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…

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…

The Apostolic Failure of the Reformed Church

  Some of the readers of the OrthodoxBridge have questioned whether there is in fact a trend of Protestants converting to Orthodoxy.  One important evidence can be found in “Searching for the Historic Christian Church: The Allure of Eastern Orthodoxy” by Pastor Mike Brown.  The article opens with: In the past five or six years, I have known several people who have left Reformed Christianity for Eastern Orthodoxy. Their reasons for making…

Does Isaiah 22 Prove the Papacy?

In a recent email, a Protestant inquirer, investigating the claims of Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, brought up Isaiah chapter 22 which seems to support the Roman Catholic papacy.  He wrote: I feel drawn to Catholicism again. However, I will remain realistic about Catholicism’s current situation and crisis: post-Vatican II Catholicism is a mess. While I sympathize with the traditionalists, I don’t wish to affiliate myself with a radical fringe of zealots who appear…

The Early Church Fathers: Babies or Giants?

I recently received an inquiry from someone with a Reformed background.  He brought to my attention that a certain Protestant pastor is said to have claimed that the early Church Fathers were “church babies.”  I have not been able to verify whether or not this pastor actually made that remark but I felt that the question deserved a good answer.  This reader has also been in conversation with friends who are interested in…

A Growing Exodus? Words of Encouragement for Hesitant Calvinists

  In response to some families recently leaving his Reformed (CREC) church for the Orthodox Church, Pastor Toby Sumpter recently wrote “The Levite Club.”  In the article he uses strong language to dissuade them from leaving Reformed Christianity for Orthodoxy. His main argument is that to leave the Reformed church for Orthodoxy is an act of schism. That is, it will bring division to the body of Christ. Coming from a new…