Pentecost and the Promise of God Fulfilled

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 have said unto you.” (John 14:26) This abiding presence of the Holy Spirit…

Response to Robin Phillips — "Are Calvinists Also Among the Gnostics?"

On 29 March 2011, Robin Phillips posted an intriguing and disturbing article, “Are Calvinists Also Among the Gnostics?” in which he discussed the tendency to Gnosticism in Reformed theology.  More recently in December 2011, he posted, “A Critical Absence of the Divine: How a ‘Zero-Sum’ Theology Destroys Sacred Space” in which he discussed how this Gnostic tendency has impacted Reformed worship and church architecture.   This is not just Phillips’ own interpretation…

Book Review: Defending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom

Tell me the history of the church and I can tell you your theology. Church history is not neutral but is shaped by our theological beliefs.  This is especially the case with Emperor Constantine: to many Evangelicals and Anabaptists Constantine was the arch villain who caused the early Church to fall from its apostolic purity, to mainstream Protestants and Roman Catholics Constantine was a pivotal historical figure who made Christianity into a…

Remembering St. Nicholas, Recovering a Christian Heritage

One of the unexpected blessings of becoming Orthodox is discovering a Christian heritage forgotten in the West.  One example of this is St. Nicholas of Myra, the original Santa Claus.  He is well known in the Orthodox Church.  Every December 6 the Orthodox celebrates the life of St. Nicholas of Myra.  When I was a Protestant Evangelical I was barely aware of the historical St. Nicholas, but soon after I became Orthodox…

Early Evidence for the Veneration of the Saints

  On November 2nd, John the “Lurker” wrote a brief comment noting that it was incumbent on both the Orthodox and the Reformed Christians to present evidence in support of their respective positions.  Given the brevity of his comment, I will be presenting John’s comment in italics with my responses following.   If Wesley needs to “how the Protestant soli deo gloria is not a theological novelty but part of the historic…

Contra Sola Scriptura (Part 3 of 4)

Where Does Sola Scriptura Come From? The Humanist Origins of the Protestant Reformation   Evangelicalism is facing a crisis as growing numbers of Evangelicals convert to Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy.  One reason is the crisis of sola scriptura — Scripture alone.  Scott Hahn, a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and later a professor at a small Presbyterian seminary, tells the story how he was floored by the question: “Professor, where does the…