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Monthly Archives: November 2007

Against Confessional Diversity

A common impulse in the face of the division of the Christian church is to look for unique pearls of distinctly Christian wisdom and beauty in the various different traditions of the Christian faith.  In so doing, we construct some notion of the divergent streams of the Christian faith as different and uniquely beautiful tributaries […]

A Church Without Theory?

In a theological autobiography of his conversion to Catholicism, Rusty Reno makes a very interesting statement about the ‘non-theoretical’ nature of the Roman Church: The ocean needs no justification. It needs no theory to support the movement of its tides. In the end, as an Episcopalian I needed a theory to stay put, and I […]

Diverse Polities in Unity?

In his book, Priest and Bishop Fr. Raymond Brown makes the argument that, theoretically it should (or could) be possible for different forms of church polity to coexist in one communion.  He argues: The likelihood that in Paul’s lifetime some of his Churches that had no bishops lived in fellowship with Churches that had bishops […]

Theology as the Supspension of Disbelief

Trying to define theology will always be perhaps the biggest theological task that theologians undertake.  More often than not major disagreements in theology often come back to central divergences in the self-understanding(s) of what theology is.  While this “wrangling over words” will certainly never come to an end, I have a proposal for how theology […]

Consuming Jesus: A Review

There has been a massive influx of Christian literature and criticism regarding the multifaceted behemoth of “consumerism” in recent years. What could be dismissed as a faddish form of cultural criticism has begun to take hold in Christian communities across denominational and confessional lines (insofar as such lines still really exist in protestant Christianity). Up […]

Non-Episcopal Ministries

I concluding his excellent and utterly honest historical study of the origins of the episcopate in the church, Francis Sullivan makes this statement which I found quite encouraging as a non-Roman Catholic.  I’m curious what other Roman Catholic Christians would think of it. I believe that we have sound reasons to hold that Christian ministry, […]

Episcopacy in the Early Church

I’m currently reading through the Apostolic Fathers (Michael Holmes’ translation is excellent, I highly recommend it).  When I was reading the Didache I came across this passage: Therefore appoint for yourselves bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord, men who are humble and not avaricious and true and approved, for they too carry out for you […]

Reformers or Saints: What Does the Church Need?

In his apologia for the origin of the modern Roman Catholic Church flowing directly from the earliest Church, Kenneth Whitehead makes this statement: The early church has not disappeared.  She is with us still.  Reformers, again by whatever name, are not so much needed by this Church as are those who aspire to be saints […]

Theological Musings on Global Captialism

The following are three abriveated talking points that I presented at a class I am taking on cross-cultural communication and Christian mission.  I’m curious to see what people might think of them.  Capitalism is Heresy. Capitalism, for Christians should be understood as a heretical way of shaping human life; a way of life that is idolatrous. From a […]

Questions for Catholics

Here are a few questions regarding how practioners of the Catholic faith understand certain aspects of their practice and theology.  Anyone who would care to resond is welcome and I look forward to hearing what people have to say.  What does the Sacrament of Reconciliation mean to you and how does it affect your day-to-day […]

Constantinianism and Ecumenism

One of the key points of contention between Free Churches and all other Christian communions lies in their posture towards what is commonly (and crudely) called “Constantinianism”.  While figuring out the precise definition of what constitutes Constantinianism has filled entire books, at the simplest level we can say that Constantinianism constituted at least a certain […]

Versions of Catholicity

“Since their inception, Free Churches have represented for both the Catholic and the Orthodox Church the quintessence of what is uncatholic.  Because catholicity qualifies all other essential attributes of the church, all the ecclesiological capital sins of Free Churches can be understood as transgressions against catholicity.  The Free Church understanding of unity, of holiness, and of […]

And now for something completely different!

Alright, I know you guys are all expecting some big theological post about how I’m converting to Catholicism or about how Catholicism is actually the antichrist, but those will have to wait.  Right now I have something far more important to say. Tim Kring, if you kill off H.R.G. (a.k.a. Noah Bennett), so help me […]

The “Gathered” Church vs. the “Given” Church

“The Believers Church tradition…has been based on the concept of a ‘gathered’ church as opposed to a ‘given’ church.  Being gathered intends to be dynamic and voluntary, while being given speaks of the church as established and settled in its accumulated order, formalized wisdom, and standardized sacramental practices.  Being gathered highlights the responsiveness of faith […]

To be Steeped in Hisory is to be…Anabaptist?

In a helpful article, “Anabaptism and History” John Howard Yoder explores the often raised questions about the alleged “ahistoricism” of the Radical Reformation tradition.  He insists that the Radical Reformation tradition of “restitution” requires, not an ahistorical consciousness which longs for a mythical “Eden” in which the church was perfect, but rather a rigorous Christian […]

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