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Packer at Ninety

Packer recognized that the deep division that had separated Protestants and Catholics since the time of the Reformation had changed in a significant way. The most important fault line today, he argued, was between “conservationists,” who honor the Christ of the Bible and of the historic creeds and confessions, on the one hand, and the theological liberals and radicals who do not, on the other. Continue Reading »

Francis in Sarajevo

On Saturday, June 6, Pope Francis ­visited Sarajevo, the ­capital of partitioned Bosnia-Hercegovina. Although treated by international media as a typical papal tour, the event strengthened the potential of the Croat Catholic hierarchy in Bosnia to serve as agents of peace and reconciliation. This . . . . Continue Reading »

The Ecumenism of Pope Francis

As president of a confessional, Christian graduate school serving a large urban demographic, I have the opportunity to join other believers in gatherings that are deliberately ecumenical: interdenominational, multi-ethnic, even cross-linguistic, and always with a mind for Christian unity. I have . . . . Continue Reading »

A Guide Through the Thicket

For some time now, First Things has sought to bring Catholics and evangelicals together. Richard John Neuhaus, Charles Colson, and their fellow travelers have engaged in an fruitful ecumenism of the trenches, discovering as they went along that they had more in common than they knew, particularly with respect to Christian ethics and the church’s public witness. And much though not all of First Things’ work has been in the service of a religiously informed “public philosophy,” seeking to find a common language for perennial truths about marriage, life, freedom, and other issues in the public square. Continue Reading »

Catholicism Unriddled

I first read Jaroslav Pelikan’s The Riddle of Roman Catholicism: Its History, Its Beliefs, Its Future (1959) while doing my pastoral residency in Detroit, 1978–79. I just finished it for the second time. It is still a book with value. Pelikan says one thing in particular that struck me: Any . . . . Continue Reading »

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