The Wycliffe Blog - Vestigia Dei

Vestigia Dei  – is a Latin term meaning “traces of God.” As a theological term it is associated with natural theology – that is, the view that there are vestiges of God within creation. We’ve chosen this term as the title of the Wycliffe College blog because our hope is that through these writings, readers might glimpse evidences for God as our writers interact with the wider world. 

A cup and an open book with water in the backdrop

Why I am not “a person of faith”

By John Bowen

I do not consider myself “a person of faith.” There, I said it. Are you shocked? 

Yes, I attend my parish church regularly. I say the creed without crossing my fingers. I renew my baptismal vows at least once a year. So what could it possibly mean to say I am not “a person of faith”?

Well, consider the fact that these days we call people what they want to...

Mon, October 25, 2021

two hands inoculating a person on the arm

Body Politics: Christian Theological Reflections on Vaccination

By Joseph Mangina

It never really occurred to me to not be vaccinated. On learning that effective vaccines against COVID-19 would soon be on the horizon, my initial reaction was: “Where can I sign up?” No doubt my eagerness can be explained in part by a sheer hunger for human connection, after months of lockdown existence. The lockdown had been taking its toll. I wanted to teach my students in person again, I...

Tue, October 19, 2021

1 Corinthians

The Difference between Truth and Opinion

By Stephen Chester

“One must not argue about opinions. A truth is a concentrated and serious procedure which must never come into competition with established opinions.” Alain Badiou, St Paul: The Foundation of Universalism (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003), 15.

 

Sometimes incidents that are not very important in themselves can crystallize for us the importance of issues that are much more significant. That happened for me many years...

Thu, October 14, 2021

A syringe in a disposable paper tray, Photo by matnapo at Unsplash

The vaccination question: a theologian reflects, part 1

By Ephraim Radner

This blog post is the first in a series, in which Wycliffe theology professors consider the COVID vaccination debate. In the following, Ephraim Radner, Professor of Historical Theology asks, “How did the issue of vaccination so divide the church?”

 

I am a conservative and traditionalist Christian. Yet during this Time of the Virus I seem to have ended up on opposite sides with many of those with whom I...

Tue, October 05, 2021

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Subway Prayer (or How to Pray for Strangers)

By Judy Paulsen

Eight years ago, our family moved into the heart of Toronto. One of the surprises that came with this move was being freed from my car; something I was completely dependent on while pastoring in suburbia. Now I was taking public transit every day as I travelled into Wycliffe College. I knew my trip would entail a short walk on both ends of a subway ride. What I didn’t know...

Fri, October 01, 2021

fishing

God’s Call for your life?

By Peter Robinson

“What is God’s call for my life?” That is a question most Christians think about at one time or another and it is certainly one of the questions we have in the back of our minds when we come to a college or seminary like Wycliffe—regardless of whether we are looking towards possible ordination/paid ministry or envisioning some type of volunteer ministry or service.

It is, potentially, a dangerous question...

Mon, September 27, 2021

Alan Hayes

Why Study Church History? Barking at False Pasts

By Alan L. Hayes

How can studying the past help us in our Christian formation?

It can help us in several ways: it can confront us with the mysteries of God's providence, globalize our understanding of Christian life and faith, explain why our churches do things the way they do, justify the norms that the Church ought to honour, and challenge false or biased constructions of the past that distort our sense of the...

Mon, September 20, 2021

Scrabble tiles spell out "Choose Your Words"

Meanings matter: clarifying “mission” and “gospel”

By John Bowen

I remember seminary students who were hoping to be ordained warning one another of the kind of questions they were likely to be asked in the selection process. “It used to be,” they said, “that you had to say something about the importance of the sacraments. But now,” they explained, “you’d better say something about the importance of mission, or you don’t have a chance.”

“Mission” has become a very...

Wed, September 15, 2021

 NORMASH operasjonstelt (1952) (15385421643).jpg

What is a theological college? Wycliffe College as a M.A.S.H. Unit

By Stephen Andrews

People think about theological colleges in different ways. To most, perhaps, they are simply schools, maybe professional schools, like the faculties of medicine or law or music. Wycliffe College’s incorporating documents identify us as a “divinity school,” indicating that the education we offer, while practical in its intention, has something to do with God. This is a place where one learns the tools of the pastoral or academic trades.

Some...

Thu, September 02, 2021

Leather couch out doors photo by Mitchell Gaiser, Unsplash

Reflections from a Covid-couch: Jesus comes to where we are

By Christopher Seitz

Senior Research Professor and Old Testament scholar Christopher Seitz recently contracted Covid-19 after having been vaccinated. His symptoms—while relatively mild—have nonetheless been disruptive. In the midst of his recuperation, he wrote this sermon using Mark 7: 24–37 (the story of Jesus’ encounter with the Canaanite woman) as his text, and granted permission for it to be shared here. 

 

Short and sweet—would be a good way to refer...

Thu, August 19, 2021