Friday, April 30, 2010

Trip Reading

I'm going on a road trip with my friend to Montreal, Quebec City, and then back through Ottawa, and we leave tomorrow. So I won't be posting anything. The only theology book I'm bringing is Hans Urs Von Balthasar's biblical defense of the Petrine office, which should be interesting. But more than that, I hope to really just read my bible, and finish Acts. So far I've noticed some interesting things this time around.

I really notice how everything is about the Preaching of the Gospel in Acts. It's been interesting reading over the council of Jerusalem, and the conversion of Paul again. The phrase "having cleansed their hearts by faith." (Acts 15:9) really struck me for some reason. I also really am seeing a different emphasis. The Resurrection is so central to things, the church is called a witness to the resurrection (1:22). I'm also really enjoying reading the Psalms again, I read Psalm 50 today and I think I could write a book just on that one. Calvin was right in calling them the anatomy of the soul.

I am really looking for the two things that have been the contentions in my journey all this way: the mention of salvation and the doctrine of the church.

I thought it was very telling that Acts 1:20 says Judas' position which Matthias fills was that of "overseer" or in the Authorized Version (KJV) "bishoprick". That to me seems to be a pretty solid apostolic succesion prooftext. While that doesn't solidify Roman Catholic claims, the verses preceding it are at least worth pondering "In those days Peter stood up among the believers" (1:15).

I am very confused, as I find the issue of concupiscence/free will/original sin and by connection, Justification, to be weak for Catholics, but I find the doctrine of the Church to be strong for Catholics.

Perhaps B.B. Warfield was right in his famous axiom on the Reformation.

By God's grace, and in his word, may I find the answers, and if and when I do, may I have the courage to voice them, despite the influence of friends on either side of the Tiber. Even in my writing I try to balance things out so that people don't get angry or lose hope. I need to hear Christ's voice again and follow, wherever that is.

The Transforming Friendship

I've been struggling with alot of theological and philosophical issues recently. Yesterday I found myself wondering: why am I even a Christian. Originally it had something to do with Jesus Christ if I remember correctly. When I was at Bible School in England, the first lecture series we had was called "The Transforming Friendship" and was taught by a great Baptist preacher. In remembering my spiritual beginnings, perhaps I will find light on where to go in this dark time.

A kind soul recommended a book to me, and the first words brought me to tears. They reminded me of something I might've forgotten:

"Let me tell you how I made His acquaintance.
I had heard much of Him, but took no heed.
He sent daily gifts and presents, but I never thanked Him.
He often seemed to want my friendship, but I remained cold.
I was homeless, and wretched, and starving and in peril every hour; and He offered me shelter and comfort and food and safety; but I was ungrateful still.
At last He crossed my path and with tears in His eyes He besought me saying, Come and abide with me.

Let me tell you how he treats me now.
He supplies all my wants.
He gives me more than I dare ask.
He anticipates my every need.
He begs me to ask for more.
He never reminds me of my past ingratitude.
He never rebukes me for my past follies.

Let me tell you further what I think of Him.
He is as good as He is great.
His love is as ardent as it is true.
He is as lavish of His promises as He is faithful in keeping them.
He is as jealous of my love as He is deserving of it.
I am in all things His debtor, but He bids me call Him Friend." - in "The Friendship of Christ" Robert Hugh Benson

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Interesting Point by Gregory the Great

I started Pope St. Gregory the Great's commentary on Job this morning and noticed something most biblical scholars should take note of these days.

St. Greg is going through the authorship debates of Job and makes this comment after summing up all the different possibilities:

"But who was the writer, it is very superfluous to enquire; since at any rate the Holy Spirit is confidently believed to have been the Author. He then Himself wrote them, Who dictated the things that should be written. He did Himself write them Who both was present as the Inspirer in that Saint's work, and by the mouth of the writer has consigned to us his acts as patterns for our imitation." (

I was also amazed at his depth of insight into the debates on who wrote Job, the fathers were much smarter than some people give them credit for. This summer, I want to pick a father and just try to read everything he wrote (perhaps St. Gregory as I've read his letters to St. Anselm in the Ven. Bede's English history already).

He had some other great quotes I found as well:

"Holy Scripture is a stream in which the elephant may swim and the lamb may wade."

"Learn the heart of God from the Word of God"

"The Bible is a letter from Almighty God to His creatures."

Which Protestants would jump on to say AHA! he was a proto-protestant...untill you read his other work on purgatory / soteriology.

