Along the way to his martyrdom, he wrote seven letters to various Christian communities. Besides the New Testament, his letters are among the earliest Christian writings we have. His letters are therefore invaluable for learning about the state and development of early Christianity.
Here in the American South, we tend to think of Christianity in terms of its Western expressions, especially the various Protestant traditions. Add to that the conservative Evangelicals, college-hip non-denominational churches, and prosperity megachurches --- and you can see why we've been conditioned to think of Christianity in particularly American ways. Well, this is Western… Continue reading Fellow Westerners, Meet the Eastern Churches
God uses weak human beings to be his representatives. I know it seems awfully ironic that even sinners can be "ambassadors for Christ" (2 Cor. 5:20). But God does not compete with his creatures; He transforms them. He allows them to participate in his own goodness. Christ, the great teacher, speaks through Paul. And Christ, the Good Shepherd, leads through Peter.
This week marks Pope Francis' fifth anniversary since his election as bishop of Rome! So I thought I'd shoot out a few papal posts. As a matter of history, the Pope, as bishop of Rome, is the successor of the Apostle Peter. According to Catholicism, this means the Pope holds the same office that Peter… Continue reading The Pope as Peter
A few days ago, the church celebrated St. Justin Martyr, an early second-century convert to the Christian faith. Before his conversion, Justin jumped from philosophy to philosophy, ultimately sticking to Platonism—until he met a mysterious old man who moved him in the direction of Jesus Christ. Born in Palestine, Justin eventually found himself in Rome,… Continue reading The witness of Justin Martyr