Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!



Philip Jenkins has a great post on the real St. Patrick, and the evil that he confronted in his mission.

Excerpt:
Among the many millions who celebrate Irishness every March 17, scarcely any wonder for a second whether there is any historical substance to the figure of St. Patrick, any more than to a host of other medieval wonderworkers. Treating such a tale as serious history, they assume, makes about as much sense as writing a critical biography of the Easter Bunny. 
Sadly, such indifference means that moderns are missing a story that is not just rock-solid history, but is one of the most moving in early Christianity...

Please read the whole thing. It's fascinating history.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

28 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Admiral:

      Thank you. Very beautiful. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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  2. He’s also credited with raising 33 bodies from the dead, some that where buried for many years. What a guy.

    These days, when I a hear people proclaim a miracle it’s usually when they or a loved one have narrowly adverted death in some mass tragedy, or to acknowledge God’s role in that last touchdown. Whatever happened to the good-old-days of real in-your-face miracles? Either God doesn’t want to do them anymore, or, as is more likely, they are lies and fairytales that just won’t fly in the age of science and video.

    -KW

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    1. Miracles still happen, KW.

      Have you ever watched your child being born?

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    2. You're right that people misuse the term miracle to mean a miracle touchdown or something of the sort. True miracles are rare and always have been. Nonetheless, real miracles still happen, like at Medjugore, for example.

      The Church investigates miracles from time to time. Few purported miracles are recognized as such by the Vatican because most of them have much more mundane explanations, which they always look for first. Nonetheless, others are not explained by modern science.

      JQ

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    3. Nonetheless, real miracles still happen, like at Medjugore, for example.

      Six people claim to have seen the Virgin Mary. Why do you consider those claims convincing evidence of "real miracles"?

      Why does the Virgin Mary never appear on live TV for all to see? It's almost as if she doesn't want the people to believe.

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    4. @JQ:

      Of course, the birth of a child would not be a "miracle" in the technical sense of the word.

      But I believe that all of existence is miraculous. Our very existence, that of our families and neighbors, nature itself, universals like love and beauty all are so remarkable as to warrant "miracle" as a description.

      When my first son was born, I remember thinking (I was not yet a Christian) that I would never doubt again that actual miracles really exist. I had seen something so extraordinary that when someone tells me "I saw the Virgin Mary" I can reply "I know how you feel".

      Life is miraculous, if we're willing to look at it honestly.

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    5. There's a ton of evidence for real miracles.

      My favorite commentary on miracles is an old Christian aphorism, about a new convert who had been an alcoholic who was asked if he had ever seen a miracle.

      "I most certainly have", he replied. "I saw wine turned into furniture for my family"

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    6. And if the mother dies giving birth, is it still miraculous?

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    7. Life's miracle is not all joy. Great tragedy happens as well. It makes existence more, not less, miraculous.

      Why should we experience the tragic as tragic? Why are we not meat robots, indifferent to such things as eternity and grief and joy?

      The very fact that you ask about tragedy, and that you feel it, is part of the miracle.

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    8. We all share those feelings of the "miraculous", but we are still "meat robots", entirely material beings. One day our bodies will cease to function and then we die and disappear completely. It sucks, and it is hard to accept, but it is nevertheless the truth. Humans are probably the only species on earth capable of understanding this terrible truth and this has led to denial and postulating all kinds of afterlives. It's better to face the truth and make the best of this one life and let your children and their children be your immortal legacy.

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    9. I'm not talking about anyone seeing Mary.

      JQ

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    10. You have much faith in your religion, troy.

      Of all faiths, materialism is without question the most ridiculous. It explains nothing-- not existence, not life, not the mind, not universals like love and goodness, not moral law.

      People who believe that the earth rests on the backs of turtles make more sense than you do.

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    11. Of all faiths, materialism is without question the most ridiculous.

      Not really. It's more ridiculous to believe in Adam and Eve committing some heritable sin that was taken away by a zombie rabbi a few thousand years later. Science has proven beyond reasonable doubt that no such single couple existed. Your belief is demonstrably rubbish.

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    12. The story of Adam and Eve in Genesis is an allegory. It tells the truth about man, but there is no reason to impute literal truth to the details of the story. Allegory is widely used in sacred literature, as well as secular literature, to tell the truth about man.

      Your materialist creation myth of course precludes any kind of allegory, which is beyond the capacity of meat robots. So it's no surprise you would misunderstand.

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    13. @troy

      Why does the Virgin Mary never appear on live TV for all to see?

      Because the Virgin Mary only appears to those really and truly humble at heart, like the young shepherds of Fatima.

      You react like the King Herod who asked Jesus to perform a miracle for Herod's court entertainment.

      The Lord did not comply to Herod's request and He won't comply to yours.

      Atheism and hubris are perfect miracle stoppers!

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    14. The story of Adam and Eve in Genesis is an allegory. It tells the truth about man, but there is no reason to impute literal truth to the details of the story.

      So you don't believe Adam and Eve ever existed?

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    15. Because the Virgin Mary only appears to those really and truly humble at heart, like the young shepherds of Fatima.

      Right. Are you really and truly humble at heart?

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    16. @megnor

      Have you ever watched your child being born?

      I did for my 4 children and each time it was an epiphany for me!

      Science is impotent to explain the miracle of life, since science cannot materially explain the origin of the DNA code.

      Regarding the DNA origin, promissory notes are not accepted!

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    17. @troy

      Right. Are you really and truly humble at heart?

      No, but I am working on it!

      How about you?

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    18. [So you don't believe Adam and Eve ever existed?]

      The story is an allegory, so I don't know how much of it is pure history, and how much of it is truth expressed allegorically. I suspect that there is real history to it, including the actual existence of an Adam and Eve who lived in a garden and were the first human beings with spiritual souls. I'm not sure, and my faith does not depend on it.

      Many things in the Bible are obviously allegorical (the "days" of creation", Jesus' parables.

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    19. Pepe,

      Chapter 2 in 'Life Ascending' by Nick Lane has a materialist explanation of the DNA code, if you care to read it.

      Popper's comment that a theory that explains everything explains nothing applies to your theory that 'goddidit' - God did something somewhere somewhen by unknown mechanisms and for unknown reasons - explains nothing.

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    20. God isn't a theory, bach.

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    21. Michael,

      You're right; God isn't a theory. It's no better than a hypothesis. And neither is the idea that God created DNA a theory. It's also a hypothesis..

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  3. Isn't it amusing, watching 'atheists' try to pretend that robots can be persons -- that robots can think and reason, and be agents-- so that they can declare us to be equivalent to them -- and, thus, declare that we aren't persons, after all.

    This is what they call "freeing Mankind of the shackles of "religion"."

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  4. @bachfiend

    ...'Life Ascending' by Nick Lane has a materialist explanation...

    What you really mean is 10 just-so stories replete with evolutionism's magic words: "appeared," "emerged," "arose," "gave rise to," "burst onto the scene," "evolved itself," "derived," "was on the way to becoming," "radiated into," "modified itself," "became a miracle of evolution," "was making the transition to," "manufactured itself," "evolution's way of dealing with," "derived emergent properties," or "was lucky."

    I can't believe you go for this kind of crap!

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