What Real Ecumenism Looks Like

For the past few years, Zach and I have had a running debate with Vlad about whether the term “Ecumenical” aptly describes Morning Walk. Zach and I advocate for its inclusion into our Mission Statement. Vlad, in all his belligerent Russian Orthodox fashion, thinks the word speaks too much like a festering of High Church Anglicans getting together with Vatican higher-ups to dither about much of nothing and sign something that has little real world implications. Such “Ecumenism” does not reflect the spirit of true Christian ecumenical conversation, and Vlad is right to be concerned with the usage of a … Continue reading “What Real Ecumenism Looks Like”

On Reading Scripture “Literally”

When I was studying theology at Loyola, my Old Testament professor told our class that we should seek to read the Bible literally, but not always verbatim. Coming from a theology department that was lacking in Protestant fundamentalists, this comment impressed me. My professor went on to say that when approaching scripture, we should take it on its own terms. If a section of Genesis is written as history, we should read it as history! If a psalm is written to be allegorical, we should treat it as such. The key to much of Biblical hermeneutics is the art of … Continue reading “On Reading Scripture “Literally””

What Is the Deal with Mary?

About a year ago, a friend asked me to write about Mary and why Apostolics (Catholics and Orthodox) have such a unique affinity for the Mother of God (Theotokos). So I am now acting upon that request! This article is not meant to seek to prove why one (or any) devotion to the Blessed Mother is good and holy, but simply to reflect on the history of Early Christian attitudes towards Mary and present some current day examples of Marian devotion. While I hope to encourage all readers in a greater appreciation for Mary and her unparalleled role among the … Continue reading “What Is the Deal with Mary?”

Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin

Growing up I often heard the phrase “love the sinner, hate the sin” used as a way to approach the complexity of living in a world where we are called to love a broken and sinful people. This phrase actually comes from St Augustine in his Letter 211 where he writes, “Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum” or “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.” The phrase, albeit simple, captures an important struggle of taking a nuanced look at each person, distinguishing the good from the bad. While the phrase is not direct from scripture, it is based on … Continue reading “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin”

Salvation and Free Will

This post is inspired by the previous post Camille wrote talking about how and why it is so important to understand that man is utterly dependent on God for his salvation. While I know we have our disagreements, I found myself nodding along to most everything throughout Camille’s post. I agree that no one can claim to lead a sinless life. No man is born good. We are all fallen creatures, destined to life separated from God on our own merits. For the purpose of focus, I will table a discussion as to whether it is possible to become a … Continue reading “Salvation and Free Will”

The Call to Evangelize

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20) One of the primary duties of a Christian is to make disciples of others. More importantly the Church, however we may understand it, is a missionary church and charged with spreading the Gospel to the whole world. This duty is one of the most important, if not THE most … Continue reading “The Call to Evangelize”

A Confutation on Circumcision

This article is a continuation of the discussion Zach, Anisha and I are having concerning whether circumcision is efficacious, a proposal that we both think has strong implications for Baptism. I want to revisit Zach’s most recent article and respond to its claims. At the beginning of Zach’s article, he problematically states that “Efficacy entails not only necessity, but also sufficiency.” This definition is not only inconsistent with regard to my beliefs but overcomplicates the discussion to include the technical words of ‘necessity’ and sufficiency’ which is not necessary for this discussion. Instead, I would say that efficacious circumcision means … Continue reading “A Confutation on Circumcision”

So that No Man may Boast

Oftentimes in conversations with Christians of the reformed tradition, a discussion of the goodness of man and how that relates to the divine plan of salvation will arise. During these conversations I have found that a difference in definitions to be harmful to actually discussing the issues at hand. Add to the differing nomenclature palates actual disagreements over a number of differing nuanced positions and the result is chaotic. In this article I primarily want to clear up the Catholic position, as far as I understand it; however, I will also do my best to show why it makes the … Continue reading “So that No Man may Boast”

St. Ignatius and Opportunity Costs

For millennia the family craft would dictate one’s career. The son of a farmer is expected to be a farmer, the son of the fisherman will become a fisherman, and the son of the carpenter will become a carpenter. Within the past century a new model of choosing your own career became the norm. You could apprentice in a chosen field before you set down a lifelong career that would usually result in decades of work, at the same firm, and end with a comfortable retirement. Today the attitudes are changing once more, as switching between career paths is becoming … Continue reading “St. Ignatius and Opportunity Costs”

Becoming Like Little Children

As I think back on my childhood I remember a time that seemed more magical, simple, and eternal.  A restful Saturday would be a journey through imagination and play that would drag on and on until sleep inevitably won the day. A week felt like it would never end, and summer break was an eternity. I, like many I have talked to, remember childhood as a simpler, more innocent time surrounded with warmth and fondness.