Thursday, December 15, 2011

I'm Glad Newt is a Catholic Convert and Not A Recommitted Protestant

I'm no huge fan of Newt Gingrich for all the reasons that have been said time and again in the last month. He has lots of baggage, both politically and personally, and it is hard to nail him down on exactly where he stands. It seems that he far prefers and excels at the role of the underdog, but has no idea how to succeed once he is the victor. For committed political conservatives, that's worrisome, and it explains why he has achieved so much with so modest expectations as a candidate, but could destroy his own presidency once he wins.

He may very well flame out in the coming weeks or days (so I better type fast!). But if he doesn't and if I feel compelled to vote for him in my Texas primary, I will take some heart that he is a Catholic convert and not a recommitted Protestant. I say that as a mainline Protestant, all too aware of the failings of both the mainline branch and the evangelical branch of my side of the aisle. The weaknesses of the Protestant movement do not help men like Mr. Gingrich: restless, intelligent and ambitious men who, in the end, find it hard to have much respect for Protestantism.

Protestantism, especially the American version of it, rarely offers a coherent understanding of man's bondage to sin, his need for forgiveness, and the Church’s role in proclaiming that forgiveness objectively. Therefore, Protestants often find themselves alone with their sin, with little framework and no real teaching authority shy of their pastor. Emotional highs and lows have become the norm for American evangelicals, and for men who are chronically undisciplined, the emotional high of recommitment fades quickly.

For men like Gingrich I suspect, there is also little respect for the historical and intellectual foundations of Protestantism. Sure, it has its giants like Luther, Calvin, Barth, Bonhoeffer, and on and on. But a book of America's Protestant heroes would be thin reading indeed. Even John Wesley was a failed American preacher before returning to England where he would found Methodism. Our history is more often filled with heretics or lone ranger types who stir up crowds, men who create discontent and leave no legacy of vale behind.

This American history finds its triumphant apex in today's Church Growth Movement, as the thin gruel of Joel Osteen and his many, many competitors can turn the most open-minded of men into the most hardened of cynics. “If this is Christianity,” they might say, “it must be for those incapable of complex thought. This is clearly a self-fulfilling, financially motivated operation that has virtually nothing in common with historical Christianity.” They would be right. At some point, I keep waiting for the veneer of this thinly veiled Christianity to wear off. Sadly for those who believe themselves to be in the fold of traditional Christianity, it remains a power.

But is Rome any better? Doesn't it offer the same thing, just with more formality? Certainly, one could quibble with Rome. Protestants and Catholics continue to have theological disagreements, and even Rome's cherished Magisterium (the teaching authority of the Church) doesn't always get it right. (That is, if you ask a Protestant.) Indeed, I find myself frequently disappointed that Rome doesn't actually exercise its Magisterium on a more regular basis! So I am not saying that Rome is perfect, or that any expression of the Faith is capable of perfection

But Newt's conversion to Catholicism tells me more about him than it does about Rome. For a man as bright as Newt to consider such a conversion tells me that he did not merely recommit to the Christian principles he already knew he had to live by. It tells me he was willing to place himself under the authority of Rome. For the restless intellectual, Newt and countless men before him finally found his match, an institution he could deeply respect, an institution he was actually willing to repent to belong to. It tells me that for all of his bravado and his ego (which remains healthy), he is a man capable of some maturity, introspection and humility. He is not perfect by any means, but he has found an expression of the Faith that will speak to him in a way Protestantism never did, and never could. It simply didn't have the clout.

To see where a recommitted Protestant may end up, one may only need to look at Mr. Gingrich's former sparring partner, President Clinton. President Clinton no doubt recommitted to his Christian faith many times in the wake of his adulterous affairs. But there is little evidence any such commitment stuck. I suspect it is because there is little real fear of the Baptist Church among men as intelligent as President Clinton. They know its history and theology and techniques are thin, even as in every expression of Christianity resides very bright stars. But for some men like Mr. Gingrich and President Clinton, they will only listen to the authority of Rome. Newt seems to have placed himself under that authority, and for that, I can more easily support him.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps he converted because his wife is Roman Catholic...

relieveddebtor said...