A very great man though to be sure. Jaroslav Pelikan seemed to paint him as a mindless plagiarist/copyist of St. Augustine, but I'm seeing he goes deeper than that.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Strongest Defense of Protestant (Reformed/Barthian/Lutheran) Theology I can come up with

Just out of interest I thought I would try to write the strongest argument in favour of Confessional Protestantism, and see if I couldn't knock it down later. It is not that I am tempted to believe it, I just want to lay it down for my own understanding.

Faith and Reason:

The great Swiss Reformed theologian Karl Barth argued that natural theology and the use of philosophy in Christian faith, was 'where things all went wrong'. As Luther sayeth, 'the Theologian must first put to death the philosopher (Aristotle)', before burning the Summa Theologiae in public. Barth cites the famous unfinished symphonies as examples, surely no one can listen to the first half, and then using natural reason, discover the remainder, given any amount of time. This he proposed is what Roman Catholics do when they enter theology. Genesis 3:15 says there would be enmity between 'the woman' (Virgin Mary) and Satan. Examine that long enough, and you start talking about the Immaculate Conception, humans as Barth noted are "idol factories", and any attempt to add to the word of God with human words, no matter what the phrasing is 'development', 'unwritten traditions', etc, is sin.

Soren Kierkegaard in "Fear and Trembling" describes the divine command for Abraham to kill his son. Nothing in natural reasoning could explain this as logical. God is not a Being to be reasoned about, he is a speaking God who is to be trusted or rejected.

The Canon:

Roman Catholics ask how Protestants know which Scriptures are valid and which are not, as the Bible did not come straight from Heaven. Granted Barth would agree, BUT as the second Helvetic Confession declares:

"The preaching of the Word of God is the Word of God"

All throughout the book of Acts, it is the declaration of the Word (invisibly in preaching, visibly in the sacraments) that leads to salvation. As it is written, "faith cometh by hearing" (Rom 10:17). While the succession of Bishops may or may not be valid (Anglicanism v. Presbyterianism), the real succession of the Apostles was their preaching. The church is described as witnesses to the resurrection, to the Christ Event, to something that had happened and was now finished, all that was required now was the preaching of it to others. By this message which was preached since the apostles, did the council fathers know what was canonical and what was not. (I could then develop the argument that the new testament was clearly agreed on, Romans says 'to the Jews were entrusted the oracles of God' as the prooftext for the 39 book proto-canon).

In the same way that Luigi Giussani argued that people today can encounter Christ only through Christ's body as an objective historical reality, so would Barth argue that people today are faced to encounter the preaching of the gospel as an objective historical reality.

Furthermore, God has no need of an institution to tell people what the Word of God is, and what it isn't, for Christ is "the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." (Jn 1:9), and because the apostle says:

"When God made a promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, ‘I will surely bless you and multiply you.’ And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. Human beings, of course, swear by someone greater than themselves, and an oath given as confirmation puts an end to all dispute. In the same way, when God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it by an oath" -Hebrews 6:13-17

If God swears Scripture by the Church then he is swearing it by human beings. As God has always done - since Abraham - he swears his covenant by himself. The gospel, as Barth notes, is not modified or evaluated by man, it can only be responded to. It is a message which is preached, it is an existential experience and an encounter.


Christ says "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed" (Jn 8:31). For "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." (Mt. 24:35), and so by the direct command of God we must "destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ" (2 Cor 10:5). Whatever we can discern through history or tradition must be subject to Christ, for he declares: "the scripture cannot be broken" (Jn 10:35). Scripture makes a clear dichotemy between the Word of God and the words of men, and such a dichotemy allows for tradition to be subjected.

Once they get sola scriptura/prima scriptura, they can then go on to quote Jer. 23:6 "The LORD is our righteousness" and make the imputation of Christ's righteousness argument, add Romans 4:5, and nail down Sola Fide.

Obvious Criticisms:

Philosophical Realism, Appeals to Church History, Claims of Anachronism, Attacks on Fideism, Appeals to Church Unity, etc. Standard Catholic attacks.

For instance, one could say this argument gives me no case against the Quran as the Word of God beyond: I don't feel that it is. It is basically just a fideist argument that defends irrational trust in a source based on the claim that it is from God. If it is from God (which cannot be determined except existentially/experientially) then it works as an argument, but if more than one faith claims true existential religious experience, then this has to be explained away somehow (usually be anti-Islamic attitudes or racism).

