Thursday, 31 December 2015

The Feast of Saint Sylvester

Come, O Lord, to the help of your people, sustained by the intercession of Pope Saint Sylvester, so that, running the course of this present life under your guidance we may happily attain life without end. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Saint Sylvester, pray for us and for Pope Francis.

Edward Feser: Christians, Muslims, and the reference of “God”

Edward Feser: Christians, Muslims, and the reference of “God”

Let me start by rehearsing some points that should be obvious, and which others have already made, but which are crucial for properly framing the question at hand. First, we need to keep in mind the Fregean point that a difference in sense does not entail a difference in reference. To use Frege’s famous example, the sense of the expression “the morning star” is different from the sense of the expression “the evening star.” But these two expressions refer to one and the same thing, viz. the planet Venus. Similarly, expressions like “the God of the Christians” and “the God of the Muslims” differ in sense, but it doesn’t follow from that alone that they don’t refer to the same God. By the same token, though the expression “God” is different from the expression “Allah,” it doesn’t follow that God is not Allah, any more than Stan Lee and Stanley Martin Lieber are different men.

Second, even a speaker’s erroneous beliefs don’t entail that he is not referring to the same thing that speakers with correct beliefs are referring to. Consider an example made famous by Keith Donnellan. Suppose you’re at a party and see a man across the room drinking from a martini glass. You say something like “The guy drinking a martini is well-dressed.” Suppose, however, that the man is not in fact drinking a martini, but only water. It doesn’t follow that you haven’t really referred to him. Furthermore, suppose there is a second man, somewhere in the room but unseen by you, who really is drinking a martini and that he is dressed shabbily. It doesn’t follow that you were, after all, really referring to this second man and saying something false. Rather, assuming that the first man really is well-dressed, you were referring to that first man and saying something true about him, even though you were wrong about what he is drinking. And thus you are referring to the very same man as people who know that he is drinking water would be referring to if they said “The guy drinking water from a martini glass is well-dressed.” Similarly, the fact that Muslims have what Christians regard as a number of erroneous beliefs about God does not by itself entail that Muslims and Christians are not referring to the same thing when they use the expression “God.”

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Dead Aid, by Dambisa Moyo




A friend of my family once served as a short-term missionary in Mozambique. She expressed some frustration to me about attitudes of entitlement and dependency that she encountered among Africans. They would tell they thought the USA should give them food and money. My friend used to try challenging their attitude by asking them "Why should the USA give you anything?" Not that she necessarily thought the USA should do nothing to help Africans, but it was clear that giving could sometimes be counter-productive.


The author of this book argues the controversial conclusion that not only is development aid to Africa ineffective, but it is in fact the major cause of Africa's misfortunes. She argues that aid props up inefficient African governments, encourages corruption and provides an alternative to economic development. She does not advocate the immediate cessation of aid, but she suggests that the tap needs to be slowly turned off. She suggests a number of alternative sources of revenue that African countries an draw upon.

Moyo argues that it is trade, not aid that Africa needs. She therefore praises Chinese investment in African economies. She acknowledges criticisms that have been made of Chinese activities in Africa, but argues that the results have been hugely beneficial to Africa. She also praises micro-credit schemes that have come in for criticism in recent years.

Moyo's book has been critiqued by those who know more about economics than I do and many have found fault with her thesis. Nevertheless, whether Moyo i right or wrong, what is beautiful about this book is that it is the work of an African woman. There are plenty of white men who have a lot to say about what Africa needs. Yet here we have an African woman who is offering her own perspective about the real issues facing Africa today.



Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Counterrevolutionary Army of America: Monarchs, Saints, Worship, and the Divine Order

Counterrevolutionary Army of America: Monarchs, Saints, Worship, and the Divine Order


'In the Divine Order where Jesus Christ is King of Kings (and not the President for four years after which He seeks re-election) in the Father’s Kingdom, our earthly Kings and Queens are to represent (however imperfectly) the Father’s Kingdom “on earth as it is in Heaven.” They are the Lord’s stewards and lieutenants (re: Joan of Arc’s message to Charles VII proclaiming Christ as the true King of France with Charles as His Lieutenant) for His dominion through the Social Kingship of Christ. They may not be saints; however, we owe them the dulia they deserve due to their position and responsibility in the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven.

We need good Monarchs in order to establish the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven. They need good subjects. It is their duty to be good, pious, saintly Monarchs. It is our duty to be good, pious, saintly subjects. Do we all, Monarchs and subjects, fall short in our duty? Rhetorical question.'

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The Heavy Anglo-Orthodox: Same God?

The Heavy Anglo-Orthodox: Same God?


"Again, Dr. Hawkins and Pope Francis are not wrong – at the very least, not on the level at which they are engaging. To start from treating God as an intellectual exercise rather than as a person, and dividing Him up by His attributes and nature, as Marcion did, is incredibly dangerous. It led him to deny that the Father preached by Christ is the same God as that worshipped by the Jews, based on the very same logic that is being used by evangelicals to deny the identity of the Christian Father with the Muslim God. But neither can we or should we shy away from proclaiming the love of that same Father to the world, as beautifully and truly expressed in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. It may seem a fine line to hold, but no one ever said giving God right glory was easy."

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

British Influence: Ten questions that Brexit supporters need to be able to answer

British Influence: Ten questions that Brexit supporters need to be able to answer


1. What would the Eurosceptic ideal arrangement between the UK and the EU look like and how realistic is it possible to achieve?

2. Every successful arrangement with the EU to allow countries outside of it access to the Single Market has included freedom of movement – how would we arrange access to the Single Market without agreeing to freedom of movement?

3. Article 50 stipulates a two-year timeline for exiting the EU. However, the Swiss deal with the EU took almost ten years to agree. How would we avoid any post-Brexit arrangement taking as long as the Swiss deal did?

4. Won't the commercial interests of the remaining EU countries take precedence for them over giving Britain "a good deal" post-Brexit?

5. Won't the two-year (at minimum) period post-Brexit period see Parliament completely tied up in renegotiation with the EU to the detriment of all other legislation?

6. Without the weight of the Single Market behind us, how will Britain avoid being in a poor bargaining position with countries like China, should they wish to come to the bargaining table in the first place?

7. How could voters be persuaded that the more radical alternatives to EU membership wouldn’t bring radical economic and political change with it that would disadvantage them?

8. Are those who wish Britain to leave the EU proposing open borders – or even significantly relaxed visa restrictions – with all Commonwealth countries, including some developing countries with massive populations, and in some cases large scale internal political problems, such as India, Pakistan and Nigeria?

9. During the two-year negotiation period that starts with the triggering of Article 50 post-referendum, wouldn’t there be a large incentive for an unprecedented amount of EU citizens to emigrate to the UK while it was still legally possible?

10. Are proponents of Brexit willing to remove a crucial aspect of the Northern Ireland peace process, and to risk Scotland leaving the UK, in order to leave the EU?

The Washington Post: Why Christians must speak out against Donald Trump’s Muslim remarks

The Washington Post: Why Christians must speak out against Donald Trump’s Muslim remarks

Article by Russell Moore


"Make no mistake. A government that can shut down mosques simply because they are mosques can shut down Bible studies because they are Bible studies. A government that can close the borders to all Muslims simply on the basis of their religious belief can do the same thing for evangelical Christians.

A government that issues ID badges for Muslims simply because they are Muslims can, in the fullness of time, demand the same for Christians because we are Christians."


Secularism is a far bigger threat to Christianity than Islam. You let the secularists go after the Muslims; don't be surprised when the secularists go after the Christians. If the Far Right ever comes to power in Europe, they will start by rounding up the Muslims, then they will be rounding up the Christians and Jews.

National Review: Trump’s Proposed Muslim Immigration Moratorium Is the Wrong Response to Political Correctness

National Review: Trump’s Proposed Muslim Immigration Moratorium Is the Wrong Response to Political Correctness

Article by David French

"Off the top of their heads, even the most hawkish national security conservatives can identify multiple categories of Muslims who should have access to the United States, beginning — of course — with our own citizens. There are many others. What about the interpreters who’ve laid down their lives to serve our warriors downrange and now find themselves under imminent threat from jihadists? What about members of allied militaries who are training to be the Muslim “boots on the ground” that we need to help take the fight to the enemy? Do we treat the Kurds — who are sheltering so many of Iraq’s Christians while also providing the most effective fighting force against ISIS — the same as we treat suspected terrorists? It makes no sense."

Monday, 7 December 2015

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady



O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin prepared a worthy dwelling for your Son, grant, we pray, that, as you preserved her from every stain by virtue of the Death of your Son, which you foresaw, so, through her intercession, we, too, may be cleansed and admitted to your presence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.



Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, have mercy on us
Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, hear us
Christ, graciously hear us

God the Father of heaven,
have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the World,
have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God,
have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,
pray for us.

Holy Mother of God,
pray for us.

Holy Virgin of virgins,
pray for us.

Mother of Christ,
pray for us.

Mother of Divine Grace,
pray for us.

Mother most pure,
pray for us.

Mother most chaste,
pray for us.

Mother inviolate,
pray for us.

Mother undefiled,
pray for us.

Mother most amiable,
pray for us.

Mother most admirable,
pray for us.

Mother of good counsel,
pray for us.

Mother of our Creator,
pray for us.

Mother of our Saviour,
pray for us.

Virgin most prudent,
pray for us.

Virgin most venerable,
pray for us.

Virgin most renowned,
pray for us.

Virgin most powerful,
pray for us.

Virgin most merciful,
pray for us.

Virgin most faithful,
pray for us.

Mirror of justice,
pray for us.

Seat of wisdom,
pray for us.

Cause of our joy,
pray for us.

Spiritual vessel,
pray for us.

Vessel of honour,
pray for us.

Singular vessel of devotion,
pray for us.

Mystical rose,
pray for us.

Tower of David,
pray for us.

Tower of ivory,
pray for us.

House of gold,
pray for us.

Ark of the covenant,
pray for us.

Gate of heaven,
pray for us.

Morning star,
pray for us.

Health of the sick,
pray for us.

Refuge of sinners,
pray for us.

Comforter of the afflicted,
pray for us.

Help of Christians,
pray for us.

Queen of Angels,
pray for us.

Queen of Patriarchs,
pray for us.

Queen of Prophets,
pray for us.

Queen of Apostles,
pray for us.

Queen of Martyrs,
pray for us.

Queen of Confessors,
pray for us.

Queen of Virgins,
pray for us.

Queen of all Saints,
pray for us.

Queen conceived without original sin,
pray for us.

Queen assumed into heaven,
pray for us.

Queen of the most holy Rosary,
pray for us.

Queen of Peace,
pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

Grant we beseech Thee, O Lord God,
that we, Thy servants,
may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body:
and, by the glorious intercession of the blessed Mary, ever Virgin,
be delivered from present sorrow and enjoy eternal gladness.
Through Christ, our Lord.

Amen.

The Feast of Saint Ambrose



O God, who made the Bishop Saint Ambrose a teacher of the Catholic faith and a model of apostolic courage, raise up in your Church men after your own heart to govern her with courage and wisdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Saint Ambrose, pray for us, for Milan and for all hymn writers.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

William Bouguereau: The Last History Painter | Newington-Cropsey Cultural Studies Center



William Bouguereau: The Last History Painter | Newington-Cropsey Cultural Studies Center

"The new French government pressured the Ministry of Culture to organize a Grand Triennale of history painting, to raise the morale of the French people and the arts community, who were incorporating themes of decline and decadence. The Ministry selected Meissonnier to organize the exhibition. Many artists saw through the charade. Among those who refused an invitation to exhibit was Bouguereau. The Ministry simply “borrowed” some of his works. The exhibition was a grand failure. Increasingly, the public turned to the works of the Impressionists, with their theme of “art for art’s sake.” The art world, like French politics, was splitting into two camps. Almost alone, Bouguereau continued to focus on spiritual and religious subjects. Not even the notorious Dreyfus Affair provoked a single notation in his voluminous journals. It is those passionate masterpieces, beautifully reproduced in Ross’s book, that attracted a large cult following during his lifetime, inFrance and America. Germany itself was experiencing a spiritual renaissance in the works of the Nazarene artists, who had established a religious school of art in a large medieval monastery just outside Rome. There were religious stirrings among the Pre-Raphaelite artists in England, inspired by the writings and messianic lectures of Ruskin. (Ruskin also had a profound influence on the artists of the American Hudson River School.) Bouguereau had the advantage of the best secular anatomical education in the nude figure, which was then provided by theFrenchAcademy. Few artists of any nation could match the perfection and grace of Bouguereau’s figure paintings and drawings."

*******

"Miraculously, by the end of his career, as he approached 80, he had produced a series of Madonna and Child paintings that are among his best work. The Virgin of the Lillies (1899), which is part of the Newington-Cropsey Collection, evokes the flat, rich decorative motifs and patterns one observes in early Renaissance religious paintings. Crippled by age and illness, he continued to paint and attend to his teaching. In the last year, he managed to produce a dozen paintings. Despite a declared national period of mourning, within a few years after his death, the backlash had begun. Within a few more years, his name and work had been largely expunged from public memory. Textbooks were rewritten to eliminate Bouguereau’s contributions to the history of art. Now, after almost a century of rejection, his paintings are once again drawing attention and admiration. Today, in America, Bouguereau is a respected figure for hundreds of students working in small, independent ateliers, like those ofJacob Collins and Stephen Gjertson. When I was a young art student, teachers would literally twist the Conté stick out of your hand if they observed you trying to create a classical approach to the figure. For much of the last half of the twentieth century, classicism and realism were out of favor. Finished, formal works were anathema."


The art world basically considers the work of Bouguereau to be trash. The reason is simply that he painted pictures of things that were beautiful and good. The art world has long been dominated by godless people who want pictures of things that are ugly and controversial. They will always despise the work of Bouguereau.

The Stripping of Altars, by Eamon Duffy



Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of Altars, 1992 Yale University


This book is a book of two halves. The first half gives a picture of the religious life of pre-Reformation England and its customs and traditions. The second half provides a history of the eroding of that religious culture during the Tudor Reforms.

Prior to this book, there had been a commonly held assumption that the religious life in England prior to the Reformation was in a very poor state. The institutional church was portrayed as corrupt to the core and the common people were viewed as ignorant and irreligious, with the dissenting Lollard movement the only sign of real spiritual enthusiasm. In this book, Duffy paints a contrary picture of an English people who were truly devoted to their religion. Duffy looks at all aspects of religious life; processions, festivals, devotions to saints and indulgences.

The second half of the book, on the course of the Reformation, demonstrates the slow pace of the Reformation. The Catholic instincts of Henry VIII combined with the strength of traditionalist feeling meant that Cranmer could not bring in the changes he wanted overnight. The gradual erosion of Catholic religion took place by stealth and Duffy demonstrates much resistance to the changes in local communities. Mary I attempted to put back the clock and restore the old religion, but by her time, so much damage had been done to the religious fabric of the nation that she faced an uphill struggle. While not denying the horrors of her persecutions, Duffy offers a sympathetic reading of her reign. By the time of Elizabeth I, the reformation was largely complete and many of those holding traditionalists adopted a stance of loyalty to the Book of Common Prayer against the Puritans, as the prayer book maintained the last vestiges of the old Catholicism.

I was particularly interested in the Duffy's examination of devotional primers. These books were devotional manuals for the laity. Duffy sees in them evidence of the importance of devotion amont the literate. In their medieval form, they usually comprised the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary combined with Eucharistic devotions. The Reformation authorities introduced new primers that provided Protestant prayers, eventually modelling themselves on the Book of Common Prayer. Mary also had officially endorsed primers printed as a means of re-introducing Catholic devotion.

This is a fascinating survey of Medieval and early Reformation Christianity in England.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Orthodox in the District: Why I am a monarchist

Orthodox in the District: Why I am a monarchist

"Why am I a monarchist? Above all else, because I am an Orthodox Christian and a careful student of Christian theology, both Eastern and Western, Church history, and European history. My areas of specialisation are the Classical Greeks and Romans, Late Antiquity, Byzantium, medieval and early modern Britain, Renaissance Italy, early modern and Imperial Russia, and the British Empire. Aside from being a purely academic interest, I am fundamentally of the belief that monarchy constitutes the ideal form of human governance and have an abiding conviction that monarchy offers the best form of government known to mankind. Monarchies have existed for the entirety of known human civilizations, while democracy originates in Athens in the sixth century BC, the Roman republic from the same period, and communism and fascism are both less than 150 years old (and already rightfully and widely completely discredited).

I believe, and thousands of years of history have shown, that a man or woman instructed from youth in the art of government, a person who is trained from childhood to see their rule as a sacred duty, a solemn service, and a public stewardship, governs more benignly, sincerely, capably, and nobly than someone who has either taken power through brute force, revolution, or contested elections. Democratic elections are an extraordinary thing in that they propose that, upon being elected, a politician who has previously been partisan, divisive, and factious will somehow, almost magically, cease to be partisan, divisive, and factious upon taking office. I believe it is the very height of naivete to believe that a popularly elected politician can somehow serve as a supra-political, unifying figure."

