How To Transformationalize the Secular

Have worship services not on Sunday but throughout the week. After all, if holding Mass desacralizes Sunday, having worship services during the week could sacralize Monday or Thursday or Tuesday or Saturday.

Father Z got me thinking:

Communion in the hand…
Blessings instead of Communion even by lay ministers…
Mass “facing the people”…

Saturday evening Masses as quasi-vigil Masses for Sunday is one of those poorly thought out decisions that, once implemented, has by now become so fixed in the Catholic psyche that they are as easy to roll back as the tide.

Granted: Saturday vigil Masses make attendance at Masses for Sunday Obligation possible for that small segment of society who are truly unable to attend Mass on Sunday morning. The question is, however, begged: why weren’t Sunday afternoon or evening Masses considered?

Sadly, the prevalence of Saturday evening Masses have had the effect, in many parishes, of eliminating the Saturday morning Mass, depriving the faithful of the celebration of numerous feasts, not too mention the regular commemoration of the Blessed Virgin on those Saturdays in Ordinary Time when the day is otherwise unencumbered.

There are now Catholics who, for no other reason than convenience, have not been to Holy Mass on Sunday morning for years.

This plays into our culture’s desacralization of Sunday, which is no longer the Lord’s Day, but merely a “day off.”

25 thoughts on “How To Transformationalize the Secular

  1. Remember as a kid that sat eve. mass didn’t count. That was how we viewed it. In fact, I don’t remember going more than once or twice, maybe. It is interesting that it’s caught on as much as it has.


  2. On my way back from the store last Saturday night, I got caught in all the traffic coming out of St. Pius X–talk about a mass exodus (bada bop).

    Also, Father Z needs a lesson from The Bryan–the question isn’t begged here, it is raised.

    Lastly, it is curious how the Saturday night thing is also the craze among the big box eeeevangelicals. From where I sit, it’s because there are soccer and hockey games on Sunday. Golden calk syndrome?


  3. One wonders what sort of peaceful (and orthodox) Lord’s Day will be enjoyed at the church where Michelle Higgins (PCA staff worship director) serves.

    A rundown of her recent interview on Tony Campolo’s site:

    – missionary TO the PCA
    – messianic overtones

    “My time in the PCA church definitely shaped the way I saw and thought about ministry. It was a sacrifice for us to be there (not the least of which was the loss of worship music which I was so used to in the black church). But my father became ordained in the PCA church, and one of the founders of the church said at his ordination, “I can die now – I have a witness.” It was a beautiful moment.”

    – “My family was invited into a reshaping of the system.”
    – shout out to the Mainline
    – the Trinity dances
    – the Holy Spirit may in fact be a swaybabe:

    “The dance of the Trinity is a picture of justice. And the Holy Spirit, who is with us now and is the person who runs the church, receives very little credit for his – or Her! – work. Jesus and God the Father have a multitude of songs about them, and recognition given to them, but the Holy Spirit is so secure in its own divinity that it does not raise its voice. And this is a picture of the possibility before us: if we can dance with our transgender friends, our recovering white supremacist friends, those we think are so different from us, and not demand to be the center of the story, we will live out Justice.”

    Transgender friends? There’s room on the donor list for you, Caitlyn. We just need your routing and account numbers.


  4. To be protestant is to say that not all times are the same time, and not all places are one place.

    Carlos Eirie—A mere three years after he challenged Tetzel to a debate on indulgences with his 95 theses, Luther would be arguing that praying for the dead was as wrong as praying to the dead. To believe that the dead in heaven could pray for anyone on earth was dead wrong, as the pun would have it, or even worse. “The Scriptures forbid and condemn communication with the dead… For Luther, the communion of saints mentioned in the Creed was not to be understood as anything other than a eschatological hope.about the promised resurrection and the kingdom to come. , A Very Brief History of Eternity, p 108

    That Christ did not become Priest after He entered into heaven is unequivocally established by Hebrews 9:11, 12, “But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands . . . by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, HAVING OBTAINED permanent redemption for us”


  5. Boersma quotes Charles Taylor— “We have constructed an environment in which we live a uniform, univocal secular time, which we try to measure and control in order to get things done.” Univocal time gives us the control that we desire in the secularity of modernity.… Augustine’s conception of time was sacramental—time participates in the eternity of God’s life, and it is this participation that is able to gather past, present, and future together into one.

