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…

A Frank and Friendly Conversation

A reader wrote the following: Dear Sir, I really appreciate this article. I come from a Reformed background. I am one who laments that Protestantism has made so many sects. Yet, I want to ask a very simple question and its not out of spite, I am really curious to know more about how Eastern Orthodoxy holds things together theologically, what happens when the Church Fathers conflict with the Scriptures? The Fathers…

Well Said Indeed!

Folks, I received this comment from Matthew on 11 July 2017.  In it he describes how his thinking about sola scriptura has changed and how this sparked his journey to Orthodoxy.  It should be noted that his mind changed gradually.  The inner conversation described by Matthew is probably like that of many others.  This article can be of help to new visitors wondering: “Why on earth would a sincere Christian relinquish sola…

Sola Scriptura’s Epistemological Problems – Summary

Sola Scriptura’s Epistemological Problems (4 of 4) A Response to David Roxas (3 of 4)  See also: (2 of 4) and (1 of 4)   Within the Protestant tenet of sola scriptura are significant epistemological problems.  I list them below and describe how Orthodoxy addressed these problems. First, if Scripture is divinely inspired but interpreted by flawed, fallible men, then how do we know that we have the right interpretation and not some…

Did Irenaeus of Lyons teach sola scriptura?

Sola Scriptura’s Epistemological Problems (3 of 4) A Response to David Roxas (3 of 4)  See also: (2 of 4) and (1 of 4) David Roxas asked: 2. Are you contradicting the above statement of Irenaus [sic] which says the Scriptures are “the ground and pillar of our faith” or do you equate the later corpus of the Fathers and the body of oral (and mostly liturgical) tradition with Scripture?  Answer: It is…

Sola Scriptura’s Epistemological Problems (2 of 4)

A Response to David Roxas (2 of 4)  (1 of 4) Can Christianity Exist Apart From Oral Tradition? David Roxas asked: 1. Absent a body of oral tradition and the corpus of the church Fathers, which both developed over centuries and which the Fathers themselves did not have (Irenaus [sic] was not reading the Cappadocian Fathers nor was he celebrating the liturgy of Chrysostom) what is the source of Christian knowledge of God,…

Sola Scriptura’s Epistemological Problems (1 of 4)

  Response to David Roxas (1 of 4) Robert Re your statement “The fact is, imposing sola scriptura on the early Church Fathers IS a highly disputed matter, and does not hold up under scrutiny. Where is the supporting evidence?” I have a question or two. 1. Absent a body of oral tradition and the corpus of the church Fathers, which both developed over centuries and which the Fathers themselves did not have…