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…

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…

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…

Response to James White (3 of 4)

    This article is the third of a four part series in response to James White’s 13 April 2017 podcast: “Can a Consistent Eastern Orthodox Believer Be the Bible Answer Man?”  For my previous responses, please see: “Response to James White” (1 of 4) and (2 of 4).  The purpose of these articles is not to defend Hank Hanegraaff, but to promote good reasoning and courteous interaction between Protestants and Orthodox.   Why…

Review – Peter Leithart’s “The End of Protestantism”

An Orthodox Assessment The Rev. Peter Leithart’s The End of Protestantism: Pursuing Unity in a Fragmented Church is more than an expanded version of his well known article “Too Catholic to be Catholic.”  Leithart has brought a more nuanced and sophisticated level of analysis to his critique of Protestant denominationalism by drawing on social science literature.  He has done more than criticize denominationalism; he has also provided concrete examples that exemplify his vision of…

Protestant Reformation in the Old Testament?

A response to Anastasiya Gutnik’s comment 24 June 2016: From Anastasiya: What do you think of Josiah?  In his time the worship of God was corrupt.  So much so that the law was literally a musty, dusty old book found hidden away in the temple.  Upon rediscovering the law Josiah launched a reformation destroying the idols and the altars upon which idolatry was practiced. Does this mean there were none of God’s…