This post may not be for all of you; if you find yourself uninterested or confused by it, you can quit reading at any time. I will, however, ask something at the end for which feedback would be appreciated.
I have noted that for liberty to come to the fore, a foundation built on the traditions of the West – including Christianity – is mandatory. Yet what does this even mean and how is this possible when considering a Christianity that is split into an almost countless number of factions? Christianity presented a solid foundation in the West when Christianity was reasonably unified. It is in this context of unity that I write this post.
Paul VanderKlay is setting a wonderful example in this regard. A Christian Reformed pastor, he has had many conversations with Christians of all stripes and has demonstrated both goodwill and the reality that our similarities are far greater than our differences.
He has recently had two conversations with a Catholic theologian, Dr. Brett Salkeld. VanderKlay introduces Salkeld in the first of these two conversations as follows:
Dr. Brett Salkeld is the Archdiocesan Theologian for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Regina Saskatchewan and the author of "Transubstantiation: Theology, History and Christian Unity". You might assume that this is simply a book about a historical theological dispute, and it is, but I think this book is a clear presentation of the history of the conflict surrounding our understanding of the word "God". We use the word "God" as if we know what we're talking about, or that we all mean the same thing when we say the word. I'm convinced we don't and I believe this conflict is at the heart of the great falling away of the church in the West. Brett and I get into this along with a lot of the issues I deal with on this channel.
After the issue regarding the Virgin Mary, Transubstantiation might represent one of the biggest disagreements between Catholic and Protestant. It turns out, maybe it shouldn’t. From the book review at Amazon:
This thoroughgoing study examines the doctrine of transubstantiation from historical, theological, and ecumenical vantage points. Brett Salkeld explores eucharistic presence in the theologies of Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin, showing that Christians might have more in common on this topic than they have typically been led to believe. As Salkeld corrects false understandings of the theology of transubstantiation, he shows that Luther and Calvin were much closer to the medieval Catholic tradition than is often acknowledged.
There are also favorable Editorial Reviews from both Catholic and Protestant theologians / scholars.
For reference, the second conversation can be found here. Be forewarned, between the two videos there is about four hours of conversation.
I am not going to follow my normal method of writing about the points that I find key in these videos. Instead, I have purchased the book. So here is my question for you: given the subject of the book, it is much further “out there” than the topics I write of here, even the topics where I incorporate something of Christianity. It doesn’t relate to the Christian relationship with liberty; instead it regards the divide in Christianity.
Is it worth it to you that I write something (or somethings) of this book at this blog? Whatever your thoughts, I will probably not get to it for a few weeks. But your answers will be helpful in my consideration.
In the meantime, for those interested, I encourage that you watch the videos. The conversation is truly a blessing.