Friday, October 9, 2009

Today on Kresta - Oct. 9, 2009

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Oct. 9

4:00 – Kresta Comments – Barak, the Bible, and the Nobel Prize
U.S. President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize today for offering the world hope and striving for nuclear disarmament in a surprise award that drew both warm praise and sharp criticism. The bestowal of one of the world's top accolades on a president less than nine months in office, who has yet to score a major foreign policy success, was greeted with gasps of astonishment from journalists at the announcement in Oslo. Al has a perspective as well.

4:20 – Can Catholics Solve the Middle East Conflict?
Morning headlines announce renewed violence and fresh calls for peace negotiations, while pundits on talk radio and cable TV shout conflicting opinions at anyone who will listen. Between perplexing contradictions and inflammatory rhetoric, it is often difficult to find out what’s really going on in the Middle East. Former TIME magazine Jerusalem bureau chief David Aikman, who has spent decades reporting on Mid-East issues, takes a sober, balanced look at a region aflame. He brings a journalist’s mind and a believer’s heart to his exploration of the political and religious factors in play, and goes beyond the media’s chronic over-simplification to carefully examine recent history and the leaders who have made that history. Discover the truth behind the headlines: God’s restoring hand is at work in a region of the world torn apart by centuries of strife.

4:40 – UNDER GOD: George Washington and the Question of Church and State
Candidate Barack Obama drew little attention during last year's presidential campaign when he ventured into the thorny territory of church and state. While President George W. Bush had expanded government contracts to faith-based groups, Obama promised to end that arrangement if the groups proselytized to the needy they served, or hired only members of that faith. According to our next guest, this perversion of the First Amendment would appall George Washington. Joseph Smith is the co-author of a ground-breaking book on Washington’s views on church and state show that the greatest Founding Father not only sanctioned the tax-payer support of religion, but he even permitted the federal funding of missionary efforts to Native Americans—what would the ACLU say to that!?

5:00 – Kresta Comments – Barak, the Bible, and the Nobel Prize
U.S. President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize today for offering the world hope and striving for nuclear disarmament in a surprise award that drew both warm praise and sharp criticism. The bestowal of one of the world's top accolades on a president less than nine months in office, who has yet to score a major foreign policy success, was greeted with gasps of astonishment from journalists at the announcement in Oslo. Al has a perspective as well.

5:20 – Has Evolution Been Turned on its Ear?
A new fossil find out of Ethiopia threatens to “turn evolution on its head” and disproves the “missing link” in the evolution of humans. Another in China claims to be another link in the evolutionary chain of the inner ear. But the real question is where did the information come from to build these creatures? Fossils are nice, but ultimately they do nothing to tell us how we got here. Need someone to help answer those questions? Dr. Stephen Meyer, author, scientist and Discovery Institute fellow, is available. Dr. Meyer is the author of Signature in a Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design.

5:40 – A Catholic View of Literary Classics – Part 3 of 10: Wuthering Heights
We continue our 10-week series examining Classic Literature from a Catholic perspective. Acclaimed literary biographer Joseph Pearce is the editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions and will be our guide. We will ensure that traditional moral readings of the works are given prominence, instead of the feminist or deconstructionist readings that often proliferate in other series of 'critical editions'. As such, they represent a genuine extension of consumer choice, enabling educators, students, and lovers of good literature to buy editions of classic literary works without having to 'buy into' the ideologies of secular fundamentalism. Today, we examine Shakespeare’s Wuthering Heights


  1. Foreign policy success? Don' worry.Soon all of your major american companies will be entrenched in afghanastan,reaping millions and killing innocents.That was the plan all along.Then its off to Iran.Barack is serving the republicans the way he promised.Don't you realize the game they play with you american/protestent/war loving catholics.The manufactured fear of islam continues.The teachings of john paul the second are tossed out the vatican widows.Al and his listners should be happy.Realize the bushes,cheneys,and wall street republican war mahchine,own and secretly love barack.

  2. Hello, I'm excited to hear the discussion of the Middle East conflicts. I was having dinner with a Protestant friend of mine the other night and we started discussing the Holy Land. His view was that, although land is just land and "God is everywhere" (I didn't touch that comment as we were having a peaceful discussion up to that point), he and many other Baptists feel a certain draw to supporting Israel beyond their typical Republican/Conservative leanings. He cited the Book of the Revelation of St. John where it is necessary for there to be a Temple in Jerusalem before Christ will return. He brought up some other points that were of interest, and I've often found myself at a loss and somewhat torn in my feelings towards the Holy Land, so I ask you: do you have any recommendations for books or other sources on this subject matter? I realize that there is probably an ocean of work in the world, but as I'm a layman in this area, I'd appreciate a piece that is able to present different Christian viewpoints. I hope that you may be able to help me.

    In Christ,

    Matthew Wade

  3. Dear Mat,if your looking to al kresta for a fair and objective discussion of the middle east from kresta,you've come to the wrong place.All you get here is the protestant/baptist/war loving agenda you seem to be running from.There are many ex-protestants -turned catholic-who just can't let go of their military solving problems agenda.All you get here is fear mongering and war mongering.Try listening to the old teachings of john paul the 2nd,long forgotten by al and his American/protestant/catholic/bush lovers.Listen to him and his guest rember with fondness the bushes.John paul the great warned and begged catholics not to blockade,bomb, and torture.

  4. Ah yes ,the bushes.How we miss those real men of peace.Shock and awe.desert storm.Desert shield.Water-boarding,and other forms of torture.Now those were men we catholics could really identify with..elliot

  5. I think the Nobel Committee sees that Obama is ready to escalate the war in Afghanistan and betray the Palestinians, as America has done time and time again since Harry Truman. The committee is trying to box him in and make him keep his promises. It's a preemptive strike. They should prepare to be disappointed.

