“Born Again” Experience or Baptismal Regeneration?

 Soon after the Berlin Wall came down many American Evangelicals saw Eastern Europe as a mission field ripe for the Gospel.  However, they overlooked the fact that Orthodox Christianity had already been there for over a thousand years!  Mihai Oara wrote “Conversions and Conversions: Romanians between Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism” which describes how Evangelicals sought to evangelize Eastern European Orthodox. The typical narrative…

Which Path to Church Unity? Recognition vs. Reception

From time to time, my friends and I get into a discussion about Christian unity.  Anglicans and Roman Catholics seem to be especially eager to reunite with the Orthodox and I have to explain why such efforts are difficult, if not improbable.  This position is often met with frustration and perplexity: Why can’t we just be one?  What’s the hang up?  I began…

The Great Apostasy: John Calvin and the Fall of the Church

Did John Calvin believe in the “Fall of the Church”?  That is, did he believe that the early Church apostatized from Apostolic doctrine and worship, and that true Christianity was not restored until the Protestant Reformation?  The “Fall of the Church” is widely held among Protestants but some readers on my personal weblog deny that Calvin held this view, calling it a “canard.”…

Is Conversion to Orthodoxy Escapist? A Response to Pastor Steven Wedgeworth

Editor’s Note: We’ve been posting a number of replies lately to Calvinist pastor Steven Wedgeworth, not so much because we organized together to target his writings, but mainly because he has undertaken to criticize Orthodox Christianity in a recent series of pieces, and several of our writers feel that they are worth responding to. On 16 May 2013, The Calvinist International posted an article…

New Apostles or Old Heresy? An Orthodox Perspective on the New Apostolic Reformation

I was recently asked to help organize a memorial service for a mutual friend.  When I was told that the “Apostle Johnson” would be doing the service, I didn’t know quite what to make of it.  I knew of the Apostle Paul who traveled around the Roman Empire planting churches and writing authoritative epistles that churches were obligated to follow.  The Apostle…

Remembering St. Nicholas, Recovering a Christian Heritage

One of the unexpected blessings of becoming Orthodox is discovering a Christian heritage forgotten in the West.  One example of this is St. Nicholas of Myra, the original Santa Claus.  He is well known in the Orthodox Church.  Every December 6 (December 19 on the Old Calendar) the Orthodox celebrates the life of St. Nicholas of Myra.  When I was a Protestant…

Orthodox Worship Versus Contemporary Worship

Within the past few decades, a new form of worship has become widely popular among Christians.  Where before people would sing hymns accompanied by an organ, then listen to a sermon, in this new worship there are praise bands that use rock band instruments, short, catchy praise songs, sophisticated Powerpoint presentations, and the pastor giving uplifting practical teachings about having a fulfilling…

An Orthodox Critique of Mercersburg Theology

Mercersburg Theology’s High Church Calvinism: A Dead End? In recent years a renewed interest in Mercersburg Theology has emerged among Calvinists.  This can be seen by Keith Mathison’s Given For You: Reclaiming Calvin’s Doctrine of the Lord’s Supper (2002), W. Bradford Littlejohn’s The Mercersburg Theology and the Quest for Reformed Catholicity (2009) and Jonathan G. Bonomo’s Incarnation and Sacrament: The Eucharistic Controversy between Charles Hodge and John Williamson…

Why I Did Not Become Roman Catholic: A Sort of Response to Jason Stellman

I recently read former PCA pastor Jason Stellman‘s explanation for why he decided to head towards Rome.  As I read through his “I Fought the Church, and the Church Won” (which has subsequently been removed from the website that published it) I was struck by the absence of any mention of the Orthodox Church.  It is as if he had no awareness of the…

Why Evangelicals Need Mary

In recent years growing numbers of Evangelicals have become interested in Orthodoxy.  Many want to convert to Orthodoxy but have difficulty with certain Orthodox teachings. Without question, one of the most difficult obstacles for any Protestant Evangelical interested in Orthodoxy is Mary. A large part of the problem lies in a communications gap between Evangelicals and Orthodox.  Unlike Eastern Orthodoxy which has…