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”

Advertisement

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)”

Gnosticism, Women, and Elaine Pagels

This post is part of an ongoing series reflecting upon Women and Gender in Early Christianity. For today’s reflection, I outline and reflect on Elaine Pagels’ “What Became of God as Mother? Conflicting Images of God in Early Christianity.”[1] In so doing I argue that while Pagels’ approach to the question of the divine feminineContinue reading “Gnosticism, Women, and Elaine Pagels”

Reflections on Communion

These reflections originally appeared as part of a Round Table discussion at Conciliar Post. What is communion and how does it impact my faith? For me, Communion is the sacramental participation in the body and blood of our Lord Jesus, a visible and real “joining together” with our Lord that, among other things, is aContinue reading “Reflections on Communion”

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”

Agobard and the Holy Spirit: Efficacious Procession

Belief in the Trinity makes Christianity stand out. This is true for a number of reasons, including the importance that this doctrine places on faith (how else can you explain how one is three and three are one?), trust in the Christians of the past (most contemporary Christians do not excavate the Trinitarian and ChristologicalContinue reading “Agobard and the Holy Spirit: Efficacious Procession”

Second Treatise of Great Seth

The Second Treatise of the Great Seth is one of the “G/gnostic” texts found at the Nag Hammadi Library in Egypt.[1] Generally dated in the third century by scholars, the name and origin of this text remain a mystery,[2] though it has been speculated that the name Seth originated from the son of Adam andContinue reading “Second Treatise of Great Seth”

Roman Catholicism in the Nineteenth Century

The nineteenth century posed a number of unique challenges to the Roman Catholic Church, among them the continued rise of Protestantism, the increasing influence of modernism, the development of historical and biblical criticisms, and the rise in understanding of numerous world religions. Roman Catholicism developed a number of responses to these challenges, most notably throughContinue reading “Roman Catholicism in the Nineteenth Century”

Sit, Walk, Stand

Watchman Nee was one of the most influential leaders and thinkers in the history of Chinese Christianity. It has been said that Nee’s writings and example, more than any other factor, have shaped the contemporary Chinese church. In his highly popular book, Sit, Walk, Stand, Nee offered an exegesis of Paul’s Letter to the EphesiansContinue reading “Sit, Walk, Stand”

A Prayer for Writing

Below is a prayer for writing adapted from a prayer of Walter Wink found in his book Just Jesus (page 23 for those interested). I found Wink’s words a powerful reminder about our need to rely on the “muse” of the Holy Spirit when writing. On this beautiful summer day, Lord, I bring my wholeContinue reading “A Prayer for Writing”