ConservativeHome| Daniel Hamilton: After the Syria vote, liberal intervention is back – or should be. We need global engagement.

ConservativeHome| Daniel Hamilton: After the Syria vote, liberal intervention is back – or should be. We need global engagement.


"Encouragingly, Commons support for extending the airstrikes already underway against ISIS in Iraq to Syria has been achieved without the repeated fetishisation of the need to secure United Nations (UN) “approval” that many in the Labour Party appear to see as a pre-requisite to any form of foreign policy interventionism. While the support of the UN is always preferable in respect of any military engagement, its structures lack the nimbleness required to allow human rights-based democracies such as the UK to take steps to protect both their national security and that of states such as Iraq whose territory is under siege from ISIS operatives. The “legitimacy” of the United Kingdom’s foreign and military policy decisions need not be drawn from an international body but rather from appropriate debate and scrutiny in Parliament. Wednesday night’s vote proved that.

There is, however, a crucial role that international bodies such as the UN must now play in Syria: planning for a country that is free of both ISIS and Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Blair’s lack of a clear strategy to stabilise post- Ba’athist Iraq only served to prolonged the presence of troops on the ground – driving up casualty rates and infuriating public opinion. The UK, U.S and France must now work with the UN and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to fashion a clear plan for the future functioning of the Syrian state, including the federalisation of government structures and protections for minorities.

When considering the issue of military action in Syria, another key consideration must be that of discharging our obligation to support allies like France – both in formal bodies such as NATO or the unshakable cultural norms of pluralism and human rights – in their hour of need."

Neoconservatism, by Douglas Murray



Douglas Murray, Neoconservatism: Why we need it, 2005 Social Affairs Unit


Before reading this book, I thought I was a Neocon. Having read this, I am not so sure; at least I am not exactly the kind of Neocon that Douglas Murray is. My understanding was that Neocons advocateda hawkish interventionist foreign policy. Right there and I'm with Douglas Murray on that. If there is talk about military action, I am invariably in favour of it. On the other hand, on the domestic front I believed that Neocons lacked the usual conservative hostility to 'big government' and welfare programs. I saw this exemplified in the 'compassionate conservatism' advocated by pre-office George W Bush and continued in the advocacy of former secretary of state, Condoleeza Rice, a woman I very much admire. It turns out that our author does not consider Rice to be a proper Neocon, but a convert to Neoconservatism. While accepting the need for social security, Murray seems to be as hostile to big government as any conservative.

This book was written in those bleak days when the Conservative Party was stuck in seemingly eternal opposition. Murray writes as though his ideas are the salvation of the Conservative Party. He had not yet seen David Cameron's brand of One-Nation Toryism return us to government and gain a glorious majority in the last election. Yet with the recent crisis in Syria, this is an highly relevant book.

Douglas Murray sees the essence in Neoconservatism a willingess to confront the enemies of democracy, a complete rejection of moral relativism and a scepticism of the institutions of global governance. I'm a bit unsure of the heavy emphasis on relativism. It has been said that there are far more books written criticising relativism than there are books advocating it. I am not so sure that this is a helpful tag to place on his opponents. It is very easy to label those whose views are more complex and nuanced than one's own as 'relativists.' Take those who show support to Palestinian terrorists. Are they relativists? I don't think so. They rightly or wrongly believe that the Israeli government's occupation of the Palestinian territories is a moral evil that should be opposed. The person holding this view may not necessarily endorse all the actions of Hamas, but this is not that much different from a pro-Israeli person feeling that Israel is right to defend herself, yet sometimes goes a bit too far in her actions.

I would suggest that when it comes to education, relativism is a fundamental philosophical problem for all who stand in the tradition of Liberalism, including Murray's Neoconservatives. What values do we teach the children? Why should the values that Murray preaches be absolutized? Only Christianity can provide the absolute moral vision that Murray calls for.

Weirdly, enough Murray actually reminds me of Jeremy Corbyn and his hard left supporters. The Corbynistas seem unwilling to accept that a reasonable and decent person could possibly support the Tories, hence they continually make out that Conservatives are selfish or evil. Likewise, Murray makes out that anybody who disagrees with him is either ignorant or a traitor to their country. It seems like he is trying to shut down any debate on the policies he advocates. You are either with him or against him, in the latter case you are a traitor who hates the West. While I enjoyed his dismissal of that irritating bore Noam Chomsky, I don't think it's at all fair to claim that everybody who writes for the Guardian hates Great Britain. One almost imagines Murray setting up a Committee for Un-British Activities. In a way, Murray is actually borrowing the tactics of the liberal-left, who are always quick to shut down debate on anyone who does not share their values, hence the recent 'no-platforming' of feminists like Julie Bindle and Germaine Greer who don't accept the privileges demanded by transgender activists. Murray wants to 'no-platform' anyone he considers to be a traitor to the West.

Regarding the domestic policies advocated by our author, I do not see anything particularly 'neo' about them; they are the sort of policies that most conservatives, with the call for smaller government, more limited welfare programs and the usual depressing complaints about immigration. There is a lot of Daily Mail-type hysteria about Islam. His worst offence, however, is a very offensive comment he makes about 'black culture.' Murray seems to be blind to just how serious a problem racism is in our society. He dismisses 'political correctness' without showing any awareness of how entrenched racist attitudes and assumptions can be.

The problem with Murray is that he is simply too much of an idealist and I would say this puts him at odds with the strong tradition of realism in the Tory party. He does not seem willing to accept that sometimes there are problems that cannot be solved and unsatisfactory situations that have to be accepted. We can accept that there are problems with the UN, the EU and other international organisations, but does that mean we can do without them? Neoconservatism sees foreign policy as central because it recognises the inter-connectedness of our globalized world. That means that international organisations are as vital as ever and we cannot simply dismiss them as irrelevant, however much they may need improvement. Likewise, on the domestic side, immigration may bring with it problems, but does that mean that reducing immigration is the answer. No, because immigrstion brings benefits that outweigh its disadvantages.

Despite my complaints, there are things that I agree with in this book. I very much agree with his claim that conservatism spends too much time lamenting the decline of Britain and tends to look to the past instead of looking forward. I liked his comment about the tendency of young Conservatives to adopt a snobbish and anachronistic posture. I totally agree with his central argument for the necessity of military interventions where necessary. I appreciated his admiration for Tony Blair's foreign policy, though I doubt he will persuade many with his defence of the Iraq War. I would have liked him to spend more time explaining how he would sell his vision of a hawkish-foreign policy to a sceptical public.

Friday, 4 December 2015

The Feast of Saint Clement of Alexandria

O GOD, who hast enlightened thy Church by the teaching of thy servant Clement: Enrich us evermore, we beseech thee, with thy heavenly grace, and raise up faithful witnesses who by their life and doctrine will set forth the truth of thy salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



Saint Clement of Alexandria, pray for us and for all theologians.

The Independent: Immigration is good for growth, so why is the public so hostile to it?

The Independent: Immigration is good for growth, so why is the public so hostile to it?


"Economic growth isn’t everything, but it is terribly important for meeting expectations of higher living standards. The Japanese birth rate is so low that the overall population is declining. Without a baby boom or a burst of immigration, its population is set to contract by a quarter by the middle of the century, creating an array of economic nightmares such as the hollowing out of entire communities and a lack of workers to care for the extremely old. Germany is facing a similar challenge.

If people think that high migration and a rising population are an economic problem, they should consider the alternative.

Economic growth isn't everything but it is notable also that popular anxiety about immigration usually takes expression as a complaint about its impact on native jobs and wages. It is often said that while immigration might be good for rich people (who, for example, can employ cheaper cleaners), it hurts the living standards of everyone else. Yet there is no evidence of immigration holding down wages, beyond those at the very bottom – and even there the effect is negligible. Despite May’s assertions about displacement, there is no evidence of people being pushed out of the workforce either. Immigrants seem to fill gaps that would not otherwise be filled. So why the public hostility?"

The Feast of Saint Barbara



Oh God, who among the other miracles of Your power, have given the victory of martyrdom, grant, we beseech You, that we, who are celebrating the heavenly Blessed Barbara, Your Virgin and Martyr, may by her example draw nearer to you, Amen.



Saint Barbara, your courage is much stronger than the forces of hurricanes and the power of lightening. Be always by our side so that we, like you, may face all storms, wars, trials and tribulations with the same fortitude with which you faced yours. O Beautiful Maiden once imprisoned in a high tower, protect us from the lightning and fire that rages in the sky and the discord of war. Keep us alert and protect us from the dangers that surround us. Holy Mary Mother of Jesus intercessor for us all; we pray to assure receiving of the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist at the hour of our death. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord, Amen


Saint Barbara, pray for us, that we may love Christ and be faithful to Him unto death.

