Review of ‘Orthodox Readings of Aquinas’ by Marcus Plested

Dylan Pahman [Note: A version of this review was published in The American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 88, no. 1 (Winter 2014): 184-187. Published here with permission.] ORTHODOX READINGS OF AQUINAS. By Marcus Plested. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Pp. 276. $99.00 Hard Cover, ISBN: 978-0-19-965065-1. The encounter between the works of Thomas Aquinas and the Orthodox Church is often told in a…

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.”…

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…

Is Jesus coming back in the next 40 years?

It seems that nearly half of Christians in America think that Jesus is coming back by the time we could be swearing in an occupant for the 67th term for a President of the United States: (Pew Forum) According to a 2010 Pew Research Center survey, roughly half (48%) of Christians in the U.S. say they believe that Christ will definitely (27%)…

What Should Christians Think About “Lost Gospels”?

The following guest piece by Joel J. Miller originally ran under the title “Why apostolic tradition matters, part 2.”  It is republished here with permission. It seems that every time a supposedly “lost gospel” is unearthed the media hypes it as if it were the Second Coming. Invariably, these texts contradict the received understanding of the church. The most recent example is…

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…

The Curious Case of St. John Cassian

St. John Cassian, in his 75 year life lived at the turn of the fifth century, interacted with every major Christian figure of the Patristic Age, founded monasticism in the West, laid the theological foundation for the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’, wrote the papal brief for the position of the Roman See at the Third Ecumenical Council, and wrote the most read work…

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…

A Tale of Two Bishops: St. Cyprian and the Novatianists

For the previous post in this series, see A Tale of Two Bishops: An Introduction Via Ravenna. The history of early Christianity is replete with persecutions, and the time of St. Cyprian was no different. After thirty-eight years of tolerance, AD 250 began another persecution of Christians at the hand of the emperor Decius. At his command, all imperial inhabitants must sacrifice to the…

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…