Sunday, February 13, 2011


These are a just a few tidbits currently in front of me...

1. Going Beyond "I'm a 5-Point Calvinist"
For those of you that faithfully attend a Reformed church, here's something you should check out if you haven't done it already: track down a copy of your church order, and read through it. This past week I've been memorizing my own church order: Church Order of the United Reformed Churches in North America Second Edition, 1997. If you go to a URCNA church, take a moment or two to see what your current pastor probably had to go through to have the responsibility of preaching to you each week and the responsibilities he's taken on (along with the consistory). Then, thank him, pray for him, and have a renewed vigor to attentively listen to his sermons.

2. How is Luther seen today in North American Roman Catholicism?
And now for something completely different. Here's a link to a video of the Luther 2017 Countdown Lecture of 2010. It's a two hour lecture entitled "How is Luther seen today in North American Roman Catholicism?" from a Roman Catholic Priest: Rev. Dr. Donald Bolen, Bishop of Saskatoon. The video needs to be advanced to 16 minutes to begin.

This lecture is a bit subdued, but if you can hang in there, it really makes a great contrast between current trends in educated Romanism and the typical Roman Catholic bloggers and websites we deal with here.

The first hour of the lecture is an ecumenical explanation of the relationship of Romanism to Protestantism, and how wonderfully we can learn from each other. This isn't Catholic Answers, that's for sure. The second hour addresses what can positively be learned from Luther, and how wonderful Luther was. This certainly isn't Catholic Answers either. Now before someone says he's just a priest, note he was on the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. I point this out because many recent comments have noted how out of touch many of the Roman e-pologists are with current Roman Catholic scholarship. I would suggest that many of the Roman e-pologists are actually out of touch also with trends coming out of Rome, like with Rome's ecumenical approach to interpreting Luther and the Reformation.

3. Even Liberal Media Can Be Interesting
And for something even more different. Here's a good link for general religion stories: NPR's Religion page. Yes, I know, NPR, liberal, etc. But they do manage to put forth some interesting stories. Their recent story on The Church Of Scientology, Fact-Checked was very interesting. Also they recently did some things on the Roman Catholic confessing sin over the phone stuff: Confessing Sin In The Age Of The iPhone and Catholic Church OKs 'Confession App,' But You Still Have To See A Priest.

4. It is Settled: Called To Communion Has Spoken!
I simply couldn't pass this tidbit up from the CTC Magisterium:

The Catholic Church, however, believes that she has been gifted with a participation in the divine authority of her Head. Thus, the Church can and has definitively adjudicated the matter of which writings are, and which are not, Sacred Scripture.

CTC may wish to contact Catholic apologist Gary Michuta. He says that certain books not included in the current catholic canon, yet included in the Septuagint, may be canonical, or possibly not, because Trent left particular books undecided as to their canonicty. So, according to Michuta, the matter was not definitively adjudicated.


Pastor Aaron said...

Wow, James, your first paragraph really speaks to this pastor! I wish that my United Methodist people would, first, take a look at our doctrinal standards. Second, I wish our pastors would follow them. And finally, would that all parishioners pray for their pastors! I am fortunate to have serious prayer during the week before I ever step up into the pulpit.

James Swan said...

I don't know all that much about the Methodist church.

you might enjoy this:

DR. RICHARD WILLIAMSON, pastor of the historic Seaford United Methodist Church, Seaford, Long Island, NY will address the theme: "AN EVANGELICAL PASTOR IN A LIBERAL DENOMINATION."

While I might not agree with Rev. Williamson on some issues, he certainly is an interesting speaker! He's one of my favorite ISI guests.

john said...

James you are absolutely correct on what you posted about Roman Catholicism in this post. Current Roman "e-pologists" on the net, Catholic Catholic Answers posters etc. would be just about literally laughed out of most Catholic Uni/College classes in Church History, Theology, and Biblical Studies. These folks are so out of touch not only with current Catholic Scholars, but the higher echelons of Rome itself.

Also Catholic "e-pologists" point out that these Catholic Scholars are:

1. Not teaching what the Church teaches
2. They are "heretics" and "schismatics" etc

But I then want to ask the 5 and Dime Catholic "e-pologists" and Catholic Answers crowd this question;

"If these Catholic Scholars are"Schismatics" and "Heretics" like you say they are then why are THEY the ones getting appointed to all these Pontifical Commissions and not "orthodox" "e-pologists" and armchair Apologists like themselves getting these Pontifical Commission Appointments?"

Don't forget the Pope himself or those directly under him and immediately answerable to him are making these appointments.

James Swan said...

I had your comments in mind John.

The priest's lecture was a bit dry, but was far different than the invective Jack Chick-esque Romanism that infects cyberspace.