To Be a Priest

New York Times has an article about the questions to be asked of prospective priests–a lot about sex, cold showers, and masturbation–apparently nothing about conversion or faith in Jesus. Via Mike Hayes, who has some comments of his own.

The Michigan Conference and LaSierra

The Executive Committee of the Michigan Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has decided that LaSierra University is in “apostasy”; consequently, they will no longer be giving financial assistance to the children of employees who wish to study there. Reports at Spectrum and Educate Truth. This action has tremendous ecclesiological implications that are barely hinted…

Disney’s Demonism

We watched “The Princess and the Frog” last night. What a disappointment. Why does Disney have to inject spiritualism into nearly every cartoon? In this movie, the villain was a Voodoo practitioner, aided by evil spirits–magic was also used on the other side by Mama Odie. What is Disney trying to teach children? And why…

Driscoll on Doctrine

I suggested in a recent column at Adventist Today that the “emerging church” is characterized by diversity of approach; while I have serious theological differences with some people associated with it (especially under the “Emergent” brand), I think there is much we can learn from the movement. The two writers associated with the “emerging church”…

“Lost” Ends by Revealing It Jumped the Shark Sideways

The primary revelation of the final episode of Lost was that the whole “flash sideways” world was really a sort of Buddhist purgatory that all the “Lost” folks who ever died (or will die) constructed so that they could “find” each other, remember their good times together, and “let go” of all their attachments (except…

Teflon Bishops

Jason Berry writes, The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith … has one set of punitive rules for predator priests, and virtually none for bishops and cardinals. In 2002, the American bishops adopted a youth protection charter that mandated lay review boards to research back cases and monitor new allegations of clergy abuse. ……

Excommunication

A nun in Phoenix (a hospital administrator) has been excommunicated for approving an abortion to save the life of a mother. A report on NPR noted the failure of the Catholic church to excommunicate any of the priests or bishops who have molested children and youth. Bishop Thomas Olmstead also made headlines once for refusing…

On Speaking Well of the Pope

A friend recently wrote to ask me to clarify some things I had said about Pope Benedict XVI (defending him from some attacks by atheists Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins). … [Y]our blog seems to imply that Benedict is really a good guy who is not the head of a corrupt and fallen religious movement.…

Religions Are Not “All the Same”

“It is misleading — and dangerous — to think that religions are different paths to the same wisdom.” So says Stephen Prothero, religion professor at Boston University. Of course, those who claim that the world’s religions are different paths up the same mountain do not deny the undeniable fact that they differ in some particulars.…

Adventists and the Emerging Church

My latest column at Adventist Today. I’ve been following the series by AToday blogger Herb Douglass on the “Emerging/Emergent Church” with interest, and would like to offer some of my reflections on the subject. Like Herb, I’ve seen enough fads come and go that I have become a little cynical. And he’s right–a lot of…

Home Again

I’m back from my two weeks in Idaho (as my Facebook friends already know). It was annual training for my National Guard unit. I’m with an aviation battalion, and our Apaches spent the better part of two weeks practicing gunnery at Gowen Field and the Orchard Training Area. I spent my days wandering around between…

On the Ordination of Women

The question of the ordination of women has been heating up in the Adventist church recently, following a sermon by Doug Batchelor (who is opposed). He elaborates his position here. Others opposed have included Sam Pipim and the late Sam Bacchiocchi. For examples of writings on the other side, one can point to various articles…

Ecclesiasatical “Structures of Sin”

Catholic social teaching employs the phrase, “structures of sin,” to describe those social structures that are rooted in human sin–structures that give concrete expression to, and are formed to enable and further, personal sin. See, for example, this from Pope John Paul II (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 36): If the present situation can be attributed to…