Monday, December 31, 2007

Belief vs. Idea


  1. something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.

  2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof: a statement unworthy of belief.

  3. confidence; faith; trust: a child's belief in his parents.

  4. a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith: the Christian belief.



  1. any conception existing in the mind as a result of mental understanding, awareness, or activity.

  2. a thought, conception, or notion: That is an excellent idea.

  3. an impression: He gave me a general idea of how he plans to run the department.

  4. an opinion, view, or belief: His ideas on raising children are certainly strange.

  5. a plan of action; an intention: the idea of becoming an engineer.

  6. a groundless supposition; fantasy.

  7. Philosophy.

    1. a concept developed by the mind.

    2. a conception of what is desirable or ought to be; ideal.

    3. (initial capital letter) Platonism. Also called form. an archetype or pattern of which the individual objects in any natural class are imperfect copies and from which they derive their being.

    4. Kantianism. idea of pure reason.


I have come across a strong following of the concept presented in the movie Dogma. While Dogma is a funny movie, it certainly shouldn't be used as a source for a theology or philosophy. It's a comedy. It's meant to humorous.

If you haven't seen the movie, the concept presented in the movie is as follows. You shouldn't have a belief. People will kill over a belief. You should instead have a good idea. That sounds good. You shouldn't kill people. Initially, I have no issue over this concept.

The problem lies in this following I've encounter. If you use the word belief, they call you a dogmatic bigot who is completely inflexible. I find that rather amusing but at the same time insulting. Their issue is over my use of the word belief. I don't call for the murder or death of someone over the difference of a belief. In fact, my belief states that murder is bad, evil even. I think they missed the point of this concept. Make sure you don't tell them that's their belief. You will really make them mad then. Even though this is their opinion or conviction. It's textbook example of a belief.

Let's step away from people behind the concept and focus on the alleged dichotomy. There is not one. I assure you. Idea even uses the word belief in one definitions. They are basically the same thing. Idea is more abstract and less rigid. There has also been a lot philosophical discussion on the subject. I have read quite a bit of it. I wouldn't fashion myself as a philosopher or expert by any means, but I do have my foot in the proverbial door. I actually wrote one of my English papers in college on defining idea. That was a blunder. Most of the class was just their for the credit and had little interest in philosophy, and the class revolved around the peer review. They were quite bored when doing my review. You write for your target audience. I should of written about something more interesting. However, this isn't the kind of idea that is being discussed here. It isn't the metaphysical idea. This isn't the metaphysical versus physical dichotomy. This idea is a person's personal opinion, which is also known as a belief. Given the context, there is no difference.

We've looked at the meanings of the words. Now, let's look at it historically. English didn't even exist when people starting killing each other over their beliefs. The word difference would probably not translate the way people might think. So how can you have a dichotomy of idea vs. belief? I can look up the words in Latin and Greek, but I am not a language expert. I couldn't tell you much about how they were used. Fides is Latin for belief/faith/etc. Informatio is Latin for concept/idea.

So let's try to remember that Dogma is a comedy. An angel of death is name Loki after all. Loki is the mythological god of mischief. Let's not even get started on last scion bit. I am not offended by it. It's a satire. It's meant to amuse. I am frustrated by people who take the movie's facts over the Bible and the historic faith.

As a last note, I called it a concept not a belief. It's certainly not a philosophy in itself. It didn't make since to call it a belief or an idea, because that would be even more confusing. I find it ironic that the people who call me inflexible wish to squabble over the use of a word with a similar definition. It's even identical in the context used.

Blog Awareness

My wife has brought to my attention that I am being linked by other bloggers. While I should consider this a good thing, this means I will have to give more time to my blog. I better get to posting. Thanks for the attention! :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

I Like Iker

My wife sent me this link today. I thought it was rather cute. I am thinking about getting one. Maybe I will.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Standing up for Truth

While reading many comments on some of my favorite blogs, I have noticed a recurring thought or belief of some of my fellow conservatives which I find very wrong. It's the idea because a church or diocese is losing money and parishioners that their theology is flawed or wrong. The popular church is the right church. I can tell you right now, that belief is very wrong. Look at the early church. It was very small and definitely not popular. If our early Christian forebearers believed this, they certainly would not have taken up their cross and followed Christ. Theology is not a popularity contest. If you truly believe in something with your heart and mind, you will be willing to suffer ridicule and even hate for that belief. I pray that I would have the courage of the early martyrs of the church. Thank goodness that I am not faced with that choice. I do not know that I could face death for Christ. I don't think any of us really will ever know until faced with that choice. I would like to think I could accept God's help and have that courage to face that trial. If we choose our beliefs by numbers, we would have to all convert to Roman Catholicism. It is the largest Christian denomination according to We each need to listen to hearts and minds to help us tell us what is right and wrong but temper it with scripture and the historic faith. However lying about growing numbers and hiding deficits in budgets is another matter. That would definitely be an indicator that a person subscribes to the aforementioned belief. If someone were to do this, then they certainly are not in the right. I wonder if their faith would hold up to the same test.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Google Easter Eggs

Swim the Atlantic

  1. Open
  2. Click Get Directions
  3. Type in From: New York, To: Paris, France
  4. Read line 23
What the Moon is really made of
  1. Open
  2. Zoom all the way in
Not really a Google thing...
  1. Open
  2. Type In "French Victories"
  3. Hit "I am feeling lucky" button
  4. This isn't a Google site but still pretty funny
Other Google pranks...
Free Broadband Internet
Google Easter Eggs (Official)
Language Interface Choice (Pig Latin, Klingon, etc)

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

St. Mary's Chapel

Nashotah's very beautiful St. Mary's Chapel. I took a few pictures on the self guided tour.


