“Why does God permit human beings to suffer and die?” There is no simple or easy answer to this question. Perhaps the best response is to pray, with Jesus Christ: “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done” (Lk 22:42). Our Lord experienced the groaning of creation (Rom 8:22). He shed immortality and impassibility to take the form of a servant (Phil 2:7), to identify
TJ Humphrey’s latest article, Why I Didn’t Convert to Eastern Orthodoxy, is making the rounds on the internet as voices on social media and elsewhere join in to echo his main critique. The enthusiasm with which this article was received is indicative of a failure on our part as Eastern Orthodox Christians in general and a failure of Eastern Orthodox Christian converts in particular. What this calls for is not a defense of Holy Orthodoxy
The Eastern Orthodox Church is often criticized for its “lack of emphasis” on evangelism; the Orthodox Church just does not care about “The Great Commission” or spreading the “Gospel” to the world—or so the argument goes. In my experience, the major proponents of this criticism are often low-church evangelicals who define evangelism according to a specifically narrow rubric. Within such communities, buzzwords like “The Great Commission,” “Gospel,” and “Evangelism”—and more recently “building the Kingdom”—are thrown
Gun violence and lethal force have been hot topics on the evening news and the subject of debate in the social and political spheres for quite some time. Because of this, people are often categorized in one of two camps: those who are for and those who are against lethal weaponry. Instead of jumping into a heated political debate, we here at Conciliar Post asked our authors how they believe Christians should understand lethal force in self-defense.
Christmas is a wonderful time of year, filled with family, food, and festivities. While almost all Christians agree that Christmas is an especially important time of year for the commemoration of Jesus’ birth, not all Christians concur on how to best celebrate the nativity of the Lord. This month’s Round Table reflects on how different traditions celebrate Christmas. As you read this Round Table, we encourage you to reflect not only on what you do
Living in a fallen world such as we do, death unfortunately remains a fact of life. We have all experienced the loss of loved ones, all struggled with the spectre of death. But what happens when people die? Do they go to heaven? Hell? Purgatory? Limbo? Furthermore, do all dogs really go to heaven, or is that merely the childhood fantasy relegated to the dumpster of bad theology? This month’s Round Table discussion reflects on
498 years ago tomorrow, a young Augustinian monk who taught at the University of Wittenberg nailed ninety-five theses on “The Power and Efficacy of Indulgences” to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Though seemingly innocuous as the time, this event has since been hailed as the start of the Protestant Reformation, a theological shake up in the Western Church that has changed the face of Christianity and Western civilization. In response to the
What is Christianity? That seems to be a simple question. At least until you sit down and have to precisely and concisely answer it. Is Christianity a religion? A relationship? A worldview? A movement? An institution? A set of doctrinal beliefs? A series of philosophical arguments? All of these? None of these? Some of these? This month, Conciliar Post has collected no fewer than fourteen answers to this important question of definitions. Ranging across a
Is Protestantism a heresy? This question has recently been asked of me by a number of sincere Protestants. Well-meaning as they are, their questions have put me in a dangerous position. On the one hand, I could answer as I have addressed similar, though less pointed, questions by hearkening to my ignorance and the mercy of our gracious God. On the other, such an answer may lead those I love, among whom I count you
Today the Supreme Court announced its ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. The question concerning the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide has been settled, but it leaves us with more questions than answers. Other countries that have legalized same-sex marriage have run into this same problem. In a consultation document concerning the legalization of same-sex marriage, the British government realized that if they redefine marriage they would also have to redefine consummation: a marriage of
Human beings have long been interested in discerning what the future holds. Throughout recorded human history, people have sought to understand “the End” and what that event entails. Some worldviews adopt an attitude of pessimism regarding the end of the things, theorizing the utter destruction of planet earth by nature or humanity. Other perspectives take a more positive approach, trusting that the ills of the world will be remedied before life ceases on planet earth.
Yesterday marked one year since the launch of Conciliar Post. A number of changes have been made to the site since last June, among them, a site redesign in December, as well as the additions of a Christian Traditions page and free audiobooks of the Writings of the Church Fathers. The up-and-coming year is sure to be as exciting as the last, with new additions, greater functionality, and exciting resources. But beyond expanding the website’s functionality, increasing
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20) Since Jesus’ delivery of this Great
This week, Western Christians celebrate Holy Week, the last days of Jesus Christ on earth before his crucifixion at the hands of Pontius Pilate, torturous suffering on a cross, and death. Of course, the story of Christ does not end there, but continues on Sunday with Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. This act—the defeat of death—became the launching point of the Christian faith, the linchpin of the Gospel: God has come to earth and he
The title “Mother of God” is given to Mary in both the Eastern (Orthodox) and Western (Catholic) Churches. Used by early Christian writers such as Origen, Athanasius, and Augustine, the title seems to have been well established and widely accepted prior to its formal proclamation in the 5th century. This title is important. “Mother of God” carries with it the full weight of Jesus Christ’s deity.
Mary is a touchy subject for Protestants. I get it. Really, I get it. The majority of my life I sat in the pews of a very conservative Protestant Church with very Protestant views of Mary. If you would have told me then that in the future I would believe in Mary’s perpetual virginity, call her Mother of God, and be devoted to her in my prayer life, I would have laughed. At that time,
Why are so many Christian men addicted to Pornography? What does Pornography do you a person? It is my purpose to talk about what Pornography–and more broadly, sin in general–does to our personhood. I believe that pornography addiction among Christian men is only one of the most obvious areas affected by a deeper lie that we have been buying for quite some time.
In a recent Conciliar Post article entitled, Christmas is about the Cross, George Aldhizer presented the Reformed understanding of the Incarnation as a means to an end. The end being the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and the salvation of the elect; a salvation that needed to be “purchased” in order to “fully satisfy the justice of [the] Father”.1 George explained the purpose of the article in footnote 1 as, a response to
‘Tis the Christmas season. Our music, parties, concerts and plays, nativity scenes, lights, eggnog, and (if you’re lucky enough) snow tell us that Christmas comes swiftly. Gifts are being purchased. Plans to see family are being finalized. The busyness and joys of the Christmas season are pervasive, even for those who don’t celebrate Christmas. But why do we celebrate Christmas? The “Christmas Wars” rightfully remind us the real reason for the season: the birth of
Round Tables are where several Conciliar Post writers get together and offer their thoughts on a particular topic or question. These forums are intended to demonstrate the similarities and differences between various Christian viewpoints, to foster civil and meaningful discussion, and to provide a place to wrestle with important issues. At the heart of all discussions are central questions, sometimes explicit, but more often assumed: Is there a God? Where do we come from? Why