29 Feb 2016

Reflections on the Church Fathers: 1 Clement

If I’ve learned anything from college over the past four years it’s that once you begin learning something you quickly realize how little you actually know. My time here at Conciliar Post has been no different. At first starting to write for this website arguing for a particular version of Christianity, I soon learned how little I actually knew, both about my own tradition and of the traditions of others. Having been sufficiently disoriented as

George Aldhizer 11
19 Feb 2016

The Sermon on the Mount and Christian Ethics

Questions of an ethical nature dominate headlines, classrooms, and pulpits across the world. In an era where formulations of morality often spring from what “feels right” rather than any sort of foundational principles, many commentators have rightly noted the necessity of carefully considered ethics.1 For contemporary Christians, ethical thought remains clouded by ongoing disagreements about from where our moral systems arise and how authoritative those sources are in a technologically advanced world of complexity and

Jacob Prahlow 4
27 Dec 2015

Allegory and Church Fathers

This article is based on notes from a lecture delivered by Dr. Robert Louis Wilken at Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis on 3 December, 2015. Gregory the Great said that the Word of God exercises the understanding of the wise, and nurses the simple. To some it speaks openly, to others it holds things in secret—leading them to loftier matters. It is a river both shallow and deep. The lamb can find footing, but the elephant

Benjamin Winter 7
27 Oct 2015

The Divisive Fruit of the Reformation

This Saturday is October 31st, the day of annual celebration in which children array themselves in strange and wonderful costumes, visiting their neighbors under the cover of night to nail a list of ninety-five grievances to their front door. I am, of course, speaking of Reformation Day, the commemoration of Martin Luther’s famous protest against the excesses and errors of the Roman Catholic Church. Timothy George over at First Things wrote of the holiday, “It

Chris Casberg 5
26 Oct 2015

Sola Scriptura’s Relevance for the Modern Church

In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, there arose a group of men and women that had become disillusioned by the excesses and misappropriations of the Roman Catholic church and, in a reactive movement, spawned the Reformation, and consequently, the Five Solas: sola gratia, sola fide, sola scriptura, sola Christus, and soli Deo gloria. While these five principles were never clearly grouped and articulated together by any one Reformer during that period of time, they have

Alyssa Hall 42
22 Oct 2015

Myths of the Apocrypha – Part II

Welcome back to “Myths of the Apocrypha!” In the previous episode, we looked at the widespread idea that Roman Catholics added several apocryphal books to their canon of scripture after the Protestant Reformation in order to support disputed doctrines against Martin Luther. As it turns out, Christians all around the world who had been separated from Rome for 500-1,000 years before the Reformation all had these seven books in their Bible canons and affirmed all

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08 Oct 2015

The Atonement of Irenaeus

Imagine if one of the twelve disciples of Jesus had personally discipled a man whose pupil had written a short book for us, a book that explains the barest essentials of the apostles’ teaching. What a treasure it would be if we found such a book! In 1904, a priest of the Oriental Orthodox Church of Armenia uncovered exactly such a book, the Demonstration of the Preaching of the Apostles. Its author, Bishop Irenaeus of

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25 Sep 2015

Myths of the Apocrypha – Part I

Dear Protestant brothers and sisters, I have seven free gifts for you today! Hopefully you won’t mind my re-gifting them since I received these presents myself a few years ago. They’re not brand new either, but they are divine! I got my seven gifts when I learned that a long-standing idea in Protestantism turned out to be a myth. Philosopher Norman Geisler and other prominent theologians taught me that Roman Catholicism inserted several apocryphal books

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07 Sep 2015

Vatican II Catholicism: Nostra Aetate §4 and the Jewish Faith

“Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures … Furthermore, in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel’s spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.” —Nostra Aetate (1965) Nostra aetate translates as,

Benjamin Winter 1
02 Sep 2015

Homoousios and the Dignity of Children

In the days of the Nicean Council, during the Arian Christological controversy that rocked the early church, the absence of a single Greek letter made a great deal of difference. Per the formulation that later became the Nicene Creed, God the Father was understood to be of the same (homoousios) essence as God the Son, not merely similar (homoiousios). This doctrine continues to govern Christological thought today, and forms an essential component of a proper

