Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Sundays in Lent

I remember when I first began observing Lent as a freshman in college. One moment has clearly stuck out in my mind from that year: the image of having Sunday dinner at the pastor's house and being offered spaghetti with meat sauce. I, of course, had to decline the meat sauce because I had given up meat for Lent. So while everyone else enjoyed themselves, I sat there and ate spaghetti with no sauce. Not very celebratory. It's what comes of wanting to have the church year while not having a high view of the sabbath.

In reality, the sabbath can never be a fast day, even during periods of fasting. The sabbath is always a celebration, and observing Lent this year is reminding me of what a blessing the sabbath really is. My wife's chocolate cake tasted oh-so-wonderful yesterday after a week of no soda or sweets, and I was reminded of how much God has blessed us in giving us such abundance of goodness.

Steve Wilkins has a great post to the same effect here. And while I'm at it, my apologies to Katie for not eating her spaghetti sauce 8 years ago.


Xindaeltal said…
Nope, even during Lent, Sunday is a Fast Day. Have grapes, oil, and wine, but no feasting. We may celebrate the Resurrection on Sundays as is fitting, but no feasting. Feasting is for Pascha. Right now we must do our best to be penitential and learn to control our bodies.
Rick said…
Actually Dale,

If you count up the days from Ash Wednesday to Easter (Pascha for you Greek types) you get 46. But Lent is a 40 day period. Why? Because you have to subtract the 6 Sundays. 46 – 6 = 40.

And yes, I know you Greek types have the weird phase-in model for Lent. However, the main point is that THE preeminent Christian Holy Day is the Sabbath, which trumps all other observances and holy days. The Church has historically recognized this to be the case.

“From the very earliest days, the Church has declared that Sunday, the day of Christ's Resurrection, is always a feast day, and therefore fasting is forbidden.”

Some other sources to read:

I purposefully didn’t include any Protestant sources for you, though most Protestants that celebrate Lent would say the same thing about Sundays.
Dale said…
1 Lent started yesterday (clean Monday)
2 Lent is actually 50 days for the Orthodox.

3) The Sabbath is Saturday we celebrate the Lord's Day.

Why are you including all ROMAN CATHOLIC sources? The Churches are still divided and therefore do not apply to me (and will not apply because I am confident when things are worked out I will be long dead and if they are worked out before then the Orthdox view will prevail because we all know that Catholicism is based entirely around Papal Monarchy)
Rick said…
I figured you'd like Catholics better than Protestants. And, yes, I already know that the EO church does Easter on the wrong day, so naturally Lent starts on the wrong day as well. :P

As far as the beginning of Lent, IHOP agreed with the Western Church by giving out free pancakes last Tuesday. Unless you found someone giving out free pancakes yesterday, then I think you have to concede the point.
Xindaeltal said…
What do pancakes have to do with it?
Rick said…
Oh Dale...are you so ignorant of Church Tradition that you don't know about Pancake Day/Shrove Tuesday? You'll have to look it up...
Xindaeltal said…
I know about Shrove Tuesday, I just don't recognize it. Not an Orthodox Tradition.
Xindaeltal said…
Why would I base my concession or holding the point on whether or not some evil socialist entity did or did not do something.

Shrove Tuesday is something that comes from Papal Monarchy. Not a part of Apostolic Tradition therefore, we don't practice it. We take a week to get rid of our eggs by eating pancakes for an entire week (potentially) far superior to cramming down a bunch of pancakes all in one day.
Rick said…
So, in other words... you're saying that no one was giving away free pancakes Monday?

What about beads? Did you get any beads Monday?
Rick said…
By the way, Wikipedia agrees with me as well. And I know you hold Wikipedia to be the source of ultimate truth.

Check and Mate.
Xindaeltal said…
Wikipedia is just a reference.
I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding going on here. 1) You are saying these things to egg me on 2) Western Christianity and Eastern Christianity are to different animals. While similar in some of the fundamentals Catholicism's beliefs and practices have their origin in papal monarchy. Much of the weird beliefs and practices that are considered authoritative in the Catholic Church happened AFTER the Great Schism, therefore invalidating much of its tradition as an abberation. The same thing goes for Protestantism, it is an abberation stemming from an abberation. They were reacting to the tyranny of the Roman pope.

To answer your questions to the point. No beads. Catholic Tradition, no pancakes, Catholic tradition.

