Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dialectic on Catholicism: Introduction

I grew up an evangelical Protestant, which is perhaps as far removed from Catholicism as you can get within the Christian community.  However, I recently came to the realization that I share a fundamentally Catholic approach to certain doctrines and issues in Christian theology, which made me take a second look at Catholic doctrines and disciplines (particularly those I don't particularly agree with) to see what I might learn from their tradition.

I'm calling this series a "dialectic" because I hope to reflect that process in these notes: state my background and my original beliefs on a given issue (thesis), engage the Catholic approach to the same issue (antithesis), and identify my preferred approach based on the comparative strengths of both (synthesis).  I'd also like to identify any commonalities that might reliably point us to the rudiments of "mere Christianity," that wonderful phrase coined by C.S. Lewis that must be at the heart of any efforts at ecumenical unity and dialogue.

The series will wrestle with the teachings on the Eucharist and other sacraments, the principles and practice of canonization, the dogma of Mary, papal authority, and (if time permits or interest prevails) other issues such as church structure, eschatology, and purgatory. Sounds like fun, at least to the ears of a theology nerd.

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