Tag: ECFs

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The Catholic Mass in Scripture, the Early Church, and Today

Abraham Bloemaert, The Emmaus Disciples (1622)
In Luke 24:13-35, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus have a surprise encounter with the risen Lord, Jesus Christ. There are basically four "stages" of communion in this encounter, and it's the same four stages, in the same order, that we find in the earliest Christian worship, and that we see in the Mass today. So let's look at each of the four stages, and then consider why it matters that they should all follow the same structure and pattern....

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The Trouble with Jerome

Marinus van Reymerswaele, St. Jerome (1541)
Protestants frequently claim that there are only 66 books in the Bible. This isn't the Bible used by early Christians, by Luther, by Calvin, or by the Catholic, Orthodox, or Coptic Churches. So where do they draw support? Strangely, they cite a single fourth century Church Father: St. Jerome. But there's a problem with that approach. Or more accurately: four problems.

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How the Early Church Disproves Protestant Claims About the Eucharist and the Church

Why should we care about the writings of the Church Fathers, or early Church history? Consider the Church of the early 100s. Protestants typically (a) reject the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ, that the Eucharist becomes His Flesh and Blood; and (b) believe that once you are saved, you'll never permanently fall away from the faith. But holding these views would require believing that the very same Symrnaean and Ephesian Christians praised by Christ in 96 A.D. are heretics by 107 A.D.

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The Virgin Tomb of Christ

Carl Bloch, Burial of Christ (19th c.)
Both St. Matthew and St. John take pains to specify that Christ's Tomb was never-before used. “Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb where no one had ever been laid” (John 19:41). But why do they both specify this seemingly-mundane detail? Because the Virgin Tomb, like the Virgin Womb, tells us something about Who Jesus Is.

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Karl Barth v. Keith Mathison on the Early Church & Sola Scriptura

German postage stamp honoring Karl Barth's 100th birthday
Did the early Christians believe in "sola Scriptura" (Scripture alone)? Or did they also believe in Apostolic Tradition? Keith Mathison, in his book "The Shape of Sola Scriptura," claimed that the Catholic view wasn't found in the first centuries of the Church, and that the earliest Church Fathers believed in sola Scriptura. Mathison's views are thoroughly debunked by (of all people) Karl Barth, the Reformed theologian Christianity Today called "the most important theologian of the twentieth century." And Barth capably proved the Catholic Patristic case... even though he personally believed in sola Scriptura!

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The Poetry of the Saints

It’s not news to say that we Catholics struggle with beautiful music these days. More than two decades ago, Thomas Day released Why Catholics Can’t Sing: The Culture of Catholicism and the Triumph of Bad Taste, and the problems still exist. We mutter along with the responsorial Psalm; and mumble through the hymnody, with its milquetoast lyrics set […]

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