The Gospel and the Catholic Church by A.M. Ramsey: An Appreciation and Discussion

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12 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    I Will repost the following two parts later today…

  2. Linn says:

    I am looking forward to the discussion, especially because I love Stott, Packer, and CS https://cslewismovie.com/ I just watched this. Quite good!

  3. Eric says:

    This is great..thanks so much for sharing this.

  4. Duane Arnold says:

    Eric

    The next two parts fill it out a bit…

  5. Eric says:

    Duane

    Can’t tell you how “excited” I am about this… just ordered the book.

  6. Duane Arnold says:

    Eric,

    Bishop Michael was a mentor and a friend, so I am prejudiced… but this book is one of his best.

  7. Muff Potter says:

    Michael and Duane,
    This is good stuff.
    The only thing I ever heard during my time in fundagelicalism, was a lot of anti-Catholic bigotry.
    All couched of course, in ‘what the Bible teaches’.

  8. Michael says:

    Muff,

    I’m glad you’re enjoying it…this was a very important book in my development.

  9. Shawn says:

    I am reading this discussion with much interest and contemplation. It is easy to read and move on to the next thing. The new keywords to effective communication are short and engaging. The question is has anything really happened after interacting with that which is deemed short and engaging? All this to say that I don’t like the social preconditioning against most anything that might take more than a few minutes, more often seconds, of your time. In the end I think it produces an overall culture of reactionaries. There are no real demands placed upon the attention to analyze or contemplate. I mean most of the time it requires no meaningful interaction to speak of.

    This series of conversations is not like at all. It is actually refreshing to have to pause and ask oneself if you understand the gravity of what you are reading. Now I have not been feeling well as my liver has been acting up which makes it hard to focus. Today was a much better day. So I am going to shoot some thoughts from the hip, so to speak. So please be gracious with any unclassified, or unqualified, thought, for that matter.

    It is interesting that you, Duane, mention the Incarnation as a series of events especially in the Evangelical mind. While I want to say I disagree unfortunately even my own understanding of the life of Christ is fragmented. I don’t I intended it to be this or did I make a conscious decision to do so rather it is the by product of being overwhelmed by everything once converted. The least of these is not the not so uncommon practice of Evangelical anti-intellectualism. What I mean is that it often has a thin, almost non-existent, veneer to it. Upon conversion there is an immediate emphasis placed on immersion into a variety of activities particular to that church’s culture. There is an endless buffet of events to partake in or serve at. For me it was the later.

    While these Evangelical institutions would categorically deny a works or attendance based salvation they are two critical rubrics for measuring the seriousness of your commitment. Preference always seems to be given to those who serve at least in the affirmation of their commitment, but that is another spin around the proverbial merry go round. The point is you most people are too busy attending or serving while being feed a steady diet of sugar induced sermonic cereals. Most of of it is a learned behavior from those in leadership who are too busy attending or doing that they themselves have a fragmented understanding. After all if nothing is happening we might grieve the Holy Spirit with even a momentary stagnation.

    I always used to joke that I was going to make a t-shirt that said under construction with an arrow pointing up. I have always that the journey of faith is a progressive one in which it seems to be like driving on I-70 into Indianapolis- always delayed by construction. However, I have come to realize that construction delays are actually the real opportunities for growth in the spiritual life. This does not mean that it is not frustrating at first or when the detour is several years in process. It is in the detours that you experience unknown parts of the city, take in different sceneries, and some times meet new people who help you see the world, even of faith, through a unique or nuanced perspective.

    This site has been that to me during this particularly aggressive phase of construction in which it seems that all but a couple pieces of architectural salvage will be saved as much of what once stood is being razed to the ground. Maybe I should say that the foundation will be saved as it was discovered it can support a much larger and expressive edifice than the original one that was erected in haste.

    Thanks for phase one.

    Keep on brothers.

  10. Shawn says:

    Please ignore my first post and the many editorial errors.

