Ecclesiasticus 4:28

"Fight to the death for truth, and the Lord God will war on your side."

Ora pro nobis,

Most Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Francis de Sales, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Dominic. Amen.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Battleship Ecclesia

Christopher has stated the intentions for our blog--to be an apologetics-based site defending the beauty and truth of the Catholic Church.

Just by way of introduction, Christopher is the more down-to-business one of us two. I'm more Chris' foil. Although, how I can truly be the Costello to an Abbott who lists "Demolition Man" among his favourite movies, I'm not sure. But I have the fact that people say that I both look and act like Jim Carrey going for me. And here we are, attempting to do a no-nonsense, academic blog about the Catholic Church. But hopefully we'll have some fun along the way, too. After all, humour and creativity are part of what it is to be created in the Image of God, and I intend to exploit those qualities as well as reason and intellect, in examining the glory of the Barque of Peter.

Which, in a very roundabout way, brings me to my topic for this post, I wanted to take a minute to elaborate on the [edit: former] name of our blog: "Get Into the Boat." First of all, I will admit up front that it was a tongue-in-cheek reference to another blog out there, done by a Calvinist Protestant, titled "Get Out of the Boat." The reference, of course, is to the beautiful story of Peter's faith-response to Jesus walking on the water, as Peter gets out to join him. Jesus rescues Peter from drowning when he begins to be overwhelmed with fear and doubt about the stormy sea around him, but the point is that Peter was the only one who actually had enough faith in the first place to leave the boat. [Edit: out of charity to that other blogger, I changed the blog's name to Barque of Peter--but my point remains.]

When I suggested the title for this blog to Christopher, and mentioned its apposition to that other blog, he wondered at my wanting to overturn Peter's act of faith by telling us to stay in the boat instead. So please, be assured that my tongue-in-cheek reference to the other blog in no way minimises the importance of stepping out in faith!

On the contrary, the title of our blog has nothing to do with whether or not to exercise faith in trusting Our Saviour. Rather, the faith exercised pertains to the Boat. After all, I am not advising that we get into a dinghy to be tossed about by the waves--one which could capsize at any moment should we choose to rock it. Indeed not! Rather, the Boat that I desire us all to board is as steady as a Cruise Ship on the high seas, and yet is outfitted for battling marauding pirates who would plunder our souls and leave us marooned and shipwrecked (cf. 1 Timothy 1:18-19). It is the Church of God, "one, holy, catholic and apostolic." It is the Barque of that same Peter who left his own boat to follow Christ.

I will say it clearly: this boat is it. No other vessel will sail so true. No other is safe from getting lost or defeated. Christ has given us His promise that Hell itself will never sink her (cf. Matthew 16:18).

Ah! whoever says that Our Lord has placed us in the barque of His Church, at the mercy of the winds and of the tide, instead of giving us a skilful pilot perfectly at home, by nautical art, with chart and compass, such a one says that He wishes our destruction. Let Him have placed therein the most excellent compass and the most correct chart in the world, what use are these if no one knows how to gain from them some infallible rule for directing the ship? Of what use is the best of rudders if there is no steersman to move it as the ship's course requires? But if every one is allowed to turn it in the direction he thinks good, who sees not that we are lost? -St. Francis de Sales
In the end, it comes back to faith. Not faith to leave, but faith to board the Boat. Is Jesus real? Is the Bible reliable? Is the Catholic Church seaworthy? Christopher and I are here to do our small part to answer these questions, so as to lay out the gangplank, so that the leap of faith will not be quite so far.

God bless,


Joey said...

I know I am three and a half years late on this comment, so forgive the tag-along tone.

I just thought it so terrific that you would introduce your blog by describing the Church as the only safe vessel on the high seas. Not just because the analogy is so perfect and Biblical (and Augustinian), but because it is how I deliver the dumbed-down "reader's digest" version of my reasons for wanting to join the Catholic Church after thirty years of active evangelical faith. When someone asks me why I want to convert if I am already "saved", I say this:

Jesus threw me a lifeline years ago on the open sea, and I am attached to His ship while my feet happily tread baptismal water, towed by a rope held by Jesus himself. He will never let go of me, and I am on a sure course toward port. We talk over the railing all the time, and He helps me avoid the crags and sharks. I listen most of the time, and He always casts out a new life ring if I let go. I feel like He is with me in the life ring in a sense, but He is most clearly and visibly on the deck of the ship. Now I would like to come aboard.

....aaaand then we usually get into a debate about the particularity of the Church matching that of Christ Himself and how to identify the boat, etc.

Kane Augustus said...


I'm almost a year late in responding to your comment, but what the heck, hey?

Anyway, my name used to be "Christopher", but I legally changed it to Kane. I'm the 'Christopher' Gregory identified in this article.

A question about your testimony/answer: can you point to anything beyond a subjective anecdotal image of your relationship to God? Something that is empirical, say?

I'm genuinely curious because I really don't think anybody can. And that, to me, makes the question of God really suspicious.