The Importance of Social Customs in the Christian Tradition

Perhaps because the “sophisters, economists, and calculators [have] succeeded” (Edmund Burke), it is fashionable today for Christians to forget or dismiss the importance of social customs, traditions, and manners in the maintenance of societal order. These rarely receive consideration in discussions on Reformed social ethics; and, when considered, they are discarded as “old prejudices” or unreasoned habits useful […]

Two Roman Catholic claims that cannot both be true

When engaging Roman Catholic apologists one often encounters two claims: 1) Roman Catholicism is publicly verifiable, meaning that one can provide sufficient reasons for a nonbeliever to convert to Roman Catholicism (see here for a detailed discussion on this) and 2) that any conclusion concerning the type of church Christ founded that does not secure […]

Roman Catholicism on Trial: Evidence and Assumptions

Protestants who engage Roman Catholics often leave the discussion in frustration. It seems that Roman Catholic apologists have an answer for everything: nothing penetrates their system revealing inconsistency with the evidence. They are good at accounting for facts, even the facts that seem to contradict other claims. Though denied, Roman Catholicism at times appears to lack […]

Can Roman Catholics Change Their Name?

  Recently a Roman Catholic eacquaintance of mine wrote here about his dissatisfaction with the first part of his denomination’s name, i.e. “Roman”.    It seems that the geographic label is used against him in his apologetic interactions with Protestants.  And my friend is rather tired of being “beat ‘round the ears” with the label and […]

Book Review: “Churches, Revolutions, & Empires: 1789-1914” by Ian J. Shaw

Book Review: “Churches, Revolutions, & Empires: 1789-1914” by Ian J. Shaw Published by Christian Focus, 2012 Ian J. Shaw is currently the Director of the Langham Scholarship programme in the UK. I first became aware of this book because of a reference to it by Adam Parker on the “Bring The Books” web site (  Adam […]

Bergoglio’s Gig, Part 3: Opposing Ratzinger

In one of his first major public addresses as pope, at St. Peter’s Square, Sunday, March 17, 2013, “Pope Francis” specifically cited Cardinal Walter Kasper’s book “On Mercy”: In the past few days I have been reading a book by a Cardinal — Cardinal Kasper, a clever theologian, a good theologian — on mercy. And […]

The Papacy: “Self-Consciously” Modeled After the 4th Century Roman State

Roman Catholics today like to tell us that “Christ is the head of the church,” but Pope Siricius (384-399), who was the successor of the murderer pope Damasus, “self-consciously … began to model their actions and style as Christian leaders on the procedures of the Roman state. … [Siricius responded to an inquiry from a […]

To what degree can we cooperate with members of the Catholic church and other churches?

I’m throwing this out here in large part because I’d like to get feedback from people on this issue, to help me in some of the organizational decisions I am making. Everyone who is in leadership has to make decisions about who they can work together with, and on what activities. Who we work with […]

Paradigms, Tradition, and the Lexicon, Part 2

Or, Jason Stellman’s “already-existing apostolic tradition” In his article The Tradition and the Lexicon, Bryan Cross says: In general, Protestants think differently about how to go about interpreting Scripture than do Catholics. When trying to understand the meaning of a passage in Scripture, Catholics have always looked to the Tradition; we seek to determine how […]

Ever wonder where “Papal Conclaves” come from?

Writing about what has been called “The First Reformation”, Diarmaid MacCulloch says: The idea of a Reformation in the sixteenth century is probably a familiar one, but it must be realized that an equally crucial Reformation took place in the Western church during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. It was not a rebellion in the […]