Acts of Baptism

This post originally appeared at Conciliar Post. As anyone even somewhat familiar with Christianity knows, various Christian denominations have different, specific approaches to baptism—that all important rite involving water and the Holy Spirit. Depending on its theological commitments, a church may expect the person being baptized to be an adult (or, at least old enoughContinue reading “Acts of Baptism”

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On Baptism (Part II)

This post continues my reflections on baptism, focusing on the covenantal and sacramental aspects of Christian baptism. Covenantal Theology Those beginning an exploration of historic baptismal theology will almost immediately run into the concept of covenantal theology. As commonly defined, a covenant is a formal agreement made between God and humans, typically one that onlyContinue reading “On Baptism (Part II)”

On Baptism (Part I)

In this two-part article, I offer some reflections on baptism, beginning in this post with the Bible and history and wrapping up with some musings on covenant and sacrament in the next. Baptism in the Acts of the Apostles Last summer I led a Bible study on the Acts of the Apostles. While I hadContinue reading “On Baptism (Part I)”

Ep22: What Is Baptism?

In this episode of the Church Debates series, we look at the important questions surrounding Baptism which influence how Christians understand the “washing of water” differently.

Montantism and the Authority of (Female) Confessor-Martyrs

This post is part of an ongoing series reflecting upon Women and Gender in Early Christianity. In “The Role of Martyrdom and Persecution in Developing the Priestly Authority of Women in Early Christianity: A Case Study in Montanism,”[1] Frederick Klawiter contends that from its beginnings Montanism enabled women to rise to ministerial status through theirContinue reading “Montantism and the Authority of (Female) Confessor-Martyrs”

The Christology Debate

The Early Christian Church spent hundreds of years seeking a definitive answer to the question, “Who is Jesus?” The answer to this all-important question formed the basis for much of Christian theology and practice. Who is Jesus? Is He God? Is He Man? How does Jesus save us? These are the questions that early theologiansContinue reading “The Christology Debate”

Ephrem’s Scriptural Simplicity

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Ephrem the Syrian and early Syrian Christianity. Central to Ephrem’s scriptural presentation of Christ as beyond investigation (i.e., of the same order as the Father) is the relative simplicity of his arguments. Instead of constructing complex metaphysical arguments, Ephrem relies upon the re-presentation of narratives fromContinue reading “Ephrem’s Scriptural Simplicity”

The Early Church and the Trinity

This past Sunday was Trinity Sunday for many Christians, very often the day of the year when the Trinitarian nature of God and Christian theology are most clearly discussed. This post reflects on how the early Church grappled with the complexities of Trinitarian theology. The doctrine of the Trinity–espoused by the Cappadocian Fathers as “GodContinue reading “The Early Church and the Trinity”

The Marcion Problem: Tertullian (Part I)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Marcion of Sinope and his influence on the development of the New Testament canon. In comparison to all other extant ancient works, the writings of Tertullian of Carthage against Marcion remain the fullest and most precise rejection of Marcion’s theology. Tertullian composed as least six worksContinue reading “The Marcion Problem: Tertullian (Part I)”

Book Review: Ancient Christian Worship (McGowan)

There are few times in history so important and yet so obscure as the years following the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, when the movement bearing his name transformed from a band of several dozen followers hiding in terror into an international community that would shape the subsequent history of the world. DespiteContinue reading “Book Review: Ancient Christian Worship (McGowan)”