Rules for Me, Not for Thee

The Bible talks a great deal about brothers and neighbors. We must love our neighbor as ourselves, reconcile with our brother before we present our offerings to God, and not bear false witness against our neighbor. I wish now to discuss protocol towards those who are not our brothers or neighbors. Just as the Good Samaritan was a neighbor, the Pharisee and Levite were not. The world is full of people who cannot care for us, for whom we cannot set aside time. More specifically, though, I’d like to check our stance towards unbelievers, predominantly through the lens of the … Continue reading “Rules for Me, Not for Thee”

Word and Bread and Flesh and Blood

Introduction The Bread of Life Discourse is one of Jesus’ most famous sermons. In John 6, Jesus teaches that He is the bread who comes down from heaven (John 6:33); that He will give us His flesh to eat (John 6:51); and that, unless we “eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood,” we have no life in us (John 6:53). Despite its notorious obscurity, and despite countless quarrels over its proper interpretation, the categories for understanding Christ’s words are plainly supplied by His invocation of Isaiah 54:13: that “they will all be taught of God” … Continue reading “Word and Bread and Flesh and Blood”

A Discursive Dialogue on Prayer

Anselm. Why, Boso! Hello, old friend! It’s been ages. How are you? Boso. Not very well, old chap. Unfortunately, I’ve converted to Protestantism. A. Protestantism? How gauche! B. I’m afraid it’s true. I encountered a theological difficulty that I couldn’t reconcile with various strong intuitions pertaining to religion. I cannot, in good conscience, commit to a faith that requires me to assent to beliefs and practices that simply strike me as incorrect. A. There are some 19th-century bishops who would like to have a word with you. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean that others don’t! Whatever “difficulty” … Continue reading “A Discursive Dialogue on Prayer”

A Careful Critique of Calvinism

[1] Before I go into this article I want to comment on what a joy it has been to have this continuing series of articles with Camille. Much of what we discuss on the topic of salvation and predestination happens during long and fervent phone calls. Starting with an article discussing what it means to be a “good man,” we have traveled far in a discussion of God’s plan for man in salvation.  That said I want to outline what we agree on so that we can focus – like a laser – on the points of contention. Both Camille … Continue reading “A Careful Critique of Calvinism”

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”

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

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”

Christianity of the Third Millennium

I can see the merits of Sola Scriptura. I can see why so many people choose to adopt that ideology. Just as Jesus seemingly condensed the law into two rules, so a summary compilation of the tenets of the faith, the Bible, condenses the work of millennia. It’s easier to read, and, in theory, it’s all a Christian needs to learn the faith. I posit, however, that adhering to Sola Scriptura alone can lead to dangerous levels of oversight. In 2020 Anno Domini, poverty is considerably less of an issue than in 20 Anno Domini. Is the means of our … Continue reading “Christianity of the Third Millennium”

The Point of Denominations

In my region of the world, it’s a taboo for a church to have a denomination. Churches that have one are said to be divisive and misleading. I disagree. Christianity is the only ideology that can span all times, cultures, and situations, but show me a single organization that could manage that much territory. No nation has been able to do it in the history of the world. Those that have come close never managed to last a century after their peak. And that’s for good reason; some cultures mix about as well as oil and water. How well did … Continue reading “The Point of Denominations”

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”