Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas!!!

I'm going to have to finish up my posts on the following topics a little later; I was so busy enjoying Christmas with loved ones!
  • True meaning of Christmas
  • album and song collection
  • Christmas book collection
  • life of St. Nicholas, Santa Claus
  • origins of various Christmas customs such as lights, tree, Yule log, etc. and how they fit in with the Christian framework
  • depictions of Santa Claus
  • Christmas videos such as The Snowman (I watched it again tonight, as is traditional)
  • Christmas memories
  • stockings and ornaments collection
  • nutcrackers
  • Merry Christmas in several different languages
  • Gospels
  • Caroling
  • Twelve Days of Christmas
  • Jones Beach Christmas lights
  • and much, much more!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas 2006!

Merry Christmas 2006 and God bless you and yours! Rejoice on this day on which Christ our Savior was born!

Many relatives and friends came over and I got everything I wanted and much more! Praise the Lord for blessing me so much! Please join me and help the less fortunate have a Merry Christmas too by clicking the links at http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/without-getting-out-of-your-computer.html.

Here's what I received:
Books
The Catholic Verses [Dave Armstrong]
The Portable Machiavelli
Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success
Darwin Awards III [We]
Dracula [Bram Stoker]
Utopia [St. Sir Thomas More]
Cyril of Alexandria
Technology
2GB flash drive
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Clothes
Bright Yellow Nike Sweatshirt
2 pairs of black compression shorts
Other
Plenty of candy (SourPatch bears, Swedish Fish)
4 Bic Razors & American Fare Sensitive Skin Gel (finally growing up :-D)
$$$ (more than enough to buy "The Untouchables" on DVD, John J. Newman's Test Preparation for the AP United States History Examination, and the Nintendo Wii!)

It was not a White Christmas this year; it was a Black and Blue one, with darkness, wind, and rain most of the day. I find that beautiful, too; I find all kinds of weather aesthetically pleasing!

I watched part of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King with my brother today, and spent at least two hours on an extremely comfortable portable massage chair featuring Shiatsu and rolling techniques and myriad options!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Holtz on Philo, Seneca, and Pliny the Elder

Holtz.AAC.2002: "The Alexandrian philosopher and commentator Philo outlived Jesus by 15 or 20 years, and as a visitor to Jerusalem should have met witnesses to the Easter miracles. His silence suggests that Jesus and his followers did not make the early impression that they should have if the gospels were true." Note that Philo doesn't mention St. Gamaliel, either, or even Christianity; yet he visited Jerusalem! Philo's silence means nothing. He was rabidly opposed to the idea of a Logos incarnated as man. Jesus was marginalized by His humiliation on the cross, upon which He was executed as a criminal just as slaves and rebels were. Jesus' association with lepers, prostitutes, tax collectors, fishermen, etc. offended many people. He was a poor, rural carpenter in a society dominated by wealthy urbanites. As for the latter statement, I will quote Glenn M. Miller's summary of a treasure trove of data: "The general trends and patterns in post-Jesus G-R literature and popular belief are easily explained (and perhaps 'best explained' or 'only' explained) by the widespread acceptance by the Roman Empire that a real human in recent history (Jesus) had actually performed credible, 'sane', and non-bizarre miracles."

Pliny the Elder admitted that he was predisposed to reject miracles out of hand. In Natural History he said, "I deem it a mark of human weakness to seek to discover the shape and form of God" and "That that supreme being, whatever it be, pays heed to man's affairs is a ridiculous notion." Therefore, there should be no expectation that Pliny the Elder would report e.g. the three-hour Good Friday darkness which is not naturalistically explicable. Seneca, a Stoic (materialist and pantheist), might not have wanted to do original research on Jesus because Jesus was not interesting to him and was so geographically and temporally distant.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Here are some answers to part of Brian Holtz's list of Jesus' claims of non-identity with God:
-the Son can do nothing by himself --> the Father and Son act in perfect harmony because they are absolutely good.
-the Father loves the Son --> And the Son loves the Father; this eternal reciprocal love is what makes Trinitarianism superior to Unitarianism.
-the Father sent the Son --> the Father is not fittingly sent since He is unbegotten and does not proceed. Jesus said He could send the Holy Spirit, which only God can do.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Holtz on Alleged Matthean Embellishment

Holtz.AAC.2002: "Matthew changes (21:5 vs. Mk 11:7)[#] or embellishes (2:15, 2:23) its narrative to make it fulfill Old Testament prophecies." [#]=unclear, requires elaboration. For Mt 2:15, corporate solidarity (between Israel and the Messiah) legitimizes Matthew's exegetical technique (typology); Matthew likens Jesus Christ to the Israelites (except Jesus was sinless). Mt 2:23: While no passage in the Old Testament says verbatim, "He shall be called a Nazarene," there is clear and ample precedent for that idea. The throne of King David was made into a stump, just as Nazareth was a spiritually dull town, but the Messiah (Branch) [Is 4:2; 11:1; Jer 23:5; 33:15; Zech 3:8; 6:12] grew out of the stump and was called a Nazarene [Mk 1:23-24; Lk 4:33-35; Jn 19:19; Acts 22:8; 24:5; Josephus' Antiquities] which He wore as the Messianic badge of "Branch."

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Four Meanings of Hell

There are four meanings of hell:

  • Hell (Gehenna): the everlasting [Is 66:24; Mk 9:43,45,47; 2 Thess 1:9; Rev 14:11; 19:3; 20:10] place of punishment of damned men and demons by the pains of loss (of the beatific vision), material (corporeal) fire [Mt 3:12; 13:42,50; 18:8; 25:41; Jude 7 Rev 19:20], and other accidental pains. The pains of Hell are essentially immutable and they differ in degree according to demerit. Hell is likely within the earth [Num 16:31; Psalm 54:16; Is 5:14; 14:9; Ek 26:20; Mt 12:40; Phil 2:10] (and it will never run out of room [Prov 30:15-16]), and the damned are in material darkness [Mt 22:13; 25:30; 2 Pet 2:17; Jude 13].
  • Limbo of infants (limbus parvulorum or puerorum): the permanent place of perfect natural positive happiness for those who die with original sin, but not personal mortal sin. The happiness is not supernatural like in Heaven due to the lack of the beatific vision. They have natural happiness because they know they were not capable of attaining what they missed out on.
  • Limbo of the Fathers (limbus patrum): the temporary location of the souls of the just who died before the Lord Jesus Christ triumphantly ascended into Heaven [Gen 44:38; Mt 8:11; Lk 8:19; 14:15; 16:22; 23:43; Eph 4:9; 1 Pet 3:18-20], since the Pearly Gates of Heaven were closed as punishment for Adam's sin.
  • Purgatory (Purgatorio): the place of temporal punishment by cleansing corporeal fire of the just who die in venial sin (not original and mortal sin) [2 Macc 12:42-46; Mt 12:32; Lk 12:47-48; 1 Cor 3:10-17; 1 Jn 5:17; Rev 21:27], where the pains are more severe than any in this life. No merit is possible in Purgatory. Some people are delivered from Purgatory sooner than others [1 Cor 3:10-17].

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My Status #1

I want to confess and be baptized and confirmed and partake in the Eucharist in the first half of 2007. I still have a long way to go on repentance road, but I am getting there. I need a stronger heart and mind and I need God's help. My top five issues in general: sloth, gluttony, lying, cursing, and lust.

