The Early Church – From Movement to Organization

There seems to be much for Christians in America to be discouraged about in 2016. Conventional wisdom holds that while the Church is growing quickly in China and the developing world, Europe and America are in the “post Christian” doldrums. The 2016 presidential campaign has taken twists and turns that have distressed some evangelical believers.… Read More The Early Church – From Movement to Organization

The Year in Church and Religious History

3 Jan – Pope Leo X excommunicated Martin Luther, the Protestant Reformer, in his papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem, after Luther refused to recant his writings as required by the 1520 papal bull Exsurge Domine (1521). 6 Jan – Epiphany, the traditional date of the arrival of the Magi (Three Kings) to the Holy Family… Read More The Year in Church and Religious History

Sacralism and Calvin’s Geneva

John Calvin, the Frenchman who became one of the most famous Christian theologians and controversial figures in history, initially wanted nothing more from life than to study and write in ivory tower academia in the 16th century. Intrigued by the nascent Reformation, he first fled Paris to avoid punishment for heresy, and then was shamed… Read More Sacralism and Calvin’s Geneva

Preparation for the Reformation

In Leviathan, English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) characterized the life of man as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”. He was referring to the trials of his own day, as well as those of the decades preceding him, the time of the Reformation. European life in the late 15th century certainly fit Hobbes description. Under… Read More Preparation for the Reformation

Fathers of the Church – Leaders in Early Post-Apostolic Christianity

I was cleaning out some boxes in the basement when I happened upon several books my grandmother had owned. They were dirty, with bindings breaking down and covers coming off. The pages had yellowed and become wrinkled and stiff with time and atmospheric moisture. Some of the texts were covered by a thin layer dust.… Read More Fathers of the Church – Leaders in Early Post-Apostolic Christianity

Restoring Apostate Christians during the Roman Persecutions

Christians had been persecuted in the Roman Empire since the Apostles, but the persecution under Emperors Decius and Valerian was more widespread and severe than before. Simply for bearing the name of Jesus, Christians faced loss of position, confiscation of property, rejection by pagan family members, and even death. Many Christians stood strong in the… Read More Restoring Apostate Christians during the Roman Persecutions

Christian Apology in the Second Century

Contrary to the modern Western usage of the word, apology as first defined by Webster is “a formal spoken or written defense of some idea, religion, philosophy, etc.” By end of the second century AD, Christianity had grown dramatically in the Roman Empire and was clearly differentiated from Judaism, which had lost its place in… Read More Christian Apology in the Second Century

“Haves and have nots” or “Do and do nots?”

The 2012 Presidential Election campaign is in its final weeks, and while one candidate seems to relish contrasting the “haves and have nots”, the other candidate recently implied that the real division is between the “do and do nots.” One group seems to boil with resentment against those who they perceive have more than they… Read More “Haves and have nots” or “Do and do nots?”

Texting between Father and Son – The Nature of Causation

An acquaintance, a devoted Catholic, shared with me a text conversation that he had with his son last weekend.  It caught my attention, so we discussed it at the dinner table at our house Wednesday night. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Father: R U going to be home to go to 9:30 mass or 1115 or 5PM? Teenage son:… Read More Texting between Father and Son – The Nature of Causation