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Why the Pope has to be Infallible, Part 2a

Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 08.31.11 |

JPII

The semester is in full swing for many of us, and the time to blog is scarce.  In preparation for my next post on papal infallibility, I’d like to call attention to this well-known essay by Protestant theologian Stephen Long from Garret-Nelson Seminary, who made some excellent and succinct remarks on the necessity of the papacy during the time of John Paul II’s funeral and the election of Benedict…  [Continue Reading]

Why the Pope has to be Infallible, Part 2

Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 08.30.11 |

Bene XVI

In my last post,  I tried to show that there were two basic positions about who is the final arbiter of the interpretation of Scripture, either (A) the Church or (B) the individual Christian, and if (A) is true, then the Church has to be infallible; otherwise one returns to the default position (B).

I think many are willing to grant that the Church is infallible.  I would have accepted that proposition…  [Continue Reading]

Why the Pope has to be Infallible, Part 1

Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 08.26.11 |

Pope B16

In response to my post from last Sunday’s readings, Emil Anton has made some interesting interventions in the comments raising issues about papal infallibility.  So I though it might be pertinent to walk through the steps that lead to papal infallibility—at least, the ones I find convincing.

Let’s start with the question: who is the final arbiter of the interpretation of Scripture?  I start with…  [Continue Reading]

What is the Biblical Form of Church Government?

Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 02.25.11 |

Basilica of St. John's

During my years of training to become a Calvinist pastor, the issue of church polity was quite a live one.  Calvinists themselves do not agree on what is the “biblical model” for church government.  Presbyterian, Reformed, and Congregational denominations share a Calvinist doctrinal heritage but different governing structures.  There was more or less a consensus that the New Testament was unclear…  [Continue Reading]

Kingdom of the Poor

Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 01.31.11 |Beatitudes, David, Kingdom, Mass, Poor, Sunday

Sermon Mount

In the readings for last week’s Sunday Mass, we saw Jesus as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy (Isaiah 9) that a divine king, a Son of David, would appear in the north of Israel and give light to the people there.

In the readings for todays’ Mass (4th Sunday of Ordinary Time), we see Jesus explaining what kind of kingdom he rules: a kingdom of the “poor in Spirit”:

When Jesus saw the crowds, he…  [Continue Reading]

Catholic Bible

Catholic Saint on the Importance of Scripture

Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 12.20.10 |

The Pope’s recent apostolic exhortation, Verbum Domini, (through which I am reading, albeit slowly), reminds me of how frequently the popes, the fathers, the doctors, and the saints have urged us Catholics to read and reflect on Scripture—and how sluggish our response has been!

I know the stereotype is that Catholics aren’t interested in Scripture. In many places and at many times the stereotype holds…  [Continue Reading]

Ruth and Advent

Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 12.17.10 |

Ruth

The Book of Ruth is rarely mentioned during Advent, but it makes for good Advent meditation.

There are obvious connections between Ruth and the Christmas story. Both Bo’az and Ruth are mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1. Outside of Matthew and Luke, only in Ruth do we have a story about a pious young Jewish couple having their firstborn son in Bethlehem.

When we read Ruth in light of all the…  [Continue Reading]


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