Archive for May 2009

The Ascension and Man’s Supernatural End

May 30th, 2009 | By | Category: Blog Posts

This past Sunday we celebrated the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, the day Jesus ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives. I was sitting in St. Clement of Rome parish church, attending the first mass offered by Fr. Eric Olson, who had been ordained a priest the previous day, listening to the […]



Divine and Catholic Faith

May 29th, 2009 | By | Category: Blog Posts

Q. What evidence do we have that the [Ecumenical Councils’] exercise of apostolic authority was legitimate, and has remained infallible? A. In order to answer this question, it is helpful to consider the implications of the visibility of the Church in relation to Christ’s promises. I have addressed that indirectly here (in January of 2008) […]



God knows He tried

May 26th, 2009 | By | Category: Blog Posts

Given our recent discussions on the nature of the atonement and predestination, here’s an opportunity to apply this to something concrete at the popular level: a rap song



Predestination: John Calvin vs. Thomas Aquinas

May 23rd, 2009 | By | Category: Blog Posts

In his third book of the Institutes of the Christian Religion (chs. 21-24), Calvin articulates his developed doctrine of predestination and reprobation. In chapter 21 in particular, Calvin denies that God’s prescience (“foreknowledge”) is the cause of predestination.



[Four Corners] Scriptura?

May 22nd, 2009 | By | Category: Blog Posts

There is a classical dispute in the law of contracts, the underlying problem of which also bears on the doctrine of sola Scriptura.  Can one really look to an authoritative text alone without at least impliedly resorting to extrinsics during interpretation? Suppose you enter into a contract to purchase a home from a seller, and […]



Angels trapped in stinkin’ flesh

May 20th, 2009 | By | Category: Blog Posts

A recent post titled “Off-Duty Megachurches” on Christianity Today’s blog, led me to Joe Johnson’s Mega Churches gallery (at the gallery, click on “projects”, and then click on “Mega Churches”). The photos almost made me feel sick. (What I say below assumes that the reader has looked at the photos.)



Episode 4 – Faith & Reason

May 17th, 2009 | By | Category: Podcast

In this episode, Bryan Cross & Tim Troutman discuss the relationship between faith and reason and how to strike a balance between fideism and rationalism. To download the mp3, right click here.



How Big is the Catholic Church?

May 15th, 2009 | By | Category: Blog Posts

Undoubtedly we must answer:  she is enormous but her dogmas wield the precision of a razor.  It would be fallacious to say that this sort of exactness in thought were a Western peculiarity or confined to Roman Christianity as if the largeness of truth could rid this point of its power.  We might as well […]



Dionysius the Areopagite on the topic of Total Depravity

May 14th, 2009 | By | Category: Blog Posts

In his treatise In On the Divine Names, Dionysius directly asks whether there can be such a thing as “total depravity”. He answers that there cannot be total depravity because that which is totally deprived of all goodness would also be deprived of all existence since anything created is also ontologically good–as confirmed by the refrain of Genesis chapter 1 “and God saw that it was good”.



The Relation of Man’s Two Ends to Church and State

May 14th, 2009 | By | Category: Blog Posts

I was recently in a discussion in which someone was claiming that the beatific vision was natural to unfallen man.1 He was at the same time advocating a complete separation of Church and State, and denying the notion that the State resulted from the Fall. Here I argue that those three claims are incompatible with […]