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 TĂĽbingen 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…

Vampires and Iconoclasm

The Gospel for Vampires Protestants often have a hard time understanding why Orthodoxy objects so vigorously to iconoclasm. How does having or not having pictures inside churches relate to theology?  The answer is that iconoclasm undermines belief in the Incarnation.  Iconoclasm also undermines respect for God’s physical creation.  Church history teaches us about the early heresy of Gnosticism which denied the goodness of creation and for that reason rejected Christ’s humanity.  The…

Response to James White (2 of 4)

  This article is a continuation of “Response to James White – Part 1 of 4.” Loaded Words At the 2:55 mark, James White refers to sola fide and sola scriptura as “fundamental beliefs.”  Here he uses a phrase filled with good feeling words.  This can lead the listener to think that these are basic beliefs held by all Christians universally from Day One.  This claim needs to be substantiated by historical…

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…