Judge Phillimore continues:
The elevation of the Blessed Sacrament was not incorporated formally into the law of the Western Church before the beginning of the thirteenth century. [Cardinal Bona] cites a variety of authorities in support of this position, and mentions the introduction of the custom of ringing a bell at the time of the elevation, at first as it should appear in order to excite the devotions of the faithful, and not for the purpose of the worship of the Host.
It was not till the year 1217, during the Papacy of Honorius III, that this peculiar doctrine of elevation became part of the canon law.
Rosen summarizes Adorno’s view of America:
The picture of American life that Adorno gives in Minima Moralia is bleak indeed. The functionality of American architecture – the elimination of ornaments, window frames and garden fences – is characterized as mechanistic and dehumanizing; the directness of American manners insensitive and intrusive; and the cult of health and therapy fascistic. America was a haven from the barbarism of Europe, to be sure, and Adorno was grateful for that, but it was what America had in common with what he had fled from that most caught Adorno’s attention: the extension of industrialism to all areas of life and the corresponding alienation of the individual.
In a review of several books about Theodor Adorno, Michael Rosen wrote the following:
In Adorno’s view, Nazism points towards a horrifying fact about the nature of European civilization itself. European civilization has acted as a cradle for ideals of equality and respect for humanity, ideals that have inspired great social movements as well as Europe’s most profound works of art. And yet it produced in Germany, a nation that had contributed to that culture in the highest degree, a regime in which human being treated their Jewish fellow citizens as so much disposable rubbish.
[Adorno wrote] Auschwitz has irrefutably demonstrated the failure of culture. That it could happen surrounded by the entire tradition of philosophy, art and the sciences-the mind-signifies more than just that they were not able to assert themselves and change human beings. Those very disciplines with their claim to independent validity are the home of the falsehood. All culture after Auschwitz-the radical critique of culture included -is rubbish.
Two things stand out to me: the inability of humanity to understand human nature apart from the doctrine of original sin, and the inability of culture to save man aside from the worship of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The idea of human goodness seems to span all religions and thought forms, and is inherent in modern day messianic beliefs such as that Obama will save America, or that America will save the world. Mankind is evil to its core, and apart from regeneration, is hopelessly bent on evil. But no amount of experience seems to drill this home, so the lesson has to be learned again and again. The current American mantra of “believe in yourself” is the ultimate rejection of original sin. There is nothing in yourself to believe in, cast your hopes upon the risen Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, in order for there to be any hope of progress.
A simple idea from Simon Blackburn: the truth of a proposition consists of its correspondence to fact.
Ex-Nazi Hermann Rauschning reports on a conversation between Hitler and Bernhard Forster, Nietzsche’s brother-in-law:
Hitler would be the first to achieve what Christianity was meant to have been, a joyous message that liberated men from the things that burdened their life. We should no longer have any fear of death, and should lose the fear of a so-called bad conscience. Hitler would restore men to the self-confident divinity with which nature had endowed them.
Dusty Sklar writes of this new religion that it was “…a mixture of paganism, Gnosticism, and magic. Its true purpose could only be revealed to the initiated, and only at the proper time, because only they would really grasp its import, and only when the way had been prepared.”
All of this is from Sklar’s book The Nazis and the Occult.
It took me eight years of on and off reading, but today I finished reading The Institutes of the Christian Religion all 1,258 narrow-typed pages of it! I started the book years ago as a new Calvinist, eager to digest the whole thing. As I do with most books, I put it down and picked it up again over periods of time. Finally, in the past month I determined to finish the thing off and today I crossed the finish line.
The only reason I persisted in reading the work was because I started it and wanted the satisfaction of having read it cover to cover. It was exceptionally tedious in places, and I really got tired of his pejorative language over time. He constantly refers to opponents as impious, dogs, raving, mad, Sophists, and so forth. It is probably a product of the age in which he lived. I suspect that most writers of all sides spoke like that during his day, but it seems really hollow in our age.
The way that the book ended seems odd to me. He made no effort to summarize or tie things together, he just finished up his last subject, and that’s it. He intended the book for theological students as an introduction to the Bible, and it seems crazy to me in our day to think that before someone embarks on studying the Bible, they would first need to read 1,258 pages of Calvin!
There are sections of great lucidity that shed much light on topics that are common theological flash-points, and there are other sections that are dull and dreary. I think it’s safe to say that he could never get this book published today, at least in its current form. The book is one of those valuable tools to understand, as it is one of the few really foundational texts of Western Civilization. Perhaps someday I will finish the other foundational work that I am stuck in – The City of God. I find it equally dull in many places, and have set it aside for now.
Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road in three weeks, and said so publicly. However, he prepared to write the book for seven years, keeping notebooks from which he prepared.
Joseph Smith claims his first vision occurred in 1820. He claims that Moroni (or Nephi in his accounts) visited him in 1823, and that he was not able to obtain the plates until 1827. If we accept the date of the first vision, this gives Smith seven years to outline the Book of Mormon’s contents in his mind. He could prepare a narrative in his head, something most authors would be familiar with.
Writing in 1995, James Jordan said:
Now there is a last curious fact. The Book of Acts likewise ends with this same quotation from Isaiah (Acts 28:25-28). Paul applies it to the stubborn and unbelieving Jews, and now tells them he is going to go to those very heathen that Psalms 115 and 135 were written about in the first place, and they will listen. A full circle has been made. This is the third application of these original Psalms to Israel. It has passed through Isaiah, to Jesus, to Paul. In each instance, there are some who are saved and others who are further hardened. This is now a three-fold hardening that has come upon Israel, and God is done with Israel.
Where are we in this cycle? America is surely at least two-fold hardened, and perhaps we are moving toward the third. About this I do not know. But what is clear is that, more than ever, America is Self-Intoxicated, and it is harder than ever to get any hearing for the Gospel. Any man who attempts evangelism with an Arminian theology is bound to be deeply disillusioned in the contemporary world. For men to be saved it is increasingly clear that a purely supernatural miracle is required so that the blind can see, the deaf hear, and the dumb sing for joy. And, it is clear that we are in danger of losing our Gospel privileges. In many places in the third world, the Gospel is heard with great joy. Romans 11:7-8 is very liable to become our legacy:
What then? Israel failed to obtain what it sought. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that should not see and ears that should not hear, down to this very day.”
I’m thinking about ending this blog and folding it into my other blog. It’s sort of a hassle to maintain both.
While modern LDS apologists assert that the Lamanites are only one of many groups that fathered the people we now call Indians, early Mormons were of a quite different persuasion. Writing in 1831, the prophet’s mother, Lucy Mack Smith, said:
…the more wicked part of them being led by one of the sons of Lehi named Laman arose up in rebellion against their brethren and would not keep the commandments of God therefore he sent a curse upon them and caused a dark skin to come over them and from Laman our Indians have descended…
Indeed, the first issue of the Church’s own Millenial Star said:
The present American Indians are their descendants…
It is quite clear that early converts for many years taught and believed that all Indians were Lamanites, and that the end of times was upon them. In fact, Joseph Smith prophesied (falsely) in 1835 that the Lord would come soon:
“President Smith then stated … it was the will of God that those who went to Zion, with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, should be ordained to the ministry, and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh—even fifty-six years should wind up the scene.”