Blogs

Why Suffering???

Written by Victor Stanley Jr. For the next three days I will discuss three aspects of suffering that are often misunderstood, and thus make it difficult for the Christian to endure suffering as instructed in scripture. Romans 5 says this: [1] Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. [2] Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we Read more

By The Double Edge, ago
Blogs

The False Divide

Written by Victor Stanley Jr.
In Peter Brown’s Augustine of Hippo the chapter titled “Populus Dei” the reader is taken into Augustine’s congregation. Even more than that, the reader is taken into the minds, attitudes, and lives of Augustine’s congregation and the culture that surrounds them. Interestingly enough, the problems present in late fourth century North Africa are very similar to the problems facing the Church, at least in the U.S., today. (more…)

By The Double Edge, ago
Blogs

Weak Christians

Written By Victor Stanley Jr.
In Harmless’ Augustine: In His Own Words chapter 3, of particular interest to me is an excerpt from St. Augustine’s Sermon 279. This excerpt deals with what Harmless calls ‘suspicious conversions,’ and specifically with the conversion of a man named Faustinus. According to Harmless Christianity had become the major religion in North Africa in the late fourth-century, and great pressure was placed on pagans to convert. (more…)

By The Double Edge, ago
Blogs

Forming Creation

Written By Victor Stanley Jr.
In Book XII of St. Augustine’s autobiography Confessions, the Bishop of Hippo seeks to discuss Heaven and Earth. Specifically in chapters two through eight Augustine deals with the idea of God endowing what he calls 'formless matter' with form. Throughout this section he seems to borrow heavily from Plato’s ideas of what are known as The Forms; for Plato these ‘forms’ are eternally existing, they are independent of the mind, they are transcendent i.e. non-spatial and non-temporal, they are intelligible, and they are perfect. (more…)

By The Double Edge, ago
Blogs

Majesty In The Skies

Written By Victor Stanley Jr.
Theology & Culture In a story titled On the Hunt for a Sprite on a Midsummer’s Night New York Times contributor Sandra Blakeslee writes about sprites. Sprites are described as “majestic emanations of light that flash for an instant high above the thunderheads, appearing in the shapes of red glowing jellyfish, carrots, angels, broccoli, or mandrake roots with blue dangly tendrils.”[1] Sprites “are huge — tens of miles wide and 30 miles from top to bottom,” and only last for a few milliseconds, which makes them difficult to observe, they were discovered in 1989 after one was captured on video; prior to this there had been numerous stories of sprites from pilots, but scientists did not give them much credibility. (more…)

By The Double Edge, ago
Blogs

Bad To The Bone

Written By Victor Stanley Jr.
In Book I of St. Augustine’s Confessions he addresses the idea of original sin, that is the doctrine that man is born in sin, and is thus inherently wicked, corrupt, sinful, depraved, or various other terms that describe a similar state. In Book I, 7, 11 Augustine makes the statement that, “The only innocent feature in babies is the weakness of their frames; the minds of infants are far from innocent.”[1] This is a key doctrine in the Christian faith (more…)

By The Double Edge, ago
Blogs

The Passing of Pleasure

Written by Victor Stanley Jr.
Theology & Culture In story published by Fox News, writer Michael Kaminer and photographer Marisa Scheinfeld discuss the Borscht Belt. The Borscht Belt is an area in upstate New York that “once epitomized glamour for East Coast middle-class families,”[1] and specifically Jewish families that would vacation at the various resorts throughout the area. The area was a destination of leisure, pleasure, and luxury from the 1920’s through the 1970’s, but is now just an eerie shadow of what it once was. (more…)

By The Double Edge, ago
Blogs

Free Choice, Free Will, Freedom, Something Has to be Free. . . Right???

Written by Victor Stanley Jr.
In Confessions VIII, 8, 20 through VIII, 10, 22 St. Augustine wrestles with the dichotomy of man’s seemingly divided will. While he advocates for freewill, his thought processes, as presented in the text, strongly suggest a lack of freewill. This is evident in lines such as, “The mind commands the body and is instantly obeyed; the mind commands itself, and meets with resistance,”[1] or “When the mind issues its command that the mind itself should will something, it fails to do so.” (more…)

By The Double Edge, ago