    Boersma (Heavenly Participation)— Evangelicals have largely abandoned a sacramental view of time (as have many Catholics), and this desacramentalizing has impacted the way we have decided on doctrinal issues. We tend to regard the time period of the biblical author and our own small moment under the sun as distinct or separate moments… We believe that it is our job simply to find out what exactly the biblical author meant in any given biblical text in order then to proclaim it as authoritative. ..

    And thus J I Packer’s support for the “eternity in heaven” of Richard Baxter continues….


  6. Piper:

    The point of this weekend is not to celebrate all that MLK was. You need not belabor his sins. The point is to lift up some magnificent things he stood for and some necessary and amazing achievements of the civil rights era in which he was a key leader. We are Christians and can see these things in the light of providence and the gospel. Let everything point to Christ and him crucified. Consider Revelation 5:9 if you wonder whether ethnic diversity and ethnic harmony are Jesus-blood issues.

    Why can’t Piper do that with beer?


  7. Re: Higgins,

    Does being a lefty social justice type necessarily mean flirting with Trinitarian heresies? If so, can I assume the Top Men in TGC / PCA / SBC know what they’re stepping into?


  8. Very winsome marketing. May it lead to authentic dialogue about our brokenness. And turn you a tidy profit. For the city. Shalom.


  9. Even if Russel Moore was sincere about crucifying civil religion”, that would only be in the interests of getting us back to the non-reformed and “catholic” mere Trinitarian fundamentalism of Christendom.

    btw, I am in fact glad that Russel Moore talks about culture instead of “articulating the gospel. Russel Moore has a false gospel, something which sounds very much like that of CS Lewis.
    Even the Southern Baptists who believe in election give no evidence of believing in God’s federal imputation of the sins of the elect to Christ. Most of them seem to have no idea of faith being an benefit to the elect purchased by Christ in His death and resurrection. Like Sinclair Ferguson, they believe that the non-elect have a right to believe the gospel because “Christ is dead for them”. Instead of basing the command to believe the gospel on God’s sovereignty, they change the gospel so that it teaches that the command to believe is based on God’s grace in wanting the non-elect to be saved.

    Their Arminian-neutral approach makes the effectiveness of the atonement depend on faith given by God. They don’t deny election but they refuse to say that it is Christ’s satisfaction of the law for the elect which results in faith by the elect in the true Christ revealed in the true gospel.

    The agreement with the Marrow and all the paedobaptists who support the Marrow shows that this lack of attention to federal substitution is not caused by Russel Moore being baptist, nor by the absence of “the covenant” language. Rather, the problem is that the Southern Baptist business model is very much like the PCA franchises. Everything depends on not having any antithesis to Arminianism.

    Neutrality with an atonement that does not atone is not neutrality but hostility to the gospel.


  10. Mr. Mcculley,

    Rather than faith activating the atonement, the atonement activates or guarantees the faith on account of God’s federal imputation of the sins of the elect to Christ. I’m most likely displaying my ignorance, but how is that contrary to the Marrow?


  11. Mark,

    “has a false gospel”
    “they change the gospel”
    “not neutrality but hostility to the gospel.”

    Are all Arminian (or even just Arminian-friendly) churches synagogues of Satan and its proponents peddlers of a false gospel?


  12. James Young, “Are all Arminian (or even just Arminian-friendly) churches synagogues of Satan and its proponents peddlers of a false gospel?”

    Do Buddhists, Hindus and Jews even believe the gospel while the Pope prays with them?

    Seriously, you make sense in a Pius Xth world. That one’s gone.


  13. The Marrow says “Christ is dead for you”, but it does not and cannot say that “Christ’s death purchased faith for you.” It should not attempt to say either.

    By making faith the “condition” of the “dead for you” actually working, faith is set outside the benefits of the atoning death. if the atoning death is for every sinner, but faith is not purchased for and given to every sinner, then faith cannot be a blessing given by means of Christ’s atoning death. In the Marrow, faith is not one of the blessings of Christ’s death, but becomes a condition for making Christ’s death effective. One cannot have it both ways. Faith is either part of the salvation blessings purchased by Christ’s death or it is not Christ who gives the Holy Spirit to the elect but instead the Holy Spirit who gives Christ to the elect.