Well, he certainly credits his wife for instructing him about Catholicism, but I don't think that minimizes his decision to swim the Tiber. Seeing the ease that phrases like "receiving the Eucharist" tells me he meant it when he converted.

internet marketing belgium said...

nice and a informative post

Silver Jewelry Jaipur said...

amazing information awesome a lot

finance managment tips said...

what a fantastic information and this really useful and awesome for the architecture

Benedict Augustine said...

Perhaps, Newt saw himself in Catholicism, something brilliant, old, but filled with all sorts of undesirable baggage.

I prefer your take though. It's nice that you appreciate the scholarship and institutions of the church. I only wish most Catholics would do the same. For an institution so culturally rich, it's rather ironic that a large portion of Catholics are quite ignorant about all of it. Besides the lucky few who had a genuine catholic education, how many can you find who have read the books of Augustine, More, Newman, or any of our popes. How many fine Catholic composers are heard in mass anymore? Mozart, Palestrina, Faure? No, we sing the hymns of David Haas and the gang, and the kids rock out on the Sunday afternoon mass. As for our art? Very few now can even identify the creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. If they do, they recognize it from the movie 2012.

I suppose this descent of ignorance falls on Catholic and non-Catholic alike. Maybe if Newt is president, he can enlighten us a little.

relieveddebtor said...

Hey man, don't knock 2012, that movie was awesome! Yeah, Catholic converts know what they're getting into, which is why I trust Newt a lot more than if he just recommitted himself...again...to being a better person.

maldives wedding said...

Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles.Keep up the good work!

electronic cigarettes said...

it's good to see this information in your post, i was looking the same but there was not any proper resource, thanx now i have the link which i was looking for my research.

recovery of deleted files said...

This is an excellent article for this certain topic.
The failure of files nearly always takes a user to some feeling of dissatisfaction.
A variety of recovery applications have been proposed by the experts, to ensure that a person can certainly effortlessly recover their missed details.
If there is a loss of data condition, a user should've an understanding of suited data retrieval software.

video chat said...

This article was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for thoughts on this subject last week.

asp.net hosting said...

I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.

seo optimization company said...

Great blog article about this topic, I have been lately in your blog once or twice now. I just wanted to say my thanks for the information provided here.

custom writing service said...

What a great post! thanks a lot for sharing with us!! ike it!

Unknown said...

Wonderful post! I am highly agree with the author's opinion.
Computer data deletion situation is often a problem for the person.
But for the simplicity of end users, researchers have developed a solution for problems.

PC file recovery

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Norma said...

Am enjoying your blog. I'm the wife of an architect and his "staff." I think architecture is in worse shape than the church, and even more dependent on the government.

Unknown said...

This is clearly a self-fulfilling, financially motivated operation that has virtually nothing in common with historical Christianity.”
best teacher

Unknown said...

This is an excellent article for this certain topic.
The failure of files nearly always takes a user to some feeling of dissatisfaction.
A variety of recovery applications have been proposed by the experts, to ensure that a person can certainly effortlessly recover their missed details.
If there is a loss of data condition, a user should've an understanding of suited data retrieval software.
Data recovery services
http://datarecoverycalgary.net/?cat=12

Unknown said...

Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles.Keep up the good work!
Easy way to recover hard drive

Unknown said...

Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles.Keep up the good work!
How to recover dropped hard drive

Unknown said...

Well, he certainly credits his wife for instructing him about Catholicism, but I don't think that minimizes his decision to swim the Tiber. Seeing the ease that phrases like "receiving the Eucharist" tells me he meant it when he converted
USB External Drive Recovery

Unknown said...

Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles.Keep up the good work!Fat recovery

Unknown said...

Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles.Keep up the good work!
External Drive Recovery Tools

قمة الدقة للخدمات said...

شركة قمة الدقة للخدمات المنزلية
شركة تسليك مجارى بالجبيل
شركة تنظيف بيارات بالقطيف
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالقطيف

raafat said...

شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بينبع البحر
شركة نقل عفش بالجبيل
شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
شركة نقل عفش القطيف
شراء اثاث مستعمل بالخبر
شراء اثاث مستعمل بالخبر

zatelemad.co said...

