19 Jun 2020

“Critical Race Theory” and Its Dissidents

Given the continued protests and social unrest over structural racism in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, many American Christians have found themselves intensely grappling with the issue. In my own Anglican context, it has become a controversial topic as critiques like “Can the Christian Use Critical Theory” by Fr. Matt Kennedy and “Race and Redemption” by Fr. Gerry McDermott have been published in response to a statement on anti-racism put out by some clergy

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22 May 2020

When liturgy Is Not “The Liturgy”

“Liturgy” has become an increasingly pervasive buzzword in Evangelical circles. Books like James K.A. Smith’s You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit and Tish Harrison Warren’s Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life have resonated with Evangelicals, inspiring a cascade effect of articles about liturgy. If you type the word “liturgy” into some popular Evangelical websites, you get pieces like “#OccupyWallStreet: A Liturgy,” “Buying Used: A Life-Shaping Liturgy,” “The Quiet

Wesley Walker 1
24 Apr 2020

Revelatory Crucicentricity, Part II: Old Testament Call Narratives

This post is the sequel to an earlier article titled: “Revelatory Crucicentricity: 1 Samuel 16 and 1 Kings 19 as Kenotic Patterns.”  In a previous article, I argued that the kenotic tendency of God clearly evidenced in the Incarnation, Passion, and Death of Christ (Phil 2:5-11) is on display in both the selection of David, the youngest of his brothers, to be anointed King of Israel (1 Sam 16) and Elijah’s encounter with God in

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13 Mar 2020

Christ as the Liberator of the Oppressed? The Methodology, Christology, and Eschatology in the Exegesis of James H. Cone

When Israel was in Egypt’s land, Let my people go; Oppressed so hard they could not stand, Let my people go; Go down Moses, ‘way down in Egypt’s land. Tell ole Pharaoh Let my people go. -An African American Spiritual Liberation theology began as a theological discipline in the 1950s and 1960s in South America as theologians like Leonardo Boff, Gustavo Gutiérrez, Juan Luis Segundo, and Jon Sobrino applied Christian theological insights to the realities

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20 Jan 2020

A Zone of Silence: New Year’s Resolutions, Social Media, and the Intellectual Life

“New Year’s resolutions go in one year and out the other,” so the old adage goes. Given that this piece is running in late January, it is safe to assume countless New Year’s resolutions have been broken. My “resolution,” though I would hardly give it such an official status, was to evaluate my habits of social media use. For years, I labored under the rather Gnostic assumption that the thousands of disembodied interactions we have

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08 Nov 2019

Revelatory Crucicentricity: 1 Samuel 16 and 1 Kings 19 as Kenotic Patterns

One argument against patristic ways of reading Scripture is that doing so somehow diminishes the unique witness of the Old Testament to Yahweh’s salvific acts in Israel’s history (a topic I’ve written about here). In our desire to see Christ in all of Scripture, we—like the Fathers—might read in a way that minimizes the event or the literary presentation of the event by ignoring the original context, thereby superimposing a Christian hermeneutic onto a pre-Christian

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11 Oct 2019

The Transfiguration of Scripture: Virtue-Hermeneutics and the Kenosis-Glorification Dialectic in the Philocalia of Origen

Born in approximately 185 CE to a Christian family, Origen experienced a tragedy in a formative period in his life when his father was martyred during the persecution of Laetus (201-203 CE). But far from serving as an impediment to his faith, his father’s courage and sacrifice spurred Origen into a life dedicated to Scripture and catechesis of the faithful. His work as a catechist was particularly important during the persecution of Christians under Aquila

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13 Sep 2019

Whose Testament Is It Anyway? Hearing the Authentic Voice of the Old Testament

The emergence of the academic discipline of “biblical studies” is a post-Reformation, post-Enlightenment phenomenon that developed in opposition to dogmatic theology.  Within that discipline, emphasis on the historical-critical method has caused preoccupation with either proving the historical accuracy of the text, as seen in the biblical archaeology movement, or getting “behind” the text, as seen in the quests for the Historical Jesus or Paul within Judaism. While each approach does offer some valuable insights into

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28 Jun 2019

We Give Thanks Unto Thee: An Interview with Fr. Porter C. Taylor

I had the privilege to sit down with Fr. Porter Taylor to discuss his new festschrift We Give Thanks Unto Thee: Essays in Memory of Fr. Alexander Schmemann. Fr. Taylor is currently doing his doctorate at the University of Aberdeen and serves as a priest in the Diocese of Pittsburgh (ACNA) where he is the Theologian in Residence at Church of the Apostles in Kansas City. An extended version of this interview can be heard

