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The Reformanda Initiative

Author: Leonardo De Chirico, Reid Karr, Clay Kannard

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The Reformanda Initiative Podcast. Listen as we analyze and discuss Roman Catholic theology and practice from an Evangelical perspective. | Twitter: @ReformandaRome | Facebook: @ReformandaInitiative | Online: |
61 Episodes
In this episode Leonardo and Reid respond to some of the questions our listeners have sent us. 
At the invitation of the Church Missionary Society (Australia), Dr. Leonardo De Chirico just finished speaking at CMS Summer School in Brisbane, Sydney, Tasmania, Melbourne and Adelaide (5th Jan – 21stJan). More than 4000 people listened to one of the lectures or seminars on Roman Catholicism on “Is the Reformation Over?”, “Communicating the Gospel to Roman Catholics” and “What is the Problem of the Roman Catholic Gospel?”Leonardo spoke compellingly to packed crowds as well as to theological educators and students attending Summer school. In this episode you can to Leonardo's one of the Q & A.
In this episode we discuss the life, theology, and legacy of the late Joseph Ratzinger (1927-2022) from an Evangelical perspective. Ratzinger is better known as Pope Benedict XVI who followed Pope John Paul II and preceded Pope Francis. How should he be understood by evangelicals and the evangelical church?
Does modern day Roman Catholicism teach that you can be saved apart from faith in Christ? Yes it does, and in this episode we discuss a recent Advent sermon given by the prominent Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa in the presence of Pope Francis and many members of the Roman Catholic Magisterium that plainly affirms just this. Don't miss it.Episode Resources: (available 1-1-2023)
The Tridentine paradigm has withstood the challenge of the Protestant Reformation and more. With the same paradigm, Rome also faced a second push coming from the modern world: that of the Enlightenment (on the cultural side) and the French Revolution (on the political side) between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. But has the Tridentine paradigm now reached the end of its journey? If so, what will be the face of Roman Catholicism tomorrow? Neither the Tridentine paradigm nor the various synodal paths dear to Pope Francis indicate an evangelical turning point in the Church of Rome. The Church of Rome was and remains distant from the claims of the biblical gospel.
In recent years, we have witnessed a growing fascination with Thomas Aquinas and Thomism by evangelical theologians, especially coming from the North American context. Like Pope Francis they cry out, "Go to Thomas!". In a recent address, Francis indicated not only the need to study Thomas, but also to “contemplate” the Master before approaching his thought. Thus, to the cognitive and intellectual dimension, he added a mystical one. In this way, he caused Thomas, already a theologian imbued with wisdom and asceticism, to be seen as even more Roman Catholic. 
If one wants to come to terms with Roman Catholic theology, sooner than later one needs to address the “nature-grace interdependence.” Roman Catholicism is pervaded by an attitude that is confident in the capacity of nature and matter to objectify grace (the bread that becomes Christ’s body, the wine that becomes Christ’s blood, the water of baptism that regenerates, and the oil of anointing that conveys grace), in the person’s ability to cooperate and contribute to salvation with his/her own works, in the capacity of the conscience to be the point of reference for truth. In theological terms, according to this view, grace intervenes to “elevate” nature to its supernatural end, relying on it and presupposing its untainted capacity to be elevated.Episode resource: 
In this episode we discuss Robert Bellarmine, a lesser known figure of historic Roman Catholicism who was a crucial figure in the Roman Catholic response to the Reformation. His is a name that should be known, and in this episode we make a case for why that is.
In this episode we talk with pastor Robbie Bellis (RSLN contributor and European church planter) about the Roman Catholic position regarding the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement. What does Roman Catholicism teach about the atonement and about redemption accomplished and applied? Do evangelicals agree? Why is this important?Robbie Bellis is a pastor of the Eglise Protestante Evangélique de Louvain-la-Neuve, a church he helped plant in 2020. He obtained a ThM from Westminster Seminary Philadelphia. His Masters Thesis was on the decline of the belief of penal substitution in the Roman Catholic Church during the 20th Century. Additionally, Robbie teaches one day a week at the Institut Biblique de Bruxelles helping train future pastors and church workers in Belgium.
