April 6, 2020

Internet Monk Radio Podcast #160

podcast_logo.gifThis week: Lauren Winner on H1N1 and the Common Cup; Exegetical Excesses and Mere Christianity; How We Lost Greg

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Charlie Hall, The Second Alive
Lauren Winner on H1N1 and the Common Cup
Thoughts From the Empty Road

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  1. Catholic diocese of Raleigh (NC) is foregoing the common cup, and the sharing of the peace.


    • Lame. My dad’s going to throw a fit.

      • Patrick, the Roman Catholic Church in Maine was told by their Bishop to refrain from the cup and sharing the peace for about two months when the H1N1 virus started showing up. Then it kind of looked like the virus wasn’t much worse than the “regular” flu and we went back to sharing again. We also hold hands while we recite the Lord’s Prayer. We even cross the aisle so that we hold hands all the way across the church. I like that.

        • JoanieD, I’m very glad I’m not in a hand-holding church, because that would cause me to break out in hives. Were I to find myself in one, I’d be having a dose of the flu every week (yeah, some of us are *very* hard-hearted) 😉

          That being said, we don’t (as a rule) have the sharing of the cup in Ireland. Maybe in some dioceses it is practised, but round here – no.

          On the swine flu, today at Mass the priest read out the notice about it and said if anyone didn’t want to shake hands at the Sign of Peace, they could “nod, smile or bow”.

          Everyone shook hands as usual – in fact, I rather got the impression most of us did *extra* hand shaking – even me! 🙂

          Though he did practice intinction for the Ministers of the Eucharist, instead of giving them the chalice to drink from, which is the first time I’ve *ever* seen this done.

          • Well the hand-holding is just SOOOO socially awkward. Especially when you always have sweaty palms.

            And it’s bad liturgy during the Lord’s Prayer. ‘Course it doesn’t make for an invalid mass or anything, and I understand its appeal, but I’m throwing that out there as an FYI.

            My church doesn’t use both species except during one or two of their five weekday masses. AND WHEN WE DO we consecrate WHITE WINE. *shudder* The beautiful little crystal wine cruet is tackily marked with red tape at the top so we can tell the difference. Why, why, why?

          • Umm, Daniel, there are rubrics about altar wine; Code of Canon Law says:


            “3 The wine must be natural, made from grapes of the vine, and not corrupt.”

            I know the variety used is (or was, I’m not sure if it still is the same variety) very sweet (because it was fortified to keep it from spoiling) and straw coloured, not red.

            I wonder if that’s the variety they’re using, or are they using ordinary white wine?

            Of course, there are probably all kinds of new producers of altar wine nowadays, and maybe that’s where they get it. Or (depending on how liberal/careless they are) maybe they just go down to the local off-licence? 😉

            As long as it’s wine wine (not grape juice, not de-alcoholised, not the sacristan’s home brew), it should be okay.

          • Oh, it’s fine. It’s from an altar wine company or whatever. It’s TECHNICALLY totally by the books. I’m just annoyed because it flies in the face of the whole symbolic-of-Christ’s-blood thing. Sure, it still is Christ’s body and blood and all, I just really think it should be red. Umm, I dunno Martha…. Am I right or overreacting?

          • Oh, hehehe, I am one of the sacristans. You’ve just given me an idea!

          • Patrick: I know, right? “When one member suffers….” If you haven’t read the Winner write-up, there there are some turn-of-the-twentieth-century white people living in Hawaii that score an epic Christianity fail.

          • Okay, I’m getting my denial in first here.

            When you read in the papers or hear on the wireless or see on the television news about “Entire parish stricken by strange contaminant in Communion chalice!” it will totally *not* be my fault for encouraging the sacristan to brew his own altar wine from mouldy grapes strained through his old socks, mmmkay? 😉

        • I’m not much for hand-holding or aisle-crossing – I wouldn’t do it on my own, and being obliged to by others people’s customs makes me feel hollow and resentful kind of – but I’m all for a common cup BECAUSE you can get other people’s diseases from it. If passing cups between us was good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for me.