The fact that St. Paul also uses philosophy in the Areopagus in Athens to debate the pagans also destroys this nominalist/Lutheran division of faith and reason.

I'm reading a great book by Von Balthasar about the Petrine office, and he has some of the strongest biblical -and unique ones- arguments for the papacy, and once I'm done that book, I'll post the counter arguments to this thesis.

Even one of our Popes declared Karl Barth to be the most important theologians since St. Thomas Aquinas, so I figured I would set up the strongest argument for Reformed Protestantism using his emphasis.

Protestants reading this: let me know where it should be strengthened.

Catholics reading this: let me know problems with the argument.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Problem Solved: Three Responses to the Epistemic Challenge

This weekend I was discussing with a Presbyterian friend the issue of Epistemological certainty, and the comparison of Sola Scriptura with the Catholic understanding of Scripture, Tradition, and Magesterium. As I understood it, his challenge was that while Sola Scriptura is an after-the-fact method of discerning truth hierarchically, so is Papal Supremacy (which is necessarily the Roman position as our Church is defined as all those bishops, clergy, and laity in communion with Rome, which could reduce to Rome alone if it came down to it). This coupled with a wonderful service at an Anglo-Catholic church, and my own existential problems in Roman Catholicism, and obviously with my sin, combined altogether into one big crisis.

The First Response:

The first response I had from a friend who is likewise a convert was this: that the Pope is like the President in the American legislation, he is the executive and can veto bills which are difficult to overturn, he has majority support (at least when he enters), etc. But one would be incorrect to say that 'only' the President rules. A better example for a Canadian like me, focusing in British History, is the idea of King in Parliament. The ideal British view of government is to have a King-in-Parliament system whereby Parliament does their own thing, but is guided in rough times by the King. When the King becomes (or is perceived to become) to radical (Charles I), he gets beheaded and chaos breaks out. This reminds me of the Great Schism where 3 men claimed to be popes, until a council was called which shamed them into resignation one by one. This is the response to the Papacy alone argument - which in fairness, I don't think my Presbyterian friend was claiming, but merely an issue I had myself.

The Second Response:

I read on Called To Communion the articles on Sola Scriptura. The problem was, what we were discussing was more of a Scripture as supreme authority, rather than the only authority. This issue hasn't completely been resolved. The guys at Called To Communion argue that Sola Scriptura aways reduces to Solo Scriptura. To be honest I haven't read that post yet, so I will leave that as a contention for later discussion. Anyway I emailed the guys at the blog about this quandry and they responded thus (I hope they aren't pissed that I put their email up).

Dear Andrew,

Have you read Tom Brown's article on the canon? He shows why the Reformed position is deficient and it cannot be turned around on the Catholic position because we are under two entirely different frameworks. Since we Catholics do not claim sola scriptura, we are free to say that the Church infallibly selected the canon. But Protestants cannot do that because to do so would violate sola scriptura. Here is his article:

On the epistemic issue.. You asked if Catholicism was self authenticating like Protestantism. One thing to keep in mind is that Protestantism is not even self authenticating; it's self refuting. They teach sola scriptura but the scriptures do not. So there is nothing in the Protestant position that actually authenticates what
they say. Let's compare the situation to Jesus. How do we know Christianity is
right and Judaism is wrong? Well because Jesus is God. (i.e. because Christianity is right) :-) How do Jews know Judaism is right and Christianity is wrong? Well because Jesus is not God. (i.e. because Judaism is right)

Are these two positions equally self authenticating? No. There is external evidence that shows that Jesus is God - the Resurrection; His miracles, etc. So if Jesus can be shown to be God by external evidence, then it is not a self-authenticating position.

Now apply that to the Catholic-Protestant debate. There is plenty of external evidence that shows the Catholic Church IS the Church that Jesus (God in the flesh) founded. For this reason, the position is NOT self-authenticating. It is authenticated by objective external evidence. On the other hand, there is not external evidence that the Protestant position is correct. It begins with an arbitrary decision that only the Scriptures are infallible which is not taught by the
Scriptures themselves. For this reason, it's not even self-authenticating. In fact, the canon article above shows that it's self-refuting.

Hope this is helpful.

Tim Troutman

So that solved that.

Third Response:

I've committed agregious sins against Thomism in the last little while by studying all this existentialism, and flirting with Personalism. It at least gives you human responses rather than Medieval ones in categories that don't work in the world of Atomism (though that is only an existential argument against Thomism).

