Monday, May 07, 2007

Josh... still at it

Josh S. is a Lutheran (LCMS) seminarian at the synod's seminary in Ft. Wayne, Indiana who's been in the blogosphere for a number of years. Last year he closed down the group blog that he'd started (after closing his own personal blog previously), owing to his time in the seminary. That, however, hasn't stopped his need to blog... I just discovered that he's continuing to post at The Boar's Head Tavern, under a pseudonym.

Josh's online personality is a bit of an ornery cuss. He seems to mildly enjoy flamethrowing and the results that it brings... at his own blogs, he's gone after anyone and everyone from any Christian tradition, focusing his ire in particular on Calvinism and Catholicism at various times. Like a number of Christians I know, he seems to identify himself by what he isn't (Catholic or Calvinist), more so than by what he is. Or to be a bit more precise, his explanations of what he is (or what he believes) are generally in the context of what he is not (or what he does not believe). In Josh's case, I have no idea why that is... any ideas I could offer would only be speculative, no matter their accuracy.

Josh has always been fairly well read, and that's obviously still the case in seminary. But as they say, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. And despite the reading he's done, he evidently still doesn't get Catholicism (not that that's uncommon, btw... I suppose if he did get it, he'd convert). Unfortunately, he's still prone to occasionally saying completely ridiculous things. For instance, he has this funny little post on what converts to Catholicism ignore. Written in the context of Dr. Francis Beckwith's recent return to the Catholic Church of his youth (he became an evangelical when he was young, and had some standing... he just resigned as President of the Evangelical Theological Society), Josh apparently thinks that no one could possibly convert to Catholicism if they really knew these things (many of which are fairly accurate, but some of which are off-base; for instance, the second item on his list).

Conversions & reversions are mysterious things, but it's pretty bold to claim that someone of Dr. Beckwith's intellectual rigor & honesty would ignore the warts on the Church. More likely, he's well aware of them, but realizes that in the end, they don't obscure the reality of what the Church is: the community of disciples of Jesus of Nazareth, founded and structured by Him, communicating (in many ways) the salvation won by Him.