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Category Archives: Protestantism

The Logic of Institutional Perdurance

Brad has a post up responding the rash of discussion about the latest development between Rome and Canterbury regarding the future of Anglo-Catholics. The question he raises is whether or not Protestants have good reasons for desiring the perpetual existence of their denominational and institutional structures at all. Certainly a worthy point. However, I think […]

The Authority of the Canon

“The classic debate between orthodox Protestantism and Tridentine Catholicism led us astray at this point. The Protestants seemed to be claiming that the authority of the Scriptures depends upon the unique miracle of inspiration (some even said “inscripturation”) whereby they came into being, which gives them timeless status above the church. That argument was circular […]

The Possibility of a Protestant Church

“[T]he struggle regarding the church government is actually the question necessarily emerging from church history regarding the possibility of a Protestant church for us. It is the question whether, following the separation from papal and worldly authority in the church, an ecclesial authority can be erected that is grounded in word and confession alone. If […]

Catholics, Protestants, and Ethical Behavior

I certainly don’t place too much stock in Gallup polls, but this is quite interesting. According to this study, among regular church attenders, both Catholic and Protestant, almost across the board regularly attending Catholics are more likely to approve of behavior that their church deems unethical than are their Protestant counterparts. Rod Dreher makes a […]

Bit of Balthasar

“In the reciprocal relations between Protestants and Catholics, the most striking thing is that the latter ignore the former completely and no longer give them a thought: they perceive the Protestant principle as a minus of themselves, something they have clearly penetrated once and for all and have found to be too light, something that […]

Bit of Balthasar

“The edifying principle in Protestantism rests on a process of downward leveling: before God and from the divine perspective, all human activity, all so-called religion, is nothing but idle sin and inanity. For man, the only genuine humility that saves is for him to acknowledge this and cling exclusively to God’s grace. The edifying principle […]

The Coming Evangelical Collapse

Interesting article in the Christian Science Monitor by Michael Spencer today that I came across via Rod Drehr. He argues the bold and stark thesis that “We are on the verge – within 10 years – of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and […]

Yoder on Protestant Identity

“All that is sure about ‘Protestant’ identity is that it is not Roman Catholic: it does not have a pope or magisterium with theologically imperative, morally binding authority, nor a structure of confession and absolution wherewith to educate and enforce. Yet that negation is not made on behalf of a counter-patriarch or an anti-magisterium, but […]

Benedictine Community and Anabaptist Ecclesiology

Anabaptism is unique among all ecclesial frames for reference derived from the Reformation in many ways, one of which involves its Catholic roots and specifically Benedictine roots. Unlike Luther the Augustinian, Calvin the lawyer, or Zwingli the Christian humanist, the Anabaptist tradition arose largely in the soil of the Benedictine tradition. This is seen most […]

Sanctorum Communio: The Best Protestant Ecclesiology Ever Written

One of the recurring, and very significant criticisms of Protestant churches and theology involves the lacunae of an explicit and substantive ecclesiology.  While there are of course some extremely significant ecclesiological resources within the heritage of the Reformation, particularly Luther’s ecclesiology and the ecclesiology of the Radical Reformers, much of this and any continuity with […]

The Catholic Luther

In contrast to the standard story, Luther advocated a manifestly high and vibrant ecclesiology, indeed an ecclesiology which is thoroughgoingly catholic and evangelical, being firmly rooted in the great tradition of the church, particularly attuned to patristic sources. Despite the way in which the later tradition of Protestant modernity came to see the doctrine of […]

Luther: The Standard Story

It would not be much of an exaggeration to say that throughout the ages since the Reformation Luther has tended to be viewed primarily as the harbinger of an entirely new form of Christianity, standing in radical discontinuity with all preceding Christian tradition. On the standard reading, Luther “was haunted by a question for which […]

Bonhoeffer on American Protestantism

“For the first generation of fugitives the journey to America was a decision of faith for their whole lives.  For them the renunciation of confessional struggle was therefore a hard-fought Christian possibility.  A danger arises here, however, for the subsequent generations, who are born into this battle-free situation without themselves having decided to spend their […]

Protestants and Their View of Catholics

In the various Protestant-Catholic rumbles that happen on this and other blogs I often find myself wondering what view most Protestants today actually have of Roman Catholics.  When I was growing up in St. Paul, Minnesota all of my friends were Catholic except for the people I knew from the Baptist church my family was […]

The Protestant Identity Crisis

In a recent post on his blog, The Politics of the Cross, Craig Carter writes about the present “protestant identity crisis.”  In his post he poses a few key questions for evangelicals in light of the contemporary ecumenical situation.  He notes three key elements of the “ecumenical landscape” as he sees it.  First, he notes that […]

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