As for the dating of Pascha I am not a bishop and therefore cannot speak on behalf of the Church. The reason why we hold to the dating of Pascha is because the Pope just changed it for the West rather than bringing it to council If had been brought to council it probably would have been changed. Instead in keeping with the "traditon" of papal monarchy the pope decreed it to be so and it was and the Greeks just decided not to listen to an unlawful authority.
Megan Okimoto said…
Rick, I love the image of sauceless noodles. Especially with all the Hurts around the table. That is priceless.
Rick said…
Megan, it was a pretty sad moment. Some of my college friends were there too.


A few questions:

1) What are Eastern and Western Christianity to different animals?

2) Can an unlawful authority ever be right? And if they do happen to be right, shouldn't you believe them? But, hey, I'm just a silly Protestant. We have a bad tendency to believe things simply because they're true.

3) I actually won the argument back in comment 4. (Okay, so that wasn't a question.)

Cum Latine nescias, nolo manus meas in te maculare.
Xindaeltal said…
Sorry, I meant to say that Eastern Christianity and Western Christianity are two different animals while they are similar in some of the fundamentals unfortunately we differ on many other things.

No an unlawful authority is never right because the unlawful authority is an oxymoron by nature. The fact that an authroity is unlawful robs it of its authority. Not only is that authority unlawful he was also being un-apostolic nor was he being truly Catholic when he just changed it by fiat. If you meet someone who is trying to steal your lunch money everyday and then for whatever reason they tell you the time and leave you alone that day really, should the kid being told the time believe the bully? Probably not.

Rick. We are not Romans. Don't use Latin. Use English. Latin is a dead language, just let it go.
Rick said…
Even if an insane man utters a true statement, it is still true. The truth value of a proposition is not dependent on the speaker. (This is why ad hominem is a fallacy.) God even spoke through an ass once. He may someday speak through you Dale. :)

Until then, lighten up.

And have a pancake.
Xindaeltal said…
Δεν θυμάμαι να σας προσβλητική άμεσα ή έμμεσα.

Η αλήθεια της μιας αλήθειας πρόταση εξαρτάται σε μεγάλο βαθμό από την ακεραιότητα του προτείνοντα. Η αλήθεια δεν μπορεί να μειωθεί στα Μαθηματικά, αν μπορούσε θα ζουν στην Martix.

Δεν ίδιος ο Πάπας δεν είναι ένα κώλο, οπότε ... η προσβολή είναι άσχετο.

Είστε λείπει το σημείο. Ο Πάπας είχε ξεκίνησε μια συνήθεια να ενεργεί εκτός του concilar παράδοσης. Conciliarism είναι ζωτικής σημασίας για τον Χριστιανισμό και γι 'αυτό τα τμήματα που προκαλείται από Καθολικισμός και προτεσταντισμός είναι τέτοια παρωδία.

Θα μιλήσω για σας όρους.

Θα προσπαθήσουμε να κάνουμε πιο απλό και να μειωθεί αυτή η συζήτηση σε ένα ναι / δεν απαντώ ή συλλογισμός όταν έχω την ευκαιρία.
Rick said…
I never said that Truth was mathematical. Truth (with a capital T)is a person, Jesus. We only know Truth by knowing him.

However, I was talking about the truth values of specific propositions. The Law of Excluded Middle excludes the possibility of a statement being neither true nor false. If I say "The United States has 50 states," then I am making a statement that must be true or false. If a man raving in an asylum uttered the sentence, "The United States has 50 states," it would be a true statement. If the devil, the father of lies himself, said it, it would be a true statement. Likewise, it cannot be both true and false at the same time: "Yes, the United States has 50 states, but no, the United States does not have 50 states."

Now when the western church added the filioque clause to the Nicene Creed, two distinct questions need to be asked.

1) Did the western church alter the creed under proper authority? The answer to this would be, "No." There was no council, so it was improper.

But we need to ask a second question as well:

2) Is it true?
Is it true that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son? This question is separate from the first. Regardless of who uttered it, it is a statement and must be either true or false. Now you could bring in issues of authority to weigh in on one side or the other, but a statement is not false simply because it was spoken by an improper authority.
Xindaeltal said…
Good, now we are getting somewhere... More later.
Dale said…
Rick you never did actually respond to the content of my first comment and that was about learning to control our bodies.

And no, the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father not the the Father and the Son, that would minimize the personhood of the Holy Spirit demoting Him to an energy. Just because the Father and the Son are One does not mean that the Father is the Same Person as the Son. The Son is a distinct person, but He is of the same essence as the Father. The Holy Spirit is also of the same essence but that does not make the Holy Spirit, the Father, or the Son, it means that He is also part of the same essence of being that is God. He is God, co-equal with the Father and Son. Same, Authority, Same Glory Same Essence.