Old Testament Adventures: Battle of Ten Kings

Abram is not a doddering old man living out in the middle of Nowhere.  Sure, I get that the advanced age at which he fathered Isaac needs some kind of visual representation in our iconography of him.  But all those cute children’s books obscure what Abram actually was.

One clue is in Genesis 13, an otherwise skippable chapter but for two details.  The first is that, since his covenant with God in the previous chapter, Abram has flourished dramatically.  He and his nephew Lot can no longer share the same land because their flocks have grown so great.  To find a peaceable arrangement, Abram offers Lot his choice of land to inhabit and Abram moves off so that the two of them can continue to (hopefully) grow their estates.

So, clue one: he’s a rich doddering old man.  But the kind of wealth we’re talking about here is not sacks and sacks of coins.  It’s an enormous livestock enterprise: not something to be done by oneself with the missus cooking up grub back home.  Abram actually has a truly enormous estate full of servants. Continue reading Old Testament Adventures: Battle of Ten Kings

Puer Natus Est Nobis

On this day, the King of the Universe was born, not just into the world but unto us, unto his own.  The kings of the world immediately set out to destroy him, and eventually they succeeded according to the eyes of history.  But on this day we can pause and imagine a world that did not reject its king, a salvation history in which the world said yes along with Mary, a story–our story–in which the world did not set itself as the enemy of the Gospel.

Yet mirabile scriptu, God has the last laugh over kings and counselors, and we will have our true King quite in spite of ourselves.

Obligatory Rogue One Review

I had not set my expectations very high for Rogue One, nor had I planned to see it early in its theatrical run.  But neighbor, son’s best friend, extra tickets, etc.  So it turns out I am opening-weekend cool when it comes to Star Wars…quite by accident.

Is this a good movie?  I am still not completely sure how to answer this.  Perhaps I am paralyzed with old age.  Let’s run down a few quick issues without rehashing the mainline reviews already out there. Continue reading Obligatory Rogue One Review

Aquinas on Grace

What’s new in my Ethics class these days?  New insight (for me) on the structure of STA’s Prima Secundae.  Because of it, I did a much better job teaching the necessity of grace this time around.

When I teach STA’s ethics, I work the boys slowly through I-II Q6-19 (a few technical spots omitted for time and condescension to adolescent frailty).  When we get to the end of Question 19, all of Christian ethics is laid out before us waiting to be developed in detail.

It’s a critical moment, in the wonderful Greek sense of that word.  If we stop right here after Q19, I run the risk of teaching something very close to pure Pelagianism.  And yet, mirabile scriptu, if we stop right here after Q19 we actually have everything necessary to avoid Pelagius entirely. Continue reading Aquinas on Grace