Chalcedonian Orthodoxy and Non-Chalcedonian Heterodoxy

The title of this essay may startle many who assume that union of the Orthodox with the Non-Chalcedonians (the historic Coptic, Ethiopian, Eritrean, West Syrian (Syriac/Jacobite), Armenian, and Indian (Malankara) churches) is imminent. Such an assumption is due to ignorance among many Anglophone Orthodox of the criticism to which eminent Orthodox theologians in other countries have subjected the dialogue between the Orthodox…

Finding Your Way in Online Orthodoxy

A recent online debate (not linked to here for privacy reasons) has once again shone the spotlight on the phenomenon of online Orthodox communities, which unfortunately are all too often places where heated arguments, angry personal attacks, and prideful arrogance take the place of simple, reasoned discussions. What purport to be sources of information and answers for troubling questions provide disinformation and…

Is Orthodoxy the Same Everywhere?: Understanding Theological Controversy Within the Church

What do we mean when we say that Orthodoxy is the same everywhere? One of the “features” of Orthodoxy that is commonly put forward especially by converts as proof of the truth of the Orthodox Christian faith is that Orthodoxy is the same everywhere. They may point to the unanimity of liturgical practice, that all Orthodox look to the same councils and…

Orthodox Theology in Symphonic Harmony

I once jumped off the southernmost point in the United States into the ocean, and the only way I was able to do it was to suck up my fear, hop off the cliff, and face what may.  Or, rather, back what may. Ouch. I’ve been behind the scenes here at Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy doing very little but cheerleading for over a…

Original Sin and Ephesus: Carthage’s Influence on the East

In my last post, I argued that the doctrine of original sin as defined at the Council of Carthage in 418 is just as authoritative in the East as it is in the West because of the inclusion of the canons from Carthage in Canon 2 of the Council in Trullo (692, also known as the Quinisext or Penthekti Council). At first…

Original Sin and Orthodoxy: Reflections on Carthage

Anyone who has been around Orthodoxy for a while has heard an argument like the following: Orthodox don’t believe Original Sin but rather Ancestral Sin. At least one book has been written on the topic. Numerous essays of semi-scholarly quality and lay appeals, have been proffered. Podcasts were recorded. Even this blog has written an article on the topic. The content of this position is…

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 5 of 5)

Editor’s Note: Following is the final entry in a 5-part series by Gabe Martini addressing the claim by Presbyterian pastor Steven Wedgeworth that there is significant patristic testimony against iconography. The response is necessarily more in-depth than the original post it responds to, because numerous quick claims are made there without much in the way of examination of their context or historic character. A…

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 4 of 5)

Editor’s Note: Following is the fourth part in a 5-part series by Gabe Martini addressing the claim by Presbyterian pastor Steven Wedgeworth that there is significant patristic testimony against iconography. Keep watching this space for all five parts. The response is necessarily more in-depth than the original post it responds to, because numerous quick claims are made there without much in the way of…

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 3 of 5)

Editor’s Note: Following is the third part in a 5-part series by Gabe Martini addressing the claim by Presbyterian pastor Steven Wedgeworth that there is significant patristic testimony against iconography. Keep watching this space for all five parts. The response is necessarily more in-depth than the original post it responds to, because numerous quick claims are made there without much in the way of…

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 2 of 5)

Editor’s Note: Following is the second part in a 5-part series by Gabe Martini addressing the claim by Presbyterian pastor Steven Wedgeworth that there is significant patristic testimony against iconography. Keep watching this space for all five parts. The response is necessarily more in-depth than the original post it responds to, because numerous quick claims are made there without much in the…