Church as Assembly: Modernism, or a Traddy Idea Whose Time Has Come?

I’ve seen some Modernist-sounding* texts that use the word “assembly” to avoid the word Church. Instead of addressing the congregation, the priest (er, “presider”) addresses the “assembly of the People of God.” Etc. In Hebrew and Greek, the word we translate as Church does in fact mean “assembly.” I surmise that the people who prefer “assembly” do so because they think the word has a more democratic connotation than the hierarchical “Church.” One thinks of the expression “popular assembly.” Implicit in such a usage is a critique of “liturgy as court ritual,” a critique that has been debunked elsewhere.**

Now, one of a Traditionalist or even just plain orthodox-with-a-small-o persuasion might object to this usage of “assembly.” He might advance any number of arguments, the premises of which we don’t share with the people who push for the “assembly” understanding of the Church, and he might cite a bunch of Church documents, originally written in Latin, that no one who has a job has time to read. In these scenarios, I look to my mentor in evangelism and apologetics, Vin Lewis of All Roads Ministry (https://www.allroadsministry.com/). Vin would say to use the simplest, most direct, most memorable argument that requires the least specialist knowledge (such as Latin, Greek, and Hebrew). So, with that in mind, here is how I would respond: Continue reading

What to Tell the Children

Donald Trump is now President-Elect of these United States. In light of the serious accusations leveled against Trump, and his past (?) personal immorality, many people sincerely ask how to talk about this man to their children. The President should be a role model, right? What should we tell the children?

Well, God hasn’t blessed me with children yet, or a wife for that matter, but I suppose I’d say the following if I had an eleven-year-old son or daughter: Continue reading

‘Bout That Election

I normally drive one town over, deeper into the Driftless Area, for Sunday Mass. Recently, though, I attended Sunday Mass at the parish church in the town where I live. The parish priest addressed the upcoming election in his homily. He made the following points:

1.) We should pray for both candidates. They are both morally corrupt. We shouldn’t judge souls, but their moral corruption is apparent from their actions.

2.) We learn about these actions from the news. Not all of the news we hear is true.

3.) We need to consider the platforms of the respective parties. One party is solidly in favor of abortion and euthanasia. Without the right to life, there are no other rights. Continue reading