Friday, December 07, 2007


I am going to be very busy these days toward the festivities so my posting will be sparse. We are attempting again to get my thesis submitted by end of Jan 2008. It is amazing how you find things to improve on, so God have mercy while I get locked away writing a couple more chapters. I will let you know if I succeed.

There is one thing that struck me while I was reading the BoC. I was struck that it uses the word "ass" several times. I counted, it uses it 8 times.

Now, some will be offended that the word is used or mentioned in the confessions. Lately, as I encounter people in the internet, I can not help but feel sympathy for the way the BoC uses this word. There are really asses around.

The lessons in Proverbs 26:4-5 came home to me lately and I think this passage is humorous. Indeed, there are times you should not be answering these asses as Proverbs say; because I note by experience, that when you answer these asses when you are not supposed to, you do go away feeling like one.


Doorman-Priest said...

Are we talking about morons for Jesus here?

What is your dissertation, by the way? Good luck (and other unspiritual injunctions!)

L P Cruz said...

The reader should note that the last comment is another example of Concordian humor.

Excuse me while I fall off my chair.

Yes, DP I was naive to think that there were no such folks but I did encounter what you termed... morons for Jesus (LOL).

The tentative title of the sacrificial work (I have no life since I began this) is : Layered Logic for Contextualizing Logics.

I know you are studying too (at least for your case for the ministry), so my prayers for you as well bro.


Past Elder said...

God bless me! I remember getting my ruddy dissertation through. Great Caesar's Ghost. My adviser sitting right next to me going through it line by line, Strunk in one hand and The University of Chicago Manual of Style in the other. He always said my English read like a literal translation of something from German. I suppose since I took much more of my notion of style from Nietzsche, the only philosopher worth reading, than from the University of Chicago, there may have been something to that. But it may have been the only dissertation in music theory to not have a single note or passage of music in it except some references to the harmonic series (overtones). One of these days I'll have to blog on magnitudes and multitudes and mobility and immobility, the four determinants of the Boethian quadrivium without which one hasn't the slightest bleeding idea -- or rather one does, and it's completely wrong -- of what Boethius means by arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy.

Gott hilf mir! Strike up a polka before I apply for a teaching post! Brats all around! Runzas too! Dance, my Germans!

Is anybody into conformal mapping any more?

I think a friend of mine, a raging Calvinist from Michigan (there's lots of them there) and a PhD candidate in mathematics, understood my work better than any of my colleagues in the School of Music.

L P Cruz said...

P. E.

You are a scholar and a gentleman. I am so pleased to meet your geekishness.

As we say, what is maths but simply doodles on a piece of paper?!


Past Elder said...

Are you going to post the abstract from your dissertation in the blog?

Maybe I should ask if dissertations still have abstracts, as I'm a little out of the academic loop.

Hell, I was pissed that we don't have the custom of inaugural lectures any more!

Maybe I should clarify about pissed. My experience is in Aussie English the term means drunk, whereas here it means angry. I remember early on rooming with Crocodile Dundee in grad school saying of someone "he was SO pissed" and Croc saying "he looked sober to me", whereupon we straightened out this moment in our common language!

L P Cruz said...

P. E.

You have blessed me once again by giving me an illustration I can put on the dissertation, I wonder why I did not think of that, since it is a classic example of context in operation.

Thank you, P.E. I bow down to your geekishness, your eminence. What a nice illustration of what I am trying to do.

And yes, "pissed" means being intoxicated overly drunk, is what it means here. Also there are a few nasty differences with American English for example the word "bugger" does not mean a person who plants a tapping device

I will post the abstract in due course to protect for now ideas my prof and I have been developing. Briefly it allows a computer program to deal with semantic differences in navigating differing databases.


Past Elder said...

Well then, here's another. One time I said "Your parents called" and he got all surprised, saying "They're here?"

Turns out "called" means stopped by in Aussieralian, not called on the phone, which is "rang".

I'll have to say, Aussieralian has more phrases for throwing up than any dialect I know of. My top pick is "Technicolour yawn".

L P Cruz said...

That is grouse ;-)


Past Elder said...

