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Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Ian Mosley

The Historical Untenability of Apostolic Succession

One of the most common procedural grounds on which Protestant churches can be critiqued is their lack of Apostolic Succession. It is very common for anti-Protestant apologists to argue that Protestants lack authentic ministerial orders because they cannot lay claim to this succession, and hence their churches can be dismissed without needing to engage with […]

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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 […]

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Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Reformed Irenicism Steven Wedgeworth

The Leadership of the Catholic Church: Now vs. Then

In the wake of the latest round of sexual abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, I would like to invite all Christians and serious moral thinkers to leave that ecclesiastical institution. Many sincere members of that church have confessed that they no longer trust their pastors and their bishops. Many have even said that […]

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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene

Apostolic Succession according to Gregory of Nazianzus

Who was the churchman in charge of the whole world in the fourth century? According to Gregory of Nazianzus, it was Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria. Thus in¬†Oration 21 (“On the Great Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria”), referred to briefly yesterday, Gregory writes: Thus brought up and trained, as even now those should be who are to […]