I am a lexophile; I love certain words for some reason that escapes me. For my confirmation name, I want to select from the following (this list is subject to change):
  • Dionysius
  • Hippolytus
  • Raphael ("God has healed")

Monday, December 11, 2006

God & Time #1

I have recently been pondering about God and time. Is God:
  • absolutely timeless? (Paul Helm)
  • relatively timeless? (Alan G. Padgett)
  • omnitemporal-timeless? (William Lane Craig)
  • temporal in an unqualified sense? (Nicholas Wolterstorff)
Must the B-theory of time be true in order for God to be atemporal?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Track World Records

From Wikipedia:
100 meters
9.77 Asafa Powell (Jamaica) [6/14/05 Athens -- wind +1.6 m/s] [6/11/06 Gateshead -- wind +1.5 m/s] [8/18/06 Zurich -- wind +1.0 m/s]

200 meters
19.32 Michael Johnson (United States) [8/1/96 Atlanta]

400 meters
43.18 Michael Johnson (United States) [8/26/99 Sevilla]

800 meters
1:41.11 Wilson Kipketer (Denmark) [8/24/97 Cologne]

Mile
3:43.13 Hicham El Guerrouj (Morocco) [7/7/99 Rome]

3200 meters

[UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

More on Limits

Finding the limit of f(x) as x approaches infinity is simple. Memorize the behaviors of the generic equation types:

higher degree/lower degree = No limit.
lower degree/higher degree = 0.
same degree/same degree = coefficient/coefficient.

If substitution produces a non-zero/zero, there is no limit and instead there is a vertical asymptote.
A hole occurs when the initial substitution produces zero/zero.

The following are the numbers to put outside of the box for given denominators in cases where synthetic division is possible:
(4-x) --> 4
(x-4) --> 4
(x+4) --> -4

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

If you are in Calculus, use the following method to find the exact value of the limit of f(x) as h approaches 0.

1. The form is as follows. The numerator is f(x+h) - f(x). Divide the numerator by h.
2. FOIL.
3. Combine terms.
4. Factor out h.
5. Simplify.

Here is an example which illustrates how to find the derivative.
Original Expression: x^3 - 4x + 1.
Derivative: 3x^2 - 4.

Reminder: f(x+h) = x^2 + 2xh + h^2.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Finding Limits of Complex Fractions

Are you in Calculus? Whether you're struggling or doing fine, I'd like to help you as an act of kindness. The following is the MASTER BLASTER method, which can be used to find the limit of f(x) as x approaches n and f(x) is a complex fraction:

1. Let every term have a denominator and change - (minus) to +- (plus a negative).
2. Find the LCD (Lowest Common Denominator).
3. Multiply all the numerators by the LCD.
4. Don't multiply out (FOIL: first, outer, inner, last) the numerator.
5. Distribute the x for the terms in the denominator.
6. FOIL the separate denominator terms.
7. Combine like terms.
8. Factor the denominator and cancel. Multiply the numerator by the quotient of the cancelation. For example (a-b)/(b-a) = -1.
9. Now substitute in n.
10. Finally, simplify.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Upcoming posts:
  • Nestorianism, Theodoret, & Cyril
  • Antipopes
  • Limbo
  • File sharing
  • God and time
  • Bad popes
  • Christmas trees and other practices
  • "Happy Holidays" vs. "Merry Christmas" - a summary
  • Becoming Catholic, and my situation & story
  • Transubstantiation & Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
  • St. Hippolytus
  • Anti-Social Trinitarianism revisited
  • Dyotheletism vs. the heresy of Monothelitism, and Honorius I
  • Sola Scriptura elaborated
  • Judas
  • Petros vs. Petra
  • the Platinum Rule vs. the Golden Rule & the Silver Rule
  • much, much more

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Catholic Congressman Tim Bishop & Church Teaching

Tim H. Bishop, it's time to align your political platform with Church teachings! Your recent voting record is out of sync with the values of Roman Catholicism, the faith you profess:

05/25/2005 Overseas Military Facilities Abortion Amendment Y
04/27/2005 Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act N
10/02/2003 Prohibit Partial-Birth Abortion bill N
06/04/2003 Prohibit Partial-Birth Abortion bill N
02/26/2004 Unborn Victims of Violence Act 2004 N
07/18/2006 Alternative Stem Cell Therapies Act N
07/18/2006 Same Sex Marriage Resolution N

The image “http://www.irishamericandemocrats.org/images/2004%20election%20%20pictures/TimBishop.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Pope Leo X and the "Fable" of Christ

MYTH
Pope Leo X called the story of Christ a mere fable

The ill-informed Protestant objects:
1. Catholicism teaches papal infallibility, the doctrine that the Pope cannot err on matters of faith and morals.
2. Pope Leo X said, "All ages can testifie enough howe profitable that fable of Christe hath ben to us and our companie."
3. But Christ is not a fable, and so Pope Leo X was not infallible.
4. Therefore, Catholicism is false.


Pope Leo X (1475-1521) never said this. The quote comes from the satire The Pageant of the Popes by Protestant John Bale (1495-1563).

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Incarnation Is True

Atheist Objection to Hypostatic Union
The atheist objects:
1. Opposites cannot both be true: A and not-A cannot be true at the same time in the same sense.
2. One person cannot be fully divine (infinite) and fully man (finite) at the same time in his being, for that is an undeniable (real, not "apparent" or paradoxical) contradiction, like a square circle.
3. The Christian doctrine of the incarnation, as defined at the Council of Chalcedon (A.D. 451), teaches that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man at the same time.
4. Therefore, Christianity is false.


Christian Response
The Christian responds:
1. The proposition that any person can be both infinite in one nature (what) and finite in another nature (what) without confusion, mixture, or division of the two natures in that one person (who) at the same time and in the senses defined is not contradictory.
2. Christianity claims that Jesus Christ is both infinite in one nature and finite in another nature without confusion, mixture, or division of the two natures in His person at the same time and in the senses defined.
3. Therefore, the claim that the Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully man at the same time is not contradictory.

One cannot be "partly divine." The divine nature must be complete because a nature is either divine or not divine. Are God and man in the same category? If not, it is simple to illustrate the Hypostatic union by using the categories of shape and color. A green circle is fully green and fully circular.

Proof of The Incarnation
The possibility of the Incarnation logically follows from God's power; steps 9-17 are from the work of the brilliant Dr. Norman L. Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (Baker Academics: Grand Rapids, MI, 1999), ###:
1. God is omnipotent, meaning that He can do all that is logically possible.
2. God created man.
3. Man exists in human form.
4. Existence in human form is logically possible. (3)
5. God can necessarily remain God while existing in human form, because He is the Creator of the human form and made mankind in His image. There were theophanies in the Old Testament. (1-4)
6. If God cannot do these things, then He is not omnipotent. (1)
7. But God is necessarily omnipotent, and so #6 is false and #5 is true.
8. Therefore, the Incarnation is possibly true. (1-7)
9. Since the theistic God exists, miracles are possible.
10. Miracles can be used to confirm a message from God (i.e., as an act of God to confirm a word from God).
11. The New Testament is historically reliable.
12. The New Testament says Jesus claimed to be God.
13. Jesus' claim to be God was miraculously confirmed by:
a. His fulfillment of many prophecies about Himself;
b. His sinless and miraculous life;
c. His prediction and accomplishment of His resurrection.
14. Therefore, Jesus is God.
15. Whatever Jesus (who is God) teaches is true.
16. Jesus taught that the Bible is the Word of God.
17. Therefore, it is true that the Bible is the Word of God (and anything opposed to it is false).
18. The Bible teaches that the Incarnation is true.
19. Therefore, the Incarnation is actually true.

Actual Contradictions
The following are actual contradictions:
1. Two natures in one nature.
2. Two persons in one person.
3. A and not-A in one nature.

Also, atheists may perceive contradictions in the doctrine of the Incarnation because when referring to the characteristics/properties they fail to distinguish between ontology and functionality.

