Exploring Theological Principles
Venerate by your Hands; Worship in your Heart – An exploration of the Catholic church and it’s seemingly flagrant and impious violations of the second commandment. Why is it that Catholics bow down to and kiss statues of saints? Doesn’t God clearly say that this is unacceptable? Spoiler: Nope, it’s actually completely acceptable and admirable, but there are lots of technical distinctions which come into play.
2 Ways to Live – One True Gospel Edition – A re-imagining of the Sydney Anglican “Two ways to live” presentation of the Gospel. If I was introducing the gospel to someone who had never heard it before I would say something along the lines of what is written in this post.
Revisiting Sola Scriptura – In this post I outline two logical sequences aimed at proving the inspiration of scripture, one Catholic, one Protestant. The Catholic account emerges superior, but the protestant one is interesting to consider and ponder.
Tough Apologetic Questions for the Non-Universalist – A logical walk through all the possibilities concerning God, Hell, Love, Punishment. Universalism emerges as the only coherent eschatalogical account. The alternatives are shown to come up short.
Exploration Of “Same-sex Marriage” Under Catholic Moral Law and Sin and Same-Sex Marriage – The titles are pretty self explanatory. Some reflections that I set down after pondering same-sex romantic relationships after the Australian government legislated in favour of redefining marriage.
Ecclesiology – Communion and Schism – If there is only one, holy, catholic, apostolic church, and the maxim “wherever there is the eucharist and the bishop; there is the catholic church” holds, then what are we to make of the various historical schisms that have afflicted the church through the ages? Has the church split in two? Or is there in reality a hidden unity that binds us all together even if at face value it appears that we are divided?
Anselm was Wrong – A short post criticising the Anselmian argument in favour of everlasting torture. This doctrine is incompatible with a loving, powerful God.
Catholics should embrace “Simul Iustus Et Peccator” and Justification as Declaration – Two posts exploring the protestant idea that we are simultaneously justified and a sinner.
Mariology and the Implications of Theosis – What does salvation actually imply? “God became man so that man might become God” – how literally are we supposed to take this? What does it mean in the light of the immaculate conception?
The Mass and the Cross – This post responds to the common protestant objection that the Catholic mass re-crucifies Christ. If the mass is the sacrifice of the cross, how is that compatible with the idea that Christ offers his sacrifice once for all time?
Eternal Punishments and Timeless Tortures – A discussion of how everlasting punishment is compatible with universalism.
What is Catholic Tradition? – The word “Tradition” often gets bandied about by Christians in all camps without actually knowing what it means. Protestants think all traditions are evil. Catholics think tradition is supreme. It’s helpful to explore what exactly tradition actually is.
Holy Saturday and the Unquenchable Love of the Latter Day Saints – This post discusses the question “How do the people in heaven feel about the people in Hell?” Mainstream Christianity chokes when answering this question, but the Mormons are fearless.
An Anathema Against Assurance – An exploration of “Certainty” and assurance in light of Catholic dogma. Are we permitted to be confident of our election? Are we permitted to be certain?
Private Interpretation and the Scope of Catholic Theology – “Private Interpretation” is a dirty phrase among Catholics. Supposedly we can’t be trusted to work things out for ourselves. I explore the issue and discover that things aren’t quite so cut and dried.
Speculations Concerning The Origins and Destiny of Evil – A grand post which surveys the entirety of salvation history: beginning, middle and end. The mystery of evil is examined in light of the Gospel of universal salvation.
Meditations on Freedom and Idolatry of Freedom and Free will and Apokatastasis– Catholics and Orthodox like to insist that we are “free”. What does this even mean? In what sense are we free? How does our freedom interact with the doctrine of predestination? Who is right: The Calvinists or the Arminians?
Questions of Canon and Ecumenism – What is the significance of the fact that different Christian communities follow different canons of scripture? How can we possible unite as Christians if we can’t even agree on what constitutes the word of God?
The Binding of Isaac, The Agony of Job, and The Dark Night of the Soul – An epic post which examines the relationship between Abraham, Job, John Piper and the rest of us. How does the dark night of the soul manifest in our lives and what does it look like?
Understanding Indulgences – What do indulgences look like if you also affirm the Lutheran Sola Fide? Answer: An incredibly helpful, edifying, beautiful doctrine.
