April 25, 2018

Author Archive | Mark Shea


Mark Shea: Why Creeds? Conclusion

This is the conclusion of Mark’s series on the Creed. It begins at Why Creeds? Part 1 One of the ways in which I moved from partial to fully biblical (that is, Catholic) faith was by discovering that my little dorm group was wrong about baptism.  In the early Church, to believe and profess your […]


Mark Shea: Why Creeds?: Do This in Remembrance of Me

This is Part 6 of Mark Shea’s series on the Creed. It begins with Why Creeds? Part 1 As we have seen, I had been taught by my little church group that creeds were ‘religion’ in chemical purity: an attempt to put the living God in a box and reduce him to a sort of […]


Mark Shea: Why Creeds? Everything Old Is New Again

This is Part 5 of Mark’s series on the Creed. It begins with Why Creeds? Part 1 As we saw last time, St. Paul records a brief summary of the Faith in 1 Timothy 3:16. As a young Evangelical, that gave me pause.  It meant that creeds–summaries of the Faith–were biblical, not some medieval accretion. […]


Mark Shea: Why Creeds? Gaining My Religion

This is Part 4 of Mark Shea’s series on the Creed. It begins with Why Creeds? Part 1. Last time, in this space, I mentioned that, so far from “being spiritual, not religious”, I discovered that religion is not a bad thing but a good thing and even a biblical thing. James, for instance, remarks: […]


Mark Shea: Why Creeds? Adventures in being spiritual, not religious

This article is Part 3 of a series by Mark on the Creed. It begins with Why Creeds? Part 1 Last time, we talked about Apollos and how Priscilla and Aquila took him under their wing as a bright pupil who sometimes went off half-cocked and “explained to him the way of God more accurately” rather […]


Mark Shea: Why Creeds? The Danger of Making the Church a Club

This article is Part 2 of Mark Shea’s seven-part series on the Creed. Click here to read Part 1. Last time, we discussed my old Evangelical church’s attempt to create a Statement of Faith and my inadvertent discovery that we were a club, not a church.  We didn’t have a coherent belief.  We had clubbableness. […]


Mark Shea: Why Creeds? Part 1

This is the first of a seven part series by Mark Shea exploring the Creed. G.K. Chesterton once remarked, “It is very hard for a man to defend anything of which he is entirely convinced. It is comparatively easy when he is only partially convinced. He is partially convinced because he has found this or […]

PHOTO: Unsplash/Christoph Schmid

Mark Shea: Sonnet for Easter

We are not damned for, but by, our sin. It was not God, but Judas, in pride, who twisted the straight rope, making his skin proof against mercy, bottling inside it a god of self who dealt out the curse. Peter, thrice the traitor Judas had been, sick unto death with cowardice and nursed with […]


Mark Shea: The Doubt of John the Baptist

The best definition of a Gospel I have ever heard is “a passion narrative with a long introduction”. That is to say, a quarter of the ink spilt in every Gospel concerns a 72-hour period in the life of Jesus of Nazareth: from Holy Thursday to Easter. A couple of Gospels take us a bit […]


Mark Shea: Heavenly Samizdat

A reading from the Book of Wikipedia: Samizdat was a form of dissident activity across the Soviet bloc in which individuals reproduced censored and underground publications by hand and passed the documents from reader to reader. This grassroots practice to evade official Soviet censorship was fraught with danger, as harsh punishments were meted out to […]


Mark Shea: The Sacrament of Two English Muffins on the Floor

When I was a new convert, I was filled with a lot of weird anxieties about things.  Notions would take me and I could not shake them, often deeply fearful notions. One time (and I feel silly talking about this, but I bet other people have had similar experiences) I was watching an episode of […]


Mark Shea: The Strange Need for Ash Wednesday

One of the paradoxes of life in liturgical Churches is the odd popularity of Ash Wednesday.  People who resent the very idea of Holy Days of Obligation come in droves to the liturgy of Ash Wednesday, even though it is not a Holy Day.  Indeed, they seem to come, almost because it is not a […]