Pope will allow priests to forgive abortion

Pope Francis will allow priests to forgive the sin of abortion during the upcoming Holy Year, from December 8 to November 26.  Normally, abortion incurs automatic excommunication.  Bishops must give special permission before a priest can absolve a penitents of that particular sin.

That abortion cannot be forgiven, apart from an elaborate bureaucratic process, is another example of the Gospel-denying effects of the Roman Catholic penitential system.  Christ died for all sins, including abortion, and He bore every woman’s abortion in His body on the Cross.  So every woman who has committed this sin can know that she has forgiveness in Him.  Now for one year, such women can find forgiveness in the Roman Catholic Church.

But this action by Pope Francis is being interpreted as another example of the pontiff’s “tolerance” and will be taken as a weakening of the church’s position on abortion. [Read more...]

Donald Trump to meet with Prosperity Gospel preachers

Donald Trump will be meeting with a “select” group of evangelical pastors in an event organized by television evangelist Paula White, a woman who is the senior pastor of her megachurch and who teaches the “prosperity gospel.[Read more...]

Why churches need confessions of faith

Union University is leaving the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, an organization of evangelical schools, because some of them have decided to embrace gay marriage.  Other schools are considering doing the same.  This has raised the question of what evangelicals and their institutions must be expected to believe.  If everything is left to the interpretation of the individual believer, on what grounds can a church say that the interpretation is in error?  The problem is, if you don’t have doctrinal confessions–the rejection of which many evangelicals pride themselves on–how can you make a doctrinal stand?

Westminster professor Carl Trueman, after discussing the immediate issues, concludes that if churches are going to be able to withstand the secularist onslaughts, they really need to have a specific theology worked out in their confessions of faith, as Lutherans, among others, do. [Read more...]

Christianity is not spiritual, it’s physical

In an interview with Nadia Bolz-Weber, the ELCA “pastrix,” when asked about those who consider themselves “spiritual, but not religious,” turns the terms around, saying that Christianity–what with the Incarnation, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, and the Sacraments–is not so much spiritual as physical. [Read more...]

The Pope’s coming accord with evangelicals

Pope Francis believes that the Reformation is over, that the breach with Luther and later Protestants has been healed.  This is thanks to the Joint Declaration on Justification worked out between the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation.  (Conservative, confessional Lutherans reject that document.)  Moreover, Pope Francis has deep ties to Latin American evangelicals and charismatics.

As reported in the Catholic Herald, he has written a document declaring an end to the hostilities between Catholics and evangelicals, which he plans on issuing on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. [Read more...]

Original sin as the bedrock of democracy

More from Barton Swaim’s Wall Street Journal review of Reinhold Niebuhr’s  Major Works in Religion and Politics, explaining why the doctrine of original sin is necessary for a stable democracy. [Read more...]


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