Ask Me Anything vol 1 (J. Budiszewski)

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BayouHuguenot

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Budzizsewski, J. Ask Me Anything vol 1.

Instead of repeatedly spelling Budziszewski’s name, I am going to refer to him as Prof. Theo or Theo. That’s what he goes by in the book. The book is largely a fictional account of real-life conversations on stuff college kids go through. As with all of Theo’s writing, is pointed, clear, and, quite frankly, entertaining.

Girl and Guy Stuff

Here is the main point: love is a commitment to will the objective good of the other.

Courtship:

“Steady dating produces expectations.” This expectation can sometimes be marriage. Girls can’t wait forever, but does that girl know you aren’t pressuring them for sex? In the dialogue, the guy tells the professor, “But I am a Christian. I don’t pressures her for sex.” To which Theo responds, “That’s good, but does she know that?’

There is a logic in not calling a date a date. For some, it could be a fear of failure. If you’re just friends, and it’s not working out, then you didn’t fail at dating.

Do we call it “courtship,” “dating,” or does it really matter? Dating (or courting) generates expectations. Theo does give the standard line of not dating if you aren’t seeing marriage as a possibility. When his interlocutor says, “But that’s not in the Bible,” Theo responds, “Do you think that lets you off the hook?”

What is Sex For?

Even a perfect birth control (and in the context it is limited to outside of marriage for the sake of argument; remember, he’s talking with college kids) can only shield you from the physical consequences of sex. It does nothing to protect you from jealousy and mistrust.

Further, reducing sex to pleasure eventually deadens the pleasure. Neither can sex be reduced to feelings, since feelings are epiphenomenal. Love involves feelings, but it cannot be defined as a feeling.

Professor Theo discusses other issues such as living with unbelievers, failing to grow up in college, and just war (considering that many college students are in the military). His training in legal analysis is particularly helpful on the last one.

He also gives several conversations he’s had with gay students (embellished and adapted for fiction’s sake). He pursues different lines of questioning with them, and this is important (and important in all apologetics encounters)--don’t answer every question, especially if one isn’t important to the main question. For example, while diseases are decimating the gay community, don’t start off on that. Point out that sexual intimacy bonds with the other, and in this case you are only bonding with an image of yourself.

This is a quick, short, cheap read and is ideal for those who have just graduated high school. I do have one problem: he pursues the line of questioning on whether Protestants should date Catholics, and he is quite frank about the difficulties involved. He references the Joint Declaration between Lutherans and Catholics, but doesn’t mention that the anathemas of Trent are still in place, nor does the document address the instrumentality of justification.
 
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