This is the fourth entry in the “In Defense of…” series. Be sure to check out part 1, part 2, and part 3. When my grandma was a little girl, probably six or seven years old, she went to her first confession in a Roman Catholic Church. Having to find something she did wrong, she told the priest she was guilty of committing the sin of adultery…six times! In her mind, adultery meant “disrespecting an
The introduction to the series can be found here. “By detachment we strive to give our whole self to God, that all our willing, loving and desiring may be in him.”1
Please remember to check out Part One of the series. “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”1 “Acquire a peaceful spirit and thousands of others around you will be saved.”2 The Great Commission is not about making converts. It is about making saints. It is not about regeneration. It is about maturation. Granted, one needs to be converted in order to become a saint (and I understand
Be sure to check out Part 2 as well! “Although it is impossible to give exact statistics, the enormous numerical growth of the church in its first centuries is undeniable. This naturally leads us to ask how it achieved such growth. The answer may surprise some modern Christians, for the ancient church knew nothing of evangelistic services or revivals. To the contrary, worship centered on communion, and only baptized Christians were admitted to its celebration.
Christianity makes some bold claims: God created the universe. Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Human existence does not end at physical death. These statements all point to an important component of the Christian worldview: that which we can see, touch, and measure—the physical world—is not all that is. Reality is composed of something beyond the natural, physical material that we see all around us. Once one accepts the reality of the non-natural, an important question
“Tradition is not static but dynamic, not stifling but liberating. Orthodoxy is a tool, not an end…I sometimes feel that a traditionalist means one who is effectively ignorant of the tradition in its richness and complexity but who clings, neurotically and fiercely, to the conventions of several decades past.”1 “Conventionality and orthodoxy are completely different matters, and that many who boast the name of Catholic would be surprised and shocked at what the tradition actually
In his post, “Does Experience Affect our Theology?” Peter Enns briefly speculates about the role of experience in the formation of theology. He concludes with this point, “We have to be willing to rethink who this God is, this God who isn’t as predictable as we might think.” This is a principle C.S. Lewis illustrates when it is said of Aslan: “He isn’t safe. But he’s good.” Christians should avoid feeling too comfortable with their
On the Cross we see what it means for God to be God, and for a Human to be human. On the Cross we see the fullness of God and the fullness of humanity revealed. On the Cross we see what it means for God to exist as love. On the Cross we see what it means for humanity to reach the summit of love. In the selflessness of Christ crucified, we see how the
Many communities are mourning the passing of Marilyn McCord Adams: philosophers, theologians and Christians from all over the world benefited from her influence during her lifetime.1 We can only hope that the reach of her prolific work and profound insights continues to grow in the future. In honor of Professor McCord Adams, I would like to note some of the distinctive and inspiring aspects of her life and work. I first encountered the work of
Introduction to the Series: This post begins an ambitious project, one which will engage the theological concept of personhood. I readily admit that I am in way over my head on this one. While the topic excites me (in a scary nerdy way), it is a theological behemoth. Yet, my hope is that, after years of study, I can unpack and promote ideas that bring clarification, instead of confusion, to the discussion table. Many theologians
Last August, my family and I transitioned into Anglicanism, and I began the process of ordination to the priesthood. For the last several months we have been fully immersed in an environment that is about as Anglican as it can possibly get here in the United States. At Nashotah House Theological Seminary, the Daily Offices are prayed every single day in chapel without exception. A Benedictine way of life is inhabited (as best we can,
Living in a post-Christian culture appears to be taking its toll on the local church. We no longer reside in small towns where people work together through the week and walk to church together on Sundays. We get in our separate cars from our separate neighbourhoods and homes, convene for an hour or two, and go home. Does this hour of the week change who we are? Does it connect us with the body of Christ?
When I was in high school, I really started to get serious at my faith because of a Calvary Chapel church in my area. While as an Anglo-Catholic my faith is quite different now, I greatly appreciate my brief sojourn with Calvary Chapel. I was reminiscing about those days recently and was reminded that one of the major distinctives of Calvary Chapel churches is that they do not pass a collection plate. Instead, churchgoers are
Time dawned and chaos was made order, man came alive within a garden’s border, within the garden’s border man died when he disobeyed God and bowed to pride. Darkness and chaos twined the world ’round, but with the curse a promise was found, up would grow a tender young shoot; A King would rise from Jesse’s root. A King would rise like light in the dark, One unbranded by sin’s cruel mark, to free his
The crowd enthusiastically chanted, “TEN! NINE! EIGHT!” “SEVEN! SIX! FIVE! FOUR!” The smoke from the smoke machine filled the auditorium as the strobe light flickered with increasing intensity, and the giant screen above the center of the stage continued the countdown. “THREE! TWO! ONE!” Everyone immediately erupted in a glorious uproar as five hipsters ran onto the stage and began playing loud music with ripping guitar solos, cool sound effects, and a light show that
If “God so loved the world” (John 3:16) and “desires that all be saved” (2 Tim 2:4), how are Christians to make sense of hell? Is hell undoubtedly eternal (as passages like Matt 25:41 suggest), or is it possible that God’s Love will eventually conquer even the staunchest of resisting wills? Finally, what is the role of doctrine about hell in living the Christian life, in training new Christians, or in proclaiming the Gospel? Today
The title of this article may sound quite oxymoronic to some. If you are someone like I used to be, you may find yourself wondering what an ancient Saint, a monastic one at that, would have to teach us about being missional today. Those who pursue the study of missional theology often do not place reading books about the reclusive lives of the monastic saints too highly on the priority list. Missiologists, from my experience,
When someone who was raised in an Evangelical Protestant setting goes to an Anglican church, it might seem very Catholic. There’s a crucifix with Jesus’ body hanging on the cross, the altar is at the center, and the pulpit is off to the side. There may be icons and a rail to kneel at for Communion. If they stay for the Mass, they might see something that very closely parallels a Roman Catholic service. The
“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
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!1” A few years ago my wife and I went to a Greek festival hosted by a Greek Orthodox Church in downtown St. Louis. As we were walking around the building trying to decide which food looked most appetizing to us, we stumbled across a bookstore right inside the doors of the church.