Responding to Rev. John Carpenter on Icons – Round 2

Continuing the Conversation Pastor John Carpenter recently published a lengthy article on the Gospel Coalition’s website “Answering Eastern Orthodox Apologetics regarding Icons.” The article is in part a response to my earlier article: “A Response to John B. Carpenter’s ‘Icons and the Eastern Orthodox Claim to Continuity with the Early Church.’” One could say that my article and Pastor Carpenter’s two articles represent an ongoing friendly Reformed-Orthodox dialogue, which we welcome. This…

“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…

St. Patrick on the Trinity

    Today we celebrate Saint Patrick of Ireland (c. 390 – c. 461).  He was the son of a deacon and a grandson of a presbyter (priest).  Although born into a Christian family, he was spiritually complacent until his enslavement by Irish raiders precipitated a spiritual crisis.  His brand of Christianity can be labeled Celtic Christianity, much like that of Saint Columba.  Saint Patrick was not a Roman Catholic.  Ireland and…

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…