The Feast of Saint John of Damascus

Grant, we pray, O Lord, that we may be helped by the prayers of the Priest Saint John Damascene, so that the true faith, which he excelled in teaching, may always be our light and our strength. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Saint John of Damascus, pray for us and for peace in Syria.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

The Feast of Saint Francis Xavier

O God, who through the preaching of Saint Francis Xavier won many peoples to yourself, grant that the hearts of the faithful may burn with the same zeal for the faith and that Holy Church may everywhere rejoice in an abundance of offspring. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Litany of St. Francis Xavier

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God,
Pray for us.
Saint Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus,
Pray for us.
Saint Francis Xavier, the glory and second pillar of that holy Institute, etc.
Apostle of the Indies and Japan,
Legate of the Holy Apostolic See,
Preacher of the truth and doctor of the nations,
Vessel of election, to carry the Name of Jesus Christ to the kings of the earth,
Shining light to those who sat in the shadow of death,
Full of burning zeal for the glory of God,
Unwearied propagator of the Christian Faith,
Most watchful shepherd of souls,
Most constant meditator on Divine things,
Most faithful follower of Jesus Christ,
Most ardent lover of evangelical poverty,
Most perfect observer of religious obedience,
Thou who didst burn with the fire of Divine Love,
Who didst generously despise all earthly things,
Most able guide in the way of perfection,
Model of apostolic men,
Model of all virtues,
Light of infidels and master of the faithful,
Angel in life and manners,
Patriarch in affection for and care of God's people,
Prophet mighty in word and works,
Whom all nations and the Church have with one voice associated
with the glorious choir of Apostles,
Who wast adorned with the crown of virgins,
Who didst aspire to the palm of martyrs,
Confessor in virtue and profession of life,
In whom we reverence, through the Divine Goodness, the merits of all Saints,
Whom the winds and the sea obeyed,
Who didst take by assault the cities that had revolted from Jesus Christ,
Who wast the terror of the armies of infidels,
Scourge of demons and destroyer of idols,
Powerful defense against shipwreck,
Father of the poor and refuge of the miserable,
Sight to the blind and strength to the lame,
Protector in time of war , famine, and plague, Wonderful worker of miracles,
Who wast endued with the gift of tongues,
Who wast endued with the wondrous power of raising the dead,
Resounding trumpet of the Holy Ghost,
Light and glory of the East,
Through the cross, which thou didst so often raise among the Gentiles,

Saint Francis Xavier,
we beseech thee, hear us.
Through the Faith, which thou didst so marvelously propagate,
we beseech thee, hear us.
Through thy miracles and prophecies, etc.
Through the perils and shipwrecks which thou didst endure,
Through the pains and labors, in the midst of which
thou didst so ardently exclaim, "Still more! Still more!"
Through thy Heavenly raptures, in the midst of which thou didst
so fervently exclaim, "Enough, enough, Lord, enough!"
Through the glory and happiness which now thou dost enjoy in Heaven,

Friend of the Heavenly Bridegroom,
intercede for us.
Blessed Francis Xavier, beloved of God and men,
intercede for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
V. Pray for us, Saint Francis Xavier,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray.

O God, Who by the preaching and miracles of blessed Francis
wast pleased to add to Thy Church the nations of the Indies,
mercifully grant that we who venerate his glorious merits
may imitate his virtues, through Our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son,
Who with Thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth,
one God, world without end. R. Amen.



Saint Francis Xavier, pray for us and for the continued growth of the Church in Asia.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Catholic Herald: ‘Effective action’ against ISIS is necessary, says cardinal ahead of major Commons vote

Catholic Herald: ‘Effective action’ against ISIS is necessary, says cardinal ahead of major Commons vote


Cardinal Vincent Nichols has said that “effective action is necessary” against ISIS, ahead of a crucial vote on whether the UK should launch airstrikes against Syria.

In a statement released today, the spiritual leader of Catholics in England and Wales, said: “Effective action is necessary to stop the grave harm being inflicted by ISIS on civilians.

“While indiscriminate violence is never justifiable, specific use of force to protect the vulnerable is defensible, if it is combined with sustained diplomatic and humanitarian efforts. As Pope Francis has said: ‘Where there is unjust aggression, it is licit to stop the aggressor’.”

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

The Telegraph: Immigration rules are causing a curry crisis

The Telegraph: Immigration rules are causing a curry crisis

Article by Ian Birrell


It is hard to think of a better pin‑up for the modern Conservative Party than these superb examples of entrepreneurial drive, which crop up across the country, from inner cities to the Scottish Highlands and former troublespots in Northern Ireland. Yet this is now an industry suffering a crisis that is hotting up, with at least two restaurants closing down each week. Owners are turning outlets into flats, staff becoming Uber drivers. And with cruel irony, the key cause is the government’s myopic determination to crack down on immigration.

Amid fierce competition from new chains and nationalities, curry houses are being forced out of business by a shortage of chefs. There are doom-laden warnings that as many as one third could close. And the core issue is that attempts to hire skilled new cooks from abroad are hampered by rules that prevent them coming from outside the European Union unless earning more than £29,570 a year and working in an establishment that does not offer takeaways. But this is some £5,000 higher than standard pay for such chefs and most curry houses offer take-home meals. As so often, government meddling with the labour market has backfired. Even temporary hirings to plug gaps are thwarted.


This is the problem with the idea that you can restrict immigration to a set of skilled professionals that are in shortage. It is not possible for the government to micro-manage what skills are needed within the economy at any one time. The government could, of course, start issuing more work permits to chefs, but then they would only find that some other profession was needed.

Monday, 30 November 2015

The Feast of Saint Andrew



We humbly implore your majesty, O Lord, that, just as the blessed Apostle Andrew was for your Church a preacher and pastor, so he may be for us a constant intercessor before you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Saint Andrew, pray for us and for Scotland, Greece and Russia.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

LMS Chairman: Prayers for the Jews in the Liturgy of the Hours

LMS Chairman: Prayers for the Jews in the Liturgy of the Hours

'And for Vespers on Wednesday of the second and fourth weeks of Easter we find this prayer: "[O God], who chose your Son's first disciples from among the Jewish people, reveal to the children of Israel the reciprocal promise (repromissio) made to their fathers." (This is a reference to the promise announced to their fellow-Jews by Peter and the other apostles at Pentecost, that they would receive the Holy Spirit and salvation in return for believing in Christ and accepting baptism.)

Very explicit, on the other hand, is the Vespers prayer for Easter Sunday - the most important of all the annual Catholic feasts. It addresses Jesus in these words: "May Israel recognize in you the Christ she is hoping for (Israel in te Christum spei suae agnoscat), and may the whole earth be filled with the knowledge of your glory." This prayer is then repeated on the evenings of the
third and fifth Sundays of the Easter season.'

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Destined for the Throne, by Paul E. Billheimer




'By these means God has exalted redeemed humanity to such a sublime rank that it is impossible for Him to elevate them any further without bringing them into the Godhead itself.'



Destined for the Throne is a book I have read several times. I first read a battered copy of the original edition and then later bought the revised edition that was published after the author's death. This is one of the most encouraging books I have ever read, as it underlines the power of prayer and the glorious future of God's people.

This book has been the target of fundamentalist heresy hunters, which led to the cleaned-up edition that tones down some of the more radical statements in the first edition. In the first edition, Billheimer says something along the lines of believers being destined to become 'little gods,' which is absolutely true, but is a pretty toxic thing to say in Evangelical circles. More problematically, some of his ideas about prayer come close to those of the Word-Faith movement and the "name it, claim it" brigade on TBN. Yet even in my fundamentalist days, I could see that despite a few objectionable notions, Billheimer had caught on to a deeper and richer truth about the church than most Christians seemed to possess.

The late Paul Billheimer argued in this book that the highest destiny awaits redeemed human beings. They are to be exalted above the angels and to be partners with Christ in governing the entire universe. In the revised edition, he avoids calling redeemed human beings 'gods' but had he kept that word, it would have been Scriptural given that the angels are called gods in Psalms and the saints will be glorified above the angels. Billheimer also took an high view of the church. He argued that the formation of the Bride of the Christ as the celestial partner and co-ruler is the goal of all history and the entire purpose of the universe. Billheimer did not indicate that he takes the Scotist view of the incarnation, but he comes close and his ideas fit neatly with the Primacy of the Incarnation.

