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Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Looking a Little More Closely at Religious Decline

The Pew Research Center just released a new study on religious decline in America. The big findings which grabbed the headline were that the overall percentage of religious persons in America is on the decline and that those Americans who consider themselves “unaffiliated” had enormous and fast growth. These two observations are not really news, […]

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Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

The Roman Catholic Church May Coerce the Faith

In a 2012 essay, Dr. Thomas Pink of King’s College London both provocatively and persuasively argues that the Roman Catholic Church still retains the right to use coercive force against all persons who have come under its jurisdiction. He acknowledges that many Roman Catholics, including many of the clergy, find this idea highly offensive, and […]

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Archive Joseph Minich Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

And “What is Reformed Catholicism?”

Following up on Pastor Wedgeworth’s post regarding “Reformed Irenicism,” I thought it important to explain a few points regarding the relationship of this term to the idea of “Reformed Catholicism,” as it is often called. As it turns out, different people mean very different things by the label – though I think they (broadly speaking) could […]

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Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

A Roman Catholic Defense of Papalism

Pater Edmund has a worthy series of essays on the Roman Catholic understanding of religious freedom and Church and State over at The Josias. In the third installment he interacts with Reformation developments and modernity, citing a few of us along the way. While we would reach very different conclusions from Pater Edmund, he cites […]

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Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Peter Escalante Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

The Nature and Future of Protestantism

A month after the Future of Protestantism discussion at Biola, I think it is fair to say that by all accounts it was a great success. I am honored to have been part of it. The discussion was very well attended— the chapel was packed, in fact, and thousands watched the live stream— but most […]

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Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Steven Wedgeworth The Two Kingdoms

Happy Anniversary Unam Sanctam

Today marks the 711th anniversary of Boniface VIII’s infamous bull. Richard Cavendish wrote a summary of the bull and its historical occasioning a few years ago, and the full text of Unam Sanctam can be found here. Few people are aware of this document today, and many of those who are would rather that they not be. […]

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Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Muhlenberg: Closer to Rome or Geneva?

In fielding one of the critiques of his Memorial, William Augustus Muhlenberg revealed his own view of Episcopalianism’s Protestant character: Ecclesiastical fraternizing is a dangerous thing. We are now midway between Rome and Geneva, there let us keep our safe position, nearing neither one nor the other. If by Geneva be meant the Genevan theology […]

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Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Justice Scalia and Heaven, Hell, and the Devil

In an entertaining interview with New York Magazine, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, on his own, turned the discussion towards some of the least fashionable aspects of traditional Christianity. He even managed to cite C.S. Lewis on demons: I don’t know how, by your lights, that’s going to be regarded in 50 years.  I don’t […]

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Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

What to Make of the Pope?

Ross Douthat argues that while the Pope’s recent statement on gays doesn’t signal a massive change in doctrine, it does signal a change in tone and strategy, in a significant way. Rod Dreher adds that this likely means that Francis will be emphasizing the more liberal spirit of modern Catholicism. Is this finally the Vatican […]

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Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

High Church

This article was making the rounds last week. Its thesis is that young people are interested in “high church” traditions because they provide something that the rest of the world cannot: The kids who leave evangelical Protestantism are looking for something the world can’t give them. The world can give them hotter jeans, better coffee, […]