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…

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…

Salvation for everyone!

The following article was originally published on the Roads from Emmaus weblog in March of 2011. It’s been revised for this publication. This came up again recently in a conversation I was having, so I thought it might be interesting to revisit. One of the theological questions that’s making the rounds these days actually made the New York Times last March and…

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…

Patristics for Baptists? Orthodox Observations on a Recent Debate among Southern Baptists

This post was originally featured on the Orthodox-Reformed Bridge site. The original is here. Reformed theology has been making inroads in unexpected places.  Christianity Today, in a recent article, reported on a surprising trend among Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) pastors.  A 2006 survey found that only 10 percent of SBC pastors overall identified themselves as “five-point Calvinists.”  However, a 2007 survey found that a surprising…

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…

Why Do the Baptists Rage?

As Baptists Prepare to Meet, Calvinism Debate Shifts to Heresy Accusation, by Weston Gentry at Christianity Today A statement by a non-Calvinist faction of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has launched infighting within the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, and tensions are expected to escalate Tuesday as church leaders descend on New Orleans… The May 30 document, ‘A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist…

Unintentional Schism? A Response to Peter Leithart’s “Too catholic to be Catholic”

This post was originally featured on the Orthodox-Reformed Bridge site. The original is here. Of late Protestantism seems to be undergoing a “climate change.” Theological positions are shifting and church affiliations are undergoing realignment in surprising ways. Reformed Christians are rediscovering liturgical worship and the church fathers. While pastors sought to enrich their Protestant heritage, they did not intend that people would…