Moving from this eschatological understanding of the church, Billheimer argued that through prayer, Christians are being prepared for the government of the universe. He explains that it is God's purpose to make believers His partners in ruling and so has deputized to the church the outworking of His power. In other words, God only does what the church asks Him to do. At times, our author uses some awkward language about God being 'helpless' without prayer, but this should not be understood as God lacking the power. Rather, the divine economy makes use of prayer as the means (to use a Calvinistic phrase) of God accomplishing His purposes. I think this idea is not incompatible with an high view of sovereignty, despite the author being a Wesleyan. He got himself into a bit of a theological tangle with his idea that prayer is the determining factor in whether a person becomes a Christian or not (as opposed to both free-will and divine predestination).

Destined for the Throne takes an high view of praise and worship. Billheimer points out the image in the Psalms of the universe as a cosmic choir of praise. He views praise as a way to establish our faith and to identify ourselves with the victory of Christ. This reminded me of the value of our Liturgy of the Hours, which combines the praise of the Psalms with intercessory prayer.

Apart from the role of the church in the consummation, Billheimer does not get into the details of eschatology. I think his views would complement an optimistic Postmillennial eschatology that sees the victory of God's church in history through the power of prayer and intercession.

It would have been nice if Billheimer had been a Catholic and so able to connect his ideas to the heavenly intercession of the saints and the cosmic queenship of Our Lady. In terms of praxis, he recommends congregations to establish a planned program of prayer meetings, as might be expected from a revivalistic evangelical. Catholics have better things with the rosary, the Liturgy of the Hours and above all, the mass. However, it would be nice to see more parishes offering matins and vespers as a means of participation in corporate prayer.






The Telegraph: No, leaving the EU will not solve Britain's immigration worries

The Telegraph: No, leaving the EU will not solve Britain's immigration worries


Article by Will Straw

"If Britain did pull up the drawbridge, it would be harder, not easier, for us to get on top of illegal immigration. We would fall out of the Dublin system, damaging our ability to deport failed asylum-seekers. And as both the French Interior Minister and the Mayor of Calais have warned, the French could insist on moving the UK border back to Dover.

Those of us arguing for Britain to stay in Europe are not uncritical cheerleaders for immigration. I fully understand the reservations many Britons have about the pace and scale of immigration into our country, although I know from countless conversations that most people value the important role of those who come here – particularly to work in our NHS and public transport systems. But it is crucial to recognise that on this issue, as on so many others, Leave campaigners are selling a fantasy.

They say that by leaving we would be more secure against illegal immigration, failing to recognise that dealing with the problem requires co-operation with our European partners. They pretend that we could restrict immigration and retain access to the Single Market at the same time, when no other member state will give us something that they couldn’t have for themselves. And they dismiss the genuine threat of our border moving back to Dover if we left. The truth is that when dealing with the complex issue of immigration, Britain is stronger working with our allies as a part of Europe."

LMS Chairman: Rabbi Neusner on the Prayer for the Jews

LMS Chairman: Rabbi Neusner on the Prayer for the Jews

"This short article was published in response to the publication of the revised Prayer for the Jews, to be used in the Extraordinary Form Good Friday Liturgy, by Pope Benedict XVI, in 2008. The prolific American writer and translator, Rabbi Jacob Neusner, points out that Jews pray every day for the conversion and enlightenment of the gentiles, and have no reason to be offended if their charity is reciprocated."

The Telegraph: The Syrian refugee debate has become a national embarrassment

The Telegraph: The Syrian refugee debate has become a national embarrassment

Article by Charles Krauthammer


Facing a massive failure of seven years of Democratic foreign policy stewardship, the GOP candidates have instead tried to outbid each other in being tough on Syrian refugees. This descent into xenophobia was led, as usual, by Donald Trump. Amid bushels of word salad, he concurred with registering American Muslims, raised alarms about Arab-American treachery ("thousands and thousands" on TV cheering the World Trade Center collapse) and promised not only to deny entry to Syrian refugees, but to send back the ones already here.

Can you see it? Packing them onto his 757, the one with gold-plated seatbelts, then dumping them – orphans, widows, the lot - into a war zone to await the next regime barrel bomb.


The stance of Republican presidential candidates is shameful.

Friday, 27 November 2015

LMS Chairman: Cardinal Kasper on the Prayer for the Jews

LMS Chairman: Cardinal Kasper on the Prayer for the Jews

In case anyone has forgotten, back in 2008 when Pope Benedict's Prayer for the Jews, for use in the Extraordinary Form Good Friday Liturgy, it was explained and defended by Cardinal Kasper, among others.

Cardinal Kasper's is a particular way of understanding the question of the conversion of the Jews. While I appreciate the sensitivies, I would not be comfortable with a blanket condemnation of 'targeted' evangelical outreach to Jews, as for example that taken by the Jewish convert Alphonse Ratisbon in the late 19th century. Cardinal Kasper does not make such a condemnation, but it might seem implicit in what he says. It is important, however, that he makes the point that we don't hide our witness to the Faith from Jews, and that our belief in the universal validity of Christ's redemption, and their rejection of this, has to be the basis of an honest dialogue.

If Cardinal Kasper has no problem with Pope Benedict's Prayer for the Jews, then it seems pretty surprising that anyone in the Church should have a problem with it.


Joseph Shaw manages to find a favourable quotation from Cardinal Walter Kasper.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The Feast of Saint Clement of Ohrid

O God, the light of the faithful, and shepherd of souls, who didst set blessed Saint Clement to be a Bishop in the Church, that he might feed thy sheep by his word and guide them by his example: Grant us, we pray thee, to keep the faith which he taught, and to follow in his footsteps; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Saint Clement of Ohrid, pray for us and for Bulgaria and Macedonia.

The Feast of Saint Catherine of Alexandria



Almighty ever-living God, who gave Saint Catherine of Alexandria to your people as a Virgin and an invincible Martyr, grant that through her intercession we may be strengthened in faith and constancy and spend ourselves without reserve for the unity of the Church. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Saint Catherine, pray for us and for the Christians of Egypt.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Biblical Evidence for Catholicism: Dead Saints: Playing Harps on Clouds or Interceding?

Biblical Evidence for Catholicism: Dead Saints: Playing Harps on Clouds or Interceding?

'Here the martyrs in heaven are saying what are known as “imprecatory prayers”: pleas for God to rescue and vindicate the righteous. Examples can be found particularly in the Psalms (Psalms 35, 59, 69, 79, 109, 139) and in Jeremiah (11:18 ff., 15:15 ff., 18:19 ff., 20:11 ff.). An angel offers up a very similar prayer in Zechariah 1:12. Jesus mentions a type of this prayer in Matthew 26:53, in which He stated that He could “pray” to the Father and receive legions of angels to prevent His arrest had it been the Father’s will.

Therefore dead saints are praying for Christians on earth. If they can intercede for us, then why shouldn’t we ask for their prayers? Clearly, they’re aware of what is happening on earth. They are more alive, unfathomably more righteous, and obviously closer to God than we are. Omniscience isn’t required for them to hear our prayers, as is often charged. Rather, we have reason to believe that they are out of time, by God’s power, because to be in eternity is to be outside of the realm of time. That allows them to answer many requests for prayer because they have an infinite amount of “time” to do it.'

Monday, 23 November 2015

Intellectual Takeout| Author: Muslim Civilization is Actually in Decline

Intellectual Takeout| Author: Muslim Civilization is Actually in Decline


“Islamic society is even more fragile [than Europe]… Iranian women in their twenties who grew up with five or six siblings will bear only one or two children during their lifetimes. Turkey and Algeria are just behind Iran on the way down, and most of the other Muslim countries are catching up quickly. By the middle of this century, the belt of Muslim countries from Morocco to Iran will become as gray as depopulating Europe. The Islamic world will have the same proportion of dependent elderly as the industrial countries—but one-tenth the productivity. A time bomb that cannot be defused is ticking in the Muslim world.”


We need to drop all the predictions of Islamocalypse.

Demography is Destiny: Will low-birth-rate Turks become a minority in their own country?

Demography is Destiny: Will low-birth-rate Turks become a minority in their own country?

But that is not the end of the story. While Turkey's fertility rate as a whole is falling, the Kurdish minority of Turkey (currently 15 per cent of the population) has such a high birth rate that some (not the least of which is Prime Minister Erdogan) believe that they could become the majority in Turkey within two generations


It has become common to hear conservatives panicking about the idea of Muslims supplanting Christians due to an higher birthrate. Here is an article about fears of one Muslim ethnic group being supplanted by another with an higher birthrate. I suspect that such fears are misplaced and in the long-term, the ethnic Turk and Kurdish birthrates will even out. Yet this does demonstrate that their is no automatic rule that Muslims have lots of children. Their are a whole bunch of economic factors that affect fertility aside from religion.

