26 Oct 2018

The Priesthood of the Church

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” – 1 Peter 2:9 (RSV) As an Anglican priest, I am often reminded by my Baptist friends that members of the Church are part of the “universal priesthood of believers.” I have no serious qualms with this terminology but I also

Wesley Walker 2
28 Sep 2018

The Discipline and Art of Lectionary Preaching

At the heart of vocational Christian ministry is the responsibility to faithfully proclaim the Gospel of Christ crucified and to administer the Sacraments of the Church. In the Anglican tradition, we depict this solemn duty at ordinations by presenting the ordinand with a copy of the Bible alongside a paten and chalice. In a liturgical settings, one tool used to more effectively preach the Gospel is the lectionary. A lectionary is a cycle of readings

Wesley Walker 0
03 Aug 2018

Activism as Pelagianism

American Christianity has become largely activist in nature. Just recently, the Episcopal Church’s General Convention was discussing whether or not to change the gendered language of the Book of Common Prayer. The Wild Goose Conference, a staple to the post-Christian left, recently hosted theologically progressive voices like Jen Hatmaker, Roger Wosley, and “Christian-Atheist” Frank Schaeffer complete with break-out sessions like “Reproductive Justice is_______: Moving Beyond the Pro-Choice/Pro-Life Binary” which ended up being a radically pro-abortion

Wesley Walker 3
06 Jul 2018

Learning from Kierkegaard’s Three Godly Discourses on the Lily of the Field and the Bird of the Air

Father in Heaven! That which we in the company of other people, especially in the throng of humanity, have such difficulty learning, and which, if we have learned it elsewhere, is so easily forgotten in the company of other people—what it is to be a human being and what, from a godly standpoint, is the requirement for being a human being—would that we might learn it, or, if it has been forgotten, that we might

Wesley Walker 0
31 May 2018

Strange Fire and False Prophecy: Liberty University’s Foray into “The Trump Prophecies”

In Leviticus 10:1-2, Levitical priests Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, offered God “strange” fire on the Lord’s altars. As a result of their unholy offering, the fire consumed them. Pastor John MacArthur uses this story in his book Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship to launch a broad critique of charismatic worship. While the scope of his cessationist argument goes too far for comfort, this story reminds

Wesley Walker 4
11 May 2018

The Tomb as Tabernacle

Yesterday was Ascension Day, which means the Church’s fifty-day Easter celebration is nearing its end. Before we leave it behind for this liturgical year completely, let’s reflect on it one last time. If there is indeed a God, the next logical question is whether that God is knowable to us. And if he is knowable, does he care about us? The Christian tradition provides concrete answers to these questions. He is knowable, “he has spoken

Wesley Walker 1
16 Mar 2018

Keeping the “Anglican” in “Anglo-Catholic”

From its beginning, Anglicanism has struggled to establish a stable identity. Over the history of the Church of England, there have been many attempts to articulate a consistent expression of Anglicanism around a variety of movements, whether Reformed, Evangelical, or catholic in flavor. In the mid-1800s, a group at Oriel College, Oxford established a movement to restore a more catholic understanding of the faith based on the primitive and undivided Church. Members of this Oxford

Wesley Walker 0
19 Jan 2018

“Making Nothing Into Words”: Perelandra’s Rebuttal of Progressive Theology

C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was used a few months ago to defend Eugene Peterson’s recent public discussion of openness to performing LGBT weddings (which has subsequently been retracted). Given Lewis’ stature as  a giant of the faith, it is unsurprising that both liberal and conservative Christians claim him as a champion of their ideals. This raises an interesting question: would Lewis’ underlying philosophy and theology lead him onto the same

Wesley Walker 2
01 Dec 2017

Man of Sorrows: The Messianic Secret and The Relationship Between The Gospel of Saint Mark and The Odyssey

“I am a man who’s had his share of sorrows.”-Odysseus (XIX, 130) “He was despised and rejected–a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.” Isaiah 53.3a ‘Man of Sorrows,’ what a name For the Son of God who came Ruined sinners to reclaim! Hallelujah! what a Savior! Bearing shame and scoffing rude, In my place condemned He stood; Sealed my pardon with His blood; Hallelujah! what a Savior! Guilty, vile, and helpless, we, Spotless Lamb

Wesley Walker 2
03 Nov 2017

In Defense of Baptismal Regeneration

This is the 5th post in a series titled “In Defense of.” Check out part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.  Baptismal regeneration is the process through which the Holy Spirit makes the recipient of the sacrament of baptism a new creation by forming a covenant. whereby . This is different from conversion, where someone repents of their sins and has faith in God (i.e. the thief on the cross next to Jesus).

