The seriousness of becoming a Christian in the ancient church

This post echoes a lot of my own thoughts on subject of how to disciple new Christians in advance of baptism. It’s inspired by Hippolytus of Rome’s Apostolic Constitutions but I couldn’t help but think of Cyril of Jerusalem’s Catechetical Lectures who sound very similar on this subject.

Classically Christian

I am the sort of person who is attracted to high ideals, although I am far too spiritually lazy to live up to most of them. Hence my ongoing appetite for monks and friars, for ascetics and mystics, for academic standards of publishing. I am always struck by the seriousness of becoming a Christian in the ancient church, as in the Apostolic Tradition attributed by some moderns to St Hippolytus.

In ancient Christianity, a person who is interested in becoming a Christian but not yet baptised is a ‘catechumen’. In the Apostolic Tradition, catechumens are expected to spend three years in preparation for their baptism (it is not the only text to do so; some ancient works on church discipline call for only three months) — during this time, they attend lectures about the Christian faith and are present at the liturgy on Sundays, but do not receive…

View original post 277 more words

A crisis of presence

Interesting take on some of the pitfalls that emerged in trying to make frequent partaking of the Lords Supper an answer to the Roman Catholic Churches woes.


I had this odd dream where I was in the parking lot of the Catholic church in my hometown lecturing a couple of women about Origen and the Real Presence. I think the gist of what I was saying is that Origen perceived the presence of the Lord more in the Word than in the species of the Eucharist. As I was fast asleep, I don’t quite grasp the logic here. But I did read recently Jean Danielou’s book on Origen where Danielou states how Origen wanted to remove his listener from the carnal understanding of the Word of God and focus him more on the spiritual understanding. In that context, the traditional (modern?) understanding concerning Catholic piety of the Eucharist being the sole or only important presence of God would be something that Origen would object to.

View original post 1,487 more words

The natural end of Post-Liberalism and its incompatibility with Integralism

I’m beginning to notice a growing movement to try and align or conflate Post-Liberalism with Roman Catholic Integralism. As someone who considers themselves a post-liberal, I find this extremely alarming. For the uninitiated, I’ll try and define both Post-Liberalism and Roman Catholic Integralism. I’ll then explain why I think this conflation is a really quite … Continue reading The natural end of Post-Liberalism and its incompatibility with Integralism

Sin at Synod- How the Church forbad forgiveness.

Gavin Ashenden

_ozaanne at synod

At the General Synod of the Church of England two decision were taken which rip the Church from its moorings. They launch it secularised, into a therapy culture from which it has chosen to take its priorities, and from which is craves affirmation.

In and of itself, neither the motion rebuking and forbidding so called ‘conversion therapy’ nor the one looking to provide new liturgies for the transgendered, are theologically nuclear in their wording. The problem lies in their priorities and their trajectory

The synod could not be bothered to define what it thought ‘conversion therapy’ might be. Perhaps it was simply ignorant that many Christians would see the confessional as the place where for them, conversion therapy took place, – or perhaps in its rush to suck up secular approbation, it did not care.

A few people tried to read from the Scriptures to remind Synod that their very…

View original post 692 more words

The Prayer of the Weak and the Joy of Singing Psalms

Imagine that God had given us a hymn book? – one with his words.  One that revealed his character.  One that expresses our emotions and hearts in words that the Holy Spirit inspires.  One that speaks of and to Christ.  One that is traditional, modern, post-modern and contemporary. One that is praise, lament, confession, rejoicing, individual and collective.   What would we give for such a book?    What value would we place on it?   Well he has – the book of Psalms – and yet it appears that many evangelical churches seem to place very little value on it.   I genuinely don’t understand churches that don’t sing psalms – apart from Ps 23 and those like 10,000 Reasons (based on Ps 103) that draw inspiration from them.

I think for me I would find it almost impossible to go to a church that did not use the…

View original post 618 more words