The Glorious Gospel – What is the gospel anyway? Jesus died and rose again; great, please pass the salt? What does it mean for me?
Objective and Subjective Salvation – An exploration of a very helpful distinction. Objective and Subjective salvation often get mixed up in every day theological discourse. It is incredibly useful to rightly discern which one we are referring to when engaging in debate and discussion.
Unpopular opinions – Polygamy, Physical discipline, female priests. All the hot button issues rolled up into one post.
A fresh look at the Sacrament of Confirmation – An exploration of the sacrament of confirmation in light of the Lutheran Sola Fide. An otherwise strange and mysterious sacrament with no obvious purpose suddenly comes alive.
Drugs – A short essay examining the issue of legal and illegal drugs and medicines. Is recreational chemical usage permissible?
Aeviternal Apokatastasis – A post comparing the practice of Protestant and Catholic funerals, and the relationship with beliefs concerning heaven, hell and purgatory. What does it mean that there is change in the afterlife but no time?
Ramblings Concerning Eschatology, Sin and Salvation – An early post pondering the terrors of purgatory compared with the tortures of Hell. Which is actually worse?
Commands, Invitations and Promises – A concise exploration of the effect that Commands, Invitations and Promises have upon someone. The relationship to salvation is explored: Is salvation a command, an invitation, a promise, or some combination of all three?
A Universalist Catholic Account Of The Last Things – A simple explanation of how to fit together Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, Limbo, Gehenna, The resurrection, The eschaton, Sheol, Hades, Tartarus etc etc. We have so many words and concepts in the Christian traditions for what happens after death that it can be hard to disentangle them, integrate them and get a clear idea of what is actually going on. This post aims to clear the water.
Who’s Saved And How? – A dot point exposition of issues surrounding salvation. Who is saved? Why/how are they saved? What are my responsibilities?
Divine Freedom and Necessity and Divine Plurality For Non-Trinitarians and Simplicity and Trinitarianism and On the Interchangeability Between Different Models of the Trinity – A series where I reflect on the doctrine of the trinity and how it relates to classical theism. I explain how strict monotheists such as Jews and Muslims need not reject the doctrine of divine plurality. Questions of divine freedom are raised: did God have to create the world? Does God have to save us? Does God have to love us?
Creeds and Manifestos
Five Rules for Life – A terrifying encounter with cocaine leads to the rediscovery and crystallisation of 5 major and 2 minor principles oriented towards living a good life and maximising well-being. The post discusses how to embrace pain and bad moods as the good and helpful things that they are rather than running away from them with sex, drugs and alcohol, all while avoiding the destructive extremes of mania and depression
When I’m Pope – Regulations Concerning The Reception of Communion – Some short reflections concerning ecclesiology and Eucharistic communion.
When I’m Pope… – An angry rant directed against ignorant protestants. Thankfully I wasn’t actually pope at the time!
Credo – The initial mystical poem by which I attempt to tersely sum “everything” up.
The following are my own personal revelations from God and records of my interactions with him during deep prayer.
The Shadow – One of the few poems I produced during high school that I am still proud of. The story of how one of my good friends begun to worship and imitate me, and how this totally weirded me out and contributed to the disintegration of the relationship. Years later, things aren’t how they used to be, but there is no longer any animosity between us and we are comfortable calling each other friends.
Trains – Potentially my greatest poem. Inspired by a psychedelic trip brought on by nothing more than heatstroke on the hottest day of 2009.
When a Devout Christian Attends a Rave and Takes MDMA – The title says it all. A poem about what it feels like to descend into a certain kind of Hell, and the interesting, sad people that you meet there.
My personal story. Currently in four parts, I will add to this as time goes by (Hopefully every two years).
I Spent a Night in an Apocalyptic Cult – I describe what it is like to attend a liturgy organised by the World Mission Society Church of God in Sydney: A new, rapidly growing cult who believe that their founder is the second coming; a reincarnation of Jesus.
Sunday Mass at St Fiacre’s Leichhardt – A description of the experience of attending the Sunday 9:30am mass at St Fiacre’s parish in Leichhardt, Sydney. Expect lots of cannibalism and human sacrifice!
These are some theological emails that I have sent to various people and decided to make public.
Short punchy pieces of theological writing that would potentially preach well from the pulpit.