No True Scotsman does Church History Polemics

One of the criticisms of Orthodoxy’s understanding of its own history (not to mention, Roman Catholicism’s) is that there really is no unbroken Christian tradition of anything at all, that Church history is really just about multiple movements, doctrines and practices that cannot coherently be traced back to the Apostles. This is essentially one version of the historiography of the anti-ecclesiologists. If…

The Sinner’s Prayer: Baptists Debate the Evangelical Initiation Rite

We ran Vincent Martini’s piece yesterday regarding the Calvinism/Arminianism debates at the Southern Baptist Convention Great Commission Baptist Convention, and now there’s another fascinating doctrinal development at the convention: The vote wasn’t taken with every head bowed and every eye closed, but delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting today supported the “Sinner’s Prayer” after considerable debate. Jimmy Scroggins, chairman…

Who’s not a Christian?

I can recall growing up as the son of Evangelical Protestant missionaries being taught that Roman Catholics were certainly not Christians. I’m not sure whether my parents ever said that to me, but it was a marked theme in some of the preaching I heard in the various low-church Baptist and small non-denominational churches that marked my growing up years. After all,…

Chalcedon: The Triumph of Cyril, not Leo

Over at John Sanidopoulos’s Mystagogy website, we read the following regarding the Fourth Ecumenical Council, a quotation from the late Fr. John Romanides: Theologians of the Vatican have been supporting their position that Leo of Rome and his Tome became the basis of the decisions of the Fourth Ecumenical Council of 451 which, according to them, supposedly corrected the monophysitic and theopassion…

Fr. Richard Rene on “God Without Church?”

Fr. Richard Rene, pastor, fellow CP author and AFR podcaster, has this weblog post up, God Without Church?: It’s a common reality: people who believe in God without feeling the need to attend church regularly. They even have a name—“Nones”—because of their typical response to surveys asking about their religious affiliation. And those of us who consider Church attendance to be central…

The One True Church and the Partisans of Anti-Ecclesiology

I believe that the church in which I was baptized and brought up ‘is’ in very truth ‘the Church’, i.e. ‘the true’ Church and the ‘only’ true Church . . . I am therefore compelled to regard all other Christian churches as deficient, and in many cases can identify these deficiencies accurately enough. Therefore, for me, Christian reunion is simply universal conversion…

Doctrine matters.

With the obvious exception of ordained seminary professors, if you were to ask most Christian clergy how often they get asked questions about doctrine, they would probably chuckle sardonically at least a little. Some clergy would probably not care about that bit of irony, and they would likely not chuckle. But the chucklers would be chuckling because they know that most Christians…