What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

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Standing at attention for the National Anthem

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Oct 19, 07:30:

~~On the other hand, abortion isn't an important issue for most folks - including many if not most nominal "pro-lifers"~~ In his recent book The Once and Future Liberal writer Mark Lilla declares that he is a fervent pro-choice supporter and that it is the issue he is most passionate about. In my 35+ years of paying attention to this issue, I have been given no reason to think that there are not an awful lot of liberals who would say the same thing as Lilla, or who think it while perhaps being not quite as ... [More]

He who pays the piper, next chapter

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 18, 15:42:

I just did a little quick research on the whole issue of Catholic charities and adoptions by homosexuals. It appears that even that was tied to funding. The Catholic adoption agencies had developed a funding relationship with the state, and it was on that basis that the state claimed they had to follow non-discrimination rules. It *looks* like, had there been no relationship with the state whatsoever, such as funding, etc., the argument would have been harder to make and there would have been more plausibil ... [More]

He who pays the piper, next chapter

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 18, 13:14:

CA legislators tried to pass a law that would have done this (to all schools, not just ones with public money), and though it was defeated (so far) by political opponents, it wasn't because of worries that it was not constitutional. I *think* this is strictly incorrect. My recollection (which I'm willing to be corrected on) is that the CA regulators were honing in on California colleges whose students receive any state aid, such as grants or loans. The Christian colleges don't get the money directly but d ... [More]

He who pays the piper, next chapter

Comment posted by Tony on Oct 17, 22:45:

Those that merely allow their individual tutors to take the funds but do not accept them for their own operating expenses are hopefully in a better position, at least for the moment, though I suppose even that could change. Well, the state can try to mandate KGB-LQZNVXJPDQ friendly rules on any entity it wants to force into subservience, whether it is taking state money or not. It is, surely, easier if the entity is taking state money, but not doing so doesn't present an absolute barrier. CA legislators ... [More]

Standing at attention for the National Anthem

Comment posted by Step2 on Oct 17, 17:11:

So the Nincompotus just decided to use the death of Gen. Kelly's son as a political football. The scars from this vile creature disgracing the White House are never going to heal. ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 17, 09:19:

The whole point of the thesis of alien genre conventions in the ancient world is that John IS like Paul is this respect: Neither of them is attributing the apostolically crafted words to Jesus. Then it's a very strange thing that John shows Jesus saying the words while Paul writes letters giving a teaching in his apostolic voice. Again, my "oppositional language" is not begging questions but being clear. Your insistence on not using oppositional language is not a request for neutrality (though you believe ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Christopher McCartney on Oct 16, 23:29:

(that was a continuation of my previous. Hadn't seen your most recent.) ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Christopher McCartney on Oct 16, 23:26:

I'm not denying that there are significant differences between what we consider acceptable paraphrase and the "same content, very different words" hypothesis. I'm not trying to make a positive case for the acceptability of the hypothesis, or any positive case at all. All I'm doing is arguing that the oppositional language you are using begs the question. The existence of differences* between what the text says and what actually happened does not justify the language of opposition, as we see from the examp ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 16, 23:26:

If the evidence is there, real evidence, then your challenge to explain why he didn't do something else, which you would have expected him to do, has no heft. So your challenge is either superfluous or ineffective, and we can safely set it aside. Agreed? Actually, no. When I bring an argument that this is not the kind of thing that the gospel authors viewed themselves as doing or would ever have done, then your supposed argument from, say, the similarities you think you see between John's "sound" and Jesu ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 16, 23:18:

It gets "overread" because I totally disagree. You're just playing with words. For Paul, say, to teach the doctrine of justification *as Paul explains it* is one thing. Indeed, he can put all the force of his apostolic authority behind it. He can say that he received it by revelation from Jesus during three years in Arabia! But for Paul to teach the doctrine of justification as Paul understand it *by means of* a dramatic scene, purporting to be a real scene from the life of Jesus, in which *Jesus* is portra ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Christopher McCartney on Oct 16, 22:39:

You had written, it makes no sense at all for a gospel author to give us his own imaginative reconstruction *instead of* what Jesus actually taught. Therein you place "imaginative reconstruction" in opposition to "what Jesus actually taught." And the words are well suited to carry such oppositional meaning. But what the hypothesis posits that John is giving us is not rightly described in opposition to what Jesus actually taught. John has Jesus teaching the very things that Jesus actually taught. Just not in ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Christopher McCartney on Oct 16, 22:14:

