About

This blog is an on-line journal of my meanderings into Catholicity.  Circumstances require me to post anonymously for the present.  I’m a Protestant of the Reformed stripe who has read himself into a corner.  My studies have taken me further and further into Church History and things are not as clear as they once were.  I don’t want to engage in polemics, though thorny questions are bound to prick people from time to time.  My hope is that I can use this space to chronicle my journey, wherever God wills me to go in the end.  My wife put it well.  She doesn’t care as much about where we end up, but she does care how we get there.  We’ve seen people leave the Reformed church for all the wrong reasons, and we don’t want to perpetuate the pattern.  God may will me to stay where I am for the rest of my life, but here I plan to engage the questions that prompt me to look wistfully at the Great Tradition of the Catholic Church (in its various streams). 

For the past decade, I’ve been working, worshipping, and thinking through what various people label “Reformed Catholicism,” “Protesting Catholicism,” or “High Church Calvinism.” I love this world, and have almost joined the Anglican Church on a few occasions. Eastern Orthodoxy holds quite a bit of attraction, but I can’t get over the icons and veneration of the saints. I’m too much of a Protestant to even think about joining the Roman Catholic church, though I read Roman Catholic authors with profit.

As Thomas Kuhn noted in his Structure of Scientific Revolutions, every piece of information that challenges a paradigm must either be integrated into the current paradigm. Alternatively, if enough pieces accumulate which don’t fit into the paradigm, it collapses. It seems to me that this is intuitively true about human thinking in general. At the least, it describes how my mind works. So, this blog is a record of the information that is accumulating in my “Reformed Catholic” worldview. I don’t really have an agenda other than to learn as much as I can, and to worship God as faithfully as I can. It would be wonderful if I could fit everything into my current paradigm. Maybe others can help me do that.  Honest help and constructive criticism is desperately needed, but meddlers have plenty of other blogs to frequent. 

[The main picture is an idealized version of Hagia Sophia, before it was converted into a mosque by the Muslims.  John Chrysostom is my icon, though I don’t pray to him.  I simply respect him as a great preacher and exegete, as did John Calvin.]

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6 Comments

  1. God bless and enlighten you on this journey, and keep you close to Him. It sounds as if you must be a very courageous person; I admire that.

  2. In reference to Kuhn, was this his only conclusion, to integrate information into one’s current paradigm? Perhaps ‘collapse’ is too strong a word when employing the opposite view. Does this accommodation have to be so forceful? Couldn’t it be more gradual?

    I offer this thought humbly. I am in the same place as you (Calvinist, reformed, etc.) except Orthodoxy has a very strong pull on me.

    This blog fits my frame of mind to a tee.

    Thank you

    Praise Him that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him!

  3. The Orthodox say a lot about the whole world being iconic in nature. Man is created after the Icon of God. The sensible world is an icon of the spiritual world, and vice versa. Man is a microcosm and a microgod, since he binds the spiritual with the sensible world, and he is able to experience, as an equal, the true God.

    In this way matter is sanctified, and through matter the spirit gets reflected.

    Therefore, using icons in worship is nothing more than accept and affirm the iconic nature of the Universe itself!

    Something similar can be said of the Saints. They become living icons of Jesus Christ, and we hold highly the friends of Christ, because we hold highly Christ Himself and all that He gives us. A Saint becomes a window to Heaven, because he has loved God so much that he reflects God in his life. And life does not end with death, because God is the god of the living, and not of the dead. So, the Saints continue to reflect God’s Light even if they have slept in the Lord, and we are drawn towards this light they reflect because we are drawn towards God. Or, alternatively, we turn ourselves away from that light, because we cannot stand God.

    I hope this helps a bit.

  4. In 1929, Allen Tate wrote his friend Donald Davidson (both Fugitive Poets at Venderbilt) and told him he was contemplating becoming a Catholic. Davidson wrote Tate back and told him he was crazy.

    Tate and his wife, novelist Caroline Gordon, became Catholics during the late 1940s. Davidson’s daughter became a Catholic, confounding her father not unlike Nathanial Hawthorne’s daughter confounded him.

    I spent only about three years in what I call “no-man’s land.” It was very difficult even if it was shorter than Tate’s or Newman’s. It was like suffering from infertility when your mother has twelve kids and your sisters each have seven. You can’t really talk about it with many of your closest loved ones.

    I remember when Thomas Howard converted to Catholicism in 1985: we thought he was nuts! Ten years later, however, I wrote him to tell him I had reached the Tiber River and was very scared. He wrote back the sweetest letter and told me to relax, read, think, pray, study, meditate, learn, and wait.

    The Church is 2,000 years old and will wait for you!

    I trust the Holy Spirit to guide you in your journey.
    http://burketokirk.blogspot.com/2007/08/my-journey-home-to-rome-part-i-romulus.html

    Ora et labora, TQ

  5. Wow. This could be my own blog — we’re pretty much in the same boat. I have to remain anonymous too. Although it seems I’m much more comfortable with icons and such. Anyway, feel free to write me or drop by my blog, Retractiones.

  6. Thanks for the link–I’ll return the favor!

    All the best on your dissertation. When I sat down to write mine I spent 3 months trying to get everything I wanted to say in the first sentence. (I’m better now!)

    In Christ,

    +FrG


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