According to the Scriptures

According to the Scriptures

In the Nicene Creed, recited by the faithful at every divine liturgy, the Church confesses that Jesus Christ was crucified and rose again “according to the Scriptures.” This language is taken directly from St. Paul in 1 Cor. 15:4, and is thereafter a common expression among the apostolic fathers. Most of us today–somewhat naturally–take this to mean that Christ was crucified and rose again in accord with the account of those events as recorded in the New Testament documents. But, in reality, this … MORE ›

Rhetoric and the Reformation

An Orthodox Response to John Calvin on Icons: The Rhetoric of the Reformation

Ever since the Protestant Reformation, there has been varied opposition among Christians to religious or devotional artwork—what Orthodox Christians generally refer to as holy icons. As I have noted before, the Reformers were not all in agreement on this subject, with some allowing religious artwork and a limited veneration of both the Cross and Eucharist, others allowing their presence in church buildings while completely opposing their veneration or religious use, and the rest opposing both their proper use and existence … MORE ›

Love Your Enemies?

Love Your Enemies?

Anyone can love and be loved. Loving your enemies is the mark of a true Christian. The Lord said, “And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you … MORE ›

Sola Scriptura vs. Tradition

Sola Scriptura vs. Holy Tradition: Is There a Difference?

I have recently—and on a few other occasions—written about the differences between the Protestant approach to authority and the Orthodox. For Protestants, the final authority or rule is the Bible—a principle known as Sola Scriptura. And while some Protestants have written catechisms and other companion material to the scriptures themselves, these too are held in check by the proper interpretation of the Bible. With regards to the latter, I have previously offered: Even when Sola scriptura is given nuance to make room … MORE ›

Apocalypse and Tradition: The Source of Authority in Orthodoxy

Apocalypse and Tradition: The Source of Authority in Orthodoxy

What is the ultimate source of authority in the Orthodox Church? This is a question that plagues inquirers of the faith and can even be a significant stumbling block to a person’s conversion. For Protestants, the ultimate source of authority is the holy scriptures or the Bible. In this context, the Bible is often pitted against man made traditions or authorities—all of which must be subordinated to the authority of the Bible. This is known as Sola Scriptura, or “by scripture … MORE ›