Luigi Giussani argues that there are 3 ways to approach Christianity, one is the Rationalistic which he labels as leading to liberal theology, the 'historical Jesus', etc. There is the mystical way, which he says leads to Protestantism as scripture is alleged to by personally self-authenticating and salvation can only be grasped through faith and so it becomes a mystical/spiritual experience rather than a corporeal one, and thus it always leads to subjectivism (I think this grossly underestimates the role of the sacraments in classical protestantism and Anglo-Catholicism and thus is only partially successful). Thirdly he says is the sort of 'realist' approach. The method he says is determined by outward realities (almost existence before essence methodology/phenomenology though I doubt he would say that metaphysically). In the third way Christ's incarnation is focused upon, the fact that he actually was a man, and his Church is his mystical body which is visible to us, and which we actually encounter. This is his argument for the church, that it is rational to actually live one's thoughts and encounter Christ's body (which he labels as the Orthodox-Catholic church), and that it is mystical to have the object of your rapture nearer to you physically and thus Catholicism has more mystics than Protestantism (though if every Protestant is a mystic...he contradicts himself). So that's his argument which if we want to stay objectivist we would have to accept. As always I would just add the warning: Anglo-Catholics and Orthodox can argue for their church too, and in the same manner.


So I don't know if that solved the problems, I mean it certainly solves the challenges of non-episcopal, and non-sacramentally focused, a-historical, and anti-traditional Protestant churches (ecclesial communities), but still the high anglos with their newly 'purified' global south will continue to disquiet my soul, and I have this other problem where every time I read the bible I see the Reformers (I'm not saying it is objectively there, I'm just saying -personally- I see it). But I met with a good friend and the RC chaplain here, and he assured me to keep journeying and that we'd be friends even if I left "the Church". Which helped alot.

Personal Note:

As I'm reading Acts again, I am compelled by the amount of preaching that was done. Almost every account includes preaching, and I remembered the joys of preaching, and how much I love good preaching (which is sparse in the Roman Church). I am thinking that if I go into the religious life, perhaps I should be a Dominican, because if I feel called to anything, it is preaching and teaching the gospel. How ironic: a man discerning with the Jesuits is now considering the Dominicans. Welcome to my life.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Authority Question (Again)

The Question:

What is the apostolic office?

The Problem:
We look back using reason at the early church, we see books that will eventually become Scripture, the Church Fathers, councils and synods. The problem is disunity in the accounts here. How do we know Origen was a heretic, or that Tertullian was wrong on Baptism, or that Pelagius was wrong on anthropology/Original Sin.

Protestants take into account the fathers, the councils, and the books, and argue that by the very nature of Scripture (God-Breathed, Revelation, etc) it is superior to all other sources. This is an after-the-fact decision in an attempt to make up for difficulties and differences between Christian writers. Ultimate authority must be given to Scripture and it is thus assumed that Scripture is clear in its meaning. People cite inclarity between Protestant traditions as disproof, but one forgets that apostolically succeeding bishops disagree as well (Old Catholics, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Coptics).

Catholics argue that Papal Supremacy is the apostolic office (or Petrine office as they might say). That St. Peter's authority was passed on to his successors and that they exercise his role as supreme among the apostles. This argument is ironically based off of scripture and the nature of the church (Spirit-led) and thus epistemologically it is equal to the after-the-fact system of sola scriptura, as the transfer of Petrine authority is not clearly taught (just like sola scriptura).

There are (paradoxically) three different Catholic answers:

1. Two-Source Method: Some argued that revelation is stored partly in Scripture, partly in oral traditions. In this view St. Paul could have taught the church at Ephesus the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, or Indulgences. This to me seems a little ridiculous, but technically this is not a disproof of this view, it is merely my own incredulity. There are problems here in that many Catholic doctrines like indulgences, or certain Marian doctrines are not taught in the fathers. There might be 'seeds' but there is no fully defined doctrines as such.

2. Magesterium/Development Method: This was Cardinal Newman's solution, namely that as the church thought about these issues, over time, they managed to come up with new implications of each doctrine. I.E. Immaculate Conception from Genesis 3:15. Problematic to this opinion is that the Church declares revelation to be a finished process, this seems to add to the deposit of faith, which we have been told to guard (Jude 3) and presumably not to add to. Pelikan notes that the medievals stated that to add any doctrine was temerity, and so all doctrines must be proved to have been part of the deposit of faith.

