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clergy gift ideas

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Dec 05, 2005

For that semi-Pelagian clergyman on your Christmas list, I recommend the (corrective) gift of this handsome example of Dresden-ware, which beautifully illustrates the doctrine of the propitiatory atonement.

Note that the juvenile quarterback in an option offense is faking the hand-off to the dive back (Jesus), at whom the nose guard (or the linebacker, if they double-teamed the nose) has already committed his tackle move. This allows the quarterback -- i.e., the penitent sinner -- to move down the line and either advance the ball himself or toss it to the pitch back (See St. Augustine, Sermon 130, pt 2). Clerics familiar only with debased forms of the sport -- such as Rugby Union or Aussie Rules -- will find the allegory (and, for that matter, the greater part of Christian doctrine) opaque, yet may derive some solace from the approved notion of invincible ignorance. For such persons, and all the imperfectly catechised, Extension Society calendars make an instructive and welcome gift.

Much more problematic doctrinally is the specimen of baseball-derived theology illustrated by the dual-batter image, which I believe displays -- or at least allows us to understand as displaying -- an overly Lutheran idea of grace. In the absence of a pitch and consequent reaction, it's hard to know whether our Lord's superintendence over the batter implies efficacious or merely sufficient grace, and, if the former, whether the free will of the batter is effectively over-ridden by his coach and co-operator. In view of the above, if you have reason to think your parish priest has a susceptibility to Jansenism, perhaps it's safer to buy him a quart of Old Granddad instead.

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