Is the Church Just an Invisible Collection of Believers?

As an Evangelical Christian I understood the "Body of Christ" or "the Church" (capital C) to be an invisible collection of believers.The idea was beautiful, really, because it meant that somehow all Christians across the whole world no matter how important or obscure were connected by Christ into one universal Church.But this isn't how it was understood by Early Christians and when I found that out I was a little alarmed, disappointed, and completely unprepared for what came next. … [Read more...]

I Don’t Know How I Lived Without Coffee

Somewhere in those early days of university I made a definitive choice not to drink coffee.It wasn't hard; anytime I even caught a whiff of the stuff it turned my stomach.It smelled disgusting.I had no interest.But I set my sights against it regardless.While many of my friends were pulling all-nighters and buoying themselves through their early morning classes with caffeine I was groggily drinking my orange juice or plain old water. Even when my good friend James introduced m … [Read more...]

So You Might Be a Heretic…

When Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church he was almost immediately rebuked by his Catholic interlocutors.It was St. Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, who wrote authoritatively in response to Luther's anti-Church movement---a text which remains one of my favourite treaties on the Catholic faith.Calling Luther's re-interpretations of ancient Catholic doctrines a "novelty" St. Francis took Luther to task for inventing new interpretations … [Read more...]

What I Wish I’d Known About Catholics (And Why I Became One Once I Did)

I'm a Catholic, but I didn't begin as one.I began my faith journey at the age of fifteen when, with the help of a good friend, I decided to become a Christian; an Evangelical Protestant, although I didn't know the particular brand name at the time. And I meant well. I found a local Pentecostal church populated by a group of devout young Christian who welcomed me unequivocally. We were a motley crew. I fit right in.Then in university, at a time when so many Christians lose their faith and … [Read more...]

The Evangelical Church is Broken (A Love Letter)

I once watched a debate on biblical authority between a Catholic priest and an Evangelical pastor.It was going as well as a debate could go until the very end when the pastor wheeled a large suitcase onto the stage. He began, slowly, to unpack the contents of the suitcase onto his podium: four enormous tomes."This," he declared dramatically, "Is everything you need to know to be a Catholic."He paused for effect before continuing, "And this is all you need to know to be a Protestant!" … [Read more...]

If The Bible Is Infallible Then So Is The Church

A paradigm shift occurs when the number of compelling facts and figures from a competing world view other than your own forces you to concede your position---and adopt another.It happens like this.Facts and information enter your radar which you perhaps hadn't considered before. They challenge your perspective, opinions, and ultimately, your view of the world. As more and more of these new arguments and ideas pile up the lens through which you've previously understood much of reality … [Read more...]

The Reformation is Over So Why Aren’t You Catholic?

There's a quotation buried near the end of a rather obscure book review by Protestant theologian Carl Trueman that I've hung on to for quite some time now.It's a good one, and I'll share it in a second.But I share it, only now, because I've just come across it again in the foreword to a book of Catholic conversion stories. The quote was proffered by Francis Beckwith a rather famous Catholic convert in his own right as the then President of the Evangelical Theological Society (an i … [Read more...]

Dear Catholics: Unsolicited Advice from an Evangelical Convert

I am a recovering Evangelical.At the age of fifteen I had a coming-of-age epiphany, realized that the world extended beyond my doorstep, and became a Christian.I "grew up" in the Evangelical stream of things because those are the sort of people I knew, they helped me get saved, and fifteen years later through a combination of serendipity, reading and reading and reading, and resisting the Holy Spirit for only as long as humanly possible I became a Roman Catholic.It was a good choice, … [Read more...]

You’re Probably Not Pro-Life

So you handpainted your placard to picket the local abortion clinic.So you like, share, and comment on every picture of an unborn baby that crosses your newsfeed on Facebook---with gusto.So you marched with them women in Washington or New York or Auckland even though you weren't invited and asked not to attend.So you're so intensely pro-life that you've mastered every argument, approached it from every angle, and can (and do!) argue down every pro-choicer you cross paths with on the I … [Read more...]

Why Do Catholics Go to Confession Anyway?

Sin is a dirty word.As an Evangelical Protestant we rarely spoke about it.I know that's not the experience of all evangelicals---maybe not even the majority---but it was certainly my experience in an array of denominations, too.–Sin was something we knew about, sure.Sin was something for which we were all culpable.Sin was even preached about the occasional Sunday morning---or whispered about on at a mid-week Bible study.But it was always sin in the sense of, "This is what … [Read more...]