“Dear Santa”? or “Holy Nicholas of Myra, Pray for us!”

Which is Santa is more in keeping with Christian discipleship?   OR the real Santa Claus?     Today when people think of Santa Claus, they think of a kindly, white-bearded man who brings presents to good boys and girls all around the world.  In anticipation of Santa’s coming, children are encouraged to write “Dear Santa” letters.  It is unfortunate that this Santa has been an adaptation to modern consumer culture where…

Orthodoxy’s Official Response to Calvinism — The Confession of Dositheus (1673)

  The Orthodox Church has made two major responses to the Protestant Reformation. The first response was to Lutheranism when the Lutheran theologians of Tübingen and Patriarch Jeremias II of Constantinople exchanged letters from 1573 to 1581.  The exchange ended in an impasse due to irreconcilable theological differences. See the “Lutheran-Orthodox Dialogue in the Sixteenth Century.” The second response was to the Reformed tradition almost a century later in 1672 when a…

Review: GCTS Prof. Ryan Reeves’ lecture: “Great Schism (1054)”

  On several occasions, I have read comments by Calvinists and Evangelicals who expressed anger and disappointment on not being taught about the early Church and Orthodoxy while in seminary. I was fortunate that I had more than a little exposure to the early Church and the Church Fathers at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. So I was intrigued when a reader brought to my attention Gordon-Conwell professor Ryan Reeves’ lecture on the Great…

A Frank and Friendly Conversation

A reader wrote the following: Dear Sir, I really appreciate this article. I come from a Reformed background. I am one who laments that Protestantism has made so many sects. Yet, I want to ask a very simple question and its not out of spite, I am really curious to know more about how Eastern Orthodoxy holds things together theologically, what happens when the Church Fathers conflict with the Scriptures? The Fathers…

Memory Eternal! Kevin Allen

  One of contemporary Orthodoxy’s greatest evangelists in the blogosphere was Kevin Allen, host of The Illumined Heart. Many who visited the site have been touched by the many fascinating one-on-one interviews Kevin did with people from a wide range of faith backgrounds who came to Orthodoxy. On 7 August 2018, Kevin passed away from ALS aka Lou Gehrig’s disease (source).  This progressive neurodegenerative disease is dreaded by many due to the…

Does John 6:44 Teach Predestination?

A reader wrote: I’ve really enjoyed browsing your site. I’m a reformed Christian and have appreciated learning about the Orthodox Church. I do find the church appealing but I believe scripture supports the reformed position. I’ve been reading your plucking the tulip article and was hoping you’d interact with John 6, especially vss 44-59 as I’ve yet to hear a compelling argument in favor of the non reformed view of that passage.…

Orthodox Christians on Penal Substitutionary Atonement

  Comments from Two Readers on my article “Evidence for Christ’s Descent into Hell” David Roxas on 10-June-2018 wrote: “This is not to say that Protestants and Evangelicals should relinquish the penal model of salvation altogether, but that they should incorporate the ancient patristic model of Christus Victor into their theology.” Scratching my head over this one. What exactly do you mean the penal mode of salvation should not be relinquished? Should…