Here is another way of wording it. God is uncreated, eternal, and immutable. Human nature is created, temporal, and mutable. Now, the atheist objects, opposites cannot be said of the same. The Christian acknowledges that indeed, opposites cannot be predicated of the same in the same respects, but then points out that they can be predicated of the same in different aspects. Thus it is coherent to predicate opposites of Jesus Christ, in different natures.

Communication of Idioms
In Summa Theologica, anti-social Trinitarian St. Thomas Aquinas, through careful linguistic analysis, demonstrates the veracity of the following propositions about the Incarnation:
1. God is man.
2. Man is God.
3. The properties of Christ's human nature can be predicated of God.
4. The properties of Christ's human nature cannot be predicated of His divine nature.
5. God was made man.
6. Man was not made God.
7. Jesus Christ is not a creature.
8. Jesus Christ did not begin to exist.
9. Christ as Man is a creature.
10. It is incorrect to say "Christ as Man is God."
11. It is incorrect to say "Christ as Man is an hypostasis or person."
12. The union of the Word incarnate took place in the person, not the nature.
13. The human nature was not united to the Word of God accidentally.
14. The union is something created.
15. The union of the two natures in Christ is the greatest of all unions.
16. After the Incarnation the person of Christ is composite.
17. The Son of God assumed flesh through the medium of the soul.
18. Christ is one.
19. There is only one being in Christ.
20. In Christ there are two distinct wills: divine and human.
21. There is no contrariety of wills in Christ.
22. The soul of Christ is not omnipotent.
23. The flesh of Christ was derived from Adam (and thus David).
24. The Godhead was not separated from the flesh when Christ died.
25. Christ's Passion is not to be attributed to His Godhead.
26. Christ's Godhead and humanity are to be adored with one and the same adoration.

Go to this post for a survey of Christological/Trinitarian heresies.













[UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sacraments

Purpose of Sacraments
The sacraments can be thought of as medicine for the spirit. God's providence provides, in accordance with human nature, signs that are corporeal and sensible to the spirit and intellect. There are seven sacraments. However, not all of these sacraments are essential for salvation.

Necessity of Baptism
Baptism is necessary for salvation. However, for those who cannot be baptized by immersion in water (this is how I will be baptized; however, sprinkling and pouring are sufficient as well, according to Ezek 36:25 and Heb 10:22), there are two other types of baptism that save: baptism of blood (martyrdom - Is 4:4) and baptism of desire. Baptism is to occur once (Eph 4:5). Baptism of blood is the most excellent kind of baptism (Jn 15:13).

Eucharist, The Chief Sacrament
The Eucharist is the chief sacrament because contains all the dimensions of Jesus Christ's body really, substantially, and immovably (Jn 6:50-59). However, it is not necessary for salvation.

Necessity of Penance
On the other hand, to be saved one must do Penance (Lk 13:3; James 1:15), for mortal sins cannot be forgiven without confessing them! Penance/holy water/bishop's blessing/Lord's Prayer is also necessary after venial sins. Unlike Baptism, it is a repeatable sacrament. Some sin still remains after the forgiveness of mortal sins (Mk 8:24).

[UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Objections to the Resurrection Overview

Objection 1: Jesus didn't really die on the Cross.
Reply 1: Soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear. Blood and water flowed out of the wound, proving that physical death had occurred. [John 19:34]. Journal of the American Medical Association says that Jesus' death was ensured when the spear, thrust between His right rib, perforated His right lung and the pericardium of the heart. Jesus declared that He was dying. [Luke 23:46] Roman soldiers didn't bother breaking Jesus' legs, a common procedure used to hasten death. [John 19:33] Pilate double-checked to see if Jesus was dead before giving the corpse to Joseph for burial. [Mark 15:44-45] If Jesus was not dead from the crucifixion, he would have died while in the sealed tomb wrapped in about 100 lbs. of cloth and spices for three days [Matt. 27:60; John 19:39-40], due to lack of food, water, and medical treatment.
Objection 2: Jesus' post-resurrection appearances were unimpressive to the disciples who heard about them (and should have been expecting them) and even to those who witnessed them or they were cases of mistaken identity.
Reply 2: This is a gross misrepresentation of the accounts. Occasionally there was difficulty recognizing Jesus, but in every case it was only temporary. Perplexity, sorrow, the dimness of the light, visual distance, the suddenness of Jesus' appearance, the different clothes He was wearing, and spiritual dullness or disbelief were some factors causing this difficulty. Before the appearances were over, the witnesses had absolutely no doubt that Jesus Christ, whom they had known intimately for many years, had arisen in a literal, physical body.
Objection 3: Joseph of Arimathea stole Jesus' body from the tomb.
Reply 3: Since St. Joseph of Arimathea was a disciple [Luke 23:50-51] we can eliminate the motive of preventing the disciples from stealing it. Joseph could have produced the body and discredited the entire story if he was not a follower of Christ. Joseph, a pious Jew, would not have broken the Sabbath [Luke 23:50-56]. A Roman guard stationed in front of the tomb [Matt. 27:62-66] would have seen Joseph's torches at night. The women came at dawn the next morning [Luke 24:1]; there was no opportunity for Joseph to remove the body. Where would Joseph put the body? Christ's body was never found, despite the fact that almost two months passed before the disciples started preaching; this was an abundant time frame in which to expose a fraud. This theory, lacking a means, motive, and opportunity, is junk.
Objection 4: The Passover Plot is the best explanation of the so-called resurrection accounts.
Reply 4: The Passover Plot is false. It contradicts the Gospels' early dates, the known character of Jesus and His disciples, the permanently empty tomb, the explicitly physical nature of the resurrection appearances, the verification of Biblical narratives by history and archaeology, the multiplicity of the eyewitness accounts, and the incredible number of eyewitnesses of the resurrected Jesus Christ.
Objection 5: There are no good reasons to accept the Gospels' resurrection accounts over non-Christian resurrection claims.
Reply 5: Non-Christian resurrection claims must be rejected. In the cases of Apollonius of Tyana, Sabbatai Sevi, Rabbi Judah, and Kabir, there are no credible witnesses, no contemporary records, no physical evidence, only some claims to deification, and no corroborating miracles. However, in the case of Jesus Christ's resurrection, there are numerous credible witnesses, numerous contemporary records, abundant physical evidence, claims to deity, and numerous other confirming miracles.
Objection 6: David Hume proved that miracles are false. The resurrection is a miracle. Therefore, the resurrection story is false.
Reply 6: David Hume, in his "hard" argument against miracles, begs the question by saying that miracles are impossible by definition. In his "soft" argument, Hume begs the question, is inconsistent with his own epistemology, ignores contrary evidence, proves too much, and makes scientific progress impossible. Hume's test for the truthfulness of witnesses confirms that the New Testament witnesses, especially those to the resurrection, are trustworthy. Hume's self-canceling witness argument is false because not all miracles are created equal, either by the alleged miracles' nature, the physical evidence, and the number and reliability of witnesses. If wisdom is proportioning belief to the evidence, then Hume lacked wisdom.
Objection 7:
Reply 7:
Objection 8:
Reply 8:
Objection 9:
Reply 9:
Objection 10:
Reply 10:

[UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!]

Monday, November 13, 2006

Abortion Discussion Pt. 2: Rape

Rape is undeniably intrinsically wrong. It is violent and traumatic for the woman and she needs compassionate, prayerful counseling. Rape rarely results in pregnancy, but what about the times when a child is conceived? Abortion (murder of the baby) does not follow; two wrongs do not make a right, and to abort the baby would be to match violence with violence against an innocent person. The child conceived is not at fault; it is unjust to murder an innocent unborn baby for the grave sin of his father. The baby is a victim; it is only the rapist who is the aggressor. It is better for the woman to give birth to her child; she will not have the guilt of murdering the baby.

