September 19, 2018

Massimo Faggioli, who teaches theology at Villanova, is always provocative even if you don’t agree. His analysis of the 11-page document by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has several points worth considering. One is this: The political crisis. The rift within U.S. Catholicism, and between traditionalist Catholics and Francis, cannot be understood apart from the political polarization of America. The first phase of the problem was the growing identification of the U.S. bishops with the Republican Party,… Read more

September 13, 2018

Now seems to be one of those teaching moments about the Reformation. Despite celebrations and commemorations of a year ago, no one seemed to go deep in the weeds about what differentiates Protestants and Roman Catholics. Now is a teaching moment because the Roman Catholic faithful, naturally upset with the bishops, cardinals, and pope over the sex scandal and questions swirling around who knew and when did they know it — the Roman Catholic faithful remain committed to remaining. No… Read more

September 11, 2018

On the anniversary of 9-11, comes below a piece written shortly after the attack in response to the overwhelming invocation of God’s favor upon the United States. This is from the October issue of The Nicotine Theological Journal: God Damn Mr. Laden The phrase, “God damn,” is one that devout Christians are not supposed to utter. Depending on how it’s said, it violates the Third Commandment which, as the Heidelberg Catechism puts it, forbids blaspheming and misusing the name of… Read more

September 6, 2018

In response to the current crisis in the Roman Catholic Church, a priest in Santa Barbara preached this sermon (or is it a homily): Speak out! Do you want the Gospel? Do you want Christ? Do you want heaven? Do you want the truth? Or do you just want what we find everywhere in the world, which is what we really want to hear, what is pleasing to our ears. Demand change in the Church. It’s not going to be… Read more

September 4, 2018

For Damon Linker, what convinced him to become Roman Catholic was not doctrine but beauty. And once he saw the ugliness of the current scandal (he had hoped for the best back in 2001), he had to leave: When I converted to the Catholic Church 18 years ago, I did so in large part because I was deeply moved by the act of self-sacrifice that the church places at its heart. God sacrifices his beloved son, and his son freely… Read more

August 30, 2018

Looks to me like politics is a bigger influence on religion than Christians transforming culture. George Hawley explains in a short review of a new book: Michele F. Margolis, a political scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, just published a powerful new book that helps to clarify this issue. She demonstrated that the connection between politics and religion cuts across party lines, operating differently on Republicans and Democrats. From Politics to the Pews is an important work for anyone who… Read more

August 29, 2018

David French at National Review argues that Protestants have a stake in the sex scandal now roiling the Roman Catholic Church because all Christians are in this together: The Church is like a navy, a collection of ships united in purpose and in destination. Each denomination is like a different ship in that navy, and while each crew is primarily tasked with the health and well-being of its own vessel, it’s also deeply invested in the strength of the fleet…. Read more

August 24, 2018

This was one of the first times I’ve seen a recognition that Protestants are indeed Christian: If you have left the Catholic Church, but you still call yourself a Christian, please be considerate when you make comments about what's going on in the Catholic Church these days. It's not simply a club or a political party or a camarilla you are no longer a member of.— Massimo Faggioli (@MassimoFaggioli) August 24, 2018 But even as some acknowledge Protestantism may be… Read more

August 22, 2018

If the Intellectual Dark Web (IDW) is a thing, is it possible that it has a theological equivalent? For those who haven’t heard of IDW, here’s a brief overview: Bari Weiss, an opinion writer and editor at the New York Times, created a stir this week with a long article on a group that calls itself the “Intellectual Dark Web.” The coinage referred to a loose collective of intellectuals and media personalities who believe they are “locked out” of mainstream… Read more

August 20, 2018

With the release of Pope Francis’ letter in support of the victims of sexual abuse and increasing acknowledgment by thoughtful Roman Catholics of the Crisis of Infidelity that recent revelations have created, is it a bad time to ask why Roman Catholics who are disillusioned with their priests and bishops don’t consider joining a Protestant church? I understand that Orthodox Presbyterianism, my own communion, has lots of foibles that put seekers off — starting with Calvinism. But why not Lutheranism?… Read more

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