“Aren’t You Supposed to Hate Me?”: Calvinism and the Politics of the Damned

The following article was originally published on the Roads from Emmaus weblog in May of 2012, just after the passage of a constitutional amendment defining marriage by the state of North Carolina. Given recent national-level discussions about marriage in the United States and what they mean for the theology of man, and especially given that the Supreme Court opined that legal support…

“A Premodern Sacramental Eclectic”?: Evangelicals Reaching for Tradition

An Evangelical friend who is interested in Orthodoxy sent this link to me: Ten years ago I was a poverty-stricken Christian…and I didn’t even know it. My poverty was theological and it was the sad consequence of my arrogant sectarianism. By restricting my Christianity to the narrow confines of modern charismatic evangelicalism I suffered from a self-inflicted theological poverty. I needed the…

The Big Bang and the Torah

While this isn’t about Orthodox Christianity, of course, it’s worth noting for the several potential parallels here, after you get over the fascinating discovery that Mayim Bialik of NBC’s “Blossom” is not only a highly observant Orthodox Jew but also has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. (She is apparently also now in some new television show… something about a large banging?)…

Medical Study “Proves” Speaking in Tongues has Divine Origin

The video above is from several years ago, but I came across it and thought it was worth commenting on briefly. This is interesting in a number of ways. One major drawback in the reporting is that the Pentecostal practice of speaking in tongues (glossolalia) is not presented as what it is — the practice of only one sector of Protestantism. Rather,…

Did Pope Francis say everyone will be saved by doing good?

Enormous theological ignorance and bad reading exploded onto the scene this week: Pope Francis Says Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed, Not Just Catholics (An earlier version had this headline: “Pope Francis Says All Who Do Good Are Redeemed – Atheists included.”) (Huffington Post) Pope Francis rocked some religious and atheist minds today when he declared that everyone was redeemed through Jesus,…

Is Jesus coming back in the next 40 years?

It seems that nearly half of Christians in America think that Jesus is coming back by the time we could be swearing in an occupant for the 67th term for a President of the United States: (Pew Forum) According to a 2010 Pew Research Center survey, roughly half (48%) of Christians in the U.S. say they believe that Christ will definitely (27%)…

Should I want everyone to become Orthodox?

I recently ran across on Facebook a group named “Catholic & Orthodox: Steps Towards a Reunited Church,” which naturally interested me since I am, among other things, keen to understand how Orthodoxy compares and relates with Rome and vice versa. It’s always hard to figure out exactly what the character of these groups is at first blush, even from reading their official…

Pope Francis: One Patriarch Among Many?

(RealClearReligion: Reading the Franciscan Tea Leaves) In his inaugural address from the loggia, he never once used the words “pope” or “pontiff” or their cognates. (There is nothing wrong with either term: pope comes from the Greek for “father” and “pontiff” in Latin means bridge-builder.) Instead he consistently referred to Rome now having a bishop again. This is extremely significant because of…

Two Chairs of Peter: Reform, Orthodoxy and the Papacy

Update: At the request of Ancient Faith Radio, this post has been recorded for your listening edification. In the anticipation preceding yesterday’s election of the new Roman pontiff, especially what with the American media’s constant chatter about reform for the Roman Catholic Church, I could not help but be reminded of a somewhat less-anticipated primatial election that is still fresh in the…

Media Discovers Episcopus Vagans at Vatican, Film at 11

Imagine trying to explain to your average reporter—even a religion reporter—what an episcopus vagans is. Those of us who work in “the religion biz” are frequently reminded that the press just doesn’t get religion, and in the case of the “prankster” “fake bishop” who recently made an amusing appearance at the Vatican, the press did not fail to live up to its…