3. Vatican II Method: Dei Verbum & Pope Benedict XVI seem to see Tradition as the bounds within which we are to read the bible. The Bible is the materially sufficient deposit of faith, and Tradition helps us interpret it.

Problematic is that each of these 3 views is on equal epistemological footing as Sola Scriptura. They're all after the fact ways of sorting out the problems of historical theology

Personal Difficulties

"Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt." - Cardinal John Henry Newman
(this will be the guiding quote for my new 'series')

I've been rethinking some things in light of personal experiences (I knew I shouldn't have taken that Existentialism course), and I feel obliged to wrestle with the concepts and issues at hand. Since -as the existentialists say- I am embodied, I have emotions and personal struggles as well as intellectual ones, and so I want to re-examine this in light of the whole person.


I will explain by means of telling a story. In the last two days I heard two sermons. The first sermon was a Roman Catholic priest teaching the gospel. He taught that God grants us sanctifying grace in baptism and that as soon as we willfully sin we lose sanctifying grace, then we are obliged to go to confession to regain sanctifying grace, and that if we die without this, we are going to Hell. His pasage was St. Paul's discourse on our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. For him salvation simply meant, not sinning and receiving the sacraments. I felt guilty knowing that at that moment I was going to Hell, because I had lost my sanctifying grace on sunday, after having only gained it again the day previous. Despite all my pleading with God, I did not receive the grace again, and all the good things I did out of love for God had no merit, because I technically had no grace.

The second sermon was at an Anglican (network/southern cone) church (or ecclessial community if you like) and it was on the resurrection and lordship of Jesus Christ. (just to allay fears, I didn't break communion, though it was probably a mortal sin to even enter the church and pray with them). Anyway, the sermon was on the free gift of salvation God offers to those who believe and repent, it was about personally encountering God in prayer and supporting his (and/or the Queen's) church by being a witness to the resurrection. This sermon left me in tears, it 'cut me to the heart' to use the biblical phrase. But I knew I wasn't allowed to believe it, even though it was quite simply exposited from Holy Writ. I was very confused and the priest prayed with me afterwards and didn't counsel me to leave Rome or anything and encouraged me on my journey.

Now the problem is, there are two ways of attacking what I've written.

The Attacks:

One I know from my anti-Pentecostal training as a Baptist is that personal experience is 'null and void', any Mormon or Muslim can have spiritual experiences and that doesn't make it true. We are to follow duty and logic (as Kant would say) and that is to whatever view presents the most logical approach should be accepted.

The second argument is that when the Anglican was preaching it was appealing to some sort of psychological bias I have from all my years as an Evangelical, or much worse, it is Satanic heresy encouraging and appealing to my sinful desire by allowing for moral laxity.

The third argument is that there was a whole web of theological presuppositions to the Anglican sermon that were not mentioned, but merely assumed to be the 'biblical' theology (grace as favor Dei, justification as an event, etc).

The fourth argument is a sort of ad hominem mixed with Catholic guilt: The CofE (church of england) is full of homosexuals, women, and liberals and your duty is to submit to the Bishop of Rome whether you like it or not, or you'll go to Hell. Deal with it!


These are the kind of things I could argue - heck I could argue with myself fairly well - but at the end of the day I'm starting to think, maybe personal experience is more important than I've made it. Maybe there is some validity to what Jaroslav Pelikan would label as "The Theology of the Heart".

I am completely at a loss as to why I felt the real presence in the Anglican church in the city (when I don't feel it in the Baptist church for instance), or why the 'protestant' gospel still brings me to tears. Or on the reverse, why every time I hear Catholics preach it just sounds like either secular humanism or universalism.
I don't know what to do anymore.

The easy answer would just be to keep going along with Rome (which is what I'm doing as of now). But I long for Christ. I am told that any attempted dichotemy between Christ and Rome is a Protestant error, and that may be. But I just "feel" (again with all the warnings of why we can't trust feelings) that God loves me, that Christ's Spirit lives in me, even though I'm a sinner. Even though I've broken the rules, I don't believe God is condemning me (and I could be COMPLETELY wrong). But I just need some way of finding a coherent God. A God that doesn't love me on Saturday and hate me the rest of the week. I can't live that way anymore.

