At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Friday, February 14, 2003

I suppose it was good to get out of the house, but the jazz combo last night was boring--middle aged guys playing old-fogey chestnuts like "My Funny Valentine," "New York, New York," "The Lady is a Tramp," "It's a Wonderful World." The one cool moment was when a couple of kids from the Tech jazz band were invited onstage for a high-RPM rendition of Monk's "Straight No Chaser."

I've noticed getting grumpier after having started this blog, and I think the problem is that it encourages me to make complaints like the above. Might it be healthier to keep my blog centered on ideas? Or are the complaints a symptom rather than a cause of malcontent?

To get away from the griping for a moment, let me share a theological argument that occurred to me and perhaps someone could scrutinize it. Could we compare certain RC practices like invoking the saints or eucharistic adoration with the practice of infant baptism? The former, like the latter, have no explicit basis in scripture, but all could be reasonably if not deductively inferred from more general biblical principles. Paedobaptism is often defended on the grounds of a comparison with circumcision, which brought (male) children into the Old Covenant, or on the doctrine of original sin. Invocation of saints is supposed to arise from the power of intercessory prayer coupled with the fact that, in some sense, Christians on earth are in the presence of "the spirits of just men made perfect." (Heb. 12:23), and eucharistic adoration is justified as a natural response to the unique presence of Jesus in the consecrated elements. In neither case are the arguments air-tight, but since a decision has to be made one way or the other despite the lack of clear Biblical injunction, it seems reasonable to accept these considerations, though they are less than compelling.


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