شركة نقل اثاث بالاحساء
شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
شراء اثاث مستعمل بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالاحساء
شراء اثاث مستعمل بالدمام
شراء اثاث مستعمل بالدمام
شراء اثاث مستعمل بالخبر

zatelemad.co said...

شراء اثاث مستعمل بالدمام
شراء اثاث مستعمل بالدمام
شراء اثاث مستعمل بالخبر
شراء اثاث مستعمل بالقطيف
شراء اثاث مستعمل بالجبيل

Blogger said...

Want To Increase Your ClickBank Banner Traffic And Commissions?

Bannerizer made it easy for you to promote ClickBank products using banners, simply visit Bannerizer, and get the banner codes for your chosen ClickBank products or use the Universal ClickBank Banner Rotator to promote all of the ClickBank products.

Sophie Grace said...

Really i appreciate the effort you made to share the knowledge.The topic here i found was really effective to the topic which i was researching for a long time Tik Tok

abo-bder said...


شركة تنظيف بالرياض
شركة تنظيف فرشات بالخرج
شركة تنظيف فرشات بالطائف
شركة تنظيف فرشات بالرياض
شركة تنظيف فرشات بالدمام

abo-bder said...





شركة تركيب اثاث ايكيا بالرياض
تركيب ستائر بالرياض
شركة تركيب ستائر بالرياض
شركة تركيب اثاث ايكيا بالرياض
فني تركيب ستلايت بالرياض
فني تركيب ستلايت بالرياض


abo-bder said...


شركة نقل اثاث من الرياض الى الامارات
شركة شحن عفش من الرياض الي الامارات-دبي
شحن عفش من الرياض الي الامارات
شركة نقل اثاث من الرياض الى جدة
شركة نقل اثاث من الرياض الى جدة
نجار بالرياض
تركيب ستائر بالرياض



alwafaa campany said...

من أفضل المقالات على الإطلاق صراحة تستحق التعمق أكثر واكثر لقد سعدت بقراءة مقالك وانا فخور بك وبما تقدمه في مدونتك ف انت مثال للمدونات العربية التي تقدم محتوي مفيد



شركة تنظيف فلل بالدمام
شركة تنظيف بالدمام
شركة تنظيف سجاد بالدمام
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالخبر
شركة تنظيف بالخبر
مقابر للبيع
مدافن للبيع
مدافن للبيع
مقابر للبيع

marketing said...

شركة التميز للخدمات المنزلية بالسعودية
شركة تنظيف مجالس بحفر الباطن
شركة كشف تسربات بخميس مشيط
ارخص شركة تنظيف بالدمام
ارخص شركة تسليك مجارى بالدمام
شركة تنظيف بالبخار بالدمام
شركة تسليك مجارى حفر الباطن
شركة تنظيف منازل بحفر الباطن
افضل شركة مكافحة حشرات بحفر الباطن
مظلات

marketing said...

سواتر
شركات مكافحة الحشرات بحفر الباطن
مظلات وسواتر
شركة نقل عفش بحفر الباطن
شركة كشف تسريبات بحفر الباطن
هناجر
شركة نقل عفش بحفر الباطن
شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة تنظيف منازل بخميس مشيط
شركة تنظيف منازل بالدمام

marketing said...

شركة التميز للخدمات المنزلية
شركة تنظيف مجالس بحفر الباطن
شركة كشف تسربات بخميس مشيط
ارخص شركة تنظيف بالدمام
ارخص شركة تسليك مجارى بالدمام
شركة تنظيف بالبخار بالدمام
شركة تسليك مجارى حفر الباطن
شركة تنظيف منازل بحفر الباطن
افضل شركة مكافحة حشرات بحفر الباطن
مظلات

marketing said...

سواتر
شركات مكافحة الحشرات بحفر الباطن
مظلات وسواتر
شركة نقل عفش بحفر الباطن
شركة كشف تسريبات بحفر الباطن
هناجر
شركة نقل عفش بحفر الباطن
شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة تنظيف منازل بخميس مشيط
شركة تنظيف منازل بالدمام

marketing said...

