Pronoun Envy?

I went to afternoon Mass today. I sat one row over from an elderly woman (who I later discovered was a "nun") who apparently decided that the Novus Ordo was not to her liking. So, instead of saying this, "May the Lord receive the sacrifice from your hands to the praise and glory of His name, for our good and the good of all His Church," she said this, "May the Lord receive the sacrifice from your hands to the praise and glory of God's name, for our good and the good of all God's Church." … [Read more...]

In the Time of My Confession

That is the title of my most recent column over at The Catholic Thing. Here is how it begins: When I was an Evangelical Protestant thinking about returning to the Catholic Church of my baptism, among Catholic practices I found difficult to accept was the sacrament of penance.I thought that the sacrament took away from Christ’s sufficiency to forgive all our sins, past, present, and future. For I believed that it diminished the scope of Christ’s atonement if I had to do something in order to acq … [Read more...]

Transubstantiation: From Stumbling Block to Cornerstone

That's the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: The Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist is a real stumbling block to some Protestants who are seriously considering Catholicism. It was for me too, until I explored the subject, historically and scripturally. What follows is a summary of my deliberations.Catholicism holds that bread and wine literally become the body and blood of Christ when they are consecrated by the priest celebrating the Mass. Oftentimes … [Read more...]

Schism for thee but not for me?

A former professor of mine, a well-known Lutheran theologian, told me in private conversation several weeks ago that he was upset that I had returned to the Catholic Church while in the middle of my service as president of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), arguing that my public reversion could have harmed ETS irreparably. Because it was a matter of conscience that forced me into the confessional earlier than I had planned,[1] I was tempted to respond like the founder of his … [Read more...]

The Fathers Know Best: Your Essential Guide to the Teachings of the Early Church

That is the title of the book I received in the mail today. What an amazing surprise! Signed by its editor/author, Jimmy Akin, I am looking forward to going through it over the Christmas break. Knowing Jimmy (who is a friend) and the scope and depth of his intellectual powers, I suspect that this will go to the top of my list of books on the Fathers. You can order it through Jimmy's website here.It should come in handy while I am working on my 13,000-word contribution to the forthcoming book, … [Read more...]

Richard Posner does not know much about theology, especially the Catholic sort

Read Judge Posner's original piece here (and especially the replies in the combox). And then read John Breen's response at the Mirror of Justice.I have, for years, been in awe of Judge Posner's imposing and impressive intellect. In fact, in my philosophy of law class I require my students to read several of his articles. But on the matter of Catholic moral theology, I will pass on the prince of law and economics and defer to the wisdom of the Prince of Priests. … [Read more...]

Center for Catholic-Evangelical Dialogue

You can find out more about the Center here. The following is its Mission Statement: The Center for Catholic-Evangelical Dialogue is an independent research center. Catholic and Evangelical scholars are increasingly discovering that we have much to learn from each other, not least in revitalizing our theologies and our study of Scripture.Sharing a common bond in worship of Jesus Christ and dependence upon the life-giving work of the Holy Spirit, Catholic and Evangelical theologians and … [Read more...]

The Church Fathers on Transubstantiation

Another terrific essay on one of my favorite websites, Called to Communion. Authored to Tim A. Troutman, it begins this way: This article is intended to be a resource showing the support for the doctrine of Transubstantiation in the Church fathers, and not a robust defense of the doctrine as defined by the Council of Trent. The Church fathers did not believe in a mere spiritual presence of Christ alongside or in the elements (bread and wine). This can be shown by three different types of pa … [Read more...]

Was Aquinas a Proto-Protestant?

That is the title of my latest column at The Catholic Thing. It is a very brief summary of the paper I delivered in November at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society in Atlanta, "Doting Thomists: Evangelicals, Thomas Aquinas, and Justification."  Here's how The Catholic Thing column begins. Catholics are often surprised to learn that there are Evangelical Protestants who claim to be Thomists.  When I was a Protestant, I was one of them. What attracts these Evangelicals are … [Read more...]

The King James Bible and the World It Made, 1611-2011: a conference of Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion

Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion is hosting a major conference April 7-9, 2011, The King James Bible and the World It Made, 1611-2011. Confirmed speakers include: Robert Alter (University of California, Berkeley), David Bebbington (University of Stirling), Philip Jenkins (Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion), Laura Knoppers (Penn State University), Alister E. McGrath (Kings College, London), Mark Noll (University of Notre Dame), Lamin Sanneh (Yale University), N.T. Wright (Unive … [Read more...]


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