In this episode we discuss Leonardo's latest Vatican File that presents a historical trajectory of the nature/grace interdependence, which represents one of the pillars of the Roman Catholic theological system. In our discussion we also briefly recap the nature/grace interdependence.Episode ResourceVatican File 201: “Gratia Supponit Naturam”? A Historical Sketch of the Nature-Grace Interdependance (Part I)
Listen as we discuss Leonardo's latest Vatican File, n.200, in which he defines "liquid" Roman Catholicism and explains why some Roman Catholics, like George Weigel, are concerned about it. Weigel and other Roman Catholic traditionalists dream of a return to a more “Roman” Catholicism: but have they not yet understood that their religion is also increasingly “Catholic” at the same time?Episode Notes:Vatican Files. VF200: "Who is Afraid of "Liquid" Roman Catholicism?" by Leonardo De ChiricoFirst Things. "Liquid Catholicism and the German Synodal Path" by George Wiegel
What happens when the wrong words are said during your baptism? Does it have consequences on your salvation, your participation in the church, your marriage? If you are a Roman Catholic the answer is... It depends! Listen to part 2 of this episode where we discuss the theological implications of the 2022 baptism recall notice, where the diocese of Phoenix, Arizona recently declared the thousands of baptisms performed by “Father Andres” over the last 20 years to be invalid.Episode notes: 1. The FAQ website provided by the diocese of Phoenix, Arizona: 
The diocese of Phoenix, Arizona recently declared the thousands of baptisms performed by “Father Andres” over the last 20 years to be invalid. Listen as we visit with church planter Jordan Standridge to discuss his article on this matter, "When you lose your salvation based on a technicality". ( learn more about Jordan's ministry you can visit the website: standridge.orgIn part II we will further discuss the theological implications of this story and respond to the questions that naturally arise from the apparent contradictions that are presented.
Listen as we discuss the latest Vatican File, "198. The (Not So) Puzzling Theology of Pope Francis". Among the many puzzling things introduced by Pope Francis, his teaching (magisterium) is perhaps the level that was most impacted by the Argentinian Pontiff. The contents of his encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, bulls, speeches, occasional interviews, etc. have been described as “uncertain,” “in motion,” “ambiguous,” “nuanced,” at times even “heretical” – and by Roman Catholics!
In this episode we answer the question: What is the essence of Roman Catholicism? In his new book Same Words, Different Worlds, Dr. Leonardo De Chirico describes how the post-Vatican II Roman Catholic Church would answer that question as being its "sacramentality". Listen to learn more.
In this episode we discuss the recent presidential address at the Evangelical Theological Society by Dr. Al Mohler of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in which he discussed four temptations for the Evangelical church, one of which is the Roman Catholic Church. We also discuss Leonardo's upcoming Vatican File that highlights Dr. Mohler's significant address.
In this episode we discuss Pope Francis's recent endorsement of the new ecumenical theme park in Argentina that promotes interreligious fraternity and considers the world's main religious as equally valid pathways to encountering the divine. We also discuss the theological implications of the Pope's enthusiastic endorsement.
In this episode we discuss the Anglican turned Catholic, John Henry Newman, who rose to the rank of cardinal and was canonised as a saint on 13 October 2019. Listen as we explore why Newman is one of the most important and influential figures in modern-day Roman Catholicism.
Anglican bishop Michael Nazir-Ali recently announced his conversion to Roman Catholicism. What are the reasons behind his conversion? What questions does it raise for evangelicals? Listen as we discuss Leonardo's latest Vatican File #195 in which he responds to this latest evangelical's crossing of the Tiber.
In this episode Dr. Gregg Allison of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary joins us to discuss his latest book 40 Questions About Roman Catholicism. Dr. Allison is a long time friend and contributor to the Reformanda Initiative.
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