Throughout his long ministry, J.C. Ryle (1817-1900) had to defend evangelical (that is to say, gospel) truth on a number of fronts. One of these concerned the threat posed by the Ritualism of the Anglo-Catholic movement.
Ian Farley reports that in 1877 Ryle identified five key teachings of the Ritualists:
They seek to turn the Communion Table into an ‘Altar’ and the Lord’s Supper into a ‘Sacrifice’ and encourage the idea of a real material presence of Christ’s body and blood, under the forms of the consecrated bread and wine.
Shared recently on Facebook was an image of Pope Francis and the following quote, attributed to him:-
Now there is some very slippery language here. In particular, it is not at all clear what the Pope means by ‘a good person’. Yes, there are some atheists who are kinder, gentler, and more caring than some religious people (shame on us!). And if that is all the Pope is saying, then it’s true.
But the Pope knows as well as I do that the challenge of the gospel is not to make ourselves ‘good enough for God’, but the ‘believe on the Lord Jesus Christ’. …
It is interesting to note that the New Perspective on Paul has flourished in the wake of the Holocaust and the onset of the ecumenical movement, and the development of closer ties between Roman Catholics and Protestants.
The link here is that the ‘old’ (Protestant, and especially Lutheran) perspective on Paul taught that both Judaism and Roman Catholicism were (and are) beset by legalism, and that Paul’s doctrine of justification by faith alone was needed to counter-act this.…
A recent edition of Premier Christian Radio’s ‘Unbelievable’ show featured a lively discussion between William Johnstone, a spokesperson for ‘Catholic Voices’ and Duncan Boyd, of the Protestant Truth Society.
The topic for debate was, ‘Is the Papacy Biblical?’ – very topical, in view of the fact that the Pope was in the UK on an official state visit at the time.
In the event, the debate ranged more broadly than the question of the papacy. It was, I suppose, helpful that each protagonist was both clear and convinced about his own position.…
The Catholic clerical abuse scandal is, of course, very bad news: first and foremost, for the victims, second for the Catholic church, and third for all those – inside and outside the Catholic church – who find themselves tarnished by real or imagined association.
The recent remarks of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to the effect that it is homosexuality, rather than celibacy, which lay behind the abuse of children, has led to indignation in many quarters.
My belief (and I’m speaking from long experience in health care generally, and knowledge of long-stay ‘institutions’) is that enforced abstention from heterosexual relationships leads to an increase in the incidence of deviant sexual behaviours.…