    The Marrow Men claimed that by making the efficacy of the atonement to be conditioned upon faith, they de facto make the work of salvation particular because only the elect actually came to faith. But then one needs to explain how only some were saved when in fact God desired the salvation of all, earnestly urged all to come to Christ, and provided an atonement which was sufficient for all, intended for all and available to all.

    Tom Nettles (in his commentary of Andrew Fuller’s use of Dordt’s “sufficient for all” distinction)

    “Error one: It’s tantamount to identifying the doctrine of effectual calling with atonement. What one really means by definite atonement is that the difference is not in the atonement but in the Spirit’s work of calling.”

    “A second error is subtle in nature and involves a shift in the understanding of the sacrificial death. Although Jesus’ death is spoken of asHis obedience–and though the concepts of reconciliation and propitiation are defined as activities accomplished in the Father’s setting forth God the Son–when the sufficiency idea comes in, the emphasis shifts from the Son’s death to what he actively accomplished (or will accomplish) by his infinite divine nature.”

    Abraham Booth ( Divine Justice Essential to the Divine Character, book 3:60)—“We cannot perceive any solid reason to conclude that his propitiatory sufferings are sufficient for the expiation of sins which he did not bear, or for the redemption of sinners whom he did not represent. For the substitution of Christ, and the imputation of sin to him, are essential to the scriptural doctrine of redemption by our adorable Jesus…

    Dagg (Manual of Theology, p 330): “Some have maintained that, if the atonement of Christ is not general, no sinner can be under obligation to believe in Christ, until he is assured that he is one of the elect. This implies that no sinner is bound to believe what God says, unless he knows that God designs to save him…”

    p 507, “Punishment God Cannot Twice Inflict”, From Heaven He Came—Garry J Williams

    “My argument stands against an unspecified penal satisfaction narrowed only by its application. The sacrifice for sin in Scripture is itself specific…If the penal substitution of Christ has no relation to one person’s sin, then it is not in itself God’s actual answer to any sin, and therefore not penal at all…An unspecified “No” is not an answer to anything; it is without meaning….I cannot see how anyone who excludes the identification of Christ’s satisfaction itself with the specific sins of specific individuals can avoid the logical outcome of denying its truly penal character.

    p 508 “The hypothetical universalists limit the death of Christ AS AN ACT OF PROCUREMENT to the elect only. Christ did not purchase the conditions of application for the lost.”

    Jonathan Gibson, From Heaven, p 358—-“Election and the Atonement do not operate on separate theological tracks. What God has joined together, let no theologian separate. Affirming union with Christ before the moment of redemption accomplished counters any disjunction between the effect of Christ’s death and the effect of His resurrection. (Those who put union later) sound as if Christ’s death MIGHT lead to the death of some sinners, but not also to their resurrection.”


  14. Joel Osteen had a time of fellowship with the pope, but would Osteen worship also with a secular enough Muslim?

    Remember that the “inconsistency” in doctrine is almost always “blessed”. If you want to get picky about the details, your “rationalism” might get in the way of a happy experience which lead to evangelism of those whose morality shows that they already have good hearts.

    Thomas Boston, commentary on the Marrow—“God’s love for humanity has appeared in His providing a Savior for the whole of the kind. God sent His Son from Heaven with full instructions and ample powers to save you, if you will believe. And is not this love? Know with certainty that if any of you shall perish, you shall not perish for want of a Savior. You would not trust Him as Savior, even though He had His Father’s commission to be your Savior.”


  15. Mark,

    If your church adopted and taught Arminian theology, would you leave it? If so, is that being picky about the details on your part? Would it no longer have authority over you as it would if it taught Reformed theology?


  16. Darryl,

    Since you said in the past you would discipline a member of your church who views sanctification as synergistic, should he care about your discipline or church’s authority if he views you and your church as the one in error on this score and not conforming to Scripture and leaves your church for another?
    Should an Arminian Protestant church care that your church judges them as in error or in Mark’s case judges them as gospel deniers and hostile opponents of it?


  17. James Young, you keep asking this question as if it has some traction. When you answer it on your end, when you have the unity, the infallibility, and the papal supremacy, and you have theologians at RC universities contravening church dogma, get back to me about this question.

    But for now, I’d tell the church member who views sanctification synergistically to join a country club in France.


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