The Apostolic Failure of the Reformed Church

  Some of the readers of the OrthodoxBridge have questioned whether there is in fact a trend of Protestants converting to Orthodoxy.  One important evidence can be found in “Searching for the Historic Christian Church: The Allure of Eastern Orthodoxy” by Pastor Mike Brown.  The article opens with: In the past five or six years, I have known several people who have left Reformed Christianity for Eastern Orthodoxy. Their reasons for making…

Cracks in Reformed Iconoclasm?

Dominic Bnonn Tennant, a Reformed Baptist, raised some important questions about Reformed iconoclasm.  In “Are Pictures of Jesus Idolatry?” he notes: Thinking so is an understandably venerable Reformed tradition which strikes me as naive and legalistic on several levels.  Here, I look at the context of the Second Commandment to exegete the limitation of its meaning. The article has two-parts: Part 1: exegesis and Part 2: what were ancient people thinking.  In…

Evangelicalism Falling to Pieces?

“2016 State of American Theology Study,” a survey sponsored by Ligonier Ministries and carried out by LifeWay Research, gives an intriguing and sometimes disturbing overview of what Americans believe.  Care was taken to ensure that the 3,000 people who took part in the survey reflected the U.S.’s diverse population. The results of the survey have generated considerable discussion among Protestants.  In a recent article in First Things, Matthew Block bemoaned the spread…

Do Your Homework?

A Response to Pastor Toby Sumpter   In “A Plea & A Sketch of an Argument on Icons” Pastor Toby Sumpter exhorts Protestants interested in icons and Orthodoxy to do their homework before making any move to Orthodoxy.  Reading through his admirably comprehensive list of references my first reaction was: “How many people have the time to do all this reading?!”  Second reaction was: “OMG!  This is way more than a typical…

The Illogic of Calvin’s Iconoclasm

  On 23 May 1555, John Calvin preached on Deuteronomy 4:15-20 applying Moses’ admonition against idols to the depicting of Jesus Christ in icons.  This sermon is significant for Reformed-Orthodox dialogue because it presents us not only with Calvin’s hermeneutical method but also the theological reasoning underlying his iconoclasm. In my article, “The Biblical Basis for Icons,” I pointed to the use of images of cherubim on the curtains of Moses’ Tabernacle…

Contra Sola Scriptura (Part 3 of 4)

Where Does Sola Scriptura Come From? The Humanist Origins of the Protestant Reformation   Evangelicalism is facing a crisis as growing numbers of Evangelicals convert to Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy.  One reason is the crisis of sola scriptura — Scripture alone.  Scott Hahn, a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and later a professor at a small Presbyterian seminary, tells the story how he was floored by the question: “Professor, where does the…