Saturday, January 7, 2023

More about All One in Christ

The latest on my book All One in Christ: A Catholic Critique of Racism and Critical Race Theory: I was interviewed about the book by Carl Olson on the Ignatius Press Podcast.  I was interviewed by Cy Kellett on Catholic Answers Focus.  I was interviewed by Ken Huck on the Meet the Author radio program.  Reviewing the book at Catholic World Report, Gregory Sullivan writes: “Among its many virtues, All One in Christ is a work of genuine argumentation.  Meticulous and temperate in stating the case he is critiquing, Feser dismantles CRT with his characteristic rigor.”  The Spectator included the book on its list of the best books of 2022.  The book is available in German translation, and was reviewed favorably by Sebastian Ostritsch in Die Tagespost.  Other reviews of and interviews about All One in Christ can be found hereherehere, and here.

25 comments:

  1. Wow you really talk about YOUR own book on YOUR own blog a lot. This is an observation I make about no other book you have written and spoken about but I'm going to especially reserve such a comment for just this book and this book alone.

    There I've gotten that stupid comment out the way already for the trolls to spare them the effort ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I won't comment, per se. Not having a Catholic perspective on racism or critical race theory disqualifies me from so doing. I have noticed, however, that there ARE differing views on these topics and those views do not depend on any particular religious persuasion. Other motives drive them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not going to respond to this non-comment per se...To type a comment while telling us that you are not going to type a comment makes it difficult to take anything that follows seriously. If you are not familiar with the topic under discussion, reading rather than writing is in order.

      Regarding the point that there are different views on a topic within various religions is a rather bland comment. People are inconsistent with what they claim to believe all the time (for example, some folks announce that they are not going to make a comment while making a comment). The question is whether certain views are consistent with one's faith. Feser makes the thorough and compelling case that CRT is *not* consistent with Catholicism. This does not mean that there are not thoughtless folks who attend Mass and embrace CRT. It just means that they are inconsistent for doing so. That is the point.

      Delete
    2. But, you did respond, didn't you? I said nothing important. You read into that something worth contention and rebuttal. My views have little in common with faith . Why? Because faith is a proposition. View is more personal, that is, individual---not collective. Followers are collectivist. Sheep. Individualists have their own album to do---good luck, Cowboy

      Delete
    3. “ there ARE differing views on these topics and those views do not depend on any particular religious persuasion. Other motives drive them.”

      Dr. Feser’s view explicitly does depend on his particular religious persuasion. Nobody holds the view that “CRT is contrary to the social teaching of Jesus Christ and is therefore a flawed understanding of race relations” unless you think the social teachings of Jesus Christ are true and normatively binding. I think what you actually mean to say is that the *conclusions* reached do not depend on religious persuasion. Which is absolutely true, but then it still doesn’t actually follow that there are other motivations behind these views.

      Perhaps Catholics who disagree with Dr. Feser on this topic are simply mistaken about the social teachings of Jesus. Perhaps Dr. Feser is mistaken about the social teachings of Jesus. (And note that those are not mutually exclusive).

      Charity in discourse requires us to assume the best motivations in people, not the worst.

      Delete
    4. Yes, I responded. The point of that first sentence was well merited mockery. I guess that point was flying at 10,000 feet as you gazed at the clouds.

      Although you paint yourself as an admirable rugged individualist riding alone on your black stallion amidst public discourse, there is precisely zero that is heroic about being incoherent. Rugged individualists who are consistently incoherent don't deserve the lead role in some western that we all fawn over. Instead they belong in a group wearing backless gowns receiving collective therapy so that they can learn to distinguish what goes on in their imagination and what is real.

      Delete
    5. "I said nothing important."

      Agreed.

      "My views have little in common with faith."

      My point is that your views have little in common with reason. The nonsense about the rugged individualist heroic cowboy has received a response above. You might also consider what faith is and what reason is and what distinguishes the two. That would make possible a more informed dialogue here.

      Delete
  3. Congratulations Professor Feser on the widespread positive attention for your work supporting truth over ideology and over blind negativity in general.

    Tom Cohoe

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm 100% convinced that a truly intellectually honest Catholic, if he tried to practice the religion as the saints and church doctors prescribed it... would reach the conclusion that he is in irrelevant habitual mortal sin and in need of salvation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and that God raised him from the dead.

      Delete
  5. This OT: now that the war in Ukraine is in its 11th month, is there any change in the thinking of Prof. Feser or regular commentators about the question, is military resistance to the Russian invasion/military operation licit on a just war theory?

    ReplyDelete
  6. that he is in irrelevant habitual mortal sin and in need of salvation

    Did google get the better of you and auto-fill "irrelevant" instead of something else? Because, as it was written, I cannot make heads or tails of how "irrelevant" fits in there.

