Apostolic Succession Part 3: Pentecost

In this last article of my series on Apostolic Succession (1,2), I will run through the story of the beginning of the Church in Acts with my Catholic lens. I will go through the Ascension, Peter’s speech, and explain what I understand as the transition of mission from Christ to his Apostles with the Holy Spirit. After examining scripture, I will continue into tradition, looking at Church fathers contemporary to the Apostles and their successors. Acts begins describing how Christ, post resurrection, both acted and taught the Apostles, preparing them for their mission ahead (Acts 1:1-5). Many Apostles, if not … Continue reading “Apostolic Succession Part 3: Pentecost”

Melchizedek in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Qumran_Cave_11_Entrance

In 1965, A. S. van der Woude published a scroll from Qumran named 11Q13. This scroll only came to us in fragments, so we do not know its full size or the main theme of the original manuscript. However, the second column of the scroll remains fairly readable, and I want to share some insights one might glean from the text. A character named “Melchizedek” figures prominently in the text of column two. This Melchizedek seems to play a priestly role: [Melchize]dek who will return them and will proclaim liberty to them to relieve them from […] all their iniquities… … Continue reading “Melchizedek in the Dead Sea Scrolls”

The Desert and the Well: Finding Valuable Discussion

Whether dedicated or foolhardy, I’m a strong believer in engaging others in argumentation. When played right, they help to exercise the mind and shape perspective. However, what should be a search for the truth often turns into mindless attempts to score points, unwinnable efforts where ethos takes the place of logos and everyone’s time is wasted. In an age where debaters are anonymous but more commonplace, Jesus provides useful advice with regards to parsing productive discussions from unproductive ones. The discussion between Jesus and Nicodemus (John 3) ended in disappointment. Nicodemus comes to Jesus acknowledging His divine influence, under the … Continue reading “The Desert and the Well: Finding Valuable Discussion”

St. Alphonsus on Vocation

“How narrow is the gate, and straight is the way that leadeth to life:  and few there are that find it!” – Matthew 7:14 The path to salvation is found only in Jesus Christ, yet there are many roads along that path which allow for one to serve Him. The question of which path one is to follow to best serve Him brings about a serious consideration of His Will and the trust thereof. We call discernment the process of prayerfully considering where God is calling a soul to serve Him. Discerning a vocation is no easy task. Marked by … Continue reading “St. Alphonsus on Vocation”

Apostolic Succession Part 2: Heresy, Hooligans, and the Holy

This article is a continuation of a previous post, where I begin my three article journey responding to Zach. In this piece I will look at Apostolic Succession through a historical lens, bringing together many of the “Fact Checks” from my previous post. We will clearly define what is meant by Apostolic Succession and why theological cohesion was sought by the early Church, as well as the condemnation of heresy. In my next article I will discuss scriptural and historical evidence for Apostolic Succession. As with many debated topics, Apostolic Succession can be made into a straw man by its … Continue reading “Apostolic Succession Part 2: Heresy, Hooligans, and the Holy”

Obama, Trump, and Hayek’s Road to Serfdom

In the 2015-2016 Republican primary, Trump’s quick rise to the top surprised many who could not understand how a conservative could find a suitable leader in Trump. I was among those sorely disappointed with his nomination (I supported Cruz). Here I offer my explanation for his quick rise, an explanation that may trigger liberals and embarrass conservatives. One aspect of Trump’s rise that surprised pundits was his lack of credentials. He had no experience in politics or public administration. Yet his supporters felt he was highly qualified. Supporters kept saying “he’s a businessman,” and “he gets things done,” as if … Continue reading “Obama, Trump, and Hayek’s Road to Serfdom”

Chance: Opportunities to Find God

I find it difficult to listen to God. I can count on one hand the number of times when God spoke to me directly, and even then those times might have been late-night fatigue. I doubt strongly that I’m alone on this; many Christians claim to not have heard God directly even once. While I don’t claim to solve thousands of years of theology, I’ve recently started a practice that works for me. It’s simple and has doubtless been done before, but I wanted to gloss over the how and delve more into the why. Simply, I put on a … Continue reading “Chance: Opportunities to Find God”

Salvation and Heart Surgery

Several months ago, Danny wrote an article on the concept of free will and its role in salvation. I have also discovered, to my surprise and great delight, that  it is no difficult task for me to plunge back into the friendly fray. The subject of salvation never does grow stale. So it is with eagerness and anticipation that I offer my thoughts on “Salvation and Free Will.” Danny introduces his subject with an analogy to illustrate the role of free will in the individual’s moment of salvation. To do this, he brings back our friend, the Drowning Man, who … Continue reading “Salvation and Heart Surgery”

Apostolic Succession Part 1: Addressing History

Zach posted a series of articles (here, here, here, and here) from early Church history into the middle ages. While I found the first article agreeable, it is clear that he is painting a Reformed interpretation of Church history. In my patient waiting for him to complete his series I have been able to do some research and provide a bit of a fact check on the narrative he put forward. In this first article I will simply be responding to some of the logical jumps Zach makes that aren’t merited. In my next article I will explain why Apostolic … Continue reading “Apostolic Succession Part 1: Addressing History”

More on Words, Ecumenism, and Language

With deep regret, this article comes to you late, for which I apologize. Vlad and I recently resumed our discussion of words and the use of “ecumenism.” We both moderated our positions, and I want to present my position anew. I look forward to hearing Vlad’s take on my moderated position. First, on the matter of etymology, Vlad is correct that I brought this up in oral discussion. This occurred on a lakeside porch in a faraway country in the summer of 2018. I may have also brought up this point previously in an online discussion. In my article, I … Continue reading “More on Words, Ecumenism, and Language”