Was the Reformation Necessary?

An Orthodox Assessment This is a reposting of an article I wrote in 2015 with a few minor updating. One notable addition is my assessment of “A Reforming Catholic Confession” which was just released today.   On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church (Wittenberg, Germany) sparking a huge theological debate that would radically alter the religious landscape of Europe. Within a few decades the once unified European…

Vampires and Iconoclasm

The Gospel for Vampires Protestants often have a hard time understanding why Orthodoxy objects so vigorously to iconoclasm. How does having or not having pictures inside churches relate to theology?  The answer is that iconoclasm undermines belief in the Incarnation.  Iconoclasm also undermines respect for God’s physical creation.  Church history teaches us about the early heresy of Gnosticism which denied the goodness of creation and for that reason rejected Christ’s humanity.  The…

Honoring the Dead

And Other Weird Orthodox Stuff For Protestant inquirers, Orthodoxy is more beautiful, glorious, wilder, and weirder than they would imagine.  They hear ancient prayers chanted in dark churches illuminated by candles while smelling the scent of incense drifting in the air.  If they attend the Orthodox services on special feast days, they will see other surprising rituals: the priest and congregation processing around the church building with the symbolic funeral shroud of…

Research Project – Why Evangelicals are Becoming Orthodox

    Dear Folks, Brian Curnutt of Trinity Theological Seminary in Evanston, Indiana, is doing his dissertation on why people are becoming Orthodox.  I took the survey and found the questions straightforward. The survey is not lengthy, but one should be prepared to give thoughtful responses to some of the questions that call for essay answers.  This looks like a worthwhile project.  I encourage readers who are Orthodox to take part in…

Well Said Indeed!

Folks, I received this comment from Matthew on 11 July 2017.  In it he describes how his thinking about sola scriptura has changed and how this sparked his journey to Orthodoxy.  It should be noted that his mind changed gradually.  The inner conversation described by Matthew is probably like that of many others.  This article can be of help to new visitors wondering: “Why on earth would a sincere Christian relinquish sola…

Sola Scriptura’s Epistemological Problems – Summary

Sola Scriptura’s Epistemological Problems (4 of 4) A Response to David Roxas (3 of 4)  See also: (2 of 4) and (1 of 4)   Within the Protestant tenet of sola scriptura are significant epistemological problems.  I list them below and describe how Orthodoxy addressed these problems. First, if Scripture is divinely inspired but interpreted by flawed, fallible men, then how do we know that we have the right interpretation and not some…

Did Irenaeus of Lyons teach sola scriptura?

Sola Scriptura’s Epistemological Problems (3 of 4) A Response to David Roxas (3 of 4)  See also: (2 of 4) and (1 of 4) David Roxas asked: 2. Are you contradicting the above statement of Irenaus [sic] which says the Scriptures are “the ground and pillar of our faith” or do you equate the later corpus of the Fathers and the body of oral (and mostly liturgical) tradition with Scripture?  Answer: It is…