One fact of life is having to care for persons when it is not convenient for us; we are still obligated to care for those people. Bearing a child would be laborious, but it just unjust to murder someone of whom it is inconvenient to take care. The intelligent, dedicated, and hardworking Roman Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong made a perfectly analogous scenario. A young, helpless child turns up at the door of an isolated, warm home in the arctic. Leaving the child to die would be wrong; instead, it is necessary to give the child food and shelter. If the pregnant woman does not have the resources to care for a child, she may arrange for care by loving foster parents for the time being.

[UNDER CONSTRUCTION]
Right now the weather is utopic, just like the weather on May 20, 2006. The conditions combine to form extraordinarily pleasant weather:
Mostly Cloudy
Feels Like:
63°
Barometer:
29.87 in and rising
Humidity:
81%
Visibility:
10 mi
Dewpoint:
57°
Wind:
E 17 mph
Sunrise:
6:36 am
Sunset:
4:35 pm
63°

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Demonic Possession

MYTH
Demonic possession is just mental illness and not supernatural

Do the following sound like ordinary mental illness?

Mark 1:23-27
23 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 saying, "Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are--the Holy One of God!" 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" 26 And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27 Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, "What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority[a] He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him."

Mark 5:1-20
1 Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes.[a] 2 And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him,[b] not even with chains, 4 because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. 5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.6 When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. 7 And he cried out with a loud voice and said, "What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me." 8 For He said to him, "Come out of the man, unclean spirit!" 9 Then He asked him, "What is your name?" And he answered, saying, "My name is Legion; for we are many." 10 Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country. 11 Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. 12 So all the demons begged Him, saying, "Send us to the swine, that we may enter them." 13 And at once Jesus[c] gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea. 14 So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened. 15 Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 16 And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. 17 Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region. 18 And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. 19 However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, "Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you." 20 And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.

Mark 9:14-29
14 And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. 15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. 16 And He asked the scribes, "What are you discussing with them?" 17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, "Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. 18 And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not." 19 He answered him and said, "O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me." 20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. 21 So He asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us." 23 Jesus said to him, "If you can believe,[a] all things are possible to him who believes." 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" 25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!" 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, "He is dead." 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?" 29 So He said to them, "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting."[b]

[UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Happy Veteran's Day 2006

Happy Veteran's Day. God bless the Veterans, and those soldiers serving a just cause everywhere, particularly our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Read my January 10 post for why it is necessary to support our VFW at http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/good-reasons-to-support-our-troops-it.html. Today I had the good fortune to see the Veteran's Day Parade in New York City.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Abortion = Murder, Double Effect, Catholic Teachings, and Research on Aborted Fetuses

This will be a longer paper on abortion that combines and fleshes out my previous posts on it...

Humanity is not a measure of development. A one-week old embryo is as human as an eight-month old fetus, for they both have human DNA and an immaterial soul, made in the image of God, and a spirit. In other words, human nature is present from conception.

1. Murder is prohibited in the Fifth Commandment.
2. The Fifth Commandment is from God.
3. Abortion is murder.
4. Therefore, abortion is prohibited by God.

Premise 3 is demonstrably true. Abortion truly is murder because it is the direct and intentional slaughter of an innocent person. Doctors need to do everything in their power to save the lives of the mother and the unborn child if, for example, surgery is clearly and immintently necessary to save the mother's life. The superbly just principle of Double Effect demands that the action is intrinsically good or morally neutral, that the evil effect of must not cause the good effect and the evil effect must be merely permitted and not desired in itself, and permission of the evil must only be granted for sufficiently grave reasons. If and only if all these conditions are met is the death of the baby morally acceptable, since it would be an unintended side effect of a legitimate medical procedure and not murder.

Research on aborted fetuses is also wrong. Not only is aborted tissue not very useful, but the results of abortions are linked to the objectively evil means by which they were obtained, and thus the use of aborted tissue makes one complicit in the murder of unborn children.

The Didache, from the first century A.D., records apostolic teachings which include an explicit ban on abortion and infanticide.

The baby must not be treated simply as disposable property, which is how slaves were treated in the New World. Because the unborn child is a person, it has that same right of every innocent being: the inalienable right to life.

The fact that abortion is legal does not make it moral. Humans in the age of exploration were treated as cattle; slavery was legal, but not moral.
Coming in Part 2: Discussion of abortion in the cases of incest and rape.

Requirements for Trinitarian Orthodoxy

An orthodox model of the Trinity must not diminish the divinity of the persons. It must state that the Father is fully God, the Son is Fully God, and the Holy Spirit is fully God. At the same time, it must deny that each of the persons is a "part" of God or 1/3 of God. It must not say that the persons are divine because of their participation in the Trinity; rather, the persons participate in the Trinity but they are intrinsically fully divine. In other words, the persons, having the same essence, are necessarily infinitely divine in themselves.

[UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Models of the Trinity

What is the best model of the Trinity? Surely there exists a Trinity of persons in God, for that is what God Himself revealed to us, and God must have a plurality of persons in Him in order to be a perfectly loving being. But which is the superior illustration of the nature of the Trinity? Social trinitarianism or anti-social trinitarianism? Which model is independently plausible and does not suffer from the defects of the other models? At this point Social Trinitarianism seems doubtful to me.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Anti-Social Trinitarianism

In their wonderful and must-buy book Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview, William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland critique Thomistic anti-social Trinitarianism. Their criticisms do not seem to defeat St. Aquinas' model of the Trinity, however, and I will try to show this by presenting their arguments in a fair and accurate way and providing links to the relevant sections of Aquinas' must-read theological masterpiece Summa Theologica where their objections are answered.

Is ATS truly orthodox (truly Trinitarian), or does it collapse into the heresy of modalism?
Their logical argument against ATS is composed of the following basic ideas.
1. Persons cannot be equated with relations.
St. Aquinas: Relation is the same as person in God.
2. If God is absolutely simple, there are no real relations in God.
St. Aquinas: God is altogether simple and yet there are real relations in God; they are intrinsic to the Divine essence and are four in number.
3. Furthermore, given divine simplicity, the relations cannot really be distinguished from another.
St. Aquinas: The relations are truly distinct from each other.
4. It is not correct to say that there is procession or generation in God.
St. Aquinas: There is procession in God, and one of the processions is generation. The Father is the Principle and it is proper to Him to be unbegotten; the holy doctors correctly assigned attributes to each person. The three persons are co-eternal, and the Father begetting and the Son being begotten are consistent with the omnipotence of all the persons. The persons are co-equal and this fact is harmonious with there being an order of nature in the Trinity. The Father and Son are but one principle of the Holy Ghost, Who proceeds from the Father through the Son.
5. The persons aren't distinguished by the relations and so there cannot really be a plurality of persons.
St. Aquinas: The relations distinguish and constitute the persons, and this is consistent with divine simplicity.

But, let's assume the relations in God really do constitute distinct persons, Craig and Moreland say. Their ideas, enumerated below, lead to the false conclusion that AST's proposed subsisting relations do not fit the bill of true personhood.
1. Then there would be an infinite regress of persons who understand and love themselves.
St. Aquinas: There are only two processions in God, and only three persons in the AST model.
2. The Son cannot be said to be in the Father.
St. Aquinas: The Son is in the Father, and the Father is in the Son.









Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Overview of Objections To Eucharist

Objection 1: Drinking blood is prohibited in Gen 9:4; Dt 12:16; Acts 15:20.
Reply 1: The prohibition refers to animal blood, not the Lord's blood as Jesus commanded us to drink in Jn 6:53-57.
Objection 2: A literal Eucharist is cannibalism.
Reply 2: It's not cannibalism, because we eat the accident of bread and drink the accident of wine, but the substances supernaturally present are Jesus' real Body and Jesus' real Blood.
Objection 3: The Eucharist is not to be found in the Apostles' Creed.
Reply 3: This is because a creed is simply a brief summary and doesn't contain nearly ALL the doctrines of a given belief system.
Objection 4: There are no good linguistic or historical reasons to accept the Real Presence.

Reply 4: In 700 A.D., an Italian priest who was starting to doubt the Real Presence saw the Host become real flesh and the wine become real blood, which were fresh through 1970 and confirmed by scientific testing. There are many other confirmed Eucharistic miracles. Secondly, many of Jesus' disciples were so disturbed by Jesus' teaching as to walk away, but Jesus did not say, "Wait, I meant that this is a symbol or representation of My Body and Blood." He emphatically affirmed several times that it IS His real Blood and real Body.

[UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Monday, November 06, 2006

God & Numbers

There is one God.

One of the three persons in God has two natures, a divine nature as well as a human nature.

There are four relations in God: paternity, filiation, spiration, and procession.

There are five notions in God: innascibility, paternity, sonship, common spiration, and procession.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Today was not a good day for school sports teams. During football, huge snowflakes started to come down, which was fun and was the first snow of the year out here; it'll probably be a white Christmas, considering how cold the weather's been over the past several weeks. In cross country, my pace should have been up to 30 seconds faster, and the other faster guys on the team did not do well compared to what they could have done either, had the weather not been so cold and constricting on the lungs, and perhaps had the race been at a different time of day. Just before Cardiac Hill at the Meadow, my legs died and so I was extremely slow going up Cardiac, adding about a minute to my time. The last race is on Monday and I hope the conditions favor my time being reflective of my true muscular strength and cardiological fitness.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy November. The days continue to pass very quickly, as they have since 2005.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween. Make good choices.

Today I ran a mile warm-up, a 6:00, a 6:01, and then a mile cool-down.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Evil of Intoxication

It is a mortal sin (but not the greatest of all sins: unbelief) to become intoxicated knowing that the alcoholic beverage is immoderate and intoxicating and yet choosing to become drunk! This is because intoxication impairs judgment (reasoning) which is used to do good deeds and avoid sin, and this puts one in danger of falling into a state of sin and out of a state of grace with God!









Friday, October 27, 2006

I completely rewrote my post on Jesus' eternal generation for the sake of clarity; check it out. The eternal generation is logical, possible, and actual, as critical thinking shows.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I have a few great friends who are Jehovah's Witnesses, and my closest friend of these is very knowledgable about Watchtower doctrine and is also very sincere and thoughtful. Today he kindly gave me the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? One thing I like about Watchtower literature is its succinctness and ornate illustrations. I plan to post a chapter-by-chapter response to this book on this blog in the coming weeks. The Watchtower Society is a false religion. I hope to evangelize my friends so that they may be part of the Catholic Church.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Trinity Comparisons & Contrasts

The Father is fully God, the Son is fully God, and the Holy Spirit is fully God. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are uncreated (agenetos), co-eternal, co-equal in greatness etc., omnipotent, perfect, and are of the same substance (homoousios) and essence.

Only the Father is unbegotten (agennetos); the Son is eternally begotten (gennetos) of the Father and the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father through the Son. Only the Son has a human nature in addition to His divine nature.

Arianism denies the deity of the Son, saying He was created (genetos) and is of a different substance (heteroousios).
Nestorianism teaches that the Son is two persons, when in reality the Son is one person with two natures, human and divine.
Modalism (Sabellianism) falsely teaches that God is not three persons, but that He reveals Himself in three modes.
Patripassionism teaches that God the Father suffered and died on the Cross, when in fact the Son became incarnate and was resurrected after being crucified.
Docetism denies the Son's human nature.
Eutychianism denies both the full deity and full humanity of the Son, saying that the Son is partially human and partially divine.
Ebionism denies the deity of the Son.
Apollonarianism denies the full humanity of the Son.
Monothelitism denies that there are two wills in the Son, only affirming one. It is often falsely alleged that Pope Honorius I taught this heresy.
Socinianism denies the fact that the Son is of the same substance as the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Albigensianism states that only the Father is uncreated (agenetos), and the Son and the Holy Spirit are both created (genetos).
Semi-Arianism denies the Holy Spirit and says that the Son is of a similar substance (homoiousios) to the Father.
Marcionism denies the human nature of the Son.








Monday, October 23, 2006

"Treasure In Clay Jars"

Cool blog: http://workingclay.blogspot.com/.

Quarters were pretty painful today. My muscles were quickly fatigued due to the fact that I didn't stretch and warm up properly. If I had run just a little faster on one lap I would have broken 70 seconds.

Friday, October 20, 2006

XC Blessings

The Lord has blessed me in innumerable ways. It is a blessing to be able to take a luxurious coach bus to Rhode Island for an invitational cross country meet, and to be able to stop for food, and to have more than enough money to pay for that food. The Lord Jesus has blessed me with compassionate, understanding, knowledgeable, funny, and friendly teammates and coaches. It is a blessing to be able to watch movies and listen to MP3 songs on a high quality iPod along the way, and to be able to comfortably nap if need be. The Lord Jesus has blessed my team with an accomodating, heated hotel with soft beds ideal for sleeping. I am blessed in that I am not paralyzed; I can use my legs to run! I am blessed with loving parents who graciously paid for this trip! Hallelujah! In all seriousness, take the time to contemplate the ways in which you are blessed, and praise the one, merciful, triune God Who has blessed you!






Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Although I know I received no credit for 2 free-response PSAT math questions (credit was not subtracted), I have a strong conviction that I did extremely well overall and that I will rank very highly in the National Merit Scholarship competition.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

PSAT #1!

I'm taking the PSAT tomorrow. I would greatly appreciate it if you could find it in your heart to pray for me. Feel free to leave prayer requests here. God bless you!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

False Dogmas of Evolution

The following are false dogmas of evolution that no Christian can accept:
1. Adam and Eve are descendants of apes who were not miraculously created by God.
2. Abiogenesis.
3. Polygenism.










Wednesday, October 11, 2006

R.I.P. Cory Lidle. The lack of a press release in which he states he is alive is telling...







Monday, October 09, 2006

Listen to Deja Vu (Freemasons Remix) by Beyoncé ft. Jay-Z.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Jesus' Eternal Generation

Jesus Christ, God the Son, is "from" the Father in that He is eternally generated (begotten) by the Father [Jn 6:57-58; Heb 1:3; Rev 21:23-25], not created or made, and this is because the Father is communicating His esse (nature) to the Son. This generation is natural, not voluntary, and is thus necessary and eternal. Since this generation does not involve motion, it is impossible for the Son Who proceeds to be posterior in duration to the Father. The Son receives the Father’s esse from eternity, and therefore has it from eternity. The Father is the source, not the cause, in this sense. Only duration, not origin, is excluded by eternity and so an eternal person can have a principle. The Father is eternally Father and so He also eternally begets the Son.

Jn 6:57-58 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever."

Heb 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself[a] purged our[b] sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Rev 21:23-25 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it,[a] for the glory[b] of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved[c] shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.[d] 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).

