05 Apr 2016

What John Calvin Taught Me about the Sacraments

By Peter Schellhase I became a Calvinist in my teens. Before this, my religious understanding had been stunted by my family’s involvement in a cult-like parachurch group. Reacting to toxic fundamentalism, I found new life in the rich soil of Calvinistic theology. Yet, after almost ten years, I was still a “teenage” Calvinist. Much like Jeff Reid, I had read many modern, derivative theological works in the Reformed vein, but nothing by the great Protestant

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25 Feb 2016

Catholic-Lutheran Dialogue on Grace: Part II (Faith and Works)

In Part I of this exchange between myself (Catholic) and Michael (Lutheran), Michael outlined Lutheran views on grace and faith. Parts II, III, and IV are “question-and-answer” sessions where Michael and I debate the exact implications of his statements from Part I. Although such a format is new to Conciliar Post, Michael and I hope that others will find the information helpful, and that our dialogue can serve as a model for inquiry into the

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23 Feb 2016

Zacchaeus Zacchaeus

Zacchaeus Zacchaeus Put your money down Zacchaeus Zacchaeus Jesus has come to town Zacchaeus Zacchaeus You hope that I’ll see you Zacchaeus Zacchaeus Your old life will be through And though you’re a wee little man Who likes to grasp things in your hand When Jesus goes with you to sup You give all your life up Zacchaeus Zacchaeus Climb up in that tree Zacchaeus Zacchaeus The Lord you’re going to see Zacchaeus Zacchaeus You

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15 Feb 2016

One Body

Recently I started working as an intern in the tax department at an accounting firm. I am finding a rhythm to the work and my days are beginning to develop a pattern. Certainly, each day brings new work and different challenges, as well as different rewards. As I look ahead to sixty and even seventy hour weeks of preparing business tax returns between now and April 15th, I wonder what it would be like to

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08 Feb 2016

A Conversation on the Saving Work of Jesus

We asked two of our Editors—Ben Cabe and Ben Winter—to hold a discussion about an important theological question: How does your tradition view the saving work of Jesus?  What follows are their replies, as well as responses to each other’s position. Ben Cabe Soteriology is inextricably connected to Christology. That is, what salvation is, how one “attains it,” and what it effects in the human person, cannot be understood without a proper understanding of who

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25 Jan 2016

An Open Discussion of Difficult Theological Issues

Theology is no good if done in isolation. God is a community of Persons; so are we. As followers of Christ, we are called to engage with the content of our Tradition(s), in order to better understand why we believe the timeless truths that have been handed down in Scripture. Conciliar Post is an apt forum for just this sort of activity. As an author on this website, I do not claim to hold a

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21 Jan 2016

Imperfect Gifts

Like many in my generation, I’ve been playing Adele’s mega-smash album 25 on repeat during the last few months. Upon multiple listenings, however, a strange realization has struck me: the album is so pristinely produced–so utterly devoid of mistakes–that it feels almost inhuman. This isn’t the fault of the singer: similar music performed in a more intimate setting, while not without its minor recording imperfections, is much more moving–and, I submit, more beautiful. Instead, the

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03 Dec 2015

The False Gospel of Protestantism

This article marks the close of my bi-weekly writing at Conciliar Post. It has been a joy to contribute and discuss the faith here. I hope I have produced a coherent framework in these articles for viewing all five branches of Christianity as one common faith to be embraced and learned from across denominations and lines of tradition. In my final regular article, I have no intent to malign Protestantism since I myself continue to

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30 Nov 2015

Catholic-Lutheran Dialogue on Grace: Part I

Recently, I completed a series of articles on the Catholic understanding of grace (find parts one, two, and three at these links). At the same time, I was working on a series of articles documenting my journey to Catholicism. After the second installment of that series, I received excellent feedback from an individual named Michael. Although we did not know each other before this exchange, Conciliar Post provided a forum for us to connect, and

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22 Sep 2015

She and the Man

Christ in the House of Simon Dieric Bouts the Elder 1440s Oil on wood, 40,5 x 61 cm Staatliche Museen, Berlin She didn’t know she had faith. She didn’t wonder how much she believed. She didn’t come looking for forgiveness. She didn’t think about her sin. She knew there was a man at Simon’s house. She knew this man really, truly loved, was love. She knew what she got and gave with men was not.

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08 Sep 2015

Praise God from Whom All Curses Flow

Praise God from whom all curses flow Praise him who made the thorns to grow Praise him below infernal host Praise Father Son and Holy Ghost The sword that guards the Garden’s gate The sweat and death that are our fate The pain through which all life goes on For these we thank the Lord in song The night so short, the day all gone Serve to make us cry out, “How long?” Until the

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31 Aug 2015

What Do We Want?

The rich man of Matthew 19:16-26 frightens me because I am like him in so many ways. Not because I’m rich: and make no mistake when it comes to material things I have more than I need. But because I have the same attitudes as the rich man. I want a list, I want a legal document that I can present at the pearly gates that says “admit one.” I think in my mind that

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24 Jul 2015

Grace and Catholicism Part III – Repentance

Grace and Catholicism Part III – Repentance We approach the edge of a cliff. Flailing arms wildly, we careen toward the brink and launch outward into abyss. Abyss of inscrutability, abyss of love, abyss of justice. Abyss of knowing and unknowing, of God and man, of freedom … or something else? In line with the subject of our series, this abyss represents the dire difficulties raised when we speak about the human will in matters

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08 Jul 2015

Jesus and the Law (Part II)

The Law and the Christian (Click here to read Part I of Jesus and the Law) “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least

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06 Jul 2015

Embracing the Aesthetics of the Lab

I often enjoy visiting the various Smithsonian museums, particularly the National Museum of Natural History – and this past weekend, I did just that. Yet this time was different: wandering through the Hall of Mammals and into the Hall of Human Origins, surrounded by old fossils and countless instances of the the “millions and millions of years ago” language criticized by some as Darwinian indoctrination, I was abruptly struck by a hitherto-unfelt realization. The aesthetic

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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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11 Jun 2015

Jesus and the Law

Part I of II “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be

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10 Jun 2015

The Anthropology of The Avengers: Age of Ultron

This article is not so much a film critique as it is an attempt to extract some ultimate meaning from this popular flick.  I do not attend the theatre as often as I would like or can afford, but when I do I find myself constantly trying to perceive applicability to real life from what I see on screen.  I am fascinated and beguiled by the world of visual narrative, and I believe we are

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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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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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