Responding to Pastor Jordan Cooper

“Five Reasons Why I am not Orthodox” A reader asked for my thoughts about Pastor Jordan Cooper’s YouTube video “Five Reasons I am not Eastern Orthodox.” In this quite brief (15 minutes) video, Jordan Cooper concisely and eloquently gives his reasons for not converting to Orthodoxy. I very much enjoyed the thoughtful, irenic spirit of his presentation. While Pastor Cooper is an ordained Lutheran minister, his reasons for not converting echo the…

Orthodoxy on Your Radar Screen

For years Orthodoxy was invisible on the American religious landscape. Few people paid attention as they drove past Orthodox churches with exotic ethnic names on their way to the more familiar Protestant or Roman Catholic churches services. Odds are high that Orthodoxy was not on your radar screen. However, that has changed. Over the past several decades, American Christianity has undergone massive changes. The implosion of liberal mainline Protestantism, the introduction of…

Orthodoxy’s Official Response to Calvinism — The Confession of Dositheus (1673)

  The Orthodox Church has made two major responses to the Protestant Reformation. The first response was to Lutheranism when the Lutheran theologians of Tübingen and Patriarch Jeremias II of Constantinople exchanged letters from 1573 to 1581.  The exchange ended in an impasse due to irreconcilable theological differences. See the “Lutheran-Orthodox Dialogue in the Sixteenth Century.” The second response was to the Reformed tradition almost a century later in 1672 when a…

Orthodox Christians on Penal Substitutionary Atonement

  Comments from Two Readers on my article “Evidence for Christ’s Descent into Hell” David Roxas on 10-June-2018 wrote: “This is not to say that Protestants and Evangelicals should relinquish the penal model of salvation altogether, but that they should incorporate the ancient patristic model of Christus Victor into their theology.” Scratching my head over this one. What exactly do you mean the penal mode of salvation should not be relinquished? Should…

Evidence for Christ’s Descent Into Hell

  On Holy Saturday, the Orthodox Church celebrates Christ’s descent into Hell (Hades).  For many Protestants and Evangelicals this is a strange idea. When I was a Protestant, I was often puzzled by the line in the Apostles Creed: “he [Christ] descended to hell.”  I thought this line was bizarre and unnecessary.  As a Protestant, I was never taught the theology behind the historic creeds of the Church. However, after attending the…

Response to James White (1 of 4)

  As I listened to James White’s 13 April 2017 podcast “Can a Consistent Eastern Orthodox Christian Be the Bible Answer Man?,” I was struck by the numerous fallacies that so often mar Protestant critiques of Orthodoxy.  The quotes below are organized topically, not chronologically.  The intent here is to promote good reasoning and courteous interaction in Protestant-Orthodox dialogue. Please see my earlier posting: “How NOT to Do Anti-Orthodox Apologetics” for a…

How NOT to Do Anti-Orthodox Apologetics

  Towards Better Protestant-Orthodox Dialogue Hank Hanegraaff’s recent conversion to Orthodoxy has stirred up quite a reaction, most notably among Protestants.  It is not surprising that Protestants would criticize Orthodoxy.  However, what is dismaying is the poor logic employed in their critique of Orthodoxy.  Below are some examples of the poor reasoning often found in Protestant critiques of Orthodoxy.  The aim here is not to defend Mr. Hanegraaff, but rather to point…