Reconciling Paul and James: Thoughts about Justification

The following post represents some of my musings on the topic of justification which have proceeded in the comments to my last post. I do not intend these musings to be understood as reflecting a particular “Orthodox position,” as in “this is what the Orthodox Church teaches” and thus prescribing such belief. These ideas represent my own thoughts and opinions as I have dialogued…

What Do Orthodox Christians Believe about Justification? A Response to Protestant Criticisms

As Protestant Christians find their way to examining the Orthodox Christian faith, they very often remark about the inconsistency of Orthodox Christianity on the matter of justification by faith, or else they even say that Orthodoxy has no such doctrine of justification. Indeed, the term justification may be a bit curious to most Orthodox Christians who were not reared in Protestant homes, for one…

The Moral Christian: A Response to Fr. Stephen Freeman

In a recent post at Glory to God for All Things, “The Un-Moral Christian,” Fr. Stephen Freeman critiques what he sees as common conceptions of Christianity as moral, defined as “the rules and standards by which we guide ourselves.” These, he writes, are external and can be described and discussed. They are the rules by which we choose how to behave and…

Church History and Same-Sex Marriage

Relevant to several recent postings here on same-sex marriage is this May 2012 piece from the Roads From Emmaus weblog. It is mainly a clearinghouse of links to other resources on the position of same-sex marriage in the history of Christianity. It has been slightly edited for this publication. There have been several postings online in the past few days of various…

Same-Sex Pair Uses Orthodox Wedding Service

[HuffPo] Manhattan saw many couples married that day, but one wedding was different, not only because it was two men being married in a Christian church, nor because they were joined by 80 supportive family members, nor even because it was a fully legal marriage of a same-sex couple, but also because two thinly handcrafted silver metal hoops, seven inches in diameter,…

“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…

An Orthodox Response to an Anti-Orthodox Defense of Gay Marriage

The following piece by Fr. John Whiteford is a response to David J. Dunn’s 2011 article “Civil Unions by Another Name: An Eastern Orthodox Defense of Gay Marriage,” which has been making the rounds on social media in the wake of the recent discussions by the United States Supreme Court concerning same-sex marriage. Fr. John has written extensively on the topic of…

Drawing False Moral Equivalence in “Rights” Politics

The irony of our culture is that when it comes to abortion and guns, the exact same political tribes simply change places and shout “Dead children!” “My liberties!” at each other. That’s insane. Both tribes, when riding their particular hobby horses, prioritize “My liberties” over dead children. Me: I think dead children (and all other dead innocents) always take priority over my…

Emergent Church Leader Performs Same-Sex Ceremony

(Christianity Today) Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christian and a prominent Christian speaker, led a non-traditional marriage commitment ceremony this weekend, according to The New York Times. Held at the Audubon Naturalist Society in Chevy Chase, Maryland, this ceremony included “traditional Christian elements,” but no bride. And the groom—one of them—was McLaren’s son, Trevor McLaren. The Times reports that…

The “Biblical” Argument for Abortion

A fellow pro-life friend of mine recently sent me a post by the theologically and politically liberal Christian writer Fred “Slactivist” Clark in favor of abortion titled The ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal. It begins this way: In 1979, McDonald’s introduced the Happy Meal. Sometime after that, it was decided that the Bible teaches that human life begins at…