Review – Peter Leithart’s “The End of Protestantism”

An Orthodox Assessment The Rev. Peter Leithart’s The End of Protestantism: Pursuing Unity in a Fragmented Church is more than an expanded version of his well known article “Too Catholic to be Catholic.”  Leithart has brought a more nuanced and sophisticated level of analysis to his critique of Protestant denominationalism by drawing on social science literature.  He has done more than criticize denominationalism; he has also provided concrete examples that exemplify his vision of…

Protestant Reformation in the Old Testament?

A response to Anastasiya Gutnik’s comment 24 June 2016: From Anastasiya: What do you think of Josiah?  In his time the worship of God was corrupt.  So much so that the law was literally a musty, dusty old book found hidden away in the temple.  Upon rediscovering the law Josiah launched a reformation destroying the idols and the altars upon which idolatry was practiced. Does this mean there were none of God’s…

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…

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…

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…

A Growing Exodus? Words of Encouragement for Hesitant Calvinists

  In response to some families recently leaving his Reformed (CREC) church for the Orthodox Church, Pastor Toby Sumpter recently wrote “The Levite Club.”  In the article he uses strong language to dissuade them from leaving Reformed Christianity for Orthodoxy. His main argument is that to leave the Reformed church for Orthodoxy is an act of schism. That is, it will bring division to the body of Christ. Coming from a new…

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…