Recent Blog Posts
Becoming little in order to be truly wise
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
Last December, Pope Benedict XVI offered Mass in Rome for Catholic theologians from around the world gathered for the meeting of the International Theological Commission. His homily is one that all students of Sacred Scripture should take to heart, especially those of us who have been called to teach.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Last December, Pope Benedict XVI offered...
Behold, I make all things Newman!
Cardinal Newman has been raised to the altars! He was a brilliant patrologist. He served the Fathers as translator, historian, compiler, controversialist, poet, and even journalist. Reading in the Fathers of the Church, he came to desire the Church of the Fathers. May we all follow him in that, and more.
Certain of his books are indispensable, among them:
The Church of the Fathers
An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine...
Who is the Rich Man of Luke 16?
Very few of us can be numbered among the rich and the powerful who have the power to exploit the poor. So how are we to apply to our own lives the readings for the 25th and 26th S undays in Ordinary Time (Cycle C), which are so preoccupied with questions of social justice, wealth and poverty?
These readings remind us that the law of love (see John 15:12; Romans 13:8) means that each of us in some way...
For Future Reference
If you’ve ever traveled in conservative evangelical or fundamentalist circles, you know the Scofield Reference Bible. It’s a hefty tome, and influential. And one could argue that this annotated edition of the Scriptures, first published in 1909, created modern fundamentalism. Its editor, C.I. Scofield, made his own theological opinions seem like the plain sense of the Scripture text. In reality, his opinions were no more or less plausible than any others in the Protestant world,...
Is Peter the Rock? (Part 3: Some Reasons I Think He Is)
As I explained in the last post in this series, Gundry has made the case that Jesus’ use of petros / petra was intended to highlight the fact that Peter was not the foundation but that the church would be built upon Jesus’ own words.
While this reading may at first seem possible, a number of observations, in my opinion, render such an approach highly implausible. In sum, I would suggest that while Gundry’s...
Matthias Scheeben on the Mysteries of Christianity (Part 3)
“The fascination of mystery is so strong that almost all religious and social organizations that exercise or have exercised an inspiring and lasting influence on mankind have wrapped themselves up in the obscurity of mystery, and have even gloried in the mysteries which they were aware of, although they disdained Christianity because of its mysteries. Their mysteries, products of human invention, are of course mere caricatures of the divine mysteries. Either they are plain mystifications with which to...
Is Peter the Rock? (Part 2: Gundry's Take)
In his detailed commentary on Matthew, Robert Gundry makes the argument that Jesus was purposeful in using different words in his declaration to Peter—“you are petros, and on this petra I will build my church” (Matt 16:18).
Gundry is representative of many Protestant commentators. His view: the rock the Church is built upon is decidedly not Peter, but something else. In Gundry’s view, the petra, the “rock”, is the very...
Is Peter the Rock? (Part 1)
Heads-up. Let’s get ready to rumble! Over the next coming days I’m going to spend some time here looking at one of the most debated passages in all of the Gospels. So, here we go. . .
In Matthew 16:13–20 we read the famous confession of faith by Peter at Caesarea Philippi. In response to his statement affirming him as the “Son of the Living God,” Jesus tells Peter: “I tell you, you...
Matthias Scheeben on the Mysteries of Christianity (Part 2)
“Far from repudiating Christianity or regarding it with suspicious eyes because of its mysteries, we ought to recognize its divine grandeur in these very mysteries. So essential to Christianity are its mysteries that in its character of truth revealed by the Son of God and the Holy Spirit it would stand convicted of intrinsic contradiction if it brought forward no mysteries. Its Author would carry with Him a poor recommendation for His divinity if he taught us only...
Matthias Scheeben on the Mysteries of Christianity (Part 1)
One of my all-time favorite theologians is Matthias Joseph Scheeben (pronounced: “shay-ben”), an obscure German theologian who lived in the 19th century. I want to post up some of what he has said about the mysterious dimension of the Christian faith. Before I do that though, a little bio.
Eugene Druwé gives a short biography of Scheeben in the a preface to Scheeben’s two volume work on...