Thursday, March 4, 2010

Today on Kresta - March 4, 2010

Talking about the Things That Matter Most on Mar. 4

4:00 – Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
Does capitalism promote greed? Can a person follow Jesus' call to love others and also support capitalism? Was our recent economic crisis caused by flaws inherent to our free market system? Jay Richards presents a new approach to capitalism, revealing how it's fully consistent with Jesus’ teachings and the Christian tradition, while also showing why this system is our best bet for renewed economic vigor.

4:40 – A Case for the Divinity of Jesus: Examining the Earliest Evidence
Whether Jesus was really the Son of God or not is a central question for Christians--and one that has provoked heated debate since the time of Jesus' birth. Dean Overman examines the earliest Christian records to build a compelling case for the divinity of Jesus. Overman analyzes often-overlooked evidence from liturgies and letters written in the years immediately following Jesus' death--decades earlier than the Gnostic gospels or the New Testament gospels. Addressing questions raised by books such as Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus and Elaine Pagels' The Gnostic Gospels, Overman presents powerful evidence from the earliest Christian communities that will be new for many modern Christians and builds a carefully reasoned case for Jesus truly being the Son of God.

5:00 – They're Back: Dissenters Form The American Catholic Council
Claiming that they are attempting to address the “serious deterioration of the US Church today,” organizers of a new Catholic reform organization are planning a national conclave in 2011 called the American Catholic Council. In what is being billed as a kind of off-site Vatican Council, the proposed gathering promises “thoughtful discussion” of scholarly papers and presentations by Catholic theologians, scholars, and activists—all directed toward the goal of creating a new Church that is “fully in tune with the authentic Gospel message.” It’s called the American Catholic Council and is an attempt to resurrect the ashes of “Call to Action” along with many other famous dissident groups. Anne Hendershott has been researching the group and has a report for us.

5:20 – Bridging the Great Divide : Musings of a Post-Liberal, Post Conservative Evangelical Catholic
Fr. Robert Barron’s book “Bridging the Great Divide: Musings of a Post-Conservative Evangelical Catholic” represents a pivotal moment in the life of the Catholic community. Today's faithful are searching for an expression of Catholic Christianity that is vibrant, colorful, provocative, counter-cultural, deeply rooted in the tradition, and full of the promise of the Good News. In this timely and prophetic book, Fr. Barron--himself a member of the younger generation--has minted a new vernacular and blazed a new way that bridges the great divide and gives voice to the concerns of post-liberal, post-conservative, evangelical believers.


  1. No roman catholic owes any allegiance to a capitailast country that so opposes catholic teaching in so many ways.This is an elitist/masonic country which exploits the poor and marginilized.They use pro-death/protestant/catholics to help promote their agenda by pretending to care about catholic causes.This is a country that evaporated the people of hiroshima and nagaake.Napalmed the peasant people of vietnam,and is inthe process of destroying Iraq and afghansatan.All this in the name of the free american system.the vicars of christ have spoken out against this masonic empire.Sadly the "catholic'media leads gullable catholics into a merging with it..elliot

  2. Al et al., please distill my comment from elliot's.

    I hope you'll discuss with Mr. Richards (I believe he's a Dr.) how his book and thoughts align themselves with the Catholic Social Teaching. Of course, we can all access the papal encyclicals and the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church on the Vatican's website, and there are plenty of respectable, living Catholics who thoughtfully discuss economics beyond the typical, worn-out, false Capitalism/Socialism dichotomy; but I hope that Mr. Kresta will treat us to a thoroughly Catholic view of Mr. Richards' work. I'm especially interested in his view of writings like Laborem Exercens and Centesimus Anno. I know that he, like Mr. Kresta, is unfortunately intimately attached to the Acton Institute, but I expect a rivteing interview nonetheless. Thank you.


