On Lighthearted Tragedy

On Lighthearted Tragedy

Peter Leithart wrote a piece for First Things  recently titled “The Tragedy of Conversion.” Now as you probably know, Peter and I have a quite a history, so while I doubt I was the sole inspiration for his lament, I’m sure I was at least a significant part of it. Leithart makes it clear that what he considers “tragic” are “cross-Christian conversions, from Protestant to Catholicism or Orthodoxy, or the...

Read More

How Dialogue Sounds When Grown-Ups Do It

How Dialogue Sounds When Grown-Ups Do It

Just for fun, I drew up what I think is a pretty good blueprint for how dialogue should occur. Some things you’ll note are (1), there’s no name-calling; (2), questions are posed rather than strawmen destroyed; (3), concessions are made on both sides; and (4), both characters end with the same views with which they started. Enjoy: Protestant: “Why’d you become a Catholic?” Catholic: “Because I believe the...

Read More

Stuff I Don’t Like That Much: Catholicism Edition

Stuff I Don’t Like That Much: Catholicism Edition

D.G. Hart, this one’s for you. . . . Most of you won’t know this, but Darryl and I kind of used to be pals (in a professor/student kind of way, of course). He was my faculty advisor at Westminster, and he oversaw my work on a directed research project examining Calvin and Edwards on the issue of assurance (a project for which I not only earned an A, but which Darryl described as an “impressive study” [hey, turns out that...

Read More

Apostolic Succession: A Minimalist Proposal

Apostolic Succession: A Minimalist Proposal

I would like to move the recent discussion concerning apostolic succession from the “What Difference Does the Vowel Make?” thread to this one (hey, it’s nearing 500 comments and counting). In the interest of narrowing the focus, I would suggest that there are two related questions that need to be asked: (1) What historical circumstances need to have occurred in order to substantiate apostolic succession?, and (2) What...

Read More

Newman on the Development of the Papacy

In chapter 4 of his Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, John Henry Cardinal Newman takes up the issue of papal supremacy. Surprisingly, Newman argues that the papal office of Peter “would remain a mere letter, till the complication of ecclesiatical matters became the cause of ascertaining it.” The universal jurisdiction of the first pope, in Newman’s words, “slept.” It was a “mysterious privilege,...

Read More

Newman on the Development of Christian Doctrine History

Anyone even remotely interested in historical theology will be familiar with John Henry Cardinal Newman’s Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, originally published in 1845. Newman’s overall thesis is that when it comes to just about any system of thought, the growth and development of its ideas are to be expected, and Christianity is no exception. Newman argues in Section III that the doctrines of the (Catholic) faith are...

Read More
wordpress visitor