Christian Unity Amidst Reformation Wars & Seminary Wars

  “Missional ecumenicist” John Armstrong has two parallel passions: church unity and church missions.  Pastor Armstrong’s Protestant catholicism (small c) is characterized by his gracious, warm-hearted relationships, openness, and appreciation for both Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions.  He is relatively new to the Reformed tradition having come from a broad Evangelical background.  He wrote: I entered the Reformed Church in America, about ten years ago, out of growing conviction that I could…

Standing During Liturgy Could Lead To Better Worship

                      Traditionally Christians stood to worship God.  This has been the historic practice of the Christian Church.  This began to change during the 1200s when backless stone benches appeared in English churches.  Then in the 1300s and 1400s they were replaced with wooden benches. Churches were not commonly furnished with permanent pews prior to the Protestant Reformation.  With the rise of the sermon as the high…

Back to the Future for Protestantism?

    On 29 April 2014, Biola University hosted “The Future of Protestantism,” a panel discussion comprised of Peter Leithart, Fred Sanders, and Carl Trueman.  Brad Littlejohn gave the introduction and Peter Escalante moderated the discussion.  The event was prompted by Leithart’s essay “The End of Protestantism” which appeared in First Things in November 2013.  The essay generated quite a bit of discussion among Evangelicals and this event was designed for Leithart…

Taking the Incarnation Seriously

  In a recent blog posting Pastor John Armstrong wrote about his paradigm shift on the Incarnation.  I found his article very helpful for illustrating the different ways Protestants and Orthodox approach the Incarnation.  Armstrong wrote: For now I have been thinking about how the Orthodox Church has a doctrine of salvation that includes the whole world, or the teaching of cosmology. Simply put the Orthodox do not treat the incarnation, the…

TF Torrance and Reformed-Orthodox Dialogue

Review: Participatio – Centennial Volume 4: T.F. Torrance (2013)   Thomas Forsyth Torrance, 1913-2007, commonly known as TF Torrance, was a Scottish Presbyterian theologian.  He served as Professor of Christian Dogmatics at New College, Edinburgh, University of Edinburgh.  He is widely known for his pioneering works on science and theology.  He also played a key role in the theological dialogues between the Reformed and Orthodox communities. In 2013, the Thomas F. Torrance…

Tertullian Refutes the “Fall of the Church” Heresy

  The “fall of the church” heresy is widely held among Protestants but not unique to Protestants.  The “fall of the church” was something that early Christians had to contend with as well.  Tertullian answered it in “The Prescription Against Heretics.” The “fall of the church” refers to the belief that after the Apostles died the early Christians strayed from the original Apostles’ teachings and practices.  This has been known as the…

Reformed Food Fight

  Something like a food fight recently erupted in one corner of the Reformed world.  Pastor Toby Sumpter wrote “Free Range, Gluten Free Yoga vs. Jesus” in which he criticized the concern among some Christians with “eating well” as part of an “idolatry problem.”  This posting generated quite a bit of reaction and not a little push back from some folks leading Pastor Doug Wilson to write “Food Libertarian.” In “Fear, Shame,…