15 Apr 2016

Does Apophatic Theology Denature Christianity? Part I

Introduction: Tracing the Implications of Metaphysical Theology The branch of philosophical theology known as classical theism has long written of a God who is the Ground and Source of Being, both wholly transcendent and wholly immanent (Eastern Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart’s brilliant exposition and defense of this concept, The Experience of God, is still one of the most influential and thought-provoking books I’ve ever read). This concept, implicit in Eastern Orthodox and much Catholic

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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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01 Apr 2016

A Barthian Public Theology

The first article in this series argued that religious reasons ought to be included in discussions surrounding issues of public policy. Barth’s rejection of natural theology makes it clear that, while natural premises might be shared by nearly all, they are ill-equipped to communicate religious ideas. With Stout’s second option, to translate theological reasons into reasons based on shared or natural premises, rejected as an unworkable compromise for the religious interlocutor, we will now turn

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12 Mar 2016

Weekly Reads {March 12}

Happy Weekend, Dear Readers! Below is a selection of theological and current events articles from around the internet this week. Rather than providing the final word on a given topic, we hope these articles will serve to spark friendly, yet thoughtful conversations. Consider this your welcome to join (or kick off) those conversations in the comments below! Conciliar Post Finding Yourself in Communion, Part One by TJ Humphrey By the Waters of Babylon by Kenneth O’Shaughnessy

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09 Mar 2016

A Calvinist Reads Calvin: Knowing God Entails Relationship

Welcome back to our ongoing series following the thoughts of John Calvin in his Institutes of the Christian Religion. If you are joining the conversation for the first time, you might want to take a moment to read the first paragraph of the first post in the series. Otherwise, I hope you find the ideas as irresistible as I do. When we last looked at Calvin’s thought, we examined the relationship between knowledge of self

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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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13 Feb 2016

Weekly Reads {February 13}

Happy Weekend Dear Readers! Below is a selection of theological and current events articles from around the internet this week. Rather than providing the final word on a given topic, we hope these articles will serve to spark friendly, yet thoughtful conversations. Consider this your welcome to join (or kick off) those conversations in the comments below!   Conciliar Post A Conversation on the Saving Work of Jesus by Ben Cabe and Ben Winter Fasting by

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11 Feb 2016

Religious Reasons in Public Debate: A Conversation with Karl Barth

Christianity and Democratic Dialogue: Part One Need we suspend our faith for the sake of conversation? Western Democracy has given Christians religious liberties that few throughout history have enjoyed, while also saving the Church from the shame of statecraft. Foundational to these democratic systems of government is a form of civil dialogue that seeks to include all reasonable voices in the conversation. However, secularization in the Western world has lead many, both atheistic and theistic,

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06 Feb 2016

Weekly Reads {February 5}

Happy Weekend and Happy February Dear Readers! Below is this week’s selection of theology and current events articles from around the internet. If you read a thought-provoking or well-written article that did not make this list, feel free to share the link in the comments section below. Happy reading! Conciliar Post Does Conciliar Post Exist? by George Aldhizer On Our True Fairytale by Chris Casberg On the Boringness of Church Services by Joseph Green Mark

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04 Feb 2016

Mark Driscoll’s Golden Parachute

Or, Why Denominations Matter Among those Americans who felt the brunt of the 2008 financial crisis, many were infuriated when the Wall Street bankers involved–many of whom had engaged in high-risk trading behaviors–faced virtually no consequences. Instead, many walked away with multimillion-dollar “golden parachutes” and cycled into new professional pursuits. The message sent was intolerable to many victims of the crash: within the financial sector’s privileged caste, reckless and dubiously-legal behavior does indeed pay off

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27 Jan 2016

A Calvinist Reads Calvin: Where Knowing Starts

Thank you for electing to read this post!1 If you are just joining this series, I would recommend reading the first part of the first post in the series. It will give you the context for my own exploration of Calvin’s Institutes and why you are invited to join me. Ironically, the selection we will be exploring deals with our basis of knowing. In the grand scheme of the book, we are beginning the first

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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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22 Jan 2016

Of Tribalism and Churches (Part II)

In my last post I outlined some of the contextual and doctrinal considerations surrounding my ongoing wrestling with tribalism and baptism. In today’s post, I attempt to apply these principles to my “on the ground” situation. All Things to All People? Saint Paul speaks of becoming all things to all people. Less helpful, at least for my purposes, is how far he expects us to go in order to meet people where they are. Building

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13 Jan 2016

A Calvinist Reads Calvin: Of Kings, Apologetics, and Introductions

As recounted in my last post, there is real value in exploring your tradition’s response to theological questions. This being the case, I thought that I should take a dose of my own medicine. To this day, despite my Reformed leaning, I have never actually spent any serious time reading Calvin. After challenging you all to spend more time studying the theologians that have impacted your beliefs, it seemed only right that I would begin

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08 Jan 2016

Of Tribalism and Churches (Part I)

Recently I have been thinking about the topic of tribalism. By tribalism I mean adapting one’s behavior and thinking to accord with the group of people with which we are associated. I have been thinking a lot about this issue not because I am thinking about becoming a St. Louis Cardinals fan (my fellow Cubs fans will be happy to hear). Rather I have been thinking about tribalism in the context of baptism and the

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05 Jan 2016

The Creche and the Year of Mercy

Headlines of religious and secular sites have abuzzed with the recent news of Pope Francis’ opening of the Holy Door of the Vatican in proclamation of the Jubilee of Mercy (also known as the Year of Mercy). Pope Francis speaks of this Year of Mercy as a “revolution of tenderness,” a subtle yet strong act against the violence and the suffering of our age. During this Year of Mercy, the Holy Father urges us to

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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

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12 Dec 2015

Weekly Reads {December 12}

Happy Weekend, Dear Readers! As we continue moving through the Advent Season, we hope that you are able to find time to reflect on the gifts that God has given us through his Incarnation. As an aid to your own reflection, we have curated a list of articles from the past week for consideration. Articles considered deal with Christian theology specifically, religion in a broad sense, and current events. If you read a thought-provoking or

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05 Dec 2015

Weekly Reads {December 5}

Happy Weekend and Happy December, Dear Readers! Below is this week’s selection of theology, religion, and current events articles from around the internet. If you read a thought-provoking or well-written article that did not make this list, feel free to share the link in the comments section below. Happy reading! Conciliar Post Catholic-Lutheran Dialogue on Grace: Part I by Benjamin Winter Remember Lot’s Wife by Kenneth O’Shaughnessy An Ex-Calvinists Tiptoe Through TULIP: Limited Atonement by

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25 Nov 2015

Round Table: After Death

Living in a fallen world such as we do, death unfortunately remains a fact of life. We have all experienced the loss of loved ones, all struggled with the spectre of death. But what happens when people die? Do they go to heaven? Hell? Purgatory? Limbo? Furthermore, do all dogs really go to heaven, or is that merely the childhood fantasy relegated to the dumpster of bad theology? This month’s Round Table discussion reflects on

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