The untenable pedestal

In a way, I am glad I have not (or not yet) been ordained . Otherwise, I might be tempted not to address a persistent abuse and its feeble justifications. In his blog[1] an ex-Anglican priest argues why in the Roman Catholic Church only the “ordained clergy” (a pleonasm!) may preach at Mass. The subject itself is only the tip of an iceberg, but the blog reveals what many other ordained ministers in various denominations still feel and believe, but seldom speak about. Continue reading

Readers – Three revivals and one crisis

If we want to discover the office of Reader in the New Testament, we are in for a hard time. There simply is no such thing, or it has not been recorded.[1] Over half of the epistles were written before the gospels and were read by whoever received them, probably the local overseer (chief elder). The fact that these letters may have circulated in a wide area before being collected in a version of the Bible[2] does not tell us anything about the way they were read, either. Continue reading

Do pastors have their own kind of spirituality?

On the 25th of June 2017, the Old-Catholic Church in Amsterdam hosted a symposium on the question whether there is such a thing as a specific priestly spirituality. For me, the clearest answer came from Revd. Mattijs Ploeger, lecturer in Systematic Theology. Defining spirituality as living close to Christ and His mission, he came to the conclusion that there is only one kind of spirituality. Continue reading

Reforms and limitations of Vatican II

In 1964 The Roman Catholic Church held the Second Vatican Council and adopted a new dogmatic constitution dealing with how the Church understood itself, in other words about its ecclesiology. I was only seven at the time and completely unaware of its implications, for other churches as well. The constitution was called Lumen Gentium, Light of the Nations, a reference to Christ. Continue reading

Clergy and laity dualism

In this article, we will look at the grounds, if any, for distinguishing two groups of Christians, a laity and a clergy. First of all, it is important to recognise that the terms “laity” and “clergy” are not used in the Bible in a technical sense. When they are used at all, they are not used as opposites. Nowadays, however, they normally represent two clearly distinct groups within the Church. Continue reading

The meaning and benefits of blessing

The words “blessing” and “to bless” are used a lot in Church, and in a variety of meanings. But what is the essence of these concepts, and where do they come from? The English word “blessing” comes from the old Teutonic (Germanic) word ‘bletsian’, meaning “blood sacrifice”. But its meaning changed when it was used as the English translation of the New Testament Greek word “eulogia”, meaning “good words about something or someone”, i.e. “praises”. Continue reading

The unhappy marriage of 2 words

How two Greek words (for priest and elder) became confused and how this still affects us today. This subject is kind of controversial between Catholics and Protestants, but that is no reason to ignore it, on the contrary. The subject has often been looked at from one point of view only. This has led either to conflict or to a vulnerable kind of tolerance, namely without knowing what we actually tolerate. Continue reading