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…

By What Authority?

  A Response to Rev. Peter Leithart’s “Puritan Sacramentalism” The Rev. Peter Leithart wrote a provocative article “Puritan Sacramentalism” which appeared in First Things.  Already his article has elicited at least two responses by Orthodox Christians on Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy: Gabe Martini’s “On Leithart’s Puritans and the Purity of Sacraments” and Father Andrew Stephen Damick’s “Is Liturgy Magic? A Response to Peter Leithart’s Puritan Sacramentalism.”  Fr. Andrew and Gabe Martini in their…

The Mystery of the Church and My Search for Truth

                    Today’s posting is by Stefan Pavićević.  Welcome Stefan!  Stefan Pavićević was born and raised in the city of Bitola, the Republic of Macedonia (aka FYROM).  He is currently studying engineering and computer science at St. Clement of Ohrid University of Bitola.  He attends the Most Holy Theotokos Orthodox Church  (Црквата Света Богородица).   I was raised in a nominal Eastern Orthodox family. …

Déjà Vu All Over Again

            Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick recently wrote “My Presbyterian Field Trip: A Fragmenting Tradition” in which he described a meeting at a church that was considering leaving the mainline Presbyterian Church (USA) for the smaller, more conservative ECO (A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians).  The leader of the ECO was there to make the case for the move and a prominent member of the Missions Department of…

Theosis and Our Salvation in Christ

                  Athanasius the Great summed up the connection between the Incarnation and our salvation in the famous line: God became human, so that we might become god.  The doctrine of theosis (deification) sums up the Orthodox understanding of salvation in Christ.  It is also the source of friction between Reformed and Orthodox Christians.  In this blog posting I will show how the Orthodox understanding…

St. Paul’s Home Church

  Many Evangelicals love to read and study St. Paul’s letters and consider Paul the greatest missionary of all time.  But few stop to think about which church Paul came from.  Many know that he was born in Tarsus, was educated in Jerusalem under Rabbi Gamaliel, and that he spent three years in the Arabian dessert after his encounter with Christ.  But many would draw a blank if asked: Where was Apostle…