly and keep trusting in money, sex, and power we will continue to sink into fear.

This Advent: repent!  It’s the only way....READ MORE

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Why Actors Need Scripts

12/08/2010 Comments (33)

When you let them say things that professional writers have not prepared for them, they wind up blathering stuff like this:

C. S. Lewis was clear that the character of Aslan in his Chronicles of Narnia is based on Christ.

But actor Liam Neeson, who voices the lion in the latest Narnia film, has prompted a row after claiming his character is also based on other religious leaders such as Mohammed and Buddha.

Actors are people who have a knack for a) memorizing things and b) presenting a simulacrum of human emotion so that you believe them when they say the things other people prepare for them to recite.  Sometimes they are able to do other things as well.  But when they go off script, do...READ MORE

Filed under at the movies

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About Mark Shea

Mark Shea
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Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.