Welcome to the weekend! I hope you are all doing well. I am traveling today so have just a few moments to share some reading for your weekend. Weekend Reading lightening edition! (:
First, I’m going to have to say there was a lot of stupidity out there this week. Let’s start where stupidy reigns: The New York Times. Modern liberal Catholic (despite himself) writer Ross Douthat who is widely read asked ‘Who Won the Protestant Reformation’ and his reflection tends toward the answer being “modern western liberalism” (although it’s hard to sort through his snide jumbled prose). I am posting this here because its valuable to know what these kinds of people think. This is the cream of liberal elite thinking, so it is instructive. Douthat doesn’t address the arguments or the real reasoning behind the need for religious reformation, but looks instead at the flow of history with all its bloody excesses and sin and concludes that while we got modernity out of it eventually, there are many “unremembered dead” as well. He assumes that many of the dead died for nothing – as if in ignorance they fought for something small minded and trite. Quite the opposite was the truth when it comes to the days of reformation in the 16th century – and even so with those a priori forerunners who translated the Bible into the common vernacular in order that men may not be ignorant, exploited by the church, and might have joy and eternal life. Sounds worthwhile to me…but heck, I don’t have a Times column so what do I know!
Next, let’s look at stupidity across the pond from another bastion of liberal elitism. The headline is revealing: Prince William warns that there are too many people in the world. There aren’t enough trees and lakes and puppies in the world because we’re overrunning them with human babies. Nevermind that the aforementioned William is producing babies faster than any known man alive. There are two reasons I want to point this nonsense out. First, because wherever liberal elites’ actual views are allowed to surface – are actually admitted in the open – they are shocking and appalling and ALWAYS hypocritical. Second, when played out to their fullest, they often lead to mass killing and genocide (I’m looking at you communism). They are also fraught with irony. Secular Liberals like William who know very little about the average life of an average man, imagine their views would solve the problems of said man, and create a life on this earth that was a little less crowded and a little more enjoyable. Let’s pray for the sake of the lives of Europeans yet unborn that the monarchy in England never again gains any real power and that William rides out his days as he’s done thus far – in utter impotence.
Well…maybe he deserved it: Canadian man fined for singing ’90s dance tune in car
This is crazy: Pakistani bride kills 17 in botched plot to kill husband
Multiple people sent me this article this week, AND I saw Mohler posted it, and I think Challies posted it…must have struck a nerve: The Politicization of Motherhood. It fits nicely right after the story by modernist liberal Douthat.
I stumbled on this video which I found amusing: The Surprisingly Mysterious Life of Famed Artist Bob Ross
Funny story here: Add Sugar to the List of Halloween Horrors (subtitle: Experts at the American Chemical Society determined the lethal dose for so-called fun-size treats).
Interesting: The U.S. Senate Has Been Using the Same Ivory Gavels for Over 200 Years
In case you missed it: Amazon Turns a Financial Report Into a Marketing Event.
This was enjoyable and interesting: Time Travel in Fiction Rundown.
That is it on the articles side – can you believe that I had something absolutely nuts from all over the globe!? haha!
Books….I finished David Copperfield this week and immensely enjoyed it. Kate and I had been reading it together for months. Kate’s favorite character was Agnus. My favorite characters were David’s eccentric Aunt, and his “friend of his youth” Mr. Wilkens Micawber. Micawber uses (abuses?) the English language with such flourish that every time he would digress I would split my sides. The phrase “pecuniary emolument” was jestingly in frequent use in our house over the past weeks, much to my enjoyment!
That’s it – I hope you all have a great weekend!
One thought on “Weekend Reading: November 4, 2017”
PJ: I sent this out to my email list, and presented it as part of a session on Church History last Wednesday evening:
A very different view of “church” history!
Ross Douthat, “Who Won the Reformation?” (1 NOV 2017), on The New York Times at
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/01/opinion/protestant-reformation.html [accessed 7 NOV 2017].
My response: If you haven’t gotten wound up over something lately let this do the trick! Only a chronically biased and historically myopic Romanist could have written such a column, and the author explicitly admits his Catholic bias. Consider the following excerpts if you think that I exaggerate:
“So for the Lutheran and Calvinist rebellions to be worth memorializing, it must be as a means to secularizing ends — the liberation of the individual from the shackles of religious authority, which allowed scientific inquiry and capitalism to flourish, made secular politics possible, and ultimately permitted liberalism to triumph.”
“…a 500th anniversary is a good time to be a little bit harsh about the world we all take for granted, a world that was built on the wreckage created by Christian civilization’s civil war. Neither the Protestants nor Catholics won that war between the faiths: The instrumentalists did, the Machiavellians, the Westerners who wanted political and economic life set free from the meddling of troublesome priests and turbulent prophets.”
“But my own (biased, Catholic) guess is that given the technological and social changes already at work in early modern Europe, the great new modern powers, the state and the commercial interest, would have come to bestride the world no matter what happened to Christian unity. So a church that remained undivided probably wouldn’t have been able to strangle modern science or capitalism in the crib even had it wanted to. But it might have served as a stronger moral check on the new powers, a stronger countervailing force against greed and secular absolutism, than the divided churches that Europe had instead.”
“As the church did before its crackup, and might have done thereafter, these modern ecclesiastical agencies do have some gentling effect.”
Now read them in context. That makes their effect worse!
My conclusion: Douthat seems to have swallowed the Kool-Aid, and as a result can lay all that is wrong with the world at the feet of the Reformers. He is also able to conceive of a better world where Romanism ruled, and all Reformers were on the ash heap of history (“…a stronger moral check…countervailing force against greed…gentling effect”???). It is almost as if in a Marxist — or at best totalitarian secular humanist — viewing true history and spiritual realities can be dismissed as of no consequence.