Thursday, October 05, 2006

"The Father is Greater Than I"

Mirror link

Jesus said, "The Father is greater than I" [Jn 14:28]. This has two meanings. It means that the Son is less than the Father in His humanity, as the brilliant (and my favorite) theologian St. Thomas Aquinas shows.{1} The great saint observes that the Son is subject to the Father by reason of His humbling kenosis, according to 1 Cor 15:28: "And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then the Son also Himself shall be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all."{2} Additionally, the Son said His Father is greater than Him because the Son proceeds from the Father, and the Father does not proceed from the Son.{3}

But the Father is not "better" than the Son. They are co-equal in power, wisdom, justice, simplicity, impassibility, etc.; the Son is eternally equal to the Father in natural greatness.{4} How is this true? Equality is a measure of greatness, greatness in God is the perfection of nature, greatness is essential to God, and therefore there is equality in God.{5} The Father and Son have the same essence and dignity, and this dignity is expressed as the relation of giver by the Father and the relation of receiver by the Son.{6} The whole perfection of the divine nature exists in each of the three persons of the Holy Trinity; ergo, the sum of the four relations in God is not greater than any one relation, nor are all the persons together greater than any one person.{7}

Notes & References
{1} Aquinas, St. Thomas. Summa Theologica I, q. 42, art. 4, ad 1.
{2} Ibid.
{3} Ibid..
{4} Ibid., ad 2.
{5} Ibid.
{6} Ibid.
{7} Ibid., ad 3.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

CCC on Islam

Some Catholics, especially "traditionalists," find paragraph 841 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church disturbing, if not heretical: "The Church's relationship with the Muslims: The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day." (CCC 841). However, they needn't worry. The first sentence means that God wills that Muslims be saved and has made plans to direct them towards the One True Holy and Apostolic Catholic Church. The key word in the second sentence is "profess;" Muslims have an imperfect version of Abraham's faith. Although they wrongly deny the Trinity, Muslims are correct in saying that there is only one true God and that He is merciful, sovereign, righteous, and omniscient (from these attributes we can recognize that they refer to the one true God); God acknowledges everything true in the worship offered to Him despite possible imperfections. Muslims are right about God being "mankind's judge on the last day," despite various false ideas about the Millennium. The bottom line is that the Catechism does not teach that Islam is a saving religion and that Muslims do not need to become Roman Catholics.










Sunday, October 01, 2006

Friday, September 29, 2006

Pearly Whites

Don't take dental hygiene for granted; although I have been brushing twice a day, that is not enough and I have two small cavities, something I never thought possible. The good thing about today's procedures is that they are painless and quick, involving no drilling. Flossing is essential and so is brushing three times daily.






Wednesday, September 27, 2006

YEC: Best Arguments

I believe that in CreationWiki's Index to Creationist Claims, the best arguments for Young Earth Creationism and Intelligent Design, and against evolution, are as follows:
CA042. Biology can reasonably be taught without evolution.
CA100.1. Evolution leaves lots of things unexplained.
CA202. Evolution hasn't been proved.
CB000. Pasteur proved life only comes from life (law of biogenesis).
CB010. The odds of life forming are incredibly small.
CB010.1. Even the simplest life is incredibly complex.
CB010.2. First cells couldn't come together by chance.
CB025. Not all amino acids needed for life have been formed experimentally.
CB026. Abiogenesis experiments produce toxins such as cyanide and formaldehyde.
CB030. Early molecules would have decayed.
CB030.1. Early molecules would have been destroyed by UV light.
CB035. Miller's experiments had invalid assumption of type of atmosphere.
CB035.1. Earth's early atmosphere had abundant oxygen.
CB035.2. Earth's early atmosphere had no reducing gases.
CB035.3. Amino acids aren't generated from just CO2, nitrogen, and water.
CB050. Abiogenesis is speculative, without evidence.
CB090. Evolution is baseless without a theory of abiogenesis.
CB102. Mutations don't add information.
CB110. Microevolution selects only existing variation.
CB130. "Junk" DNA is not really junk.
CB144. Human and chimp genomes differ by more than one percent.
CB200. Some systems are irreducibly complex.
CB200.1. Bacterial flagella are irreducibly complex.
CB200.2. Blood clotting is irreducibly complex.
CB200.3. Protein transport within a cell is irreducibly complex.
CB200.4. Immune system is irreducibly complex.
CB200.5. Metabolic pathway for AMP synthesis is too complex to have evolved.
CB300. Complex organs couldn't have evolved.
CB361. Vestigial organs are just evidence of decay, not evolution.
CB621.1. Mitochondrial Eve lived only 6500 years ago.
CB822. Evolution from a single ancestor is discredited.
CB901. Macroevolution has never been observed.
CB901.3. Darwin's finches show only microevolution.
CB902. Microevolution is distinct from macroevolution.
CB902.1. There are barriers to large change.
CB902.2. Small changes do not imply large changes.
CB932. Some modern species are apparently degenerate, not higher forms.
CC001. Piltdown man was a hoax.
CC002. Nebraska man was a hoax.
CC021. "Orce Man" was a donkey skull.
CC041. Homo habilis is an invalid taxon.
CC050. All hominid fossils are fully human or fully ape.
CC200. Transitional fossils are lacking.
CC300. Cambrian explosion shows all kinds of life appearing suddenly.
CC340. Many fossils are out of place.
CC361. Fossils can form quickly.
CC361.1. Coal and oil can form quickly.
CD001. Radiometric dating falsely assumes rocks are closed systems.
CD002. Radiometric dating falsely assumes initial conditions are known.
CD010. Radiometric dating gives unreliable results.
CD011. Carbon dating gives inaccurate results.
CD011.1. Variable C14/C12 ratio invalidates C14 dating.
CD012. U-Th dating gives inaccurate results for modern volcanic rocks.
CD013. K-Ar dating gives inaccurate results for modern volcanic rocks.
CD014. Isochron dating gives unreliable results.
CD200. Uniformitarian assumption is untenable.
CD211. Mississippi delta could have formed in 5000 years.
CD241. Varves can form in less than a year.
CD250. Stalactites can grow very rapidly.
CE001. Not enough helium in the atmosphere for an old earth.
CE412. Gravitational time dilation made distant clocks run faster.
CE440. Where did space, time, energy, and laws of physics come from?
CE441. Explosions such as the big bang don't produce order or information.
CF001. 2nd law of thermodynamics prohibits evolution
CF001.5. Evolution needs an energy conversion mechanism to utilize energy
CF003. How could information, such as in DNA, assemble itself?
CF210. Radiometric dating falsely assumes rates are constant
CG010. The oldest living thing is younger than 4900 years
CG020. 3000 years is time enough for all languages, religions to develop
CH101. The Bible is inerrant
CH102. The Bible is literal
CH102.2.1. Jesus refers to creation and flood as though they were literal
CH110. Prophecies prove the accuracy of the Bible
CH120. The Bible must be accurate because archaeology supports it
CH130. Bible's accuracy on other scientific points shows overall accuracy
CH190. Bible is harmonious throughout
CH200. The universe is 6000-10000 years old
CH210. The earth is 6000-10000 years old
CH220. The universe was created with apparent age
CH320. Life is deteriorating
CH350. Organisms come in discrete kinds
CH511. Insects survived on floating vegetation mats
CH512. All kinds could fit
CH512.1. Juveniles of large animals were taken aboard
CH512.2. Average land animal is the size of a sheep
CH513. Animals hibernated on the Ark
CH514. Crew could feed and care for animals
CH514.1. Many animals don't require fresh or live food
CH520. Pre-Flood animals lived in a uniform climate
CH521. Animals' exacting needs could have evolved after the flood
CH541. Aquatic organisms could have survived the Flood
CH542. Plants could have survived the Flood
CH550. Geologic column was deposited by the Flood
CH561.4. Fossils sorted by a combination of these factors
CH570. High mountains were raised during the Flood
CH580. The Flood shaped the earth's surface in other ways
CH581. Grand Canyon was carved by retreating Flood waters
CH710. Man and dinosaurs coexisted.
CH711. Behemoth, from the book of Job, was a dinosaur.
CH711.1. Leviathan, from the book of Job, was a dinosaur.
CH712. Dragons were dinosaurs.
CH712.1. Some dinosaurs breathed fire.
CH801. Genesis 1 got the order of events right.
CI001. Intelligent design theory is scientific.
CI002. Intelligent design has explanatory power.
CI009. Evidence for design disproves evolutionary mechanisms.
CI100. Design is detectable.
CI101. Complexity indicates design.
CI102. Irreducible complexity indicates design.
CI110. Complex specified information indicates design.
CI111. Dembski's filter can detect design.
CI111.1. Specified information criterion produces no false positives.
CI111.2. Specified complexity characterizes what intelligent agents do.
CI113. Genetic algorithms require a designer to specify desired outcome.
CI141. Similarities in DNA and anatomy are due to common design.
CI200. There must have been a first cause.
CI301. Cosmos is fine-tuned to permit human life.
CI410. Design requires a designer.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Saints See The Reprobate Suffer