Exposing BF: The ‘birth rate’ myth

Exposing BF: The ‘birth rate’ myth


"The fertility rate for Muslim families is actually falling rapidly, not just in Western countries but across the world. In 1995 the average was 4.3 children per family. By 2010 that figure had fallen to around 2.9 and it still continues to fall. In Western countries such as the UK the figure is lower still when counted across the entire time of each woman’s reproductive life (the only meaningful way to calculate her fertility over time).

Actually Western nations have seen this before. We saw it in the 1930s and 1940s when the influx of Jewish immigrants and other refugees fleeing from Britain First’s ideological soulmates, the Nazis, also demonstrated temporarily higher birth rates than the indigenous British population. In fact the birth rate among today’s British Muslims is falling considerably faster than it did among Jewish immigrants in the mid twentieth century.

This isn’t about religion – it’s about the dynamics of immigration and the age at which immigrant families tend to ‘up sticks’ and move. Young immigrants often wait until they’re established in their new home before having children. That doesn’t mean they necessarily will have more children than other couples over the course of a lifetime – simply that they have them after they move. First generation immigrants do tend to have more children than the indigenous population but second generation immigrants are much closer to the established norms of their host nation. That’s not really all that surprising since, having been born here, they are themselves part of that indigenous population. This explains the ‘young bulge’ in UK Muslim demographics (88% are aged under 50)."

World Economic Forum: Europe’s misconceptions about its Muslim population

World Economic Forum: Europe’s misconceptions about its Muslim population

The perception that Muslim populations are larger than they really are is widespread in Europe, according to an analysis last year from Ipsos Mori.

The average French citizen thought 31% of France’s population was Muslim against the recorded 8%, Germans thought theirs was 19% against 6%, and in the UK the figures were 21% and 5%.

Misconceptions about minority populations stand in the way of a more informed debate on migration at a volatile time. As Giles Merritt, head of the Brussels-based think tank Friends of Europe, writes, “Last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris are likely to compound Europe’s deep divisions over how to respond to its refugee and migrant crisis.”

Arutz Sheva| Statistics: Israeli Muslim Growth Rate Declining

Arutz Sheva| Statistics: Israeli Muslim Growth Rate Declining


The growth rate of the Muslim population is in decline - from 3.8% in 2000 to 2.4% in 2014. Despite this, the Muslim population is still growing faster than any other in Israel - with the Jewish growth rate at 1.9%, Christian at 1.6%, and Druze at 1.5%.


Israel is one of many countries in the world today where the Muslim birthrate is in decline. This is a global trend. It runs completely contrary to the apocalyptic fantasy of Muslims outbreeding every other religion and taking over the whole world.

The Feast of Saint Clement of Rome

Almighty ever-living God, who are wonderful in the virtue of all your Saints, grant us joy in the yearly commemoration of Saint Clement, who, as a Martyr and High Priest of your Son, bore out by his witness what he celebrated in mystery and confirmed by example what he preached with his lips. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Saint Clement, pray for us and for Pope Francis.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Excellent Empire, by Jaroslav Pelikan



Jaroslav Pelikan, The Excellent Empire: The Fall of Rome and the Triumph of the Church, 1987 Harper and Row


In his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon described the end of the Roman Empire as the "triumph of barbarism and religion." He blamed Christianity for the decline of the great empire. In this series of lectures, the historian and Orthodox convert, Jaroslav Pelikan responds to this famous assertion. He does so by surveying various perspectives on the Roman Empire among the Church Fathers. Their views range from seeing the downfall of the Empire as an apocalyptic judgement to more positive Christian evaluations of classical civilization.

Pelikan does not quite achieve his purpose. He never really provides an alternative explanation of the fall of the Roman Empire to counter Gibbon's view. However, the book is thoughtful and very well written. This is the work of a man of letters writing about other men of letters for the pleasure of men of letters.

We've a Story to Tell the Nations

1. We've a story to tell to the nations,
that shall turn their hearts to the right,
a story of truth and mercy,
a story of peace and light,
a story of peace and light.
Refrain:
For the darkness shall turn to dawning,
and the dawning to noonday bright;
and Christ's great kingdom shall come on earth,
the kingdom of love and light.

2. We've a song to be sung to the nations,
that shall lift their hearts to the Lord,
a song that shall conquer evil
and shatter the spear and sword,
and shatter the spear and sword.
(Refrain)

3. We've a message to give to the nations,
that the Lord who reigneth above
hath sent us his Son to save us,
and show us that God is love,
and show us that God is love.
(Refrain)

4. We've a Savior to show to the nations,
who the path of sorrow hath trod,
that all of the world's great peoples
might come to the truth of God,
might come to the truth of God.
(Refrain)



I first encountered this song while on a short-term mission trip to Japan. I learned it from the American Christians I was with. I had never heard this hymn in England before. I suppose it does have a rather AMerican revivalistic flavour. I liked it, but I quickly realised that the lyrics were advocating a Postmillennial eschatology, seeing the establishment of Christ's kingdom in the preaching of the Gospel, rather than the personal second coming of Christ. The Americans I was with also admitted the hymn was out of sync with their own Premillennialism. I decided as a staunch Premillennialist that I could not sing it in good conscience.

I have now come to hold to a Postmillennial eschatology and feel that this hymn reflects my beliefs. As this is the solemnity of Christ the King, this is probably a good hymn to sing. Let us celebrate the proclamation of Christ's Kingdom!

The Solemnity of Christ the King




Almighty ever-living God, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the King of the universe, grant, we pray, that the whole creation, set free from slavery, may render your majesty service and ceaselessly proclaim your praise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Litany to Christ the King

The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power
and Divinity and wisdom and strength and honor;
To Him be glory and empire forever and ever.
V. He shall rule from sea to sea,
and from the river to the ends of the earth.

R. All kings shall adore Him, all nations shall serve Him.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ the King, hear us.
Christ the King, graciously hear us.

Thou Who didst receive crowns and tribute from the Magi,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who didst rule by love the Holy Family of Nazareth,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who as King, served Thy people in the example of filial obedience,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who drawest to Thy realm the fishermen to be fishers of men,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Whose Kingdom is not of the spirit of this world,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who art King not of the Jews alone but of all creation,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who wast mocked in false purple by the little rulers,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who wast crowned with piercing thorns,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who wast nailed to Thy throne on Golgotha,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who didst ransom Thy people by the royal Sacrifice of Calvary,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who didst purchase Thy Kingdom with the Blood of the Atonement,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who in Thy Resurrection wert the First-born from the dead.
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who in Thy glorified Body art risen triumphant,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who art enthroned and crowned at the right hand of The Father,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
In Whom are all created things in Heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Beneath Whom are all thrones and dominations.
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Beneath Whom are all principalities and powers,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
By Whom all things subsist,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
To Whom all the nations of the earth are subject,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Through Whom all things are reconciled unto Thy Father,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.

V. His power shall be an everlasting power,
R. And His Kingdom a kingdom that shall not be destroyed.

That the peoples of this world may know
themselves subject to Thee,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That they may put off their vainglory,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That they may dispel the evils laicism has brought upon society,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That they may hearken to Thy fiat,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That they may bow their heads before Thee,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That they may know Thy reign is eternal,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That they may submit to Thy just and gentle rule,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That they may recognize Thy Vicar on earth,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That they may freely accept his rule for Thy sake,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That they may know that Thy Church, being Thee
Thyself, cannot die as nations die,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That the Gentiles may be restored to mercy,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That to Christ the King all things may be restored,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That in the Prince of Peace true peace may by all be found,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Christ our King.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Hear us, O Christ our King.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
V. His power shall be an everlasting power,
which shall not be taken away,
R. And His Kingdom shall not decay. Alleluia. Let Us Pray.
Almighty, everlasting God, Who in Thy beloved Son,
King of the whole world, hast willed to restore all things anew,
grant in Thy mercy that all the families of nations,
rent asunder by the wound of sin, may be subjected
to His most gentle rule, Who with Thee liveth and reigneth
in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.



Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, may we see the extension of your Kingdom over all nations and peoples.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Mormon Christianity, by Stephen H. Webb



Stephen H. Webb, Mormon Christianity: What Other Christians Can Learn from the Latter-Day Saints, 2013 Oxford University Press



"Another reason Mormons are sometimes thought to possess the attributes of a cult is related, I think, to their healthy-mindedness. The young men and women on their missions, for example, are so uniformly and nicely dressed, and they wear name tags no less! They look like young recruits at a Fortune 500 corporation, and they are so inevitably polite and respectful that their old-fashioned virtues can make them appear almost robotic. The Mormons that I know smile a lot and seem very happy, which some people mistake for shallowness or mindless obedience to their church. What is strange is not how well adjusted most Mormons are, but how cynical most Americans can be about them. I have come to realise that the main reason Mormons are suspected of being cultish is that they do not manifest any trace of the religious guilt and self-reproach that are still inculculated in many traditional Christian churches. They seem too happy to be Christian!"