Wesley Walker 2
08 Sep 2017

Simul Iustus et Peccator: An Impetus for Sanctification from Martin Luther

This year is the 500th year anniversary of the Reformation. As a result, I’ve been spending some time reading and reflecting on a somewhat controversial yet colossally important figure I had previously neglected: Martin Luther. In my experience, Luther has been read by his critics as holding a laissez-faire attitude towards sin that is functionally antinomian. Often, they misquote his infamous motto, “Sin boldly” (which is much more descriptive than prescriptive and is meant to

Wesley Walker 1
11 Aug 2017

Doubt Your Doubt

Doubt is, to some extent, built into our nature. Many people find themselves going through crises of faith at different points in their lives. Some doubts are more intellectual in nature, a failure to connect faith and reason well. Still, others doubt in a raw and emotional way. In my own experience, nothing makes me doubt my faith more than the suffering of children. It’s so visceral for me that I can’t even formulate it

Wesley Walker 0
14 Jul 2017

In Defense of the Sacrament of Confession

This is the fourth entry in the “In Defense of…” series. Be sure to check out part 1, part 2, and part 3. When my grandma was a little girl, probably six or seven years old, she went to her first confession in a Roman Catholic Church. Having to find something she did wrong, she told the priest she was guilty of committing the sin of adultery…six times! In her mind, adultery meant “disrespecting an

Wesley Walker 1
15 Jun 2017

In Defense of Invoking the Saints

This is the third in my “In Defense of” series. Be sure to check out parts one and two! Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. At my ordination to the priesthood, there was a beautiful litany led by

Wesley Walker 2
19 May 2017

Permuting Atonement Theories: Leviticus 16 as a Typological Foreshadowing

In modern Western theology, we like to think in categories. While these are generally helpful, they can also cause polarization and controversy: Calvinism vs. Arminianism, Dispensationalism vs. Covenant Theology, Complementarianism vs. Egalitarianism, Young Earth Creationism vs. Evolutionary Creationism, and the list could go on. While useful and necessary, it’s worth reminding ourselves that the original writers of the biblical text and their immediate audiences would be strangers to many of these labels. Instead of falling

Wesley Walker 2
21 Apr 2017

The Heresy of Experientialism

In his post, “Does Experience Affect our Theology?” Peter Enns briefly speculates about the role of experience in the formation of theology. He concludes with this point, “We have to be willing to rethink who this God is, this God who isn’t as predictable as we might think.” This is a principle C.S. Lewis illustrates when it is said of Aslan: “He isn’t safe. But he’s good.” Christians should avoid feeling too comfortable with their

Wesley Walker 4
24 Mar 2017

“I Will Betroth You to Me in Lovingkindness”: God’s Hesed in the Book of Hosea as an Apologetic Tool

According to Richard Dawkins: The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.1 One example he finds grievous is the jealousy of God in the Old Testament, which he attributes to insecurity.2 The caricature Dawkins’ describes is a deified infant, violently

Wesley Walker 1
24 Feb 2017

In Defense of Paedocommunion

You can find my previous “In Defense of…” post on passing the collection plate here. As a deacon in a small Anglican parish in Lynchburg, Virginia, one of the highlights of my week is getting to serve Communion to those who are sojourning with us. Serving people the Blood of Christ while pronouncing, “The Blood of Christ, the Cup of Salvation” is an immense privilege. In some Anglican circles, ours included, there is no First

Wesley Walker 4
13 Jan 2017

In Defense of Passing the Collection Plate

When I was in high school, I really started to get serious at my faith because of a Calvary Chapel church in my area. While as an Anglo-Catholic my faith is quite different now, I greatly appreciate my brief sojourn with Calvary Chapel. I was reminiscing about those days recently and was reminded that one of the major distinctives of Calvary Chapel churches is that they do not pass a collection plate. Instead, churchgoers are

Wesley Walker 0
02 Dec 2016

Why Liturgy?

The crowd enthusiastically chanted, “TEN! NINE! EIGHT!” “SEVEN! SIX! FIVE! FOUR!” The smoke from the smoke machine filled the auditorium as the strobe light flickered with increasing intensity, and the giant screen above the center of the stage continued the countdown. “THREE! TWO! ONE!” Everyone immediately erupted in a glorious uproar as five hipsters ran onto the stage and began playing loud music with ripping guitar solos, cool sound effects, and a light show that

Wesley Walker 104