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21 Jun 2019

Foothold for the Gospel: An Anglo-Catholic View of Speaking in Tongues

On April 9, 1906, the Azusa Street Revivals galvanized nineteenth-century charismatic theology and began injecting new doctrines concerning the Holy Spirit and related pneumatological practices into the Church. These ideas did not stay insulated in charismatic communities: they infiltrated the liturgical traditions via the upheaval of Vatican II and subsequent liturgical renewal movements in the Protestant mainline. Today, many elements of Evangelical worship are influenced by charismaticism’s insistence on experience and emotion. One of the

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24 May 2019

Recovering Koinonia

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” -Acts 2:42 (RSV) According to Acts 2:42, the primitive church dedicated itself to four practices: apostolic teaching, fellowship (koinonia), breaking of bread (Eucharist), and prayer. In some way or another, most Christian traditions maintain these practices despite disagreements concerning their meaning and shape. Yet, of the four, koinonia is the least understood. Is it a mutual association

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26 Apr 2019

The Liturgical Function of the Sermon

“I preached as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men.” -Richard Baxter The purpose of the sermon is frequently ill-defined. Without a clear objective, sermons can easily become chaotic and even counter-productive.  While I am writing from a specifically Anglican perspective, much of this critique of modern sermons and proposal for rectifying the problem can be applied more broadly. The problem of sermonic mercuriality must be properly diagnosed and

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29 Mar 2019

Anglo-Catholic Renewal: Need and Vision

In the early 1830s, the British Parliament infringed on the Church’s ecclesial authority through the Whig party’s Church Temporalities Act (1833). This legislation attacked the Church of Ireland through restructuring, and ultimately decreased the number of bishoprics. These governmental oversteps served as a catalyst for John Keble’s sermon “National Apostasy,” preached at St. Mary’s, Oxford, where he urged his fellow clergymen to submit to the Church rather than the state—particularly where the state was misguided.

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22 Mar 2019

Ever Ancient, Ever New: An Interview With Rev. Dr. Winfield Bevins

I had the privilege to sit down with Rev. Dr. Winfield Bevins to discuss his new book Ever Ancient, Ever New. He is the Director of Church Planting at Asbury Theological Seminary. He frequently speaks at conferences on a variety of topics and is a regular adjunct professor at several seminaries. As an author, one of his passions is to help others connect to the roots of the Christian faith for spiritual formation and mission. His latest book, Ever Ancient

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08 Feb 2019

Round Table: Confession

In 1996, the independent Scottish band Belle & Sebastian released their second full-length album, If You’re Feeling Sinister. More than twenty years later, Sinister is still revered as one of the greatest albums of the 90’s—ranking alongside notable alternative rock acts such as Beck, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, and Nirvana. While the aforementioned bands were known for their use of heavily distorted electric guitars, Belle and Sebastian crafted a gentler tone, reminiscent of 60’s era folk-rock

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01 Feb 2019

The Realization of Ancient Promise

“The only second century Christian who understood Paul was Marcion, and he misunderstood him.” -Franz Overbeck Over the summer, I met a man at a conference for homeschool families who had some books in Hebrew. I assumed he was a seminary student, so I engaged him in conversation, asking him what books he was carrying. His response startled me some: “My family and I have decided to keep Torah.” For whatever reason, this is an

Wesley Walker 1
21 Dec 2018

Spending Advent With Bob Dylan

Advent is my favorite season of the liturgical year. It is a season of expectation, preparation, and self-reflection. The Church meditates on the mystery of the Incarnation at Christ’s first coming while considering his second coming. So we turn our attention inward where, to the best of our ability, we disclose those parts of us requiring to be handed over to the Refiner’s Fire for purgation (Mal 3:2). In Advent the reality of divine judgment

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04 Dec 2018

An Ecclesiology of Disenchantment: Hearing the Bad Christian Podcast Critique of the Church

Towards the end of philosopher Søren Kierkegaard’s life, he became disenchanted by all the hypocrisy he saw in the Danish state church. Apparently it got to the point where, instead of attending Mass on Sundays, he would sit outside at a cafe across the street from his parish and read the newspaper so that everyone walking to church could see him. This story, whether apocryphal or real, resonates with many of us who were raised

Wesley Walker 0
28 Nov 2018

What We’ve Been Reading: Fall 2018

Here at Conciliar Post, many of us are avid readers, both within and without our varied vocations. These are just a few of the good books we’ve been reading lately! Jeff Hart, Presbyterian Disruptive Witness: Speaking Truth in a Distracted Age (Alan Noble) If you’ve ever wondered why it is so difficult to live out and share your faith in our modern context, you will benefit from reading Disruptive Witness. Drawing on the work of

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23 Nov 2018

“And the Waters Bore up the Ark:” Genesis 7:17 as a Foreshadow of the Cross

“The flood continued forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth.” -Genesis 7:17 (NRSV) Recently, I had occasion to complain to a friend about the elasticity of the word “literal” when wielded in discussions concerning hermeneutics. The word is frequently used as a placeholder for vapid personal interpretations derived in absentia of authorial intent, historical context, and the traditions of the Church.

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