    As I understand it, it is highly probable that a great many people are often or habitually in the state of mortal sin and in need of forgiveness. And Catholics who practice their religion as the saints and doctors prescribed it go to confession regularly as a remedy for actual sin so that they can escape being in the state of sin and, by remorse and contrition and grace, make honest and forthright attempts to undo habits of sin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I meant "irrepentant"

      Based on my understanding of Romans, Paul was not able to receive salvation until he came to terms that he was in the habitual state of mortal sin of envy and completely unable to repent: "What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, 'You shall not covet.' But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead." (Romans 7:7-8)

      Fundamentally, every unregenerate person is habitually in mortal sin and cannot save himself: if he tries, he'll just yo-yo in and out of the confessional booth, just like Israel with their animal sacrifices.

      G-d invented salvation for the benefit of people who are irrepentant and in habitual mortal sin. That is the only category of people salvation is of any use for. Any other category of person can be fixed by correction and deterrence, and does not need salvation.

      Delete
    2. "I'm 100% convinced that a truly intellectually honest Catholic, if he tried to practice the religion as the saints and church doctors prescribed it... would reach the conclusion that he is in irrelevant habitual mortal sin and in need of salvation."

      Wow, infinite growth. You are quite the wizard with your knowledge of both Church history and exegesis of Scripture and the internal state of every Catholic on the planet. Apparently you have arrived and all of us wayward Catholics just need to give up and stop trying. What a quaint little idea.

      Regarding your expertise in the inward working of every Catholic on the planet: how did you arrive at such expansive knowledge? Ah, the bible (as interpreted by my Protestant instructors) tells me so. Yet another quaint little idea.

      Quoting Romans 7:7-8 tells you precisely zero about whether or not every Catholic in the world is unrepentant. You are just reading into the bible your own foregone conclusions which stem from a heretic who invented a novel teaching on justification in the 1500s. And before you make assumption that Catholics just don't know their Scripture, I have translated the Pentateuch from the Hebrew of the Masoretic Text and the Greek of the LXX and have translated the entire new testament including Romans. The text you are quoting does precisely nothing to support your Protestant novelties and you are simply reading into it your own foregone conclusions.

      You suggest that we should not make effort in regards to salvation and read that into Romans. Well that suggestion would be news to Paul who wrote that we must "work out our salvation with fear and trembling." No smug Protestant assurance in St. Paul.

      Regarding the false dichotomy that we either don't try and recognize that God saves us or we try our best and think that we save ourselves; this sad Protestant trope has nothing to do with the Bible and Apostolic Christianity which affirms that we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling and that God brings about our salvation through grace. The conjunction of those two things is what the bible teaches and you pit them against one another because you are steeped in Protestantism which originated in a denial of secondary causality.

      Figures like St. Augustine and St. Thomas demonstrated how these two things work together without contradiction. This was recognized by the Church Fathers none of whom held to the opinions that were invented by Luther in the 1500s. Your comment confirms the inverse of Cardinal Newman's words ("To be deep in history is to be Catholic").

      Delete
    3. That should have been: "to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant."

      Delete
    4. IG, I believe you are onto something which is mostly correct. Cradle Catholics are falling into mortal sin left right and centre through sins of lust, greed and pride, not to mention straight up blasphemy time to time. I realized that I was in mortal sin during my conversion of heart I had in young adult years.

      But the saints don’t say every Catholic is in mortal sin constantly, to do so is to disregard the teaching of the Church on what constitutes mortal sin, which no saint would do. Rather, it may appear so because we revere what is most unique about them: their virtue. Any schmuck can agree with the saints that not everything is mortal sin, but only the saints teach us how diligently to strive for virtue.

      Delete
    5. To add to Micheal's general comment with particulars:

      Paul was not able to receive salvation until he came to terms that he was in the habitual state of mortal sin of envy

      Paul, like everyone else, was not able to receive salvation without the grace won for us by Jesus Christ and his salvific sacrifice. True.

      and completely unable to repent

      Not properly put. All people, including Paul, were unable to repent without grace. With grace, all are able to repent. God has made grace available on account of Christ's redemption: to us who came after Christ, by believing in His work and receiving baptism; to those before Christ (like Abraham) by believing in the One to come and in his redemptive power to save, and obeying God.

      Fundamentally, every unregenerate person is habitually in mortal sin and cannot save himself:

      Nobody can save himself. All who, knowing that Christ is God the Redeemer become incarnate, refuse to receive the baptism He commanded by which we are regenerated, are unregenerate and have rejected the channel of grace which Christ ordained. All those who have received sanctifying grace through baptism, may be saved if they remain in that state of grace, or may be saved after falling again into sin by being repentant, and all should pray for the grace of final perseverance. None who are baptized are excluded from that grace but by their own sins.

