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Location: Greensboro, NC, United States

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Jeffrey Steel Swims the Kool-Aid Filled Tiber

When I first linked Jeffrey Steel on this blog, he was a former PCA minister in the theological vein of James Jordan and Peter Leithart, who had moved to Great Britain and was pursuing Holy Orders in the Church of England. Whereas he already had some leanings that were more Catholic than I was or am now, I chose to link him nonetheless, in the belief that his blog had information and discussion that was of value to the Universal Church.

Those who have followed his blog have no doubt noticed that he has gradually moved more and more Catholic over the past few years. Sadly, he has announced today that he is withdrawing from the Church of England and his ministry, and he and his family will be joining the Roman Catholic Church in the near future. This is no surprise, but it is sad nonetheless. In one sense, I understand the draw to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. But I also see plenty of theological problems in both groups, and that is what has kept me from following a similar path.

A few years back, when I was contemplating joining the Anglican Church, I had a conversation with a man who was Archbishop and Metropolitan in a particular continuing Anglican group. I told him I didn't agree with the notion of the Apostolic Succession of Bishops, and asked if I could join his church anyway. He told me no, of course. That was the answer I had suspected, I told him, but I had studied the issue and had just not been convinced that Apostolic Succession was true. "But Kerry," he said, "who are you to question that?" For me, therein lies the debate, and the reason I can't join such a group. Anglo-catholics show up, and tell me I should exercise implicit faith in their leadership. Roman Catholics show up, and tell me I should exercise implicit faith in their leadership. The same is true of the various Eastern Orthodox groups, some of which won't even acknowledge one another as legitimate. For that matter, it's true of innumerable cults, such as the Mormons. And why, apart from the testimony of Scripture, should I recognize one over the other? There is no Scripture to support them, so there is no reason, and therefore they have no argument.

I am keeping the link to Jeffrey Steel's blog up for now, though I may change my mind in the future. While I am a Protestant in the Anglican Church, I'm not one who believes there is no value in Catholic thought and practice. I trust, though, that readers of this blog will use their discernment when checking out the sites I link.

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