Stephen Webb is becoming one of my favorite writers. He is a Catholic convert who admires Evangelicalism who is willing to explore unconventional ideas. His ideas are bold and exciting, but he does show a lack of willing to set boundaries on just how far the envelope of orthodoxy can be pushed.

In this book, Webb confesses that he has what he calls 'Mormon Envy.' While Mormonism is commonly regarded by Christians as a cult, he admires much in Mormonism; its discipline, its sense of community and its radical approach to metaphysics. He paints a picture of Mormonism as a complex combination of the high church ritualism of Catholicism with the simplicity of conservative Evangelical Protestantism. To an extent I share something of his admiration for Mormonism. I think it is breathtaking that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can field such a sheer number of missionary labourers. There are Mormon missionaries in practically every single town in the UK. Mormons are labouring for converts all over the world. Many Christians attack the Mormon teaching that believers can become gods. Yet this is actually one of their teachings that is true. The Bible truly does promise that we can become divine, heavenly beings. The doctrine of theosis or deification is strongly taught by the Orthodox, acknowledged by Catholics and is recognised by some Protestants too. The highest example of humanity brought into deity is that of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When Protestants accuse us Catholics of worshiping Mary as a goddess, they are half-correct. We adore the union of humanity and divinity that we behold in the glorious Queen of Heaven. The error of Mormonism is not in teaching that human beings can become gods, but in reducing God to the level of human beings. I also love seeing photos of young Mormon missionaries; they seem so delightful in their innocence and purity. I wish I could see the same devotion and commitment to Christ in Catholic young people.

When I was involved, as an Evangelical in street evangelism, I used to have many debates with the Mormon missionaries. We would trade Bible verses back and forth. In the end, these conversation would invariably conclude with the Mormon young men declaring "I believe that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God." They might just as well have been saying "There is no god but Allah and Muhammed is his prophet."

Webb argues that at the core of Mormonism is a radical system of metaphysics that holds that there is no difference between matter and spirit. Spiritual beings are truly physical beings. Our author suggests that there is a lot of merit in this alternative to traditional Christian metaphysics. Oddly, he leaves the meat of his discussion of metaphysics to two appendices. I have no idea why he did not include this discussion about the merits and problems of Mormon physicalism in the main body of the book. There was a time when I might have found this idea appealing. I once held that angels had bodies with similar properties to human beings. Yet I am not at all comfortable with such a radical revision of the Christian view of the cosmos. I believe that classic theism is an essential part of the Christian tradition and to depart from it will lead to theological aberration.

Mormon Christianity attempts to show that Mormonism is a true branch of the Christian faith. Webb makes this claim on the basis of the strong emphasis of Mormons on the person of Jesus Christ. I do not think we can truly accept this. No matter how much Mormons may profess to love Christ, we cannot deny that there ideas about Christ are heretical. If the doctrine of the Trinity is central to the Christian faith, then Mormonism cannot be truly regarded as Christian. Maybe I am simplifying things, but this book did not persuade me to a contrary conclusion. Nevertheless, I found this is an enjoyable and deeply interesting read.

The Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple




As we venerate the glorious memory of the most holy Virgin Mary, grant, we pray, O Lord, through her intercession, that we, too, may merit to receive from the fullness of your grace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.



Litany of Loreto

V. Lord, have mercy.
R. Christ have mercy.
V. Lord have mercy. Christ hear us.
R. Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of Virgins, [etc.]
Mother of Christ,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother inviolate,
Mother undefiled,
Mother most amiable,
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good Counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Savior,
Virgin most prudent,
Virgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,
Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Spiritual vessel,
Vessel of honor,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Mystical rose,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the covenant,
Gate of heaven,
Morning star,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comforter of the afflicted,
Help of Christians,
Queen of Angels,
Queen of Patriarchs,
Queen of Prophets,
Queen of Apostles,
Queen of Martyrs,
Queen of Confessors,
Queen of Virgins,
Queen of all Saints,
Queen conceived without original sin,
Queen assumed into heaven,
Queen of the most holy Rosary,
Queen of families,
Queen of peace,

V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. Spare us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. Graciously hear us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, that we thy servants may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of blessed Mary, ever Virgin, may we be freed from present sorrow, and rejoice in eternal happiness. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.



Holy Mary, Ark of the Covenant, pray for us and for all Christian children, that they may learn to be devoted to God.

Friday, 20 November 2015

The Heavy Anglo Orthodox: Against Islamophobia

The Heavy Anglo Orthodox: Against Islamophobia

"Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I can often come off as a sceptic of Islam, and particularly harsh on political Islam in particular. This isn’t anything new since I chrismated into Orthodoxy, mind you; I’d been just as critical of radical political Islam when I was still Episcopalian. However, I have very, very little patience for those who make their careers as professional and public-intellectual ‘critics of Islam’, and particularly those of the neoconservative, nativist and nouveau-atheist flavours."


Matt the Orthodox metalhead moved his blog a while ago, so I have missed all his recent posts. I am so sorry I missed this one from early October. A lot of Orthodox bloggers seem to spend all their time bashing Muslims. I am delighted to find that Matt resists that tendency.

I tend to disagree with Matt more often than I agree with him, but I feel a certain affinity with his thoughts. Both he and I are conservatives who are at odds with wider conservatism. He is an High Tory who takes a generally left-wing stance on economics, combined with an whole-hearted commitment to opposing racism. I'm probably a bit more mainstream in my neo-liberal neo-conservatism, but I find myself at odds with most conservatives in my pro-immigration, pro-European Union, pro-Human Rights and pro-welfare stances.

I'm glad Matt is still posting and offering his alternative perspectives.

The Telegraph: If David Cameron wants to send troops into Syria, the voters are behind him

The Telegraph: If David Cameron wants to send troops into Syria, the voters are behind him

Article by Tom Mludzinski

"Of course, there is much more to making decisions about going to war than public opinion, but it nevertheless plays an important role in understanding the willingness of a nation to get involved. The scars of the Iraq War are still prominent but the threat of Isil may be overriding other concerns.
New ComRes polling this week reveals that six in ten (60 per cent) Britons now support air strikes on Syria. However, more startling are the levels of support for sending in troops on the ground. While already half (50 per cent) back sending British troops to launch a ground war against ISIS (compared to 31 per cent to oppose it), support rises further if we were to go in alongside US/French allies (59 per cent support) or if the UN were to launch a ground war (68 per cent)."

The Telegraph: France is trying to create a coalition to destroy Isil, but President Obama isn't interested

The Telegraph: France is trying to create a coalition to destroy Isil, but President Obama isn't interested

Article by Charles Krauthammer


"If the other goal of the Paris massacre was to frighten France out of the air campaign in Syria -- the way Spain withdrew from the Iraq War after the terror attack on its trains in 2004 -- they picked the wrong country. France is a serious post-colonial power, as demonstrated in Ivory Coast, the Central African Republic and Mali, which France saved from an Islamist takeover in 2013.

Indeed, socialist President Francois Hollande has responded furiously to his country’s 9/11 with an intensified air campaign, hundreds of raids on suspected domestic terrorists, a state of emergency and proposed changes in the constitution to make France less hospitable to jihad.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama, titular head of the free world, has responded to Paris with weariness and annoyance. His news conference in Turkey was marked by a stunning tone of passivity, detachment and lassitude, compounded by impatience and irritability at the very suggestion that his Syria strategy might be failing."

The Telegraph: How patriotic are British Muslims? Much more than you think, actually


Article by Asa Bennett

"Some Twitter users have tried to extrapolate this to Britain's 2.7 million Muslim population, claiming that it means 810,000 Muslims are "sympathetic to the Hebdo killers". But that looks to be seriously stretching things, as the question merely sheds light on those having "some sympathy for the motives", which is not the same as agreeing with the attacks.
All it shows is that 27 per cent of Muslims surveyed by ComRes feel they understand why Charlie Hebdo was targeted. It does not show that they endorse the attacks, nor does it show they want to do the same.
Further details from the ComRes survey that Mr Farage hails bear this out: 85 per cent of those surveyed say they do not think organisations that publish depictions of the Prophet Mohammed "deserved to be attacked".
Other research gives a clearer idea about how Britain's Muslims feel about their country. A study by Demos - "Place for Pride" - in 2011 found that British Muslims tended to be more patriotic and more optimistic about Britain's future than the average citizen."

