Calvin and the “Fall of the Church”

  Did John Calvin believe in the “Fall of the Church”?  That is, did he believe that the early Church apostatized from Apostolic doctrine and worship, and that true Christianity was not restored until the Protestant Reformation?  The “Fall of the Church” is widely held among Protestants but some of our readers deny that Calvin held this view calling it a “canard.”   Part I. The BOBO Theory Fuller Seminary professor and…

Why People Convert to Orthodoxy

  On 30 December 2013, W. Bradford Littlejohn published “The Search for Authority and the Fear of Difference” in The Sword and the Ploughshare.   He began by noting how he learned second hand (??) about a longtime Reformed Christian who decided to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy because “he needed someone to submit to” (quotation marks in the original text). It struck me that among the many evangelicals and Reformed folks converting…

New York Times Article on Calvinist Revival

    TULIP in the New York Times?!?  Not the blooming kind but the total depravity and unconditional election kind!  In an interesting turn of events Reformed Christianity (aka Calvinism) has gotten the attention of a major newspaper.  On 3 January 2014, the New York Times (NYT) published “Evangelicals Find Themselves in the Midst of a Calvinist Revival” by Mark Oppenheimer. Although some folks may find it hard to believe, the NYT article opened with…

Geneva Bible for Orthodox Russia?

Part 4 of 4.  Parts 1,  2, and  3. In 1995, the New Geneva Study Bible was published by Thomas Nelson Publishers under the editorial leadership of R.C. Sproul and J.I. Packer. R.C. Sproul has ambitious goals for this new study bible including using it to evangelize Russia.   He writes: Beyond the borders of America, the New Geneva Study Bible may be used to expand the light of the Reformation to lands…

Geneva Bible Compared With Orthodox Study Bible

                    Third of a four part review of the Geneva Bible       Part 1       Part 2 Study bibles do more than help the reader understand the Bible, they also shape the reader’s theology according to a particular faith tradition.  This can be seen in the Geneva Bible and the Orthodox Study Bible.  I will show this by laying out…

Calvin Dissing the Fathers

                    In an earlier blog posting “Plucking the TULIP,” I marshaled an array of patristic citations showing that a wide range of early church fathers affirmed human free will: Irenaeus of Lyons, Cyril of Jerusalem, John of Damascus, John of the Ladder, Gregory of Nyssa et al.  I did this to show that the theological consensus of the early Church refuted the Calvinist…

John Calvin on Incense

  Protestant visitors to the Orthodox Liturgy are often surprised by the abundance of images in the sanctuary.  Where Orthodox churches have icons all over, Reformed churches shun icons having only bare walls.  Another surprise for the Protestant visitor is the smell of incense when the priest comes out swinging his censer.  Aside from the smell of the ink on the bulletin or from the bible in their hands Protestant churches are…