street theologian

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Attacks on Catholics in India

In fresh incidents of attacks on Catholic places of worship in the state, some unidentified persons burnt religious books belonging to a church and also damaged furniture at a church and statue of Mother - This website has some pretty good coverage of the violence along with photos.

read more | digg story

Monday, September 15, 2008

Accept death "at the hour chosen by God"- Pope Benedict XVI

"There are struggles that we cannot sustain alone, without the help of divine grace," he said.

"For each person, suffering is always something alien, It can never be tamed."

-Pope Benedict XVI

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

More Shameless Self Promotion

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Or just add the blog networks application, and search "street theologian"

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Way of the Master on God's Will

Ever since I got this amazing little service known as Sirius Satellite Radio for my two hour daily commute, I picked up listening to Way of the Master Radio on Sirius Familynet (aka Southern Baptist Radio). For those who don't know, that's Kirk Cameron's (aka Mike Seaver of "Growing Pains" fame) radio program. As long as I've listened to it, I have never actually heard Kirk (wasn't his best friend on the show named Boner???), but instead I hear the equally entertaining (though far less dreamy) Ray Comfort and Todd Friel.

In any case, I have actually gained a real appreciation for the show. As a street theologian, I have never really appreciated that Protestants have seriousness and depth to their theology. However I do find some of their underlying assumptions to be faulty. They have a traditional outlook on Scripture without an understanding of what tradition is or where it came from. I can write about this later.

I found this thought interesting the other day, though (Perhaps I missed something): We do our best to interpret God's will and do it, but if something else happens, THAT was really God's will.

Part of me can accept this. What I have trouble understanding is whether he would say then if Adam's sin was God's will. I can believe that God knew, but that does not therefore make sin God's will. If the long term redemption is God's will, and God stands outside time while transcending through it, then bad things must invariably happen.

Basically, bad things happen because the world is fallen and awaiting a final consummation of the Kingdom. But, can I attribute evil to God? Since I can not, I am lead to believe that God tolerates evil because He allows people the free will to choose between good and evil, so that they may therefore be actually good. More to come.

-Steve K.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Why Orthodox Worship (Letter to a friend)

The topic: Why Orthodox Worship as opposed to the alternatives?

Dear XYZ,

I admire your passion for the Orthodox Faith. We’ll need people like you in the Church.

I grew up in Florida, so I have had my taste of the Bible belt and the strong evangelical tradition. For a long time, I truly hated praise and worship. I didn’t want to hear it, and I didn’t want any of it going on in my conferences and retreats.

I’ve softened up over the years though. I think this is primarily because I think the Christian God is an eternally loving God. If Christ has truly triumphed over death, than I have no problem with rejoicing and praising his name.

So, there is nothing innately wrong with that aspect of protestant-styled worship; singing of praise and worship songs (provided this is truly the fruit of the Spirit, and not driven by the “charismatic” movement).

However, for me the problem is not the depth of their sincerity, but rather how incomplete their worship is.

If I’m going to praise God, I must confront my own sinfulness. I must plead for mercy. If Christ truly died on the Cross, and resurrected, how am I supposed to really participate in that Salvation. There is a difference between knowing about salvation then singing about it, and otherwise truly partaking in it.

If the Eucharist is what Christ said it was supposed to be, His Body and Blood, than that is the means by which we may identify ourselves with Christ and His saving act.

That is the essence of Orthodox worship. Strip away all the helpful things that give us a mystical experience, and at the core we are gathered around the table as Christ instructed His Apostles. The liturgical worship is complete, not just because it’s old, but because it’s true.

I don’t mean this to be an exhaustive theological essay. Bounce your ideas off of me if you’d like. I’m going to blog this with names removed of course. Stay true!

-Steve K.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Piously Orthodox Coffee Drinking

As I've said before, to be orthodox (lowercase o) means to be in fidelity with the foundational principles of whatever I happen to be talking about. Well today I'm talking about coffee.

Every day for the past few months I stop at Dunkin Donuts and get my extra large coffee with skim milk and 2 splendas. By the end of each cup I have a terrible aftertaste in my mouth. For lack of a better option I get the same thing every day. I have absolute begun to hate it.

Call me a snob if you want. But as an avid coffee drinker, I buy whole coffee beans from Starbucks (until the day I perhaps find something better...any recommendations???), grind them myself, and brew my own coffee.

It's dark, it's strong, it's a little bitter. But there are deep dimensions to it. Real coffee has body and aroma. Dunkin Donuts coffee keeps me awake. Real coffee has a harmonious balance of acidity and sweetness. I kill my Dunkin Donuts coffee with packets of sugar until I don't really taste it anymore.

Now I know there are probably more zealous coffee purists out there. What I also know is that there is a proper way that coffee is supposed to taste, the way it was meant to taste; the orthodoxy of coffee drinking.

-Steve K.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Right and Wrong

Today's passing thought...

If there is a distinction between good and evil, how do we know it? How are we able to tell the difference?

Well, morality has been inherited over time. But to strictly say that all of what we know is simply a product of some sort of moral evolution process seems to me at least to relativize and trivialize that there are indeed clear distinctions between good and evil.

Nor will I say that we have our morality simply by inheritance of edicts from the past (i.e. the Ten Commandments). I imagine that both killing and stealing were unpleasant before Moses came down from the mountain.

What I suspect is that our internal knowledge of good and evil come from an archetype, an imprinting in all human beings of the true standard by which we are intended to live. We may not necessarily live up to this standard, but it remains the same and unchanging.

For the Christian, God has created Man in his own image, the internal standard in all humanity by which we are able to discern the good from the bad. The standard is actually embodied in the person of Christ, who is not simply the archetype, but the prototype human being.

If there is no concrete standard of right and wrong, good and evil, than I don't see how one does not end up reasoning himself away into a relativism (well you may want that). However, since even atheists believe in at least some moral universals, there simply must be a foundation upon which these rest.

-Steve K.

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