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…

Cracks in Reformed Iconoclasm?

Dominic Bnonn Tennant, a Reformed Baptist, raised some important questions about Reformed iconoclasm.  In “Are Pictures of Jesus Idolatry?” he notes: Thinking so is an understandably venerable Reformed tradition which strikes me as naive and legalistic on several levels.  Here, I look at the context of the Second Commandment to exegete the limitation of its meaning. The article has two-parts: Part 1: exegesis and Part 2: what were ancient people thinking.  In…

An Encounter with the Hawaiian Miraculous Icon

  Recently, there has been an increase in dialogue between Reformed Christians and Orthodox Christians about icons.  Much of it has been of an intellectual nature focused on the Bible and the early church fathers, but what is one to make of miraculous icons?  These pose a different kind of challenge to Christians who are accustomed to using logic and reason in theological debates. I just received this from one of our…

Do We Need a Photo ID of Christ?

A Response to Pastor Toby Sumpter     Rev. Toby Sumpter’s “A Plea & A Sketch of an Argument on Icons”  is not a simplistic bashing of icons.  Rather, he has taken the trouble to engage the Christological issues underlying the iconoclastic debates.  Among the earlier objections to icons was the two-fold argument that either icons depict Christ’s divinity, and by doing so circumscribed the divine Being, falling into the heresy of…

Do Your Homework?

A Response to Pastor Toby Sumpter   In “A Plea & A Sketch of an Argument on Icons” Pastor Toby Sumpter exhorts Protestants interested in icons and Orthodoxy to do their homework before making any move to Orthodoxy.  Reading through his admirably comprehensive list of references my first reaction was: “How many people have the time to do all this reading?!”  Second reaction was: “OMG!  This is way more than a typical…

The Illogic of Calvin’s Iconoclasm

  On 23 May 1555, John Calvin preached on Deuteronomy 4:15-20 applying Moses’ admonition against idols to the depicting of Jesus Christ in icons.  This sermon is significant for Reformed-Orthodox dialogue because it presents us not only with Calvin’s hermeneutical method but also the theological reasoning underlying his iconoclasm. In my article, “The Biblical Basis for Icons,” I pointed to the use of images of cherubim on the curtains of Moses’ Tabernacle…

Can Icons Become Idols?

  Question: The point that you made, Robert, about the use of icons in liturgy was understood. However, what might it look like for icons in an individual’s home? Where are the warning against idolatry in that context? How would one know if an icon was being used as an idol away from the context of a Church service?   Answer: Interesting question!  What are some possible deviant/idolatrous practices?  One possibility is…