The Biblical Basis of Man-Made Liturgy

The Biblical Basis of Man-Made Liturgy

Is a Christian free to worship God however he pleases? I think all of us would intuitively answer “No” to that question. Man’s duty to worship God is too important to just be a free-for-all. This is especially true for Christians who have God’s Revelation, particularly the Bible. The Confessional Reformed tradition (rightly) understands that man is not only not free to worship however he pleases (since this would ultimately tend towards...

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Likelihood, Plausibility, and Sola Scriptura

Likelihood, Plausibility, and Sola Scriptura

This is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, tentatively titled I Fought the Church (and the Church Won). Enjoy. And play nice.  As I continued wrestling through the issues of church authority and its relation to Scripture, one of the questions I kept returning to was that of likelihood. “All things being equal,” I would ask myself, “which is more likely: that Jesus had intended to establish his church in such a way that it was to be...

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On the Magisterium’s (Sort Of) Superiority

On the Magisterium’s (Sort Of) Superiority

In a recent comment in this thread at Called to Communion, Ray Stamper provided what I think is a helpful distinction with respect to the kinds of problems the Catholic view of authority can solve, versus the kinds it can’t (who, us  triumphalistic?). He writes: But are you not able to acknowledge that the kind of crisis being pointed out by CTC and CCC is different than the kind of crisis you keep pointing to in the Catholic Church?...

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On Selective Skepticism

On Selective Skepticism

So after a few posts and several hundred comments, here’s where we are with respect to the Protestant position on the nature of the church: Jesus founded a church that had no visible, laying-on-of-hands apostolic succession and no infallibility, but only an invisible succession of apostolic doctrine which was to be fallibly identified and understood. Now if there had  been a visible episcopal succession that had been protected from error...

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Whose Bible Is It Anyway?

Whose Bible Is It Anyway?

As online discussion and debate about Catholic/Protestant issues have been pretty abundant of late, I wanted to share a frustration that I have been feeling. If a Catholic argues with a Protestant based upon the infallible pronouncements of some ecumenical council or another, he will be immediately told that such a tactic is out-of-bounds since Protestants don’t consider Tradition or Church dogma to be infallible. So, we’re told, in...

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Luther, Barth, and Mathison: Good? Driscoll, Piper, and Covenant Seminary: Bad?

Don’t get me wrong, Christian Smith’s new book against biblicism, The Bible Made Impossible, is very good. It’s just a bit confusing at times. As I noted in my last post, Smith defines “biblicism” quite broadly (a bit too broadly for my taste), and then seeks to demonstrate how it cannot work as a system, but collapses under its own weight. When you get to the second part of the book, Smith moves from diagnosis to prescription, and...

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