The Future of Protestantism and Catholicism: A Few Orthodox Comments

Over at First Things, R. R. Reno reflects as a Roman Catholic on his recent attendance at Peter Leithart’s Future of Protestantism conference, in which Leithart et al advocated for a post-Protestant future, especially in terms of what Leithart calls “Reformed Catholicism.” Reno notes that, while Protestants like Leithart may be looking at engaging with Catholicism to imagine their own future, Catholics…

“I Don’t Worship God by Singing”: So Why Bother Going to Church?

A reader alerted me to best-selling author Donald Miller‘s Feb. 3 post “I Don’t Worship God by Singing. I Connect With Him Elsewhere,” and I was immediately struck by both the rightness and the tone of his critique: I’ve a confession. I don’t connect with God by singing to Him. Not at all. I know I’m nearly alone in this but it’s…

Why I Stopped Being a Calvinist (Part 5): A Deformed Christology

By Robin Phillips A Deformed Christology About the same time that my wife and I started to question Monergism, we began to be interested in the early ecumenical councils of the church. We were fascinated to learn that the Sixth Ecumenical Council (680-681) had provided a framework for understanding the relationship between the human and the divine when it rejected the heresies…

Why I Stopped Being a Calvinist (Part 4): The Heresy of Monergism

By Robin Phillips The Heresy of Monergism If all Calvinism were to be encapsulated by a single term it would be the word Monergism. The term comes from the Greek mono meaning “one,” and erg meaning “work,” and describes the notion that salvation is affected by only one agent, namely God. As R.C. Sproul explains it, “A monergistic work is a work…

Why I Stopped Being a Calvinist (Part 3): Calvinism Dislocates God From our Experience of Him

Calvinism Dislocates God From our Experience of Him By Robin Phillips We have seen in Part 2 of this series that Calvinism essentially asserts that God has two sides of His character, a side that delights to show mercy and a side that delights to punish sin. Both these sides must be expressed. By redeeming the elect, God’s love and mercy are…

Why I Stopped Being a Calvinist (Part 2): Calvinism Destroys God’s Justice

By Robin Phillips Calvinism Destroys God’s Justice “May the Lord curse you and abandon you. May the Lord keep you in darkness and give you only judgment without grace. May the Lord turn his back upon you and remove his peace from you forever.” These words, taken from a popular R.C. Sproul video, starkly reveal the dark underbelly of the Calvinist’s concept…

Why I Stopped Being a Calvinist (Part 1): Calvinism presents a dehistoricized Bible

By Robin Phillips Introduction My wife and I used to be Calvinists (or ‘reformed’ as we liked to say), and we wanted our children to grow the same. We attended a Calvinist church and taught reformed theology to our children. Beginning in 2012, however, we began to grow increasingly uncomfortable with the primary doctrinal tenets of this perspective. We still have respect…

Leithart on Sophiology and Andrew Louth

Peter Leithart is a prolific writer, and this typically necessitates that one be a prolific reader, as well. He often shares insights from his current reads over at First Things, and there was an example of this Friday (Dec. 6) where he shared thoughts on Andrew Louth’s Introducing Eastern Orthodox Theology (IVP/SPCK 2013). In this particular entry, Leithart offers brief commentary in…

Do Atheist “Mega-Churches” create the same effect as Christian ones?

Hundreds of atheists and atheist-curious packed into a Hollywood auditorium for a boisterous service filled with live music, moments of reflection, an “inspirational talk” about forgotten — but important — inventors and scientists and some stand-up comedy. During the service, attendees stomped their feet, clapped their hands and cheered as Jones and Evans led the group through rousing renditions of “Lean on…

If King David danced, should Christians dance in church?

The above video recently made the rounds on social media, and in many of the discussions that followed, there was a predictably negative response from traditional liturgical Christians and a predictably positive response from those who have in one way or another departed from liturgical tradition. From the latter, the question is typically why the former are so uptight as to insist…