John Ehrett 2
05 Aug 2015

Liturgy Versus Lecture – Part 2: Common Criticism of Formal Worship

In the first part of this study an investigation was made into the evidence available on what the earliest Christian worship communities were like, as opposed to a common misconception in many Western congregations that it was extemporaneous and non-liturgical; and all degraded into nominal rigidness and hierarchical corruption after the legalization of the faith under Constantine.  Having addressed this presupposition, attention will now be given to the purpose and meaning behind a seemingly antiquated

Joseph Green 2
30 Jul 2015

Strange Bedfellows: Church and State

As another presidential primary season begins to boil in the wake of a dramatic Supreme Court decision, I found it helpful to revisit Chris Casberg’s excellent article series, The Future of Christianity in America. In this article, I present five examples of church-state integration (including American), and then close with the ultimate example of stateless Christianity. CHURCH VERSUS STATE When Jesus promised to build his gathering of believers in Matthew 16:18, he did not call

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22 Jul 2015

Liturgy Versus Lecture PART 1: Could the Earliest Churches Have Seriously Been So Fancy and Formal?

Much of contemporary Christianity has developed a newly inflamed affection for what they believe to be a first century pattern of Christianity: abandoning all formal or structural ecclesiology for simple house churches, which is allegedly where Christianity was supposed to remain without the hierarchical clergy getting their ugly paws on it.  It is assumed that these congregations must have been similar to the informal evangelical low churches today that gather together in someone’s living room,

Joseph Green 16
18 Jun 2015

In Defense of Nestorius

“As for Nestorius, let him be anathema . . .” – Nestorius, “The Bazaar of Hercleides” “The controversies of the past led to anathemas, bearing on persons and on formulas. The Lord’s Spirit permits us to understand better today that the divisions brought about in this way were due in large part to misunderstandings.” – Pope John Paul II in 1994 regarding the first Council of Ephesus “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go

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28 May 2015

Discerning Division, Undertaking Unity

If you drive through any appreciable stretch of the United States, you are bound to come across churches. In some sparse locales, these places of worship are few and far between, much like the dwellings of those who attend them. In other places, churches abound, with nearly every street seeming to possess its own house of God. When my wife and I lived in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, one of our favorite pastimes was driving through

Jacob Prahlow 1
30 Apr 2015

Would Christ Have Come If Humanity Had Not Fallen?

A common criticism of medieval Christianity theology centers on the practice of speculative theology, often defined as the asking of seemingly obscure questions which have little bearing (or none at all) upon the vicissitudes of human life or Christian faith. This article considers the value of speculative theology by reflecting on the question of whether or not Christ would have become incarnate if humanity had not fallen into sin.

Jacob Prahlow 6
02 Apr 2015

What Day Did Jesus Die?

“When students are first introduced to the historical, as opposed to a devotional, study of the Bible, one of the first things they are forced to grapple with is that the biblical text, whether Old Testament or New Testament, is chock full of discrepancies, many of them irreconcilable…. In some cases seemingly trivial points of difference can actually have an enormous significance for the interpretation of a book or the reconstruction of the history of

Jacob Prahlow 3
20 Feb 2015

Thinking with the Early Middle Ages

“When the thinker thinks rightly, he follows God step by step; he does not follow his own vain fallacy.”1 Studying the Middle Ages is a complex process, not only for the plethora of information one must process in order to have a halfway-informed perspective into the period, but also for the multitude of ways in which contemporary—modern and postmodern—attitudes that illuminate Christian opinions of this important period of Christian history. One need look no further

Jacob Prahlow 3
Mary, Mother of God
04 Feb 2015

Why We Call Mary the Mother of God

The title “Mother of God” is given to Mary in both the Eastern (Orthodox) and Western (Catholic) Churches. Used by early Christian writers such as Origen, Athanasius, and Augustine, the title seems to have been well established and widely accepted prior to its formal proclamation in the 5th century. This title is important. “Mother of God” carries with it the full weight of Jesus Christ’s deity.

Benjamin Cabe 11
12 Jan 2015

Why the Reformation is About Much More than Religion

History is not an exact science. While people, places, dates, and events are factual, we receive history through first-hand accounts that may be biased, through second-hand accounts of history books that are influenced by years of interpretation, and finally through our own lens, shaded by how we understand the world around us. In church history, there is no better example of this inexactness and misinterpretation of history than the Reformation and what most call the

Laura Norris 0