شركة تنظيف بخميس مشيط
افضل شركة تنظيف بحفر الباطن
شركة مكافحة حشرات بخميس مشيط
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة كشف تسربات بالدمام
افضل سباك بالرياض
ارخص شركة تسليك مجارى بخميس مشيط
افضل نجار بالرياض
افضل شركة تنظيف خزانات بخميس مشيط
شركة تركيب غرف نوم بالرياض

marketing said...

افضل نجار بجدة
شركة تركيب اثاث ايكيا بالرياض
شركة عزل اسطح بحفر الباطن
شركة تنظيف بحفر الباطن
شركة عزل فوم بحفر الباطن
شركة تركيب غرف نوم ايكيا بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة عزل اسطح بالدمام
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالدمام
ارخص شركة تنظيف منازل بالدمام

marketing said...

شركة نقل عفش بجدة
نجار بجدة
نجار حراج جدة
نجار حي النسيم جدة
معلم نجارة جدة
نجار تركيب غرف نوم بجدة
نجار ممتاز بجدة
نجار خشب جدة
نجار بالرياض
تفصيل طاولات خشب بالرياض

marketing said...

نجار خشب
ارقام نجارين
نجار ابواب
افضل محل تفصيل خزائن بالرياض
تفصيل دولاب ملابس بالرياض
نجار بالرياض رخيص
نجار تركيب غرف نوم بالرياض
نجار تركيب اثاث ايكيا بالرياض
نجار فى الرياض
نجار شاطر فى الرياض

marketing said...

فك وتركيب غرف نوم في الرياض
فنى فك غرف النوم بالرياض
فني تركيب غرف النوم بالرياض
شركة تنظيف بجدة
ارخص شركة تنظيف بجدة
ارخص شركة تنظيف منازل بجدة
مين جربت شركات تنظيف المنازل بجدة
تنظيف فلل بجدة

marketing said...

شركة كشف تسربات المياه بجدة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بجدة
شركة عزل اسطح بجدة
شركة تسليك مجاري بجدة
سباك فى الرياض
أفضل سباك فى الرياض
فني سباك فى الرياض
سباك شاطر فى الرياض
سباك ممتاز فى الرياض
رقم سباك فى الرياض

marketing said...

ارخص سباك بالرياض
سباك بالرياض
رقم سباك بالرياض
دهان بجدة
معلم دهان ابواب خشب جده
مطلوب دهان بجدة
افضل محل دهانات بجده
دهان بجده
دهان جدة
دهان جده

marketing said...

دهان بالرياض
دهان الرياض
مقاول دهانات بالرياض
افضل عمال دهانات
معلم دهانات فلبيني
دهان بويه
دهانين فلبينيين
سعر شغل يد الدهان
شركة دهانات
شركة تنظيف بحفر الباطن

marketing said...

مظلات وسواتر اساطير العمار
مظلات وسواتر
مظلات
بيوت شعر
شبوك
قرميد
هناجر
سواتر
مظلات سيارات
سواتر خشبية

marketing said...

برجولات
تركيب مظلات
هناجر ومستودعات الرياض
تركيب سواتر
مظلات وسواتر
مظلات لكسان
قرميد الرياض
مظلات وسواتر الرياض
اسعار برجولات خشبية
سواتر حديد

marketing said...

مظلات الرياض
سواتر الرياض
تركيب مظلات الرياض
تركيب سواتر الرياض
هناجر ومستودعات
مظلات سيارات الرياض
تركيب مظلات سيارات الرياض
بيوت شعر الرياض
شبوك الرياض
تركيب هناجر الرياض

marketing said...

تركيب هناجر
تركيب قرميد حديد
مظلات مدارس
مظلات مسابح
مظلات هرمية
حداد مظلات وسواتر
مظلات وسواتر المملكه
برجولات حديد
بيوت شعر ملكية
انواع الشبوك الزراعية

marketing said...

برجولات خشبية للبلكونات
افضل انواع القرميد في السعودية
مظلات وسواتر
مظلات وسواتر
سواتر ومظلات

jasonbob said...

stone island outlet
supreme
kobe shoes
jordan shoes
kobe 11
kobe shoes
supreme clothing
kd shoes
moncler
lebron 18