If you have been following Apologia Anglicana, on the old website or on the old Twitter, you may have noticed that a lot has changed. All of a sudden, the owner became a Roman Catholic and his friend, a student at the Davenant Institute, was given the mantle. What happened, who is the new owner, and why is this happening?
I must apologise for how much time this transition has, and will, take. Due to everyone’s circumstances, it will take some time.
What Happened to Christian B. Wagner?
I first started talking with and writing to Christian around the beginning of Summer 2021. I found his work on explaining Anglicanism persuasive and comprehensive. However, he told me, not too long before the public announcement, that he was going to convert to Roman Catholicism.
You can read his explanation on his new website. I believe that this is a genuine conversion, and I did not take him to be a crypto-Romanist. In fact, as an Anglican, he seemed to have a legitimate, normal concerns with Rome.
However, while I believe his conversion to be genuine, I do not find it the least bit convincing. Fundamentally, it goes to a proper Christian anthropology. Man ultimately is governed by God who informs his reason which informs his actions. While the passions may be strong (such as Christian’s passion saying, “I love the Church [of Rome]”), the intellect steers the ship. However, in his conversion story, it seems like his passions have steered the ship. As St. John tells us: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:” (1 John 4:1)
I understand the experience of love. I loved the Roman Church. However, we cannot truly love what we do not know. My greatest concern, which I told Christian before the public announcement, is that a man’s theological convictions and beliefs should be squared away before a conversion.
Who is Jacob P. M. Watson?
So, who am I? Why am I here? It is actually quite interesting. I ended up talking with Christian, because I was a Roman Catholic looking into Anglicanism. I was trying to throw everything I could at Anglicanism to see if it was true or not. Christian’s ability to handle the arguments I gave him was impressive.
It has been in great thought and prayer that I have decided to leave the Church of Rome. Having converted from nondenominationalism when I was 17, getting my B.A. in Theology from a Roman Catholic university, and teaching Theology at a Roman Catholic high school, it was a lot to face the claims of Anglicanism.
However, encountering Anglicanism made me take a step back and ask “why am I committed to papal supremacy”? This floated in my mind for a time. I was not overly concerned with this issue until the promulgation of Traditionis Custodes by Pope Francis.
I remember that morning vividly. After reading it, before heading to Greek class, I confessed that “I can no longer deny that Article 19 is true.”
The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly- ministered according to Christ’s ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.
As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred; so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith.Article XIX of the 39 Articles of Religion
Facing the reality of the Bishop of Rome falling into error was not a new concept. I had my concerns about the Second Vatican Council, and I knew about Honorius. By that time, I had quite the devotion to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. So, it was obvious that the Bishop of Rome could and did fall into error. But I never figured out how that theologically worked out.
Eventually, and this deserves its own article or even book, I saw a chief contradiction in Romanism: how is it that you can be morally obligated to be in communion with an heretic? Because that is exactly what papal supremacy can require.
After discussing this with my pastor and every friend who would listen, very few could answer my questions, and I simply was not convinced. My conscience was, and is, bound. It does not discount my time as a Romanist, but it shows that, at the age of 17, I did not work the issue out as well as I should have.
I have been impacted so much by the work of Apologia Anglicana. The article defending Anglican orders really is a tour de force. When Christian announced his conversion to Romanism, I could not bear the thought of Apologia Anglicana dying. Apologia Anglicana provided a counter to the common pop theology online that has great heat and rhetoric but little light and depth.
However, as I enter the Anglican church (specifically the Anglican Catholic Church), I will be relying on much greater men than I to help me in this project. I plan to keep the best of Apologia Anglicana up on this site.
I may upload videos like Christian did. I am not sure, yet.
I, God willing, will continue the plan to have Apologia Anglicana be a publisher of Anglican works.
Due to the cost of all this, I may also start a Patreon. Here and Twitter is the best place to go for updates on all this.
Please pray for Christian and I as we embark on these new phases of our lives.
TL;DR: Jacob and Christian switched ecclesiastical places.