Reformational Catholicism, A Wish List

In a 2014 piece published in First Things, I offered a “wish list” for Protestant churches, a checklist for a future catholic Protestantism. The wish list doesn’t cover everything. It doesn’t mention those things that Protestants, especially Evangelicals, already do, often exceedingly well, things like missions and evangelism and mercy ministries. It gives some concreteness to my claim that the “future of Protestantism is a catholic […]

The Epiclesis in the Reformed Eucharistic Prayer, 2

In the first part of this series we examined the meaning of “blessing” in Scripture and its parallels in Jewish liturgical tradition, but did not find anything that we could properly call an epiclesis (an invocation of the Holy Spirit). We did find examples of invocation of Jesus to “come” with the Holy Spirit giving voice to the Church in that call. The first possible […]

Renewing Circumcision

When the Aaronic priests were ordained, the blood of the ram of “filling” was placed on the lobe of the right ear, the right thumb, and the right big toe (Lev. 8:22-24). Similarly, the cleansing rite for a leper included smearing the right ear lobe, thumb, and big toe with blood from the `asham (“guilt” or “reparation” offering) and then with oil (Lev. 14:25-28). These […]

The Epiclesis in Reformed Eucharistic Prayer, 1

What happens at the Table of the Lord?  If Christ is really present, then how is this so?  The witness of the Church throughout history has been that Christ is present in the Eucharist through the operation of the Holy Spirit, and in the practice of the Church, prayers at the Eucharist gradually acknowledged this truth. This three-part series will explore the element of the […]

Enemies and Victims

In the power of the Spirit, the gospel forms a society in which there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, a society that is characterized by unity, long-suffering, patience; love. The gospel forms a culture whose participants do not steal but labor and give, who are not angry and bitter but kind and tender, who speak to edify. The gospel shapes families where […]