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…

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…

How The Reformation Continues To Fail

A Reply to Dr. Peter Leithart’s “How the Reformation Failed.” Reverend Leithart writes: The Reformers did not start out with a plan to establish separated churches. Their goal was to reform the entire Latin church. In this they failed…. Some have charged that the Reformers were willing to split the church because they had little interest in visible unity, but that is false. All the Reformers and all Protestant confessions stressed the unity and catholicity…

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…

Pentecost and the Promise of God Fulfilled

This article is a reposting of an article published on 29 May 2012. The Orthodox Church celebrates Pentecost as the fulfillment of Christ’s promise that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to His Church to lead Her into all Truth. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I…

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…