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”

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”

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”

“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”

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?”

Quo Vadis Thomistice?

After considerable reflection I must agree that, despite the wisdom of certain finer points of St. Bonaventure, St. Thomas truly represents the highest point of philosophy and theology and is, in this capacity, the most effective response to modern challenges. I found out that St. Thomas held positions on faith and philosophy which I thought he had totally rejected: the extrinsic influence of the faith on philosophy, the metaphysical doctrine of the divine ideas and participatory metaphysics, mystical knowledge of God, and monarchism. Aquinas is called the Common Doctor for a very good reason. He was not a wild innovator … Continue reading “Quo Vadis Thomistice?”

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”

Eye of the Needle

Watchman Nee

Imagine a drowning man. Head barely above the water, arms flailing, his efforts to reach the shore growing feebler by the minute. You watch, helpless, unable to swim yourself, and discover to your great surprise that one of your friends is standing beside you. An experienced swimmer, he watches calmly as the man begins to sink. You feel your confusion and frustration mounting. What are you doing? Don’t you see this man is drowning? Then, just as the drowning man drops his arms and ceases his yelling, you hear a splash. Strong, swift strokes—and within seconds your friend is gently … Continue reading “Eye of the Needle”

The Romance of the Ontological Argument

Psalm 139 O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it. Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee … Continue reading “The Romance of the Ontological Argument”

Peter’s Vision: Making Clear What Was Made Clean

This is a guest post by A Andrew. He is an aspiring Messianic Jewish apologist. I have lost count of how many times people have pointed to Peter’s vision of the animals on the sheet in Acts 10 and say, “See! You do not need to keep kosher anymore!” It still shocks me every time. The use of Peter’s vision as a proof text for kosher law being discontinued would probably even shock the early Church Fathers. Not even they used Acts 10:9-16 as a justification for their position that no believer should keep kosher [1].