A Book Review in Several Parts: “From Apostles to Bishops: The Development of the Episcopacy in the Early Church” by Francis A. Sullivan, S.J.

A few years ago I began to study the Catholic faith in which I was raised. And the findings of that study were disturbing. Whereas we had always been taught that the Pope of Rome was the “Vicar of Christ” and one who is directly descended from St. Peter – in unbroken succession no less […]

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. At times,  Roman Catholicism appears to lack falsifiability. The idea of falsifiability will be in the background of this article, but my primary purpose will be to show that, given its theological system, […]

Papal messianism, bolstered by lack of competence in economics, is the road to a familiar hell, however finely paved with lovely intention.

Maureen Mullarkey has a wonderful piece in this week’s First Things. Entitled “Tammany on the Tiber” it is an exceptional piece. She  wonders rightly, I think, about the trend now developing of popes canonizing their predecessors. She asks, Is election a promissory note drafted in white smoke, and redeemable at death for public elevation to the rank of […]

Who “Ruined” the Roman Catholic Church?

Peggy Noonan, the syrupy WSJ writer (and former Reagan speech writer) who famously coined the phrase “John Paul the Great” (whom Neuhaus predicted would usher in “the Catholic Moment”), now throws that hopeful papacy and the Ratzinger one under the bus and signs onto the “Church-in-ruins” model that Francis of Assisi was asked to fix: […]

“The Real and True Nature of Anglicanism”

There are Anglicans who still believe this: The Real and True Nature of Anglicanism Our ultimate question does not concern the real and true nature of Anglicanism but the real and true nature of Christianity and as to how well the Anglican tradition of Christian faith comports with the revealed faith of the Lord Jesus […]

Straining at a gnat, while swallowing the camel of centuries’-worth of ‘distinctively Roman accretions’

Continuing with my very long discussion with Michael Liccione at Called to Communion: Mike 286: That remark is as good a place as any to start for the sake of explaining what’s wrong with your approach at the most fundamental, philosophical level. There is nothing wrong with my approach at any level, much less “the […]

God unites his people for his purpose

Or: “In rebuilding the wall, Nehemiah prefigures Godly unity in the church”. Steve Hays is amazing. Sometimes I think he is not cognizant of what it means to be a mere mortal. The other day, he posted a link to “The wit and wisdom of Evan May” (Evan is a co-blogger at Triablogue). In doing […]

‘What is the church?’ Ask first ‘What does God intend for man?’

What is God’s intention with respect to man? That’s a key component in answering the question “what is the church?” While keeping the Reformed confessions in mind, G.K. Beale, in his A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic ©2011) says this: My thesis […]

The ‘people of God’: Old Testament expectations

In considering the question, “what is the church?” I noted that we have to go back a ways and ask “what was the church?” That is, we have to ask, and understand, what was the church in the New Testament? What was the Old Testament expectation? In understanding what “the church” is Edmund Clowney in […]

Theology of the Cross and Justification

I’ve written a couple of posts on Martin Luther’s theology of the Cross, and my hope is to write more. I’ve come upon this topic for several reasons, not the least of which is my wife’s illness. But as I delve into it more, I’m finding that for Martin Luther, his “discovery” of the theologia […]