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Archive Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

The Hermeneutics of the Two Natures of Christ in Gregory of Nazianzus

In his famous “Third Theological Oration,” Gregory of Nazianzus gives this rule for interpreting biblical passages about Christ: To give you the explanation in one sentence.  What is lofty you are to apply to the Godhead, and to that Nature in Him which is superior to sufferings and incorporeal; but all that is lowly to […]

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Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Reformed Irenicism Steven Wedgeworth

Charles Hodge and a 19th Cent. Presbyterian Christmas

Anyone familiar with the Simpsons’ Groundskeeper Willie, knows that old-fashioned Presbyterians did not celebrate holidays. Even Christmas was seen as illegitimate, and Christmas was not celebrated in early Puritan America. This stance has given way pretty decisively, and in the present day, the overwhelming majority of even conservative Presbyterians think Christmas is at least permissible. […]

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Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Natural Law Philosophy Steven Wedgeworth The Natural Family

Male-Only Ordination is Natural: Why the Church is a Model of Reality

One of the dangers inherent in “complementarianism” is the perception that ordination to ecclesiastical office is a matter of semi-arbitrary positive law and private zones of jurisdiction, that male leadership in church is only a question of ordination or specific church polity and only because a few bible verses command it. Worse yet, it might […]

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Archive Reformed Irenicism Steven Wedgeworth

“That the Ministry of the Gospel and the Schools be Maintained”: The Academies of Protestantism

This paper was originally delivered as a lecture to All Saints Church in Lancaster Pennsylvania on Feb. 18, 2017 as a part of a conference on church history and education. The audio from the entire conference is available here.   Like all catechisms, the Heidelberg Catechism has a section dedicated to expounding the Ten Commandments. […]

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Archive Steven Wedgeworth

What Should Christians Think About Halloween?

I grew up with a very normal American view of Halloween. It was a day where I dressed up like cartoon characters or cartoonish or campy monsters in order to have a few laughs and get some candy. There really was no weighty “significance” behind it. It was just good clean fun. As I got […]

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Archive Early Church Fathers Ecclesiastical Polity Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine Steven Wedgeworth

The Leadership of the Catholic Church: Now vs. Then (Pt. 6)

It’s time to bring our series on the identity and government of the church to a conclusion. You can find the previous installments here: Part 1: The Crisis of Rome and Its Claims of Ultimate Authority Part 2: Church Origins and Officers in the New Testament  Part 3: Bishop-Elders and Bishops in the Late First […]

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Archive Early Church Fathers Ecclesiastical Polity Steven Wedgeworth

The Leadership of the Catholic Church: Now vs. Then (Pt. 5)

As we move into the third century, the relevant body of Christian literature grows considerably. The episcopalian structure of government has become more universal, and all of the writers of this period reference a singular bishop as holding a place of authority. They also largely repeat Irenaeus’ argument about bishops succeeding from the apostles and […]

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Archive Early Church Fathers Ecclesiastical Polity Steven Wedgeworth

The Leadership of the Catholic Church: Now vs. Then (Pt. 4)

We are continuing our look at the way the early church organized itself. You can see the earlier posts here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. This post will highlight some of the more important development that would eventually lead to the Roman Catholic claims about the relationship between Peter and Rome’s authority over […]

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Archive Early Church Fathers Ecclesiastical Polity Sacred Doctrine Steven Wedgeworth

The Leadership of the Catholic Church: Now vs. Then (Pt. 3)

We are continuing our series on the identity and government of the Christian Church and how it relates to the claims of the Roman Catholic Church. My first post explained why this question is freshly relevant and urgent for Roman Catholics, and it laid out the Roman Catholic claims about how the Christian Church was founded […]

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Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Reformed Irenicism Steven Wedgeworth

The Leadership of the Catholic Church: Now vs. Then (Pt. 2)

In a previous post, we discussed what the Roman Catholic Church claims about the founding of the church and the implications of that founding upon the identity and leadership of the church. It is important to pay attention to the details of the claim. Rome does not merely state that churches must have bishops, nor […]