Posts Tagged ‘Belloc’

Not Peace but the Sword

In 04 Fr. John McCloskey on 2014/04/03 at 12:00 AM



Robert Spencer, perhaps the foremost Catholic expert on Islam in our country, has written a new book entitled Not Peace But a Sword: The Great Chasm Between Christianity and Islam (Catholic Answers, 2013). Spencer has advised the highest levels of the military on the Islamic threat to the United States, and has authored several books for the general public on the topic of Islam, including Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics and Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World’s Fastest Growing Faith.

This book is his most interesting yet, as it makes the case for the fundamental disagreement between Christianity and Islam. Spencer writes: “One of the oddities of contemporary ‘interfaith dialogue’ is that all too often, out of overzealous irenicism, it glosses over, or ignores altogether, the disagreements between religious traditions, as if pretending that they didn’t exist would make them go away.” He expands on the vast differences between Christianity and Islam on the character of God, Jesus and Divine Revelation; the nature of truth and the moral law; religious freedom and other basic rights; life issues, marriage and sexual morality, including the rights and dignity of women.

An example of this great divide: Converts from Islam to Christianity are often hunted in the Muslim world, where virtually all Islamic authorities agree that such individuals deserve death. In fact, Muhammad himself commanded this: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 84:57). In Egypt, at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, the most prestigious and influential educational institution in the Islamic world, an Islamic manual states that a person who has reached puberty is sane, and if he voluntarily apostatizes from Islam deserves to be killed.

The great Catholic author of the early 20th century Hilaire Belloc was prophetic in predicting: “We shall almost certainly have to reckon with Islam in the near future. Perhaps if we lose our faith it will rise.”

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Fr. John McCloskey


Peter or Judas?

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2011/04/21 at 1:45 PM

Paul Claudel calls attention to the words Peter and Judas exclaim in identifying the person of Jesus:

Peter: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Judas: “He is the man”.

Following Claudel’s lead, we can see the difference clearly.  Peter acknowledged Jesus’ divinity while Judas, through a series of backsliding events, no longer saw the divinity but only his humanity.

All heresies are attacks on the Incarnation; each taking  a different form.  Belloc and Chesteron have commented extensively on heresies and term them deviations of the Truth; a heresy begins with a truth but then one part is stressed to the detriment of another.

Sin involves the denial of Christ, but heaven is populated with sinners who repented.  Our Lord looked at Peter with sadness but without condemnation.  Peter’s repentance became the occasion of a new and powerful encounter with his Lord.

Our Lord also looked at Judas with compassion and love.  Had Judas been contrite, hope would have been restored to his soul, and he could have become a great saint, dying a martyr’s death instead of that of a coward.

Christ died for us that we might live.  When we fail him, which model will we follow: Peter or Judas?