MYTH
People in Heaven do not see people suffering in Hell

The saints in Heaven indeed see the suffering of the wicked in Hell, says St. Thomas Aquinas, contrary to what many people might think. When Hell is compared with Heaven the differences are more apparent, and thus those in Heaven have more happiness and are even more grateful to God because God's justice is glorified. At the same time, they are not saddened by the sight or pitiful of the damned because they know that the damned fully deserve everlasting punishment, and because they cannot share in any unhappiness. This is stated in scripture in Is 66:24 (NKJV): "And they shall go forth and look Upon the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, And their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."




Sunday, September 24, 2006

Monks And Nuns In The Bible

MYTH
Monasticism is unbiblical

Monks and nuns are found in the Bible. For example, the Nazirites in the Old Testament took solemn vows of asceticism (Num 6:2-4,6-8) and had a distinct appearance (Num 6:5). Monks in the Bible include St. Samson (Judg 13:5-6), St. Samuel (1 Sam 1:11), and St. John the Baptist (Lk 1:15). St. Anna was a prophetess and nun (Lk 2:36-37). St. Justin Martyr cited celibate monks in Mt 19:12. Widowed women lived a consecrated life after taking solemn oaths of celibacy in 1 Tim 5:3-12.








Saturday, September 23, 2006

God CANNOT Be One Person

1. The greatest conceivable being, God, must be perfect.
2. Love is a moral perfection.
3. God must a be a perfectly loving being by His very nature.
4. The nature of love is giving onself away to another person.
5. God must be eternally giving Himself in love to another.
6. But God's creation is not eternal and to create is not a part of His essence.
7. Therefore, God's perfect, necessary love is directed internally to God Himself.
8. Therefore, there must be a plurality of persons in God, and unitarianism is false.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Pope John XII

Mirror link

PROBABLE MYTH
Pope John XII was a Satan-toasting, simoniacal, colossally adulterous arsonist who died while having sex with a married woman

Now Liutprand of Cremona records the following about Pope John XII, who is often cited as an extremely wicked pope and the most wicked of popes, by Catholics and anti-Catholics alike:
Then, rising up, the cardinal priest Peter testified that he himself had seen John XII celebrate Mass without taking communion. John, bishop of Narni, and John, a cardinal deacon, professed that they themselves saw that a deacon had been ordained in a horse stable, but were unsure of the time. Benedict, cardinal deacon, with other co-deacons and priests, said they knew that he had been paid for ordaining bishops, specifically that he had ordained a ten-year-old bishop in the city of Todi... They testified about his adultery, which they did not see with their own eyes, but nonetheless knew with certainty: he had fornicated with the widow of Rainier, with Stephana his father's concubine, with the widow Anna, and with his own niece, and he made the sacred palace into a whorehouse. They said that he had gone hunting publicly; that he had blinded his confessor Benedict, and thereafter Benedict had died; that he had killed John, cardinal subdeacon, after castrating him; and that he had set fires, girded on a sword, and put on a helmet and cuirass. All, clerics as well as laymen, declared that he had toasted to the devil with wine. They said when playing at dice, he invoked Jupiter, Venus and other demons. They even said he did not celebrate Matins and the canonical hours nor did he make the sign of the cross.
It is fairly certain that Liutprand's portrayal of Pope John XII is wildly exaggerated and unreliable. This is my conclusion after having read information on Pope John XII from Bishop Liutprand of Cremona, Chamberlain, Monk Benedict of Soracte, Peter De Rosa, Tony Bushby, Angelo S. Rappoport, Flodoard, Gustavov Roskoff, James Bryce Joyce, Ferdinand Gregorovius, Philip Schaff, Rev. Horace Kinder Mann, and several others.

Pope John XII of Rome (Octavian) [r. 12/16/955-5/14/964] was far from exemplary but he was not nearly as evil as the incredible Bishop Liutprand of Cremona and most subsequent historians taking him at face value would have you believe. Flodoard, the Chronicle of Monk Benedict Soracte (which is at times confused and relies on Liutprand for e.g. the charges of rampant adultery, etc.), Bishop Ratherius of Verona, and the anonymous Chronicle of Salerno are the most reliable sources that John XII was not a great pope, but Flodoard and Ratherius of Verona are the two most independent and reliable of these, much moreso than the two Chronicles which can be jumbled and dependent on Liutprand. In sum, the verified sins of Pope John XII are not the trumped up majority of charges that Liutprand libelously records, but consisted in, viz., hunting, hawking, gaming, excessive wine drinking, lying, youthful inexperience, and at the end of his pontificate torture and mutilation of cardinal-deacon John and Azzo when he returned after being invalidly deposed. The charges of Satanism, rampant adultery with numerous women, death inflicted by the devil during adultery, simony, arson, etc. are not credible because they originate exclusively from the embellishing gossip Liutprand who is not credible with regard to the pontificate of John XII for at least the 18 reasons I am about to give.

