On Opinion and Judgement

From First Thoughts

Recently I was asked my opinion on anthropogenic global warming. In the ensuing discussion, there was criticism of my rejection of “the majority opinion of ‘experts’” as a good or valid method to base my position. Having rejected that, I was asked by what means, if not the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Ann Rice Meme

From First Thoughts

Ann had an interesting meme post which I noticed today, the “Ann Rice” meme. This meme asks us to: Name 3 things that really annoy you about church in general. Name 3 reasons why you stay.So, without further ado: here’s my list.Annoyances When Christians make references to . . . . Continue Reading »

Ms Rice and Our Divided Church

From First Thoughts

Some ink (some virtual) has been spilled on novelist Ms Rice announcing that she has “left the Church” but not left Christ. Recently I have been reading and studying the five theological orations by St. Gregory the Theologian (also known as St. Gregory of Nazianzus where he was Bishop . . . . Continue Reading »

An Ecumenical Question

From First Thoughts

Throughout Church history, theological controversy has been one of the enduring features. Name any communion or denomination and you will find one which has struggled with this matter. St. Maximus the Confessor was imprisoned, exiled, and lost his tongue and compared to many he got off easy. For . . . . Continue Reading »

Bleg: Some N.T. References Sought

From First Thoughts

One week from Saturday, I’m giving an oral final/homily to a (late vocations) N.T. class that I’m taking. I had a suggestion to do my homily concentrating on the topic of tolerance. Right now I’m thinking of starting (and wrapping up?) with a look at the section in John in which . . . . Continue Reading »

The Many Worlds Adiaphora or Heresy?

From First Thoughts

Two well known strands of Protestant theology are the Calvinist and Arminian. There are a number of differences between these two schools but one of them keys on soteriology (salvation). Calvinists would hold that once a person is saved, he is always saved. Arminians dispute this idea. Consider the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Augustine Question

From First Thoughts

One of the wonderful moments in St. Augustine’s Confessions returned to me in force from out of the blue. Now, I’ve not been a Christian for long in my adult life, having been raised within the fold of the Church, but having fallen away for 20 years of my adult life until fairly . . . . Continue Reading »

Of Noah and Culture

From First Thoughts

Do  anthropological differences between our individualistic/wealth driven culture and the honor/shame  culture of the Middle East (throughout the ages) matter when reading text? Take for example the story of Noah and the flood. This question was asked when last I discussed the flood in . . . . Continue Reading »

Noetic Noah and the Fluffy Hermeneutic

From First Thoughts

This started as a reply about hermeneutic in the context of the flood on my personal blog. Do we take the flood literally or not. My interlocutor was exasperated exclaiming that to not take the text literally implies words have no meaning. This is exactly backwords. Here is my response to him.Yes, . . . . Continue Reading »

Entering the Seraglio

From First Thoughts

Saturday night my wife and I went to the symphony. One of the pieces we heard was Symphony no. 4 by Sergei Prokofiev. In the program notes, one of the things we were informed about this symphony was that it borrowed heavily from an earlier work, which was a ballet entitled The Prodigal Son. . . . . Continue Reading »