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 […]

Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Sacred Doctrine

The Eucharist and Spiritual Eating

John 6.22ff. is a text that has long been used in various ways and to various ends in debates about the Eucharist. Christ himself gives a clue to its proper interpretation in v. 63: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you […]

Authors Eric Parker Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Edmund Calamy: Meditate on the Sacramental Elements and Actions

In his The Art of Divine Meditation (1634), a treatise with the same name as a more popular work by Bishop Joseph Hall, Edmund Calamy the elder advises his reader to take up the practice of meditating during the sacrament of holy communion. Here I’ve listed Calamy’s 8th-10th meditations. 8. I would have you meditate of […]

Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Eric Parker Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Happily Inebriated: The Lord’s Supper and Assurance of Salvation

Paul’s call to self-examination in 1 Corinthians 11 has shaped the Reformed way of celebrating the Lord’s table for better or for ill. In those churches that emphasize self-examination in their fencing of the table, Paul’s requirement can sometimes appear to overshadow the ultimate purpose of the ritual itself. In 17th century England, many honest church goers felt overburdened by […]

Archive Eric Parker Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Sacraments are Media of Cognition

Zacharius Ursinus, the famed theology professor at the University of Heidelberg and author of the Heidelberg Catechism, took part in a public disputation on the sacraments at the Academy of Rostock in the year 1581. It is not clear from the text whether he was present at the disputation, but he apparently made annotations on the topics that were […]

Archive Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Philip Schaff’s Reading of Augustine on the Eucharist

Nearly the entire collection of The Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review is online here, and if you need other formats, then google books has most of the editions. In Volume 38, Number 1, from 1866, the great Philip Schaff has an essay titled, “The Patristic Doctrine of the Eucharist.” It exhibits Schaff’s usual careful scholarship, and while […]

Archive Early Church Fathers Sacred Doctrine Steven Wedgeworth

Sign Language: Augustine’s Use of Sacramental Speech

Sacramental theology in the early church can feel a bit like the Wild West, and the interpretations vary according to the number of interpreters. Pop apologetics works are, by all accounts, the worst on this score, and it is quite shameful that they are allowed to be circulated by humans with a straight face as […]

Archive Early Church Fathers Steven Wedgeworth

Augustine’s Doctrine of Eucharistic Sacrifice in City of God

Book 10 of Augustine’s City of God is dedicated to rebutting the Platonists and their understanding of worship. Throughout the book, Augustine regularly returns to the topic of sacrifice. He explains to whom it is due, what it is, how the “true” sacrifice is found in Christ’s death on the cross, and in what way Christians continue […]

Archive Authors Ecclesiastical Polity Reformed Irenicism Steven Wedgeworth

The Quest for Historic Liturgy: What Can We Really Find?

The following essay is a modified excerpt from my presentation at the Jackson, MS Regional Convivium Calvinisticum on February 21, 2014. Many of our churches have become interested in liturgy, or a philosophy of corporate worship, over the last several years, and this interest has been, for the most part, very good. Moving from an […]

Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Martin Bucer

Fred Sanders posted a short introduction to Martin Bucer here. Reading it reminded me that I once wrote a not-so short introduction to Martin Bucer, and you can read that over here. Over the past 6 years, my own views have developed (or should I say “organically matured”?) somewhat, and so my take on Bucer […]