May 23, 2010. “John the Baptizer part 2.”
One of the best experiences I’ve had as a Catholic was being on a retreat in college in which the Sacrament of Reconciliation was celebrated. I sat in the back of the Church as many of my friends approached the priests and, many of them with tears in their eyes, spilled their guts. Many of them were making their first confession in quite a while, so there were years of sin being confessed and absolved. It was a wonderful celebration of God’s mercy, one that I am looking forward to celebrating very often if I am ordained to the priesthood.
Many people, both Catholics and non-Catholics, misunderstand the nature of this sacrament. Many Catholics see it as a form of religious magic. Because of this, many Catholics simply reject the sacrament and rarely make use of it. Others (far fewer) think that they can live a life of sin and as long as they go to confession they get that ticket to heaven. Both of these are significant pastoral problems that the Catholic Church faces regarding the proper celebration of this sacrament. In turn, it has caused many non-Catholics to develop erroneous views regarding the sacrament
Hence, this quote from Mark Driscoll:
Mark Driscoll appreciates reason. He is not a fundamentalist. He is a reasonable person. It isn’t rare of him to make use of philosophy when he makes a point, which (in my limited experience) is rare for many protestant pastors. He values things like intellectual consistency.
Take for example this wonderful exchange with Randy Alcorn, the author of one of my favorite books, Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments. In this exchange, Mark Driscoll asks whether or not young, pro-life evangelicals are consistent in their thinking. Catholic readers will appreciate it greatly, since many of the questions that Mark asks are questions that we are asking about young (and, unfortunately, old) Catholics as well.
One of the greatest defenses of Faith and Reason was the encyclical Fides et Ratio by the late, great John Paul II. It is, in my opinion, required reading for every Catholic, although it is my belief that evangelicals will find much to appreciate as well.
From the beautiful opening line of the encyclical:
Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.
You may have noticed a tweet last week in which I announced that I would have a post up about Mark Driscoll and the birth control pill. That post will not be up, at least not now. I initially misunderstood Pastor Mark’s comments on the issue and would have been guilty of misrepresenting his views. There are still some things to be said, but that will be done later when I tackle the subject at length, and help the reader discern whether or not the Church’s prohibition on contraception is a meaningless rule or a way to help couples enter into the same type of free, total, faithful, and fruitful love that Jesus Christ has for his Church.
So keep reading!
Sorry for the lack of posts! We had a fantastic first week here at the blog and a lot of people read articles that I posted. I even got a couple of emails and some action on our Twitter account. It was unfortunate that I had to step away for a few days, but now I’m back, and we should have a few more posts up relatively soon. If you sign up to follow us on twitter you will know when that is immediately. You can also join us on facebook.
Enjoy the blog, and enjoy the rest of your summer.