Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The taste of Calvinism - theologically informed chocolates

As part of the celebration of the quincentential of John Calvin's birth, chocolatier Blaise Poyet created a chocolate that captured Calvin's life and work. It was a challenge. "It's not easy to represent theological ideas by using the taste buds," he notes.

The confections are 4 layers: a variation on a praline (it's "reformed"), a 68% intensely Brazilian cocoa paste (to represent Calvin's view of the glory and perfection of God), a soft caramel (to signify his discreet care of neighbors) and a dash of lemon verbena (the herb is a perennial, and represents the growth of Calvin's theological ideas).

Personally, I think there should be five flavor notes, but perhaps I'm too literal in my theological translations?

All this has me contemplating what a chocolate embodying Karl Rahner, SJ's theology might taste like? or St. John Chrysostom's preaching? Rahner would have to be built on a base of some intense single source chocolate - 85% cacao at least! And St. John Chrysostom? Smooth, honey based caramel, perhaps?

6 comments:

  1. I think that you should have written this before my theology ord so that I might have had something original to add!

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  2. Re 5: I was thinking the same thing! It's not literal, it's applied accuracy.

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  3. John Calvin was never accepted by the Catholic Church in any sense, except as another sinner needing redemption.

    His leading people into heresy and away from the Body of Christ has been one of the major heartaches for all good Catholic saints who have worked so hard through the centuries to repair the damage he has done to innumerable souls in cutting them off from Divine Grace through severance from the Church.

    One saint in particular, St. Francis de Sales spent his life as a missionary, and subsequently as bishop of Geneva trying to reconvert (with great success) those who had been led astray.

    The Jesuits were founded, as a religious order, specifically to help combat the heresy of Protestantism.

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  4. Not Saved by Faith Only

    Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. (James 2:24)

    It cannot get any clearer than the verse in James that good works are necessary for Christians to truly have the life that Jesus promises.

    Common objections...

    James is not speaking of salvation. But notice that the verse immediately preceding refers to Abraham's saving faith...

    And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. (James 2:23)

    The book of James is hard to understand and therefore this verse should be ignored. In fact, Martin Luther wanted to remove this book from the Bible.

    But the verse is actually easy to understand for those who accept Catholic teaching.

    Shame on those Protestants...interpreting the Bible as their sole authority with preconceived doctrines.

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  5. Open your Bible to Acts 5:29-32... But Peter and the Apostles answered and said, "We must obey GOD rather than men...(32) and we are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom GOD has given to all who obey him."

    Those verses are unmistakable that we have to do our part by obeying the commandments of GOD.

    Then there is the dreaded (by Protestants) James 2:14-26 which starts with (14) "What will it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but does not have Works?

    Can the faith save him?...(17) So faith too, unless it has Works, is dead in itself...(20) Faith without Works is useless...(21)

    Was not Abraham our father justified by Works when he offered up Isaac his son upon the altar? (22) Do you not see that Faith worked along with his Works, and by the Works the faith was made perfect?...(24)

    You see that by Works a man is justified, and not by faith only....(26) For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so, Faith also without Works is Dead." 'Subjective Salvation' in action, is shown for that whole section written by St. James.

    I could go on and on with verses like this, and could ask questions such as, why is there a need for the ten commandments, since we are 'automatically saved'? I think you get the message from what I have shown.

    Read Matthew 25:31:46. It is all about doing good works in this life. Then there is Revelation 14:13, "And I heard a voice from Heaven saying, 'Write: blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth. Yes, says the Spirit, let them rest from their labors, for their works follow them.'"

    Is that clear enough that works are needed in addition to faith? Still not convinced? Then how about another crystal clear verse? Revelation 22:12, "Behold, I come quickly! And My reward is with Me, to render to each one according to his works."

    I must call it to your attention that the Bible mentions Faith Only, once and only once, in one verse, and in that verse it says NOT by Faith Only. (James 2:24)

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  6. Anonymous9:23 AM

    WHAT YOU MUST DO TO BE SAVED

    Best of all, the promise of eternal life is a gift, freely offered to us by God (CCC 1727).

    The Catholic Church teaches what the apostles taught and what the Bible teaches: We are saved by grace alone, but not by faith alone (which is what "Bible Christians" teach; see James. 2:24).

    When we come to God and are justified (that is, enter a right relationship with God), nothing preceding justification, whether faith or good works, earns grace.

    But then God plants his love in our hearts, and we should live out our faith by doing acts of love (Galatians 6:2).

    Even though only God’s grace enables us to love others, these acts of love please him, and he promises to reward them with eternal life (Romans 2:6–7, Galatians 6:6–10).

    Thus good works are meritorious. When we first come to God in faith, we have nothing in our hands to offer him.

    Then he gives us grace to obey his commandments in love, and he rewards us with salvation when we offer these acts of love back to him (Romans 2:6–11, Galatians 6:6–10, Matthew 25:34–40).

    15 Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.

    16 Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. (Matthew 5: 15-16)

    Jesus said it is not enough to have faith in him; we also must obey his commandments. "Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ but do not do the things I command?" (Luke 6:46, Matthew 7:21–23, 19:16–21).

    We do not "earn" our salvation through good works (Ephesians 2:8–9, Romans 9:16), but our faith in Christ puts us in a special grace-filled relationship with God so that our obedience and love, combined with our faith, will be rewarded with eternal life (Romans 2:7, Galatians 6:8–9).

    Paul said, "God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work" (Philippians 2:13).

    John explained that "the way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1 John 2:3–4, 3:19–24, 5:3–4).

    Since no gift can be forced on the recipient—gifts always can be rejected—even after we become justified, we can throw away the gift of salvation.

    We throw it away through grave (mortal) sin (John 15:5–6, Romans 11:22–23, 1 Corinthians 15:1–2; CCC 1854–1863). Paul tells us, "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).

    Read his letters and see how often Paul warned Christians against sin! He would not have felt compelled to do so if their sins could not exclude them from heaven (see, for example, 1 Corinthians 6:9–10, Galatians 5:19–21).

    Paul reminded the Christians in Rome that God "will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life for those who seek glory, honour, and immortality through perseverance in good works, but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness" (Romans 2:6–8).

    Sins are nothing but evil works (CCC 1849–1850). We can avoid sins by habitually performing good works.

    Every saint has known that the best way to keep free from sins is to embrace regular prayer, the sacraments (the Eucharist first of all), and charitable acts.

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