The Cieling


The Pulpit

Choir Stalls

Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, inside of St. Mary's

The Rood Screen

More of the Rood Screen

Baptismal Font

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Experience Nashotah

My wife and I visited this beautiful campus last week. Despite it being below freezing for most of our visit, it did not feel quite so cold. I do not quite understand why, but I feel very blessed for the opportunity. It is a very loving Christian community. We both got to sit in on a few of their classes and meet the faculty. Now, I just wish my baccalaureate education could have been so blessed.

Nashotah House

Founded in 1842 as a mission to the frontier and incorporated in 1847 as "a College of learning and piety," Nashotah House is a seminary of the Episcopal Church in the Anglican Communion of Churches, providing theological education for prophetic, priestly, pastoral and servant ministries, concerned for the proclamation of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, the mission of the Church in the world, the salvation of all people, and the worship of Almighty God.

Center: St. Mary's Chapel, Right: Library

Left: Cloister, Right: St. Mary's Chapel

Left: Classrooms, Right: Cloister

Michael's Bell, it's huge...

The Lake... somewhere

The Bookstore

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Remarkable Testimony

I thought I'd share A Remarkable Testimony from a Christian Man from Stand Firm with you. Stories like this are hard to find, but I imagine there are more people who have similar stories than you would think.

After my conversion to Christ, my understanding remained fully intact and I knew what was expected of me. In order to be faithful to Our Lord and the demands of the Christian faith, active participation in a gay lifestyle had to go, and so it did. I have been practicing sexual abstinence for fifteen years now and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It may seem strange to many, but I have actually come to find it quite liberating.

Having said that, let me add that I still don’t have a “straight” bone in my body. Although I have participated, to my tremendous benefit, in so-called “ex gay” ministries and counseling, I never pursued reparative therapy or imagined that becoming a heterosexual was something that God had in mind for my life. To be sure, celibacy isn’t for everyone, and I am very happy for those who have gone on to achieve the necessary healing in their lives which has enabled them to become Christian husbands and fathers (and yes, God be praised, that does happen!), but I do not envy them, or feel particularly deficient because I am unable to follow their example. I have developed a real sense that God is calling upon me to be faithful at all times, but not necessarily “successful,” where heterosexuality in itself is the norm by which such success is measured.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Wherefore art thou sanctus liberalis?

To borrow from Shakespeare, the original quote "wherefore art thou Romeo?" If you did not already know, wherefore does not mean where. It actually means why. Why did I choose sanctus liberalis as an online handle? Well, I will tell you. Sanctus in Latin means holy, sacred or even saint. I choose it for holy. Liberalis means courteous or generous. So you are probably thinking right about now how can I call myself holy? What kind of self-righteous presumptuous person proclaims themselves holy? Well, let's look at the root meaning of the word. Most dictionaries will tell that holy means derived from a divine power or a sacred place of a divine power. I propose another definition for you to consider. Holy is to be set apart. When someone made a place holy in the old testament what was happening there? They would build an altar and set that place apart for worship. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis:1:1 The former definition would imply that everything is holy, because everything was created by God. I am going off a tangent here, so when I chose sanctus it was with the intended meaning of set apart. Liberalis was chosen because many people have called me generous. Also, when a Christian went through confirmation in the time of the early church, a new Christian would choose a Christian name. This name would not usually define a characteristic of themselves but something they would want to become more like. I too would like grow to be more like my handle describes, to set my life apart for God and to be gentle.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

WARNING: Disclaimer

I'd like warn everyone reading my blog that I am a conservative Episcopalian or Anglo-Catholic as some have called me. I live in the Biretta Belt, and my beliefs reflect part of what that entails. While you may disagree with my opinions, I would appreciate if you would not post nasty comments or insults. If you disagree with what I have to say, my recommendation to you is debate them with me. I doubt that my beliefs will be easily swayed. I do not just believe what I do because I was told what to believe. I also do not believe what I do because it feels right. I actually do research into the different aspects of my faith and why the church canon states what it does, and for the most part my faith is stronger for it.

At times I will write an explanation for a different belief or faith. That does not mean I follow those beliefs myself. They will be simply described as an interesting thought.

Also, I am dyslexic, so sometimes I misspell words or leave them out altogether. I do reread my entries before I post them. I reread them several times to check if they make sense. I do still make mistakes. Please do not assume I am stupid due to this. You can certainly think I am stupid for other reasons. I will try to correct things as I find them. :)