    Matthew Wade

  3. Ouch, Mr. Richards really lost me by trying to provide an example of the search for an objective, "just" price with his "hole-digging" example (about 45 minutes in). The line goes something like this: if there is an objective price for digging a hole, then that means that it's value is the same whether I'm digging a hole for a post for a castle, or I'm digging a hole in a field in order to re-fill it. That's a silly, oversimplified comparison that does injustice to someone like Pope Leo XIII and Pope John Paul II who both called for a search for the just price.

    Sure, a knave may be caught by that faulty logic, but we can't forget that just as we never view a person as an "individual", or a being that exists objectively OUTSIDE of his relation to every other person in existence, so too we never consider actions outside of their context. That is in fact the difference between modern views of humans as "individuals" or "monads" (see Pope Benedict's "Introduction to Christianity") and the Christian view of humans as PERSONS, analogous to, but not similar to or the same as, God and the internal unity of the Trinity; people are called to be "beings-for", not just "beings", which has its perfection in the Godhead.

    Let's take this back to the fallacious "hole-digging" example. Sure, you can talk about an objective, "just" price for hole-digging, then throw it out as silly because of Mr. Richards' faulty logic. But no one who talks about "just" prices makes such a simplification. What if we look at "hole-digging for..."? As in, "hole-digging for a castle wall". Or, "hole-digging for a cement foundation for a house"? My point is that by taking Mr. Richards' stance you simply rid yourself of the more complex, worthwhile, and Christian task of looking for a "just" price by merely looking at the action taking place, pricing that action subjectively, and proceeding to the next "value calculation" if you will; but we ought to consider, we ought to "plan", the context of all of these actions and view them with an eye, and act on them with a hand informed by Christian Tradition and wisdom.

    "Subjective pricing" throws out what ought to be one of the most important topics we can consider: the causes and effects of economic production, exchange, consumption, and giving.


    Matthew Wade

  4. Matthew,

    Whatever a "just price" is, it doesn't exist apart from market conditions, cost of goods, or demand of user. So let's try this. What is the objective that I should pay for someone to come to my house and dig a hole so I can erect my backetball hoop? Don't tell me your price, tell me the objective price. I think I know where this conversation leads. It's the same hole Alice fell down.

    - Al Kresta

  5. Al, perhaps we'll fall down the same hole together. Or perhaps we'll help edify each other through somber dialogue and reflection. I'm not one for small talk, as I'm sure you've seen the new study about small talk. I would first ask you, however, to take off the Platonic-Form glasses you're wearing when you look at something like "just price". Would you indulge me?

    Even Mr. Richards remarked that we can't expect to find the "Price of Hole-Digging" walking around somewhere. I know you'd agree with that, and so would I. The problem with Mr. Richards is that he would have the market determine the price of all goods. Press him a little more next time he's on the air, I'm fairly certain you'll get that response. And that attitude is EXPLICITLY condemned by Pope John the Paul the Great in Centesimus Anno. Don't jump to and fro, oogling his new book - press him on the issue. You're good at doing that with some guests. Don't let an Acton Institute badge keep you from running your excellent show the way those of us who appreciate the decidedly Catholic stance you take are accustomed to. It's disgusting.

    Returning to the "just price", since you're fond of ignoring my more robust Distributist repsonses (see the thread we engaged in a few months back), I'll try to keep this short. Your camp allocates to the "market" the task of price-setting. You run the risk of violating the "just price" prinicple, committing evil, if the "market" determines a price that deviates from the "just price." Now, if you won't address my concerns with your position vis-a-vis the writings of the Popes and the Church, then I'll only ask you join me on an analogy. You believe in the "common good", right? What is it? Does it walk around in the Field of Forms holding hands with the "just price"? The answer is of course no. But the difference is that you'd rather discard the idea of "just price" because it doesn't fit your preconceived economic notions, but you'll fight tooth and nail (and rightly so) for the common good.

    I beg your pardon if you think I'm being rude or insolent, but I am being confrontational in the most gentlmanly way. I know you're a busy man, but if you'd indulge me only a few rounds I think we can get somewhere.


    Matthew Wade