Roman Boastfulness

Those of you who read this blog to find out news about Beth may have noticed that I also write about theology and church history, and the things I write are distinctively not flattering to Roman Catholicism. I want to assure those of you who are devout Roman Catholics that I do not intend to question your sincerity or your devotion to Christ at all. Those are between you and Him.

What I do intend to question is the legitimacy of the whole “Roman” component of Roman Catholicism: the church hierarchy, the very presupposition that the “universal” church was destined to be based in Rome. From that presupposition flows everything else. But those very presuppositions need to be challenged.

As I was growing up, I was the geekiest, nerdliest little “good Catholic” boy that you can imagine. My mom has a photograph of me in a suit, my hair combed back in a wave, my new missal in my hands and my eyes clad with a 1967 version of “coke-bottle” glasses ready to dive into that missal.

But as I grew older, I became exposed to conservative Protestant understandings of Christianity, and as I read through the New Testament, a kind of cognitive dissonance was unleashed in my heart that it has taken decades to sort through: How could an institution as old and as seemingly authoritative be so different from the vision of Christ and Christianity that’s given in the New Testament?

In this attached posting, entitled In his Theology of the Cross, Luther follows Paul in rebuking Roman boastfulness, I provide some of the background for how this could occur.

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