Perhaps the solution lays within folks like Hans Urs Von Balthasar, Henri de Lubac, and other Vatican 2 era theologians who promote a sort of pseudo-Protestant Catholicism. I just don't know... Soon to follow will be the intellectual/doctrinal difficulties that led me to question everything again.


So in the end I've provided no reasoned arguments for Anglicanism, I've just simply said that in my "heart" (I've been told I understand this term wrongly, which is probably the case), I "feel" that its the truth. And who really cares what a stupid Canadian college student feels one day and not the other.


I need to pray some more. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Remaining Reformed-Roman Catholic Fights

So as I was examining the premises of both systems, I noticed that the Roman Catholic system is primarily based on an appeal to history and traditions as well as biblical arguments. It cannot argue on the basis of the bible alone, in the same way Reformed Theology cannot argue on the basis of tradition alone.

BUT the only way either group can argue, is by crossing over to the other's territory. So the only way Reformed Protestants will be able to grab Roman Catholic attention is by citing St. Augustine's doctrine on predestination perhaps, or the Council of Orange. Likewise, the only way Roman Catholics will ever get Reformed folks attention is by arguing about things like Federal Vision hermeneutics, Scott Hahn's arguments from scripture, and perhaps old issues like the biblical case for infusion rather than imputation.

I was making a list of prospective fights that could occur and this is what I've got so far (let me know if I'm missing a good one):

-supremacy of love / not sola fide / theological virtues
-obedience of faith / transformational righteousness/ infusion
-loss of justification/salvation?

I Guess I'm Back.

The Situation:

Well. Rev. Jay has caused enough existential crisis for me to come crawling back to issues I would've preferred to forget for the rest of my life, locked up in my Thomist castle.

Since I've started this blog I've been Baptist, Mennonite, Presbyterian, Reformed, Anglican, and Roman Catholic. Again, unlike it seems every other Christian, the only leading I get from God is what my co-religionists tell me his leading is.

I've learned alot about human nature. It never fails to amaze me how little Christians genuinely care about souls. For example, most of my friends were connected through Religion to me, and when I went CofE they began turning their heads, and when I went RC, I was cut off. My family was horrified enough at Reformed, let alone RC. I've realized that for most people Religion is a matter of who we hate, and who we are better than. The only communion I've ever been in that has refused triumphalism is the Church of England. The Anglicans know humility if they know nothing else.

I guess I should outline the reason I'm coming back to polemics / controversial theology. Only now did a Protestant inform me that philosophically/epistemologically, Papal Supremacy and Sola Scriptura are equal in rationality. Both are "essentially perspicuous and self-authenticating" to quote the aforementioned Calvinist. The scary thing is he's right. Both are 'developments', and a posteriori methods of determining what is valid in scripture and tradition.

Now here's the thing, like I said, they're equal. This doesn't mean Protestantism has "won" by any means, but it means that Rome has likewise not "won".

The Obvious Question:

As a child of the Billy Graham era, and in the Western Christian / Augustinian world we live in, many would ask me: What does your heart tell you? or how do you 'feel'.

I've already said that I don't feel any emotional attachment really to any set of doctrines. Sure I have Catholics, Protestants, and Anglicans I love and I miss them, but as for beliefs and spirituality I'd say my only preference has ever been Anglicanism. There's something about the CofE, there's a way they have both the best of Catholicism and Protestantism. But of course, with new gay liturgies on one side, and crazy african bishops on the other, one might say the glory days of Canterbury are over (if there ever were any). Plus, one is tempted to argue that replacing the Bishop of Rome with the Supreme Governess, her Majesty, wouldn't change much.

So I've re-shaped my life now to fit into Catholicism, I'm discerning for the Jesuits for crying out loud. It's not a fun place to be. I hate uncertainty, and I'm not gonna convert to anything any time soon. I'm done with that stuff.


In the end, every theology has its own problems and difficulties, one must pick whatever seems best to themself, and the premises one assumes will then judge other systems. Throughout the whole journey, suprisingly little has changed in my Christian 'walk'. I'm still a porn addict, I'm still morbidly obese, I still read my bible, I still go to church every week, I still fight with my parents about theology almost weekly. I guess the only thing that has changed is that I pray the rosary almost daily, and I try to go to confession once a week. I've also learned alot about theology and philosophy.

I really wish God would just tell me what to do, every day without word from him is like another nail in the coffin of Theism. Gibbon and Bolingbroke would simply tell me that God is there, but he just doesn't want to get involved.