4thWaveNow: Introducing a new, global organization for parents skeptical of the “trans kid” trend

4thWaveNow: Introducing a new, global organization for parents skeptical of the “trans kid” trend

"I’m happy to announce the launch of Transgender Trend, an international organization created by and for parents who are questioning the accelerating trend to diagnose children and adolescents as “transgender.”
Transgender Trend, started by parents from the UK, the US, and Canada, aims to be a source of information and support for anyone who wants to challenge the pediatric “transition” narrative that has swept the Western world in the last several years. In addition, the organization intends to issue press releases, and to be a voice for parents, family members, and supportive friends who have been seeking–so far without success–to reach others who share their doubts and concerns.
The website (still in development) features an FAQ, links to and synopses of research studies, quotes from doctors, researchers, and psychologists, and a blog. It’s expected that the site will grow over time. Comments and questions are very welcome, but please note: Transgender Trend is not intended as, nor will it ever be, a place for trans activists to harass and harangue the parents and supportive others who congregate there."


Elle Magazine: 9 Reasons Blocking Syrian Refugees is Appalling, Racist and Wrong

Elle Magazine: 9 Reasons Blocking Syrian Refugees is Appalling, Racist and Wrong


​"I am truly appalled at the tiny-minded, shortsighted, self-interested, pandering, lowest-common-demominator stupidity of the GOP's latest sweep of anti-refugee sentiment. It is ahistorical and hypocritical. It is wrongheaded and it is wrong-hearted. It is selfish. It is cold. It is racist.

And my God it is depressing, because it's not just one lone terrible person like Chris Christie sinking as low as he can sink (getting tough on three-year old orphans!), but now it's the House of Representatives voting 289-137 to block Syrian refugees from entry.

The bill, which adds an additional individual certification process atop the already onerous process for admitting refugees (basically a de facto block), was supported by 100 percent of the voting Republicans and 47 Democrats (who, in doing so, broke with all three of their presidential candidates, and their president).

On the campaign trail, every GOP candidate for president has said no to allowing Syrian refugees into the country in the wake of the Paris attacks.

More magnanimous in real terms but somehow more revolting overall, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz have said, okay, they'd let refugees in—​but only if they are Christian. Media baron Rupert Murdoch, scion of Fox News, also tweeted in support of an exception for "proven Christians."

This wave of intense xenophobia hits home for me, and it's not just because I'm an immigrant Canadian Jew living in the United States. (Hi, Rupert!) It's not even because, as a Jew, I am well aware that if this were the 1940s and I was on a boat fleeing Nazi Europe, I would not be welcome in the U.S. or Canada. Though that doesn't exactly give me the warm fuzzies."


This article is a bit over-emotive and sentimental, but I agree with the main point.

Washington Post: 3 important facts about how the U.S. resettles Syrian refugees

Washington Post: 3 important facts about how the U.S. resettles Syrian refugees


Only two percent of the refugees are single males of combat age.

"The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees refers agencies to most countries, including the United States, the agency’s the biggest donor. One factor for consideration is whether a refugee already has family in the country. The United States has asked the UNHCR to prioritize refugees who are considered vulnerable – women with children, the elderly, people who have been tortured or who may require modern medical treatment they cannot easily get elsewhere. Half the accepted refugees so far have been children. A quarter are adults over 60. They are roughly 50/50 men and women, though there are slightly more men. Because of the criteria, many refugee families have women as the head of household, or live with multiple generations under one roof."

Eclectic Orthodoxy: Refugees, Roanoke, and Captain Sulu

Eclectic Orthodoxy: Refugees, Roanoke, and Captain Sulu

That the world is faced with a catastrophic humanitarian situation is beyond dispute. What is not crystal clear is how the United States should respond. Many of my fellow Christians on the net think otherwise. My FaceBook and Twitter feeds are presently being inundated by simplistic moral pronouncements. Everyone seems to have a hotline to God. “What would Jesus do?” The answer is obvious and beyond debate, right? If only the formation of public policy were so easy, but it just isn’t. Grownups understand this.

At the moment everyone seems to be “thinking” either from a position of fear and anxiety (“keep out the refugees!”) or from prophetic self-righteousness (“God wants us to let them all in!”). Neither is conducive to mature moral reflection or sound public policy.

My Christian faith demands of me—and my country, I believe—a response of generosity, charity, compassion, and hospitality toward all who are now fleeing the brutality and horror of ISIS. But this judgment need not entail unrestricted and indiscriminate admission of refugees. Other considerations, moral and political, are also legitimately in play here. These considerations need to be thoughtfully identified and discussed, without fear of being labeled xenophobic, anti-American, or whatever.

I am tired of twitter-bites masquerading as prophecy and wisdom.


What a relief it was to read such sensible thoughts on the subject. People need to drop the hysteria.

The Feast of Saint Edmund the Martyr




O God of ineffable mercy, who didst give grace and fortitude to blessed Edmund the king to triumph over the enemy of his people by nobly dying for thy Name: Bestow on us thy servants, we beseech thee, the shield of faith, wherewith we may withstand the assaults of our ancient enemy; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



Saint Edmund, pray for us, for all kings and queens and for East Anglia.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Mr Gog's Mystablog: Not Christ the Caliph

Mr Gog's Mystablog: Not Christ the Caliph

'In my new parish, there's an excellent priest who is known as something of an impassioned leftist. I'm very happy for him to preach the social gospel as long as he doesn't mind hearing me go on about things like the sacral dimension of monarchy from time to time - and surely the feast of Christ the King is one of those times!

Jesus knew about the old Roman Republic and Athenian democracy, and yet he never talked about the "Republic of Heaven." Nor do we talk about "Christ the President," "Christ the P.M.," or "Christ the Dear Leader." Heaven is a kingdom of which Christ is King.

People sometimes disparage monarchy as the last vestige of a deeply unequal and unfair class society, but all the evidence points to the reverse: in independent listings, the most equal societies and the most of the top ten least corrupt countries are ruled by hereditary monarchs. Think Scandiwegia. The most corrupt countries with the most unequal distribution of wealth are people's Republics, whether North or South American or otherwise.'

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Feast of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary




O God, by whose gift Saint Elizabeth of Hungary recognized and revered Christ in the poor, grant, through her intercession, that we may serve with unfailing charity the needy and those afflicted. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Saint Elizabeth, pray for us and for Hungary.

Monday, 16 November 2015

The Feast of Saint Margaret of Scotland

O God, who made Saint Margaret of Scotland wonderful in her outstanding charity towards the poor, grant that through her intercession and example we may reflect among all humanity the image of your divine goodness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Saint Margaret, pray for us and for Scotland.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

A New Testament Biblical Theology, by G.K. Beale




G.K. Beale. A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New, 2011 Baker Academic


When I decided I was converting to Catholicism, I realised I would probably have to give up my strongly Premillennial eschatology, I therefore became resolved to read some Amillennial books to persuade myself. AMong those I decided to read was G.K. Beale's New Testmanent theology, which I had some desire to read, even while I was a Premillennialist.

I was very pleased to find that this New Testament theology textbook is thematic in approach. It is wearisome to read so many New Testament theologies that structure themselves book by book, without clearly identifying the key themes of the New Testament as an whole. This is a scholarly book, but it is reasonably accessible to the untrained reader.

Beale establishes the background for the New Testament theology in the Old Testament. He identifies the centrality of the concept of the Last Days in the Old Testament writings. These last days were not necessarily the end of time, but the climax and conclusion of history. He then argues that the New Testament authors do not regard the Last Days as yet to come, but that they begin with the work of Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection. Thus, the New Testament teaches an inaugurated eschatology; the end times have begun, but will reach their final conclusion in the Second Coming of Christ. Beale brings up the concept he elaborated on in The Temple and the Church's Mission. In that book, he argued that there is a theme of a cosmic temple in the Bible, beginning with Eden as a sanctuary, developing through the Ark of the Covenant through to the end times temple of Ezekiel and the garden city of Revelation 21. He argued that contrary to some Premillennialists, the restoration of the temple is not a physical temple, but the eschatological realisation of God's presence in His people. Likewise, he argues that the land promises to Israel also find a wider and more spiritual fulfillment in the Church, which is eschatological Israel. He is not silent on the subject of ethics, as he sees in Christian living the outworking of the New Creation and the realisation of God's image in humanity.

I found this a very inspiring and thoughtful read. As a Reformed theologian, Beale defends the Protestant doctrine of justification through imputation, but otherwise Catholic readers will find much here to agree with.