Christianity, the Non-Mystic

I recently had a conversation with fellow theologians, and we came across the topic of magic. It’s certainly one thing to argue for or against arcane elements in works of fiction, but I heard some propose that magic exists in the real world. This sentiment, as lunatic as it may sound to the uninitiated Protestant and especially to the outside skeptic, has some background in Christian history. The Catholic and especially the Orthodox faiths are steeped in elements of mysticism. The Bible itself (Deuteronomy 18:11) forbids the casting of spells. So Christianity recognizes but does not endorse the concept of … Continue reading “Christianity, the Non-Mystic”

St. Therese and Mental Illness

Mental illness and spiritual battle often get conflated, and the faithful that suffer with mental illness find differentiating the two nearly impossible. The assumption at the root of this conflation is that emotional and mental distress is a purely spiritual phenomenon that requires a solely spiritual response. Resentment, loss of faith, and/or despair abound for devout faithful people who do not recover through prayer alone. Isolation and fear take root which discourages trust and love in Christ as well as leads people to self-hatred and even self-destruction. Mental suffering in this light, places the blame on the sufferer and does … Continue reading “St. Therese and Mental Illness”

Morning Walk Conference: Pictures

Came one, came all! We are thanking God for allowing us to get together this weekend to learn, fellowship, and challenge ourselves. Many thanks also to the conference attendees—in person and online—for making this conference a smashing success! You all were so helpful, enthusiastic, flexible, charitable, and, most of all, engaged. If you attended in any capacity, please fill out this post-conference survey. Here are some of our favorite photos from the conference:

Morning Walk Conference: Join Our Livestream!

Greetings! The Morning Walk Conference has been in the works for a year, and it will start tomorrow afternoon! For those unable to attend, we will stream our conference on YouTube. On both Saturday and Sunday, feel free to join in the livestream chat and type in your questions for the keynote speakers. All times are Central Standard Time. August 22nd Keynote Speeches on Prayer: https://youtu.be/VbEvxWKSRh4 August 23rd Q&A with Keynote Speakers: https://youtu.be/j96o2_sD1q8 God Bless, Morning Walk

The Power of Forgiveness

We take many things for granted in our post-Christian world. Consistent with our human nature, we can be given the Son of God as a sacrifice for all of our faults, and get used to it. Moreover, we can gloss through many of the lessons Jesus teaches us to enact as cliche phrases with little change in our lives. One of these teachings—that we forgive those who trespass against us—is the subject of what I wanted to write about today. Recently I watched and reread sections from the book and screen adaptation of Silence, by Shūsaku Endō. The story follows … Continue reading “The Power of Forgiveness”

Church and State Part Four: The Reformation

This is the fourth and last installation of a series of articles in which I present my view of church history with a focus on the relationship between church and state. In my last article, I covered the middle ages. Today I cover the Reformation. Because excommunication was being used so much as a punishment inflicted by man rather than an edict given by God through man, the tide of Protestantism came about in the sixteenth century. The frustrations so many devout church members who disagreed with the corruption and abuse of the church—particularly from the papacy—fermented for many years … Continue reading “Church and State Part Four: The Reformation”

“I am not broken”: Rethinking a Christian Presentation of the Gospel

She spoke a language I could not understand. Standing a few inches taller than me, with dark hair tied up in a tight ponytail and her arms crossed, this young, bright poli sci student looked me in the eye and said, “I feel so sorry for you.” I gaped. The smile that accompanied these words signalled pity, but not, I thought to myself angrily, compassion. We stood by a table in the library hall. My apologetics team had propped up a poster with the question of the day (“Is religion poison to the world?”), and my new friend, attracted by … Continue reading ““I am not broken”: Rethinking a Christian Presentation of the Gospel”

Law: Equally Weapon and Tool

For nearly two months, there have been large waves of lawlessness and establishment in the United States. Today, then, I wanted to look at the nature of governance from a biblical perspective. From my interpretation of the Bible, I look at the law as fundamentally neutral. Christ makes a clear distinction between giving to Caesar and giving to God. Caesar is absolutely subordinate to God, but those pursuits of Caesar’s government run neither contrary to nor towards those of the Kingdom of Heaven. Pontius Pilate’s ultimate goal was to keep the peace throughout Israel; while he found no faults with … Continue reading “Law: Equally Weapon and Tool”

Augustine’s Answer to the Problem of Evil

The problem of evil, known as theodicy, has led many to doubt God’s goodness and existence. Theodicy has come up again and again throughout history, and most major theologians will deal with it at one time or another. While there are many ways thinkers have gone about answering the question, few do it as well as Augustine. Augustine lived a life afflicted by this question. He spent years not fully embracing Christ because of his doubts. While Aquinas provides a useful, and in my opinion correct, analysis of the problem, Augustine lived it. Augustine speaks of how his conscience chides … Continue reading “Augustine’s Answer to the Problem of Evil”

Church and State Part Three: Popes and Kings

Henry IV waiting outside the gates of Canossa Castle whilst ecclesiastical leaders jeer from inside the castle walls. Captions read "Henricus 4 Emperour Waiting 3 dayes upon Pope Gregory 7. Image of Antichrist." Woodcut from Acts and Monuments (1570)

This is the third installation in a series of articles in which I present my view of church history with a focus on the relationship between church and state. In my last article, I covered the caesaropapism. Today I cover the middle ages, the Holy Roman Empire, and the papacy. In my next and last installation, I will cover the reformation. By no means does this series provide a comprehensive history. This article covering the middle ages does not even mention Charlemagne, Pepin’s reforms, Wycliffe, or the Hussites. Rather, I have chosen to focus on a small number of events … Continue reading “Church and State Part Three: Popes and Kings”