    Let's think about what Al said. "From a Catholic point of view, what brings people together is Christ -- giving himself at Calvary -- and the sacrament of unity, the Eucharist. This is the central organizing principle of the new creation. This is what we bring people together over."

    But we pretty much get along peacefully in this country, despite our ethnic, ideological, and religious diversity. In fact most Americans would say diversity adds richness to our lives. So there must be something else. Could it be that this country works because we have nurtured, over time, a live and let live attitude? I think so.

    Anonymous (at 5:34 PM), you don't accurately represent Al's position. He's certainly no fan of Islam, but he's not the bloodthirsty war lover you seem to think he is. Don't lump him in with the likes of Sean Hannity, Hugh Hewitt, and Mark Levin. Arab Christians have really taken it on the chin over the last half century, and Al knows it.

  6. Matthew,
    There are many books on the topic as you know. For years, I used Colin Chapman's "Whose Promised Land?" The essays in Philip Johnston's "The Land of Promise" are also helpful. I deal with some of these issues in my "Why are Catholics so Concerned About Sin" pp. 135-157.

    Modern conservative Protestant theology has been divided between "dispensational" and "covenant" theologies. For a few years in the 1970s I held lightly to a dispensationalist point of view. Since then there has been a "progressive" dispensationalism associated with people like Craig Blaising and Darrel Bock which I find more plausible than the older dispensationalism associated with C.I. Scofield, John Walvoord and Charles Ryrie.

    Dispensationalists, generally, believe in a literal 1,000 year millennium in which Christ will reign over the earth from Jerusalem. Israel will be restored as a nation, the Temple and its sacrifices reinstituted.

    Covenant theologians, generally, believe that the Millennium refers to Christ's present kingdom reign in heaven through His body, the Church, on earth. The Kingdom has been inaugurated but is not yet fulfilled. This was the principal position of the magisterial Protestant reformers like Luther and Calvin. The kingdom is present wherever the gospel is believed and believers have the responsibility to develop the various aspects of human culture in a "kingdom" direction. The consummation of the Kingdom, however, won't be realized until Christ's return. Attempts to establish the Kingdom in its fullness on earth is theologically false and politically dangerous.

    Historic Protestantism and Catholicism see the promises given to Israel as finding their fulfillment in Christ and the Church. Dispensationalists, on the other hand, draw a bright line between Israel and the Church. In their theology applying OT promises to the Church is wrongheaded. If so, then Christians over 19 centuries were doing it all wrong since "dispensationalism" as a system of theology doesn't really have much of a beginning before the mid 1800s. The Catholic Church embodies the truths contained in both the Dispensational and Covenant theology positions.

    On the dispensationalist side, the Catholic Church still believes that God has future plans for the Jews as a unique people. Unlike dispensationalist, however, we are not bound to believe in the territorial rights of the Jewish people as a matter of divine promise. See CCC, 659-682 and Romans 9-11. Of course, one can easily believe that the Jewish people should have a homeland and that this was rendered especially urgent after the Holocaust.

    With both dispensationalist and covenantal theologians, the Catholic Church teaches that "The glorious Messiah's coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by 'all Israel,' for 'a hardening has come upon part of Israel' in their 'unbelief' toward Jesus....The 'full inclusion' of the Jews in the Messiah's salvation, in the wake of 'the full number of the Gentiles,' will enable the People of God to achieve 'the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,' in which 'God may be all in all.' The Jewish people will return to Christ and this will be a sign of the Christ's Return and the final resurrection of the dead (Rom 11:12, 15).

    With the covenant theologians, Catholics believe that the Church is the new Israel, the legitimate inheritors of the promises of the OT. See CCC 877. This new Israel was founded by the Messiah and is in continuity with the Israel of the Old Covenant.

    Part II below

  7. Cont'd

    Here is something to keep in mind when talking with dispensationalist friends. Believers who insist that the modern state of Israel is necessitated by the Abrahamic covenant have a problem. Even if one believed that the Abrahamic covenant entitled the Jewish people to the land of Israel-Palestine, (I do not), then one would also have to recognize that the promise is conditional. The Jews could lose the land through idolatory and unbelief just as they did during the Exile. To possess the Land would require justice to the Palestinian people. My belief that the Jews require a homeland is based on my reading of Jewish history and not a result of any unfulfilled divine promise. It is first of all a political not a theological requirement.

    For another Catholic perspective, see Roy Schoeman's "Salvation is From the Jews" published by Ignatius Press.

    Scott Hahn has a series on The Apocalypse or Book of Revelation produced by St. Joseph Communications which is offers a Catholic interpretation of Revelation. Michael Barber's "Coming Soon" is quite good.
    I hope these scattered thoughts help a little.


  8. Mr. Kresta, I appreciate the thoroughness of your response. I've certainly got a lot to study and chew on regarding this issue, and I hope that I will be better able to communicate with my good friend in due time so that we may be mutually edified.

    Your thoughtful consideration of many important contemporary issues is one of the reasons why I continue to support your show even though I am several states away. God bless.

    In Christ,

    Matthew Wade

  9. MAUMAN..Kresta in the afternoon is indeed nothing more than an extension of hannity,etc..The turning away of catholics from the teachings of st francis,john paul the 2nd etc.Do you want to follow john paul,who begged america to stop blockading,bombing and torturing Or do you want to allow al to twist the cathechist to suit republican interests? elliot