Yo Lito -- you just got mentioned on the one "Catholic" blog I can handle without a shelf full of Pepto-Bismol, which is only because its author is a former LCA minister who got the Rome bug.

Yeah, ruddy Schuetz, Sentire cum Ecclesia. Looks like you work with one of his mates!

Judas H Priest. "Infamous" they said! I'm proud to be in such good company! I don't think the bleeders know we know esch other. They don't think much of me over there either!

L P Cruz said...

Hi P.E.

I know the man, I am a late comer to LCA and he left way before I came. As far as I am concerned, they are still crypto-Lutherans within Mother Church, you and I know she will let you be what you want to be so long as you do not buck the Pope. They can not convince me that they have left Wittenberg, they like their cake and eat it too. When they match our folk piety, I believe they have truly converted. Just my opinion.

Mexico just passed I heard an abortion bill, I dare them excommunicate the whole country, it won't happen in a pigs chance.

Infamous eyh? I wonder what prickly thing I said to deserve such honor, I gotta know so I can repeat it.

That is why P.E. I do a disclaimer on my profile to say that my ideas are my own and not necessarily endorsed by my pastor, or president, I absolve them of any responsibility and activity.

I suffered quite a bit and still do when I left Azusa for Wittenberg, but thank the Lord he replaces lost friends with new ones.

I need to get that collection of Sasse's essays : The Lonely Way (if only for my affinity to the title).

Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill;
God's truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever.


Christine said...

As far as I am concerned, they are still crypto-Lutherans within Mother Church, you and I know she will let you be what you want to be so long as you do not buck the Pope. They can not convince me that they have left Wittenberg, they like their cake and eat it too.

Well, Terry isn't the only one who stumbles onto other blogs.

Crypto-Lutherans? Not this former Wittenberg traveler. After ten years, Catholic to the core, still in awe at every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass I attend.

Thank God my relations with my Lutheran family members never get as ugly as some of you former Catholics here do with those who have chosen (note that word "chosen") to be in full communion with the Church of Rome.

I will rejoice this Christmas Eve when my Lutheran sister and her family attend Mass with me and her Catholic relatives by marriage (one of her sons married a Catholic girl).

Christine said...

Now, some will be offended that the word is used or mentioned in the confessions.

Oh please. Luther himself used terminology that has a very different flavor when read in German than it does in English.

As for asses:

This humble creature was present at the birth of the Lord and was employed by him on his Palm Sunday entrance into Jerusalem.

What's the problem? I don't find "asses" offensive at all.

As the Psalmist says, "In wisdom you have made them all, the earth is full of your creatures."

L P Cruz said...



To paraphrase Paul, I was fanatical with the religion of my birth and so I mean no offense, the only Catholicism I know and found to the core is the Hispanic kind. All the rest are simply lame to me.

I am just curious as to what practical piety ex-Protestant converts do. Do they wear a scapular? What sort of novenas do they have? Any pilgrimage vows they have promised and if they pray the Angelus every 6:00PM each day? That sort of thing.

As for Asses, I got no problem if you have no problem with that, I got other readers here that I extend courtesy since the whole world does not revolve around me, after all God used an ass to rebuke Balaam.

I have no specific care for the label Lutheran, I do not want to transfer my former fanaticism to this version of Christianity. I have no security in a label. It just so happens that I agree with what they find in Scripture. As Pr. Mark said in our discussions here, so many labels have been taken from Lutherans, and even if that label has been redefined and tortured to death with thousand clarifications we will let it go too. It is the Gospel that counts.


Christine said...

To paraphrase Paul, I was fanatical with the religion of my birth and so I mean no offense, the only Catholicism I know and found to the core is the Hispanic kind.

Dear Lito,

No offense taken and I understand your point of view.

I am just curious as to what practical piety ex-Protestant converts do. Do they wear a scapular? What sort of novenas do they have? Any pilgrimage vows they have promised and if they pray the Angelus every 6:00PM each day? That sort of thing.

