Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Alligator Fridays!

Im not sure what to make of this.  Apparently if you have a strong hankering for alligator and happen to be celebrating lent you are free to have it.  As it turns out the alligator is in the fish family?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Calvin on Lent

Lent has gained some popularity among evangelicals.  Personally I am indifferent to the practices of lent depending on the reason one is exercising it.  But, out of curiosity I decided to read what Calvin had to say on the subject.  His take below:

  20. Then the superstitious observance of Lent had everywhere prevailed: for both the vulgar imagined that they thereby perform some excellent service to God, and pastors commended it as a holy imitation of Christ; though it is plain that Christ did not fast to set an example to others, but, by thus commencing the preaching of the gospel, meant to prove that his doctrine was not of men, but had come from heaven. And it is strange how men of acute judgment could fall into this gross delusion, which so many clear reasons refute: for Christ did not fast repeatedly (which he must have done had he meant to lay down a law for an anniversary fast), but once only, when preparing for the promulgation of the gospel. Nor does he fast after the manner of men, as he would have done had he meant to invite men to imitation; he rather gives an example, by which he may raise all to admire rather than study to imitate him. In short, the nature of his fast is not different from that which Moses observed 
when he received the law at the hand of the Lord (Exod. 24:18; 34:28). For, seeing that that miracle was performed in Moses to establish the law, it behoved not to be omitted in Christ, lest the gospel should seem inferior to the law. But from that day, it never occurred to any one, under pretence of imitating Moses, to set up a similar form of fast among the Israelites. Nor did any of the holy prophets and fathers follow it, though they had inclination and zeal enough for all pious exercises; for though it is said of Elijah that he passed forty days without meat and drink (1 Kings 19:8), this was merely in order that the people might recognise that he was raised up to maintain the law, from which almost the whole of Israel had revolted. It was therefore merely false zeal, replete with superstition, which set up a fast under the title and pretext of imitating Christ; although there was then a strange diversity in the mode of the fast, as is related by Cassiodorus in the ninth book of the History of Socrates: “The Romans,” says he, “had only three weeks, but their fast was continuous, except on the Lord’s day and the Sabbath. The Greeks and Illyrians had, some six, others seven, but the fast was at intervals. Nor did they differ less in the kind of food: some used only bread and water, others added vegetables; others had no objection to fish and fowls; others made no difference in their food.” Augustine also makes mention of this difference in his latter epistle to Januarius.

There is much to say on the subject.  Just not today :)

Garry Wills on the Priesthood

I have always believed that Gary Wills should stop being Roman Catholic for the simple fact that he's running out of good reasons to remain RC.  Perhaps I should read his book Why I Am A Catholic.  Or perhaps I can just assume he enjoys living in a dichotomy between what he says he believes and what he actually believes.  That's what is interesting about RC.  One does not necessarily have to believe in its dogmas as long as she is willing to formally agree with the Papacy.

On that note.  What was that rather strange discussion of Hebrews? From my understanding of Hebrews the author (Wills is correct, while we have some good candidates of who might have written Hebrews we don't really know for sure) is addressing a problem of apostacy within that Church.  It seems that many joined the Church but for some reason regressed back in to their previous religion which happened to be a Hellenistic informed Judaism.  So the author sets out to explain that Jesus is superior to Moses and the way to salvation, hence His priesthood.  Where did Colbert get the idea that this was a proof text for human priests?

Let me know if you know the answer to this.