      G-d invented salvation for the benefit of people who are irrepentant and in habitual mortal sin.

      God "invented" salvation for all, so that all might receive the gift of salvific grace. In doing so, they receive the possibility of breaking free from habitual sin.

      That is the only category of people salvation is of any use for.

      Salvation only applies to the people who are, were, or would have been in sin, but for Christ's redemptive sacrifice. That's...all human beings.

      Any other category of person can be fixed by correction and deterrence, and does not need salvation.

      That's Pelagianism, a heresy. Because of Adam's sin, all are (or would be) in sin, but for Christ's salvific act. In addition, even for Adam and Eve before their sin, they were unable to be in the state of supernatural union with God but for the gift of grace, which enlightened them above the power of their natural faculties. None can be in the state of the blessed in heaven but for the gift of grace, none can attain it merely by their own unaided efforts, but all can attain it if they receive grace and persist in it.

      Delete
    6. @Michael Copas

      I always enjoyed the Protestant view that nobody in Heaven except for God is a saint. Everyone is just a sinner who repented. That's one of the reasons they don't venerate saints.

      "'Why do you call me good?' Jesus answered. 'No one is good—except God alone.'" (Mark 10:18)

      "Your first father [Jacob] sinned; those I sent to teach you [Moses and the prophets] rebelled against me." (Isaiah 43:27)

      There are other problems with Protestantism, though, such as the view that "backsliding" is something unforgivable. In Judaism, the apostate who repented (baal teshuvah) is considered holier than the righteous person who never fell away.

      Delete
    7. That is the only category of people salvation is of any use for.

      Salvation only applies to the people who are, were, or would have been in sin, but for Christ's redemptive sacrifice. That's...all human beings.


      You have to admit that it is cases like Paul (irrepentant, habitual mortal sin) where God's salvation is most clearly manifested. The further away a saved person goes from that, the more it looks like (even though in actuality it may not be) as if they are being saved by their own self-control.

      That is the only category of people salvation is of any use for.

      Also please pray for the repose of the soul of my friend Bruce.

      Delete
    8. Infinite Growth
      I will pray for your brother. I continue to pray for you as I said I would a while back.

      Delete
    9. @ Infinite Growth,

      "I always enjoyed the Protestant view that nobody in Heaven except for God is a saint. Everyone is just a sinner who repented. That's one of the reasons they don't venerate saints."

      The reason they don't venerate saints is because they are confused. Saints (hagoi) is one of the most common Pauline names for those who receive his letters. So, according to the Scriptures themselves, "saints" or "holy ones" exist. Whether they should be venerated was addressed later by St. John of Damascus and Nicea II and hinged upon the earlier Church recognition of the incarnation and its implications. A recent protestant youtuber who has commented on this is remarkably confused in thinking that a doctrine must be explicit at some early date to be true or to be implicit with Apostolic teaching. He is also confused in thinking that Origen's opposition to Pagan idolatrous images is the same thing as opposition to veneration of the saints. In other words, once again, Protestants are confused on this point because, well, to be deep in history...

      It also seems to me, regretfully, that you are confused combining some odd mixture of Protestantism and Catholicism in your thought.

      Delete
  7. Well, you can wait until you are dying or terminally ill and make your confession then. You don't need perfect contrition. Imperfect contrition ( you are sorry becase you fear divine wrath) will suffice. But then again, you might die instantly or in your sleep and it will be too late to confess. You would have to hope that the state of your soul at death would be open to Divine Mercy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In addition, putting off confession that long on purpose (not because of anything out of your control) would smack of impiety. Why would a Christian want to take such a risk, and to coldly shun God's great offer of mercy? Most of the reasons for doing so are bad ones (IE, "I want to continue sinning in the short term, but don't want to go to Hell, so I'll repent only at the last minute".) Not everyone who puts off Confession does so for such a bad reason, but it still seems at least mildly scandalous, and while God certainly does accept last-second conversions and repentances, it's hardly a goodly and Christian attitude to deliberately seek to repent at the last second instead of earlier. Dante may not be Scripture, but he places those who repent only at the last minute in Ante-Purgatory, where they must wait for a time equal to their mortal lives before they can begin being cleansed in Purgatory.

      Delete
  8. Not to be a negative Nancy, and I know they say you can't judge a book by its cover, it's what's inside that counts (partial truths); but still, that cover, every time I see it, I don't like it. It's just so hippy-dippy Richard Rohr-Pope Frank-James Martin-vibey...

    ReplyDelete