Doing, Being, and the Function of Faith

Doing, Being, and the Function of Faith

This is going to sound very strange, but what if I told you that Catholics believe in Justification by faith alone while (Reformed) Protestants are actually the ones who believe in Justification by works? A statement that outrageous surely requires an explanation, so that’s what I want to provide. This post won’t be so much about exegesis as it is about simply helping people to understand where each side is coming from. In the Protestant...

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The New Covenant, Baptism, and Properly-Realized Eschatology

The New Covenant, Baptism, and Properly-Realized Eschatology

The question of whether or not to baptize infants has been a very divisive issue throughout the history of Protestantism, dividing Protestantism roughly in half between Lutheran/Reformed and Baptist/Non-Denominational traditions. But instead of writing a post on how Sola Scriptura has been unable to address this “church-dividing issue,” I will instead focus on another issue, specifically the Reformed understanding of infant baptism...

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Baptism and Sola Fide

Baptism and Sola Fide

Today Catholics celebrated the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, and most likely heard a homily on the topic of baptism accompanying the prayers, hymns, and readings that focused on this topic. As I sat in Mass this morning I was thinking about baptism and what a messy topic it was for me as a Reformed Protestant minister. On the one hand we have the teachings of the New Testament — teachings which are quite clear — about how...

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Rome, Geneva, and the Incarnation’s Native Soil

Rome, Geneva, and the Incarnation’s Native Soil

OK, I’m going to try an experiment here, so bear with me. I have gotten a handful of complaints over the last few months about the free-for-all nature of the comments here — off-topic, everything-thrown-at-the-Catholic-Church-but-the-kitchen-sink, uncharitable, impossible to follow or truly engage, etc. — and my response has always been that I simply don’t have the time to respond to all the comments that come in or...

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Advent, Incarnation, and Visibility

Advent, Incarnation, and Visibility

Since the season of advent is right around the corner, I thought I’d offer a personal reflection on the Incarnation from a newly Catholic perspective, as well as suggest areas where I think Catholicism exhibits the dynamic of the Incarnation more faithfully than Protestantism does. Consider first the realm of ecclesiology (which is related to Christology most obviously because the Church is the Body of Christ). In Protestantism, there is...

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Exegetical Gains vs. Theological Losses

Exegetical Gains vs. Theological Losses

I was recently hanging out with a PCA pastor friend, and we were discussing the exegetical and theological issues surrounding the Federal Vision. As you may know, one of the biggest difficulties one encounters when comparing the confessional Reformed theology with that of the Federal Vision is this: How are we to understand the New Testament’s descriptions of the baptized? For example, when Paul writes to “the saints  in...

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