    Part 1
    I am reading this discussion with much interest and contemplation. It is easy to read and move on to the next thing. The new keywords to effective communication are short and engaging. The question is has anything really happened after interacting with that which is deemed short and engaging? All this to say that I don’t like the social preconditioning against most anything that might take more than a few minutes, more often seconds, of your time. In the end I think it produces an overall culture of reactionaries. There are no real demands placed upon the attention to analyze or contemplate. I mean most of the time it requires no meaningful interaction to speak of.

    This series of conversations is not like at all. It is actually refreshing to have to pause and ask oneself if you understand the gravity of what you are reading. Now I have not been feeling well as my liver has been acting up which makes it hard to focus. Today was a much better day. So I am going to shoot some thoughts from the hip, so to speak. So please be gracious with any unclassified, or unqualified, thought, for that matter.

    It is interesting that you, Duane, mention the Incarnation as a series of events especially in the Evangelical mind. While I want to say I disagree unfortunately even my own understanding of the life of Christ is fragmented. I don’t I intended it to be this way or did I make a conscious decision to do. I think it was/is the by product of being overwhelmed by everything once converted. The least of these is not, the not so uncommon practice, of Evangelical anti-intellectualism. What I mean is that it often has a thin, almost non-existent, veneer to it. Upon conversion there is an immediate emphasis placed on immersion into a variety of activities particular to that church’s culture. There is an endless buffet of events to partake in or serve at. For me it was the later.

    While these Evangelical churches would categorically deny a works or attendance based salvation they are two critical rubrics for measuring the seriousness of your commitment. Preference always seems to be given to those who serve, at least in the affirmation of their commitment, but that is another spin around the proverbial merry go round. The point is most people are too busy attending or serving while being fed a steady diet of sugar induced sermonic cereals. Most of it is a learned behavior from those in leadership who are too busy attending or doing that they themselves have a fragmented understanding. After all, if nothing is happening we might grieve the Holy Spirit with even a momentary stagnation.

    I always used to joke that I was going to make a t-shirt that said under construction with an arrow pointing up. I have always believed that the journey of faith is a progressive one. I guess this has been intuitive from the inception. To me it seems to be like driving on I-70 into Indianapolis- always delayed by construction. However, I have come to realize that construction delays are actually the real opportunities for growth in the spiritual life. This does not mean that it is not frustrating at first or when the detour is several years in process. It is in the detours that you experience unknown parts of the city, take in different sceneries, and some times meet new people who help you see the world, even of faith, through a unique or nuanced perspective.

    This site has been that to me during this particularly aggressive phase of construction in which it seems that all but a couple pieces of architectural salvage will be saved as much of what once stood is being razed to the ground. Maybe I should say that the foundation will be saved as it was discovered it can support a much larger and expressive edifice than the original one that was erected in haste.
    Keep on brothers.

  11. Michael says:

    Shawn,

    Thank you for taking the time to write well and clearly on this matter…it serves well as an addendum to what Duane and I posted.

    I too had built a very workable faith edifice that truly served me well for years.

    Indeed, it gave me a foundation and confidence to stretch out and truly listen to other ideas and theologies.

    I have kept what was good and true…and add as I go with new understandings.

    My only regret is that I won’t have enough years to complete the structure…but Jesus will…

  12. Shawn says:

    “My only regret is that I won’t have enough years to complete the structure…but Jesus will…”

    Amen! I will cling to Jesus completing the good work He started even when evidence might point elsewhere for a short time. At first it was really nerve racking rebuilding from near scratch. I have all but given up on teaching and preaching for a number of reasons including I have many regrets over my poorly developed theology and exposition of the Scriptures.

    Also, I take the words of James 3:1 and 1 Corinthian 13 very seriously. It may be well the reason that my nearly complete life work on 1 Corinthians 13 will most likely remain unpublished, even self-published. On a positive note though I will say I often get excited about my reconstructive faith. In it there is a sense of wonderment and awe again.

    Also thanks for the encouragement it is always nice to met fellow travelers down on the same road.

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