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…

Was the Reformation Necessary?

This is a relaunch article.  It marks the end of my blog vacation and the OrthodoxBridge moving to Ancient Faith Blogs.     This Saturday will mark the 498th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  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 society was divided…

Evangelicals and Orthodox in Conversation

  Pastor John Armstrong has made it his mission to foster unity and understanding among Christians from different traditions.  To that end he organized a conversation between Evangelicals and Orthodox Christians in a forum in September 2008. He invited two Orthodox Christians: Bradley Nassif and Fr. Patrick Reardon, and two Evangelicals: Grant Osborne and George Kalantzis.  Fr. Wilbur Ellsworth, a former Baptist pastor who converted to Orthodoxy, opened up the conversation with a brief…

The Incarnation Changes Everything

This is a repost of “Bowing Down to a Faceless Idol” (9 April 2012) by Fr. Joseph Gleason.  Fr. Joseph was a Calvinist, then a 5-point Calvinist Anglican, before becoming Orthodox.  He wrote: “I was ordained as an Anglican deacon, and helped start a church, and was the editor of a theological journal as a Calvinist Anglican. It was not until I converted to Orthodoxy that I repented of my Calvinism.“ Before the…

A Response to John B. Carpenter’s “Icons and the Eastern Orthodox Claim to Continuity with the Early Church”

     John Carpenter brought to my attention his article “Icons and the Eastern Orthodox Claim to Continuity with the Early Church” which was published in the Journal of the International Society of Christian Apologetics Vol. 6 No. 1 (April) 2013. In it he attempts to refute the Orthodox position on icons by making the following points:   (1) The Orthodox Church claims “unbroken continuity” going back to the Apostles, (2) The historical…

Eusebius and Christian Images

Book Review: Early Christian Attitudes toward Images by Steven Bigham (4 of 4) This blog posting is a continuation of three earlier reviews of Father Steven Bigham’s book.  In this posting I will be reviewing and interacting with Chapter 4: “Eusebius of Caesarea and Christian Images.” The Importance of Eusebius Eusebius is famous for his Church History (Historia Ecclesiastica) which chronicles the history of Christianity from the time of Jesus to Constantine’s…