Well, speaking for myself the Mass, of course, is the primary focus of my own spirituality but I also daily pray the Liturgy of the Hours (what used to be called the Divine Office), which utterly overflows with Biblical texts, and read Scripture.

My Marian devotion is centered on the Scriptural Rosary; for Advent and Christmas I sometimes pray the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin (which is a form of liturgical prayer), an older edition that uses side by side Latin and English and I do like to pray the Angelus at noon on my lunch break in honor of the Incarnation. I am also edified by Eucharistic adoration at my parish.

I very much honor Mary as Mother of God and the Communion of Saints is very important to me; I do believe they pray for us who are still on our pilgrim journey, in this world but not of it because even now the Church is an outpost of the Kingdom; we are one with the saints in Christ Jesus and I don't believe that death can sever that bond.

So if you surmised that I was shaped by the older Catholic piety you grew up on (as did my husband and his family), for the most part, no, I wasn't. As a convert I had plenty of time to bone up on historical, liturgical and theological matters in Catholic history (plus the witness of my Catholic father and his relatives).

Having been back to Europe a few times I love the beauty of the historic Churches and shrines and I hope to return again when I am retired.

When I found the time right for me to make the move American Evangelicalism wasn't even on the radar for me. I could never spiritually thrive in such an atmosphere.

And after all of this, both Lutherans and Catholics are rooted in their baptism into Christ and that is a bond we can rejoice in.

May all the blessings of Advent be yours.

after all God used an ass to rebuke Balaam.

Yup, he sure did!

Christine said...

American Evangelicalism

I just want to emphasize that I do know the difference in the contexts of Lutheran evangelical spirituality as opposed to the "American", especially "non-denominational (so-called)" variety.

Past Elder said...

Brother Lito --

I can't remember if I summarised this all in one place on your blog, but in light of this and the following thread, here goes.

I did not convert from Catholicism to Lutheranism. I left Catholicism on purely Catholic grounds, and did not convert to Lutheranism until 23 years later.

Being born in 1950, I was 12 when Vatican II commenced. During the years that followed, everything that we had believed and practiced was either ridiculed and rejected outright, or so seriously reinvented as to no longer be recognisable as the same thing. This was nowhere more apparent to me as the changes we altar boys were to learn were explained to us as they came, though the difference between what we had been taught in religion class and what we were now taught in religion class was clear. Then in 1968 I went to university at one of the leading centres for the changes which came to pass at the Council. Here, things were much more systematically taught and practiced, along with having a shall we say insider's view into what was really going on -- what this looked like apart from when outsiders were looking -- not available at the parish level. Yet I maintained an uneasy peace -- I mean, this was the Catholic Church after all, and while these others mean well this is the only one really in direct descent from Christ and the Apostles, so if it has fallen into fundamental error, Christianity itself is false. But my break did not come there. Later, in grad school, back in regular Catholic life, as the absolute disconnect between what I had believed and what they believed now became less and less able to be denied, one Sunday I went to Mass at what was at one time called the Newman Center. I was late and got there for the Epistle -- which was an enactement of a scene from a play by Anouilh or Ionesco, can't remember which now. This was the last straw. I decided the whole thing had been wrong, the gates of hell had prevailed, we must look for another, which did not invalidate the "Old" Testament, so I went to High Holidays at the Jewish student centre and began a two decades plus long sojourn as a Gentile believer in Orthodox Judaism. Or Judaism, if you catch my drift. Periodically, I would attempt to convince myself that I had been wrong and poke around in the Catholic world -- my former home parish, the local parish where I was, a Catholic charismatic prayer group along "New Covenant" magazine lines, each time finding instead reinforcement of my original conclusion. Much as I admired the SSPX and Archbishop Lefebvre for their valiant heroism in the face of nearly unspeakable levels of treatment by the Church whose own teaching and practice they maintained, it could not be possible that this was happening in the Church of Christ, and that they were right meant that it all of it was wrong. Somewhere in there I read the documents of the Council itself, which only further widened the gulf. Now there were three Catholic Churches: the one I knew, the one I run into almost everywhere, and the one in these documents that you see in isolated placed, but the latter two in either case most clearly not the Catholic Church.

