Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday Round up....

Terrific new addition..........its always nice to hear about new babies.

I also wanted to mention Catholic Men's Quarterly here. I know that Eric has linked to it over at TDE. The Summer/Fall issue should be of interest to Chestertonians. The first article is by Dale Ahlquist, Sometimes You Have to Fight: A Chestertonian Perspective. Those who have listened to Dale shouldnt be surprised by the article, basically Chesterton and Just War. Some good quotes, though. Christopher Check, who spoke powerfully at the last GKC conference, has an article about Lepanto. For those of you who have read ACS's recent edition, Check begins a bit before in history, discussing more of the run-up to the battle. Yours truly contributes an article about mentoring and coaching. is Arx Publishing, which publishes CMQ, as well as some very solid titles of high fantasy and literature.

It seems as though this time of year puts us in a Chestertonian octave. St. Michael, St. Francis, Our Lady of the Rosary(Lepanto) all find thier places on the calendar during this time. I suppose it is an opportunity for reflection on life, faith, and literature. What I have been deeply struck by recently is the liberating freedom which comes from faith. We are moral agents with power over our choices and direction. There is indeed nothing more depressing than the tyrannical slavery of being a prisoner of one's own time. It truly is the "orthodox" believer who can reach back in brotherhood with antiquity while still pressing on forward.

I have been reading a bit of Cardinal Newman lately, and it strikes me that the ideas which he expounded on regarding development of doctrine and the university are playing out in front of us today. I truly think that the cult of "progress" is winding down a bit, but the process of "evolution" guides our culture. Both progress and evolution taken out of context are nothing more than bad Calvanism featuring another kind of predestination and morbid inevitability. Reading Newman(and Chesterton) leaves me feeling in awe of the effort, time, and study required to produce a classically trained mind, and a razor sharp intellect. This is not merely an idea of Newman's, or of Western thought. Confucius himself did not think himself prepared to begin studying the I-Ching until he was past age 70. Pope John Paul II had spoken of evolution being a problem when it is "more than a hypothesis", indeed it is now a euphemism for our contemporary way of life. Evolution is passive, intellectual rigor is active. Matter can evolve into different forms, but ideas either develop as acorns into oak trees, or they suffer radical logical deficiencies. Keep your ears open for a couple days and you will be surprised how often the term "evolve" is used, albeit incorrectly.

Newman had also noticed that Theology had to be enshrined as the Queen of the Sciences. Im being a bit liberal with Newman, but he also noted that nature abhored a vacuum. Theology will always be present. Closing the theology departments of universities did not banish speculation into the highest questions of existence. The questions were only shifted to Marxist, Feminist, and GLBT doctrines.

Chesterton said that when one stopped believing in God, one would believe in anything. I think it is fairly easy to see examples of this all around us.

This is alot of heady stuff for Friday, but when you mention Newman you have no choice but to ascend into that air. I began this mental stroll with the idea of Christian faith empowering us with the ability to both reach back and move forward. I guess that the "Octave of Chesterton" has got me breathing the fresh air of orthodoxy, or the dank smell of the cave of Bethlehem. When man is the pinnacle of history and the incarnation is the pinnacle of man, there is always hope that a wonderful future can be built, not merely progress into being.

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