Which as far as I can tell there is not.That's why I put the "if" in there. If the evidence isn't there, it isn't there. You win. If the evidence is there, real evidence, then your challenge to explain why he didn't do something else, which you would have expected him to do, has no heft. So your challenge is either superfluous or ineffective, and we can safely set it aside. Agreed? ... [More]

Correctio Ad Infinitum

Comment posted by Tony on Oct 16, 15:00:

Lydia, your point is a reasonable estimation of actions we have seen. If we put the charitable spin on it, he is very opposed to the kind of thinking that lines up everything into closed boxes, not to accomplish a change of heart and conversion to love of God, but to simply be comfortable with where everything lands. He at least seems unsympathetic toward the kind of mindset in which charity springs forth from clear knowledge and understanding. Jeff, I am closely following that debate. In my opinion, ... [More]

Correctio Ad Infinitum

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 16, 12:59:

To be (fairly) blunt, this Pope simply does not like the Catholic Church's tradition of theological clarity. He probably also does not like the concrete conclusions embodied in that tradition, but even more than that, I believe that he's actively hostile to the traditional and Thomistic Catholic tradition of speaking clearly, making clear distinctions, and laying everything out unambiguously. He prefers fuzziness, because to him that seems more loving, or something. ... [More]

Correctio Ad Infinitum

Comment posted by Jeffrey S. on Oct 16, 10:46:

Thanks for this excellent timeline and analysis Tony. What strikes me about this whole episode with AL is how confused the Pope seems to be about matters of theology. He releases a exhortation about love and the faithful end up scratching their heads in confusion about what the heck he's talking about. As you say for those of us who want to be charitable to the Pope: At a minimum, the Pope needs to just accept the fact that people who want to understand him aren’t getting what he is trying to say - or a ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 16, 08:36:

Would it be fair to characterize Paul's teaching as an "imaginative reconstruction"? No, because Paul is openly writing as an apostle engaging in theological teaching based on his personal apostolic authority, not making up dialogue that never happened and writing a bio-pic of Jesus' life with made-up scenes and made-up "words of Jesus" that are actually Paul's own apostolic teaching of what Jesus (Paul believes) really meant, put into Jesus' mouth. Which is what I meant by "imaginative reconstruction." ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Christopher McCartney on Oct 15, 23:25:

memoirs of someone you knew are not always things that you *compose*. They come out as you remember them.The gospels are definitely composed. Seeing that fact takes careful and extended walk through the text. Obviously I can't explain all of that here, but once you see it, you can't unsee it. The fourth gospel was written by a man who spent many years thinking extensively about the meaning of all that Jesus said and did, and wrote with the intention of conveying that meaning, not of saying whatever happened ... [More]

Correctio Ad Infinitum

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 15, 21:34:

After all, Burke can also keel over dead at any moment, too. As has happened to two (right?) of the four dubia cardinals already. He could set up a dead-man's switch like that, with a time trigger.That way if he were silenced they could just presume that he'd been silenced and go ahead on date ____ without needing a signal. ... [More]

Correctio Ad Infinitum

Comment posted by Tony on Oct 15, 21:19:

The Pope has an interesting kind of authority over cardinals. As functionaries of the Vatican's curia, they are in a sense servants of the Pope's express will. It is unclear to me whether there are ANY limits to that, short of a direct order to sin. One might suppose that a pope has as much authority over a cardinal as a superior (say, an abbot) has in a religious order - which extends to pretty much everything that relates to life under the Rule of the order. Obedience is a serious business in a religio ... [More]

Correctio Ad Infinitum

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 15, 18:44:

I am fairly confident that Cardinal Burke, unless he is called home sooner or is given a point blank direct authoritative order by the Pope not to do it, will issue the predicted Correction soon. It never occurred to me that the pope could do that. Would he have authority to say, "Don't you dare issue a fraternal correction to me" in such a manner that Burke would be obliged to obey? Would/could he also order him not to tell anyone that this was going on and was the reason for a subsequent silence on Burk ... [More]

On some examples in Plutarch

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 11, 20:18:

By the way, I have thought of another possible interpretation of this bit: he yielded to the arguments of those who thought he ought to bring Cicero back, who was the greatest enemy of Clodius and most beloved in the senate, and he escorted Cicero's brother, etc. Suppose that one insists that this must refer to a plan Pompey decided upon in consultation with his friends only *after* Pompey had ceased to come into the forum and that hence this cannot refer to a decision he made that induced him to try to ... [More]

On some examples in Plutarch

Comment posted by John on Oct 11, 17:27:

Lydia, You do beat all! Who else would follow the professor into Plutarch! Who else, but Lydia, would go into his staked-out domain and take him on there! It seems that honor should compel the professor to face your arguments. Every advantage would seem to be his, save one that is yet in question: who has the advantage of siding with truth and reason? ... [More]

On some examples in Plutarch

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 10, 22:40:

Heh. Thanks, Tony. God is also said to be in the details, but hopefully that just means I'm finding God by noticing details. It struck me so forcefully that apparently *until* that inscription was discovered, Roman historians took Tacitus to be affirming what he said about the events surrounding that trial and took it to be good evidence on that boring, factual subject. It was only *after* they found an inscription that some of them *took* to contradict Tacitus that we got all of this wugga-wugga about how ... [More]

On some examples in Plutarch

Comment posted by Tony on Oct 10, 22:03:

Oh, and by the way, Lydia: what a smashing job of ferreting out the details and putting this all together! If the devil is in the details, you must be a veritable de.... oh, wait! Angel, that's it. :-) ... [More]

On some examples in Plutarch

Comment posted by Tony on Oct 10, 21:53:

In my estimation, it is incredibly difficult to prove, at this late date, that an author like Plutarch intentionally changed a factual point and that it was considered acceptable. Even the first half, that he made a change *intentionally* is very hard to establish, given (a) the difficulty they had in getting reliable records (and so there is always the potential for an author just making a mistake based on ignorance), and (b) the difficulty of OUR finding records that definitely clear up just which accoun ... [More]

On some examples in Plutarch

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 10, 20:40:

Let me also point out that we want to know what really happened. If it is a much simpler and more probable explanation that Plutarch made a mistake about something than that he had this "literary device," then that's what we should believe. It would be completely illicit to *invent* a "literary device" theory *for Plutarch* because we think this will "help our apologetic case." As a matter of fact, it is just the opposite: This "literary device theory" for Plutarch, and then porting that over and attributi ... [More]

On some examples in Plutarch

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 10, 20:27:

Kevin, I'm not entirely sure I follow your question, but let me give it a shot anyway: It just isn't a "convention" to engage in simple fabrication or to make a good-faith error. (Whether that error involves carelessness or not.) There's nothing literary about it. It's normal human activity, something that happens through all ages, something that varies from one writer to another, and so forth. It isn't a "secular historical convention" for Plutarch to mess up! It isn't a "convention of the time." It's jus ... [More]

On some examples in Plutarch

Comment posted by Kevin Wells on Oct 10, 17:25:

Hello Dr. McGrew, As you know, Dr. Licona's case involves providing examples of secular historians availing themselves of the literary devices in question. I do not think it would help his apologetic case to suggest that some of these examples could be simple fabrication or carelessness. This would be proving too much, would it not? If the gospel writers followed well-known secular historical convention, and other (secular) historians could be shown to be factually suspect, even for ancient standards, then ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Tony on Oct 6, 18:55:

Do you remember the centurion who Jesus proclaimed had the greatest faith in Israel? The officer who owed a debt of gratitude to Jesus, reportedly built a synagogue, and who remarked upon his ability to command obedience from his soldiers? You should, since you commented about him only two months ago. Hey, that's cool, an actual real honest to goodness normal human sort of motivation for doing something. The centurion thinks he's God, so... Wait, if the centurion thinks he's God, and knows He's predicted ... [More]

Standing at attention for the National Anthem

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Oct 6, 14:44:

I would just like to thank Al for this great and good public service he has rendered: Before I read his comment, it had never occurred to me that Republicans are often cynical and insincerely manipulative when it comes to their pro-life bona fides. The scales have truly fallen from my eyes. Before this very day, and absent Al's service, I assumed every last Republican politician shared my outrage at the impunity our laws grant to murderers of the unborn. What next from this man's stock of astounding revela ... [More]

Standing at attention for the National Anthem

Comment posted by Tony on Oct 6, 14:04:

I'm sure you are aware of this item by now but it is hardly uncommon and explains why many folks see criminalization as elitist and class warfare. This wasn't the first and it won't be the last:... "I am sure that there isn't a single anti-abortion male who would object to an abortion if an inconvenient pregnancy happened. I also have no doubt that this is not a controversial opinion. Journalists always know more than what they say and they know this." Even though "do as I say, not as I do" is morally and ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 5, 13:34:

To Christopher: Something occurs to me that no doubt countless commentators have noticed, but I just thought of it myself. John 3:19-21 might be regarded as a digression, and in fact I consider the best argument that Jesus' words stop earlier to be simply that he seems to be going on for *too long* in a dialogue, in contrast with (say) the dialogue with the woman at the well. But a contrary consideration is that this deep discussion of darkness and light and how men love darkness because their deeds are evi ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Step2 on Oct 5, 13:07:

Tony, Sorry I skipped your comment. Since Lydia doesn’t consider it worth discussing, my response will be very short. What motive would they have for not making sure he was dead? Do you remember the centurion who Jesus proclaimed had the greatest faith in Israel? The officer who owed a debt of gratitude to Jesus, reportedly built a synagogue, and who remarked upon his ability to command obedience from his soldiers? You should, since you commented about him only two months ago. ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 5, 12:38:

Also, of course, if Jesus actually taught on a particular subject (especially the extremely important subject of his own deity), it makes no sense at all for a gospel author to give us his own imaginative reconstruction *instead of* what Jesus actually taught. If that person's interpretation is so darned good, why not give us the reality and let us see it for ourselves? And if the reality is what we find in the synoptics (on, say, the subject of Jesus' deity) *but not* what we find in John, why would John t ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 5, 12:34:

I strongly disagree with your apparent position that the distinction between what Jesus actually said and a totally imaginative reconstruction by the gospel authors of something *else* he said, supposedly just being faithful to the doctrinal core teaching or something, is unimportant. And I think the apostles and early church and evangelists would have strongly disagreed with this too. That's why they took such trouble to memorize and pass down the *sayings* of Jesus. Even (for whatever it's worth) liberal ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 5, 12:10:

Christopher, I'm not going to reply to every part of your long comment but just to a few things. Instead there is, sometimes, something specific about the ancient text that makes them look like a differet genre than what we in the modern world think of as "history writing" I really strongly disagree. Perhaps part of the problem is that you are not thinking of the relevant kind of "history writing" in the way that I am. For example, I'm thinking of these as *memoirs*. They might even plausibly be writte ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Christopher McCartney on Oct 5, 10:56:

Please don't trouble to tell me that you are merely talking about "details" anymore. Because you're not. You can comfort yourself with that claim if you like, but I wish you wouldn't. Indeed, I strongly and sincerely urge you not to do so anymore.If I were to take every liberal argument that I think has SOME WEIGHT, ignore all of the counter evidence on the conservative side of the ledger, and just accept the conclusion the liberal urges, then your complaint might have some purchase. But that's not how I op ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Step2 on Oct 4, 22:19:

Lydia, But seriously, I consider the swoon theory to be beneath one's time to debate. Whatever, but for the record the theory is that Jesus didn't perish on the cross. The swoon theory is how David described it and I responded without correcting him. ... [More]

Flowchart: On alleged literary devices

Comment posted by Tony on Oct 4, 22:11:

The swoon theory. OK, the Romans are hard-headed, cold-blooded killers, with lots of experience so they are darn good at it. They hate the Jews (who won't sacrifice to their gods, and have all sorts of weird "unclean" rituals). And they have a specific threat to worry about, with Christ "coming back to life" claims. And yet for some reason they MISS the fact that Jesus is still alive? They don't, I don't know, like maybe stick a fork in him already? Remember, (about sticking a spear in his side) if he ... [More]

Standing at attention for the National Anthem

Comment posted by al on Oct 4, 21:41:

Tony, your links are non-responsive to my point which deals with the problematic nature of the hard-wired parts of our Constitution and Congressional enabling legislation to representational legitimacy as mediated through our long term demographic trends and increasing ideological polarization. This may help you get up to speed: http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/02/computers-have-revolutionized-gerrymandering-supreme-court-should-take-notice/ Also, you can go to the page SCOTUSblog has on Gill v ... [More]