24 Aug 2015

John Henry Newman and the Journey of Conversion

“Great acts take time.” – John Henry Newman         In 1839, Oriel College Fellow John Henry Newman was at the height of his career, both as a member of the Oxford Movement and Anglican priest at St. Mary’s. Within six years time, he had resigned both these posts and preparing to leave Oxford for good, not for retirement, or acceptance of a new job, but because he had converted from the Church of England into

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22 Aug 2015

Weekly Reads {August 22}

Happy weekend, dear readers! Here is a round-up of different religion, theology, and current events articles from our own authors and across the internet. The following articles do not necessarily reflect the views or mission of Conciliar Post. These articles have been selected based on their prevalence across popular blogs and social media and their relevance to current events. We invite you to engage in friendly and positive discussion about these articles. If you read

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18 Aug 2015

What is “The Benedict Option”?

Over the past couple years, there’s been an increasing discussion in the Christian blogosphere over the “The Benedict Option,” an idea proposed by The American Conservative editor Rod Dreher as a response to the perceived end of Christianity as a Western cultural force. What is the Benedict Option, and why do we need it?  In today’s post, I’ll explore answers to these questions. While I have my own opinion on the matter, my aim here

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15 Aug 2015

Weekly Reads {August 15}

Happy weekend, dear readers! Here is a round-up of different religion, theology, and current events articles from our own authors and across the internet. The following articles do not necessarily reflect the views or mission of Conciliar Post. These articles have been selected based on their prevalence across popular blogs and social media and their relevance to current events. We invite you to engage in friendly and positive discussion about these articles. If you read

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06 Aug 2015

Neglected Doctrines Surrounding Conversion

Just looking at the church in mainstream America, something is deathly wrong. The conversion experience is centered on meeting the needs of the seeker and God is touted to the lost as a panacea for hell, unhappiness, loneliness, and dissatisfaction-almost like a magic pill guaranteed to give you a better life. Certainly following Biblical principles will often have pleasant results- improved relationships with others, freedom from debt, peace in Christ-however, when we center salvation around

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04 Aug 2015

Trimming Hedges in the Garden of Eden

Twenty-four hours ago, my back yard featured a pair of mammoth lilac bushes perhaps fifteen feet in diameter apiece, both towering some nine feet above the earth. Behind the wall of green leaves and purple flowers, lilac bushes are dense forests of thin, whiplike branches that bend backwards and then shoot forward, raking your arms, legs, and face. If you’re me, these branches will whip the cigar you’re puffing as you push through the foliage

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29 Jul 2015

The Transformative Power of Paradox

As a theologically-minded young catechumen, on the cusp of being confirmed into the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, few doctrines troubled me more than those surrounding the sacrament of communion. How could the Body and Blood of Christ be present “in, with, and under” the sacramental elements? How could the consecration of the elements, an act of human will, result in such a transformation? Years of soul-searching followed, which led me all the way from

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18 Jul 2015

Weekly Reads {July 18}

Happy weekend, dear readers! Here is a round-up of different religion, theology, and current events articles from our own authors and across the internet. The following articles do not necessarily reflect the views or mission of Conciliar Post. These articles have been selected based on their prevalence across popular blogs and social media and their relevance to current events. We invite you to engage in friendly and positive discussion about these articles. If you read

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15 Jul 2015

The Gayest Wedding Cake, Reprise

A few months ago, I wrote about why making the biggest, gayest wedding cake for the glory of God might not be the best way to love one’s gay neighbors. At the time, I understood that the gay marriage issue was in the home stretch. The writing was on the wall. Gay marriage was going to happen. I was all set to articulate the ways I believed we ought to respond to the change in

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07 Jul 2015

The Definition of Terrorism

I’ve sometimes heard that there is no definition of terrorism. I wish somebody had told the Marine Corps this; as a young Lance Corporal I had to take a distance course on terrorism that included a written test that, among other things, asked for a definition of the term. It would have saved both young Lance Corporal Casberg and the Marine Corps time and energy if someone had the good sense to decide terrorism was

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23 Jun 2015

Secular Jeb

The fire of love kindling in my soul for the GOP presidential hopeful has finally been quenched. In March, a Weekly Standard profile of Jeb Bush sparked an inward light, and learning more about this “other Bush” fanned the flame of my affection. A pragmatic conservative with a track record of results? A cautious thinker with a heart for immigrants? Who is this man, and how do I give him money? Alas, it was not

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20 Jun 2015

Weekly Reads {June 20}

Happy Father’s Day weekend, dear readers! Here is a round-up of different religion, theology, and current events articles from our own authors and across the internet. The following articles do not necessarily reflect the views or mission of Conciliar Post. These articles have been selected based on their prevalence across popular blogs and social media and their relevance to current events. We invite you to engage in friendly and positive discussion about these articles. If

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16 Jun 2015

Here We Raise Our Ebenezer: Conciliar Post After One Year

In honor of Conciliar Post’s one year anniversary, we asked the editorial team to reflect on the past year. You can read Managing Editor Jacob Prahlow’s reflections in his post “How Now Shall We Speak?“. Here is what some other members of the Conciliar Post team had to say: Jody Byrkett Senior Editor Fleeting as days are, it is a bit strange to find that three hundred and sixty-five of them can feel both long and

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13 Jun 2015

Weekly Reads {June 13}

Happy weekend, dear readers! Here is a round-up of different religion, theology, and current events articles from our own authors and across the internet. The following articles do not necessarily reflect the views or mission of Conciliar Post. These articles have been selected based on their prevalence across popular blogs and social media and their relevance to current events. We invite you to engage in friendly and positive discussion about these articles. If you read a thought-provoking

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12 Jun 2015

My Journey to Catholicism: Part III

If I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth (1 Tim 3:15).1 After an extended hiatus, we return for the third installment! This final chapter is a reflection about the past four years of my family’s religious life. I’ll attempt not to get bogged down in theological minutiae (featured prominently in Parts

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10 Jun 2015

Beauty is in the Grace of the Beholder

You are ugly. I’m sorry, but it is true. I have no idea what you look like, but I can say with absolute certainty that you are an ugly human being. This is because ugliness is inherent to being human in this fallen and sinful world and is completely independent of what you look like. Your body is broken and dying. With every passing moment you grow closer to the day when you will shut

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09 Jun 2015

Empathy Amidst Change

Come gather ’round people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You’ll be drenched to the bone If your time to you Is worth savin’ Then you better start swimmin’ Or you’ll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin’1 Thus sings the prophet Dylan. Released in 1964, his folk ballad was an anthem for an era of social upheaval. The U.S. was

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06 Jun 2015

Weekly Reads {June 6}

Happy weekend, dear readers! To all of our Catholic readers and any others who observe it, Happy Feast of Corpus Christi! Here is a round-up of different religion, theology, and current events articles from our own authors and across the internet. The following articles do not necessarily reflect the views or mission of Conciliar Post. These articles have been selected based on their prevalence across popular blogs and social media and their relevance to current events.

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29 May 2015

Grace and Catholicism, Part II: Theological Definitions

Introduction In this post, we’ll delve into definitions with the goal of clarifying the Roman Catholic understanding of grace. Admittedly, the discussion is complex and multifaceted. It must first be stated that the theological categorization of grace is never meant to detract from its mysterious and deifying activity. Rather, such reflections are undertaken—via a hermeneutic of faith seeking understanding—with the twofold purpose of clarifying and defending the Church’s essential teachings. These teachings were passed down

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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

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