  2. Wow. A fundamental conflict between faith and life itself trumps the whole discussion about science. Those not walking away from the faith are going over to folks like Osteen, I guess in search of a faith with a more positive outlook. I don’t think they will find what they’re looking for.

    I am concerned that a search for a faith which gives meaning to ones life will be confused with pragmatism. Others have confused a search for meaning with a therapeutic gospel or mere psycho-babel. It’s such a cynical view of those in search for meaning. A gospel-only focus can be used to confound a search for meaning. I understand that Karl Barth fell into this ditch. Ones problem is not that life doesn’t have meaning but that one won’t repent, believe and get on board with the program. Again, I don’t think one can fully understand Luther if one overlooks the existential struggle which brought him to the gospel. I think the same is true for John Wesley and perhaps John Bunyan.

  3. …been sick and tired as long as I can remember of the robots at church, the whipper snappers at bible college, and these days the shooters in the blogosphere who always claim to have a leg up on the rest of us, the latest gimmick–or ancient top secret info from Jesus (not naming names or book titles)… blah blah blah.

    Good podcast Michael, really enjoyed minute 15 to the break–refreshing.

  4. well dang it all, if the secret isn’t under all these ROCKS, then what am I to do with them ?? Flagstaff walkways, I guess……

  5. I like the view of scripture expressed in the World Methodist Council’s statement of belief:

    “Methodists acknowledge that scriptural reflection is influenced by the processes of reason, tradition and experience, while aware that Scripture is the primary source and criteria of Christian doctrine.”


    Even the best exegesis is still dependent upon the external influences of the methods used. Then, the observations made through exegesis are still interpreted through various filters. To say that one ever really lets scripture speak for itself without any external influences is questionable.

    • dumb ox writes, “To say that one ever really lets scripture speak for itself without any external influences is questionable.”

      Well said, dumb ox. I agree.

    • Amen and amen. I hate it when somebody starts a specific doctrinal statement with the phrase…
      “The Bible CLEARLY says….” because outside of the gospel itself, history shows such a diversity of opinion of what is says I begin to wonder if it says anything clearly. I am a big subscriber to the Weslyan quadrilateral: Scripture, Reason, Tradition, and Experience. I feel like it is really parallel to philosophical egoism, in that they both apply to everyone. The only difference is those who know they use it, those who don’t know about it, and those who deny they use it. But in reality, there is no such thing as scripture apart from reason or tradition. And without experience, well then, what would we really have to discuss anyways? The sooner we quit denying our reliance upon all four we can start putting them to proper use under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

  6. I’ve only been listening for about a year, but this is my favorite podcast so far. Lotsa stuff I wish I’d of heard years ago. A hearty amen to the part about the preaching. The problem is, it is near impossible to convince verse-by-verse types that there actually might be a better way of doing things. It is class 1 “chronological snobbery”, imo, in that this level of deep exegesis from a graduate level trained seminary graduate is, I am pretty sure, a phenomenon of the most recent period of Christianity. The gospel went out to the world just fine without it for the hundreds of years, and I don’t think that we are the first generation to have finally got it right. A useful tool, yes, but the best way of doing things? I feel that I’d rather be a part of a tradition who thinks that their methods are NOT the best there are so that we are always open to the Holy Spirit leading us to better things.

  7. While I enjoyed your sermon, there was a part right after the explanation of the Rich Young Ruler, that caused me to examine myself, and made me uncomfortable with my own commitment to Jesus. i am sure that was not your intention, as it makes no sense to cause discomfort in a volunteer setting. Perhaps your ministry would be more successful in terms of donation and attendance if you refrained from such commentary. Did the apostle not say ,”first not to offend?”

  8. Its sad that nature seems to pull some from the christianity they learned. Nature kept me believing in God and then when I read the bible while in nature it became a deep and natural “incarnational” experience. I had to fight to keep it during decades of evangelicalism (allot of good happened though) and now moving ever more into the Orthodox and Catholic world it only deepens my original experience. Feels as if the depth is only to become richer and deeper.
    Dont let anything rob the reality.

  9. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    When you said “spending 25 hours in the study to give the REAL meaning”, I couldn’t help but think of Gnosticism. The essence of Gnosticism is “Secret Meanings” known only to the Special Enlightened.