Stories I’ve Found, 12/7/2012

Interesting stories I’ve found lately:

For Some Reason, Someone Forgave Someone Else is more than a story about GetReligion doing some Holy Ghostbusting. It’s a story the kind of story we should hear more often, and one we should be capable of writing if we’re genuine about our faith.

Fr. Robert Taft offers some words of wisdom about Liturgical reform, as we complete one year with the new Missal.  This author debunks a lot of urban legends that have grown up in 50 years.

The great Jazz musician, Dave Brubeck, passed away this week. This interview gives some interesting insight into his sacred music and his attitudes toward faithGreat Art Survives is a Commonweal article that offers more insight into the great man.

Bill Tammeus probes the nature of moral injury to returning soldiers. After reading books like All Quiet on the Western Front and The Killer Angels, this is a topic that needs to be brought front and center: what happens to someone who is called to discard their moral values to become a soldier, and has to reclaim them on returning to civilian life? Healing moral injuries like this should get more of our attention.

Following up my post about The Cost of Entertainment, Frank Bruni offers some new data in his New York Times OpEd piece, Pro Football’s Violent Toll. The murder-suicide of Jovan Belcher is a sad story, and his life held some unique circumstances, yet it’s appropriate to ask what role the culture of the NFL and American culture in general had in the tragic tale where he shot his girlfriend Kassandra Perkins and then himself in front of his head coach.

James Tabor explores the question of what Christianity Before Paul looked like.  It is an interesting line of thought: Paul’s role in shaping our Faith has been almost as great as Christ’s, and some non-Christians have said the Paul is to blame for misinterpretations of Christ’s message. Although this issue is important, it isn’t one that will greatly change anything about mainstream Christianity at this point in time.

Patheos’ own Bad Catholic offers some very provocative thoughts in his post: Selfing Others Right In The Face.  The picture that accompanies the post is a challenge as well. His distinction between “Love your neighbor as yourself” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is a great one, and his exposition on the issues with objectifying people is very pertinent.

Bad science is like bad religion. Dr. Rupert Sheldrake speaks out against something he calls promissory materialism: the dogma that everything will eventually be explained in scientific terms.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker says: Deliver Us from Successful Catholics. The journey of faith isn’t one that should be measured in terms of success or failure, but in growth. Consider this pearl from Mother Teresa of Calcutta: “God does not call us to be successful, He calls us to be faithful.” Here’s to fidelity!

Frederick Schmidt describes the problems with “Build a Bear” theology. I think he has some interesting points to make: if we customize our religion to the extreme, there will only be room for one person in it, and it will be impossible to share or pass on. Personal conscience and personal faith is extremely important, but our relationship with others is just as important. If we can’t share faith, what good it is?

And we run the risk of building a God who looks too much like us.

Want to know what the Pope is doing? There’s an app for that.

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