23 years into this I was about to be married to an LCMS woman who had left with similar feelings re the Seminex controversy, but still claimed LCMS for those moments when religion is hard to ignore, such as getting married. So, after the Orthodox rabbi who was going to marry us got booted by his congregation for being a little more Orthodox than they wanted -- doing something different and calling it the same is hardly a Catholic only phenomenon -- we were married by an LCMS minister in 1993, and that began my serious investigation into Lutheranism though I had grown up in a predominantly Lutheran area. While taking the course for prospective converts in WELS, I read some of Luther's treatises, of which Babylonian Captivity particularly struck me as the most Catholic thing I had ever read, and the Book of Concord extended that to the whole pie. So THAT'S what happened. It made sense. The spiritual hara kiri of Vatican II wasn't the real problem, it had been going on for centuries. And so to me, Christ himself was vindicated, and where I least expected it -- Lutheranism previously seemed to me to be a well meant effort to be Catholic without being Catholic. So I "converted" in one sense, but really did not convert at all, but simply took my place in the same catholic church as ever, where the Gospel was rightly preached and the Sacraments properly administered. And there, or here, I stand!

That's my story in brief, though it makes for a long post! The Roman church to me now lacks any credibility whatsoever, though within it as within other heterodox to the point of being marginally if at all Christian bodies the true catholic church of Christ can be found. As an institution, it is simply the state religion of the Western Roman Empire in its anachronistic post Imperial existence, now lamely trying to address a world to which it is irrelevant. To behold it now reminds me of the reaction those who remembered the First Temple had when seeing the Second -- tears that such a pathetic shadow of what was before is all there is. But by the grace of God I now know that what was before was no "First Temple" but itself fallen.

No, the LCMS is not the "true" church, and no Lutheran body is. I think the swim across the Tiber appeals to Lutherans who sense at various levels that the Reformation did not turn out as we hoped, and still hope -- it provides an institutional answer not found in any Lutheran body, and yes, I would agree with your statement elsewhere that Catholicism as found in former Lutherans is a sort of crypto Lutheranism, hidden not in a deceptive sense at all but in finding the post conciliar Catholic church a fulfillment of our Lutheran hopes for the church catholic, Most certainly, these converts do not talk and sound like converts before the council, which is yet another evidence that what they have found for however it answers the good desires of their hearts is not the Catholic Church.

I have no intention of being sucked into a point for point debate about my assertions re the post conciliar church. That it is another faith, not the faith once delivered, by Catholic lights alone, has been effectively demonstrated by those more capable that I. I have included a link to documents detailing the variance of the post conciliar Mass with the Catholic Mass, and the post conciliar faith itself with the Catholic faith, on my site in a section of the sidebar. I differ with their authors not at all in substance, only in what to do about it.

Now brother, and fellow geek, if you have made it this far, another thought. Re the Real Presence, if Relativity is right and energy is mass across time, then would Relativity not indicate that if there were a resurrection from the physical dead and ascencion into spiritual heaven, would not such a massive disruption in the normal process of matter necessarily entail a massive disruption in the normal process of time too, resulting in exactly that Body and Blood being on our altars? Now of course, this is speculative theology -- as it all is -- and is simply for the edification of believers as Aquinas pointed out, not the conviction of non believers or ourselves either. We believe it not because of Einstein but because Jesus said This is my Body .. take and eat (not adore!)

L P Cruz said...


No worries for the long post. I get to understand more.

The Roman church to me now lacks any credibility whatsoever

That is my conclusion too. This is why I no longer waste a lot of time on RC issues lately in this blog. I visit other blogs and the same old same old mantra I hear from fanatics justifying that all is well across the Tiber, you can be a Lutheran and be Roman, in fact you can be anything and be a Roman, you can make their Magisterial statements mean what you wish, subject them to your configurable interpretations, she is big enough to absorb you. The system is strong, so you would think.

In logic, when your system is such that you can prove anything from it -- guess what, your system is flaky, for it means that your system is field with contradictions, for from a contradiction you can prove anything. So in logic, this strength is actually a delusion.

more later,,, to be continued.