Chaplaincy: Levites

Strictly speaking, chaplaincy began in the pagan world and in all likelihood was brought into Christianity by Roman Christian patrons; this early history shall be explored in a future article. That said, we can examine two analogous examples from the Bible: the unnamed Levite from Judges 17-18 and Pinchas (also known as Phinehas) from Numbers 25. Both Levites ministered to the secular world: the unnamed Levite as a hired minister, and Pinchas by his own conviction. The Levite of Judges 17-18 resembles a chaplain in that he serves as a private minister to his patron, Micah. (Levites served not only … Continue reading “Chaplaincy: Levites”

Thanksgiving from Morning Walk

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We at Morning Walk are grateful to you, our readers, for being such a motivation behind our articles. When there are moments of doubt where we wonder whether we should keep writing, it is always the consistent and steady readership that pushes us to continue. We continue to write because we see the interaction between all members and associates of Morning Walk that comes from it. Writing also helps us think through our own beliefs more clearly; as always, if you disagree with anything here, feel free to share. We are committed to … Continue reading “Thanksgiving from Morning Walk”

Hunger and Thirst

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, because they will be satisfied.” Where do we see righteousness? How do we measure faith? This is a question that transcends all times and all places. Philosophers have connected their personal faith to all aspects of their persons: to who they are, and to what they believe, and to what they do. What does the New Testament say about these things? Christianity, thank God, does not consider the aspects of who we are to have any role in righteousness or faith. Paul goes to great length explaining who he is in … Continue reading “Hunger and Thirst”

Utilitarianism’s Lack of Utility: Part II

John Rawls’s theory of ethics begins with an experiment he calls the veil of ignorance. The veil attempts to justify the principle “that free and rational persons concerned to further their own interests would accept in an initial position of equality as defining the fundamental terms of their association” (Rawls, 10) [1]. In this experiment, Rawls recognizes that information about race, wealth, and our general background will influence us in our ethical outlook. To counteract our bias, he has us imagine a “situation in which everyone is deprived of this sort of information” (17). From this experiment, Rawls argues that … Continue reading “Utilitarianism’s Lack of Utility: Part II”

A Discursive Dialogue on Prayer

Anselm. Why, Boso! Hello, old friend! It’s been ages. How are you? Boso. Not very well, old chap. Unfortunately, I’ve converted to Protestantism. A. Protestantism? How gauche! B. I’m afraid it’s true. I encountered a theological difficulty that I couldn’t reconcile with various strong intuitions pertaining to religion. I cannot, in good conscience, commit to a faith that requires me to assent to beliefs and practices that simply strike me as incorrect. A. There are some 19th-century bishops who would like to have a word with you. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean that others don’t! Whatever “difficulty” … Continue reading “A Discursive Dialogue on Prayer”

Chaplaincy: Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and Holiness in the Secular World

cave with tree

I want to begin my exploration of chaplaincy by recounting a story from the Talmud (Shabbat 33b:5-8). The story tells of the holiness of secular observance.* In a time when devoted Christians rightly contemplate the Benedict Option, this Jewish story may serve as an important reminder not to abandon the world God has placed us in. The Bar Kochba revolt (132-136 AD) against Roman occupiers ended in one of the greatest catastrophes for the Jews of the ancient world. A revered rabbi named Rabbi Akiva had made himself the spiritual leader of this revolt, even declaring Shimon bar Kochba to … Continue reading “Chaplaincy: Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and Holiness in the Secular World”

How Did We Get Here?

I came across a line from Richard J. Foster’s Celebration of Discipline stating, “The surest sign that it is God’s will for us to be where we are is simply that we are there.” Less wordily, God approves of every situation in which we find ourselves. Even between His engineered plan and His engineered punishment, I disagree. Setting aside the predestination/free will argument as far from this essay as I possibly can, I believe it is possible to screw up your life so badly that you knock yourself off course. Taking Jesus’s parables as examples, was it God’s will for … Continue reading “How Did We Get Here?”

Utilitarianism’s Lack of Utility: Part I

John Stuart Mill

In this article, I will lay the groundwork for my criticism of utilitarianism. In my next article I will explain why I think utilitarianism has very little utility. Ethics is a field for abnormal situations. Amongst the various ethical theories and philosophies put out there, there is wide agreement on most questions. Should I steal from my neighbor? Should I attack the man who honked at me? Should I burn down a hospital? All of these questions have a clear answer (of “No!”) for almost all ethical models. Is abortion moral? Should the government care for those who choose a … Continue reading “Utilitarianism’s Lack of Utility: Part I”

Chaplaincy: Intro

When I think of a chaplain, I picture Father Mulcahy, SJ, from M*A*S*H. He’s a pushover whom everyone likes but few respect. He wields no authority as a religious leader. He will perform services from any religion upon request, and he celebrates mass alone on Sundays. Father Mulcahy may represent an accurate stereotype of many real-life chaplains. In spite of this, I have a hunch that chaplaincy may become a growingly impactful medium of ministry, and I want to explore how this might be the case (or see if my hunch is wrong). I want to examine the history of … Continue reading “Chaplaincy: Intro”

True Love: How Utilitarianism is Severely Flawed

Konrad on Ski Trip

Father Karol Wojtyła, the future Saint Pope John Paul II, was born on May 18, 1920, and rose from the ashes of Nazi and Communist Poland to become a champion of human rights and dignity. His works are filled with themes of human liberty, dignity, and the character of the human person, all of which are connected to his own experience and that of his fellow Poles living in Nazi-occupied Poland. Fr. Wojtyła blended his pastoral responsibilities with his profession as a philosophy professor at the Catholic University of Lublin. He created Love and Responsibility based on a series of … Continue reading “True Love: How Utilitarianism is Severely Flawed”