All the quotes from the praiseworthy Rev. Horace Kinder Mann come from Mann, Rev. Horace K. (1910), The Lives of the Popes, vol. IV. London: Kegan, Paul, Trench, Trübner, & Co., Ltd. pp. 241-272.
a. Reverend Horace Kinder Mann says (242) that Frodoard "has recorded practically nothing to the detriment of John." Mann says (242), "The only words in Frodoard that reflect on the character of John XII are that he was blamed for his irreligious life (quia de inreligiositate sua corripiebatur) [Ann., 965] and that too by Otho, whose plans were the better served when John was made to appear as black as possible."
b. Mann (255): "If such things were ever told to the envoys of Otho, they must have been looking for gossip. The historians of foreign nations (always excepting those of Germany) say nothing about the infamies of John, and the churches must have gone to decay of set purpose, when such wholesale ruin was produced in some six years!"
c. Mann (256): Liutprand claims that John XII sent Bishop Leo and Cardinal Deacon John to Constantinople against Otto's interests, which is inconsistent with John's punishment of these men afterwards (Liutprand says in c. 19 that John XII severed Cardinal Deacon John's right hand while the confused Monk Benedict of Soracte said John XII severed Azzo's hand).
d. Liutprand:
These therefore being present, and keeping perfect silence, the holy emperor began thus: "How right it would be that the Lord Pope John should be present at so distinguished and holy a council! But we ask you, O holy Fathers, who have had life and business in common with him, why he refused to join such an assembly?" Then the Roman bishops and cardinal-priests and deacons with the whole populace replied: We wonder that your most holy prudence should want us to inquire into this matter, which is not unknown to the inhabitants of Iberia, Babylon, or India.
This is clearly exaggerated, especially in light of point J. "Keeping perfect silence," "the whole populace replied," "not unknown to the inhabitants of Iberia, Babylon, or India;" give me a break!
e. Liutprand: "The whole assembly exclaimed, 'as one man,' that they prayed they might be eternally lost if the charges brought against John were not true;" come on!
f. Mann (243): "Those who brought the most definite charges against John XII were partisans of Otho and the Germans" who were "anxious to make the best case out for Otto."
g. Liutprand falsely claims that John XII was the one who began to treat with Adalbert when the Continuator of Regino shows that Adalbert was the instigator who exploited John's "youthful inexperience."
h. Mann (264): Liudprand says that Beelzebub struck John XII on the temple while he was fornicating with a woman outside Rome, and that John XII died eight days later "without receiving the Holy Viaticum" []. Why would Satan want to put an end to the life of a servant who could wreak more havoc on earth and cause more disgrace to the Church with his notorious sin had he been spared? Gregorovius [] makes Beelzebub a jealous husband to make the myth more plausible and others, like Hefele [Conciliengeschichte, IV, p. 619], attribute the death of John XII to apoplexy. In fact the mode of his death is uncertain [c.f. Liber Pontificalis; Ann. Alth. Maj.; Continuation of Chron. Reg.].
i. Mann (272) points out that Abbot Leo said that John was ruthlessly slandered and libeled: Abbot Leo, John XV's legate to France, refers those at the 991 council at Rheims to an incident, "in the times of Pope John the son of Alberic, whom you (the kings and bishops of Rheims) have wantonly besmirched" ["In his letter to the kings Hugh Capet and his son, Robert the Pious, ap. Olleris, OEuvres de Gerbert, p. 242"].
j. Sigebert wrote over a century after John XII died and likely obtained a great deal of his information from the Chronicle of Liutprand and its Appendix.
k. Mann (259): there is "no doubt" that Liutprand forged a grammatical error in John XII's 11/22/963 reply to the pseudo-synod, and he is the one who made the "childish remarks" in his rejoinder to John XII.
l. Liutprand says that John XII's numerous lovers roused the Romans to fight against Leo VIII and oust him, but this is absurd.
m. Mann (267): John XII told St. Dunstan "to let his life be as bright and spotless as the pallium itself, to be strictly yet mercifully just, and to defend the poor."
n. Mann (245-246):
Writing (957) to another German archbishop, Henry of Trier, while granting him the use of the pallium, he exhorts him to a good life. Equally significant is his confirmation (958) of the possession of the monastery of Subiaco. This he did on condition "that every day by priests and monks should be recited, for the good of our soul and the souls of our successors, a hundred Kyrie-eleisons and a hundred Christe-eleisons, and that thrice each week the priests should offer the Holy Mass to Almighty God for the absolution of our soul and those of our successors." If John was bad himself, he had no intention of letting others do wrong, and showed himself fully alive to the value of prayer.
o. Mann (245): "John sympathises with the archbishop in his troubles, declares that he will have a care of the honour due to him, and exhorts him boldly to assail those who contumaciously wish to lead a bad life, and devastate the churches of God. He expresses a great wish to be informed of all that was going on in the parts of the Gauls and Germany."
p. Mann (258):
This is not the last time that such a farrago of charges against a Pope will be forthcoming to meet the convenience of a powerful enemy. However, in this instance, they are in the main supported by the testimony of Benedict (c. 35); unless, indeed, he has drawn his information from Liutprand. In relating the doings of Otho, Benedict is confused, even for him. The Cont. Reg. mentions the synod at which John was deposed, but not the crimes related of him by Liutprand.{1}
q. Mann (276): "Considering, however, the courage which, according to Liutprand himself, was displayed by Benedict during the siege, the story of his appeal for mercy related by that narrator or fabricator of myths may be dismissed, and we may take it as a fact that he was simply deposed by Otho by brute force."
r. Liutprand: (Antapodosis, ii. c. 48), Pope John XI was the natural son of Pope Sergius III [1/29/904–4/14/911], ("Johannes, natione Romanus ex patre Sergio papa"). Horace Kinder Mann,{2} Reginald L. Poole,{3} Peter Llewelyn (Rome in the Dark Ages), Karl Josef von Hefele, August Friedrich Gfrörer,{4} Ludovico Antonio Muratori, and Francis Patrick Kenrick{5} maintain that Pope John XI was sired by Alberic I of Spoleto, Count of Tusculum.
s. The so-called deposition of Pope John XII was invalid for many reasons which I will give later.

Thank God most of the Popes of Rome have been holy!{6} There have always been sinners in the Church{7} and if you lose confidence in the Holy See because of the history of a handful of evil popes, remember the following gem of wisdom from History of the Popes III, 475 by Dr. Ludwig Pastor{8}:
An imperfect does not affect the intrinsic worth of the jewel, nor does the golden coin lose its value when it passes through impure hands. In so far as the priest is a public officer of a holy Church, a blameless life is expected from him, both because he is by his office the model of virtue to whom the laity look up, and because his life, when virtuous, inspires in onlookers respect for the society of which he is an ornament. But the treasures of the Church, her Divine character, her holiness, Divine revelation, the grace of God, spiritual authority, it is well known, are not dependent on the moral character of the agents and officers of the Church. The foremost of her priests cannot diminish by an iota the intrinsic value of the spiritual treasures confided to him.
Amen! God protect His earthly Vicar!{9}

Notes & References
{1} There are false charges against many popes (e.g., there is a White Robed Monks of St. Benedict website which culls allegations against 77 of popes from Vicars of Christ by Peter de Rosa) which will be refuted in a future post. As depraved as Benedict IX was, he, like John XII, was also falsely accused. Benedict IX was a murderer [Pope Victor III Dialog. iii] but he did not murder Pope Clement II by lead sugar poisoning [old Catholic Encyclopedia]. And apparently after giving up the papacy, Benedict IX did penance up until the very end of his life at Grotta Ferrata. As depraved as Alexander VI was, he, like John XII and Benedict IX, was also falsely accused. Alexander VI did not murder Sizim, brother of Sultan Bajazet, via slow poisoning [Essai sur l'Histoire Generale, t. iii. ch. ciii.] He did not commit incest with his daughter Lucrezia Borgia [Life and Pontificate of Leo the Tenth, vol. ii].
{2} "Sergius at once declared the ordinations conferred by Formosus null; but that he put his two predecessors to death, and by illicit relations with Marozia had a son, who was afterwards John XI, must be regarded as highly doubtful. These assertions are only made by bitter or ill-informed adversaries, and are inconsistent with what is said of him by respectable contemporaries [such as Flodoard]." Mann, Horace. "Pope Sergius III." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 21 Dec. 2008 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13729a.htm>.
{3} Poole, Reginald L. (1917). "Benedict IX and Gregory VI." Proceedings of the British Academy 8: 230.
{4} Gfrörer, August Friedrich, Allgemeine Kirchengeschichte, vol. III, Stuttgart: A. Krabbe, pp. 1133-1275, <http://www.archive.org/details/a5831149p103gfrouoft>. Retrieved on 2008-01-06.
{5} Kenrick, Francis Patrick (1855), The Primacy of the Apostolic See Vindicated, Baltimore: John Murphy & Co., p. 418, <http://books.google.com/books?id=EXFCAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA418>. Retrieved on 2008-01-06.
{6} Coming soon.
{7} Dave Armstrong (8/18/2006),"Biblical Evidence for Sinners in the Church" in Cor ad Cor Loquitur @ http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2006/08/biblical-evidence-for-sinners-in.html.
{8} Loughlin, James. "Pope Alexander VI." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 21 Dec. 2008 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01289a.htm>
{9} Coming soon: proof that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ and that the papacy is no prejudice to Christ being properly the Head of the Church.