Category Archives: Adventures in Church History

I Wonder as Jason Wonders

John Jacob Niles

That’s one way of asking it: As I continued wrestling through the issues of church authority and its relation to Scripture, one of the questions I kept returning to was that of likelihood. “All things being equal,” I would ask myself, “which is more likely: that Jesus had intended to establish his church in such… Read More→

Also posted in Are the CTCers Paying Attention?, Reformed Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Scripture and Prolegomena | Tagged , | 38 Responses

Why Not Great Friday?


I would not normally be thinking about Good Friday or a Easter ham if it were not for a much needed break from teaching over the next few days. The experience of a confessional Presbyterian over the next 72 hours must be like that of some non-Christians — grateful for the time off but not… Read More→

Also posted in Wilderness Wanderings | Tagged , , | 49 Responses

Calling the Bluff of A2K

Joey Altruda

A2K (anti-two kingdom theology) selectively reads history. This is a point made frequently here. This selectivity is evident whenever someone invokes John Calvin or John Winthrop to put 2k down, as if the down-putter really wants to return to a society where adultery is a capital offense. (Could we settle for a misdemeanor?) I understand… Read More→

Also posted in Reformed Protestantism | Tagged , , | 11 Responses

Anachronistic Calvinism


James Bratt may think that historians of Calvinism need to explore the ways that this form of Protestantism interacted with or even shaped the forces of modernity, but scholars who study early modern Europe have moved on from the Calvinist exceptionalism that goes with neo-Calvinism: . . . the essential historical importance of the story… Read More→

Also posted in Neo-Calvinism, spirituality of the church | Tagged , , | 20 Responses

If You Think The Next World Is Going Look Like This One


Consider what Paul does to the reasonable expectations of Jewish believers who thought that politics, culture, and family mattered: Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a… Read More→

Also posted in Christ and culture, Neo-Calvinism | Tagged , , , | 6 Responses

Should We Change Our Name?

william james

Maybe it should be Metaphysical Club instead of Old Life Theological Society, so impressed as I am by Louis Menand’s book about pragmatism and more. I have not read a history book that has been so hard to put down, so vivid in its depictions of characters, so plot driven as it were, and so… Read More→

Also posted in Piety without Exuberance, Worldview | Tagged , , , | 41 Responses

Defying Logic


Let me see if I get this straight. You can qualify to have performed a miracle if someone prays to you and their petitions receive the requested outcome. That, anyway is what might push Archbishop Fulton Sheen over the top to become a full-blown saint: Bonnie Engstrom, whose completely healthy son, James Fulton, is the… Read More→

Also posted in Are the CTCers Paying Attention?, Roman Catholicism | Tagged , , | 249 Responses

No Ecclesiology, No Identity


Here are a few quotations to support the earlier claim that World Vision and evangelicalism more generally is infected with modernist Protestantism: World Vision now has staff from more than 50 denominations—a handful of which have sanctioned same-sex marriages or unions in recent years, including the United Church of Christ, The Episcopal Church, the Evangelical… Read More→

Also posted in Are the CTCers Paying Attention?, Evangelicalism, Roman Catholicism | Tagged , , , , , | 36 Responses

No Narrative, No Clue


One of the odder aspects of the New Calvinism is how little historical awareness its proponents have. Consider the following in response to Tim Challies’ chart (which gave historical legitimacy to the movement by including the publication of George Marsden’s biography of Jonathan Edwards): There is a difference between a movement and a reformation, and… Read More→

Also posted in Because Someone Has to Provide Oversight, Reformed Protestantism | Tagged , , , , , | 64 Responses

The Presbyterian Narrative


If Ref21 had commboxes with their posts, I could simply make this point (or set of points) in response to Rick Phillips over there. But I guess ACE stands for Anti-Commbox Evangelicals. At the risk of offending Bill McClay (as if he reads OL) who wrote a very fine piece on the “American narrative,” the… Read More→

Also posted in Because Someone Has to Provide Oversight, Confessionalism, Piety with Excitement, Piety without Exuberance | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 68 Responses