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”

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”

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”

“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”

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”

A Manual for Catholics on How to Dialogue with Orthodox Christians

Orthodox convo

I thought I would write a fun article that, while it contains some pearls of truth, is largely meant to tease Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians. Enjoy! Many a Catholic has gone through their entire lives without knowing what the Orthodox Christian is. For some, the word “Orthodox” often should be followed with the category of “Jew!” For other Catholics, Orthodox Christians are that weird combination of far east mysticism and Christianity, complete with bearded priests in smoke filled rooms (straight from Woodstock I suspect). For still other Catholics, Orthodox Christians were just fun people to go on Crusades with … Continue reading “A Manual for Catholics on How to Dialogue with Orthodox Christians”

Augustinian Predestination

At the moment, I am only going to post some objections to the Augustinian/Thomist view of predestination since I am starting to move away from that view due to the difficulties it poses. The Augustinian view of predestination suggests that after the fall all of mankind is destined for hell and that God, to show both aspects of his goodness, must either, by justice, condemn the great majority to their natural dwelling place or, by mercy, save a minority. At first, this view seems like a brilliant resolution of the problem of predestination but, later on, we can see that … Continue reading “Augustinian Predestination”

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”

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?”

Rediscovering Lost Horizons

Rediscovering the relationship between faith and reason is necessary for understanding and engaging with the atmosphere of our times. Indeed, it has been the church’s constant tradition to show those outside its fold how they possess vague glimpses of what the church teaches, believes, and confesses. However, before analyzing the relationship between faith and reason, we must know what faith and reason are. For through understanding the two terms we can better understand the nuances and particularities of their relationship. The moderns have often overlooked the dual nature of reason: intellectus and ratio. D. C. Schindler points out that the … Continue reading “Rediscovering Lost Horizons”