Protestants and a Churchless Tradition: “Sola” vs. “Solo” Scriptura

One of my ongoing fascinations is what I have come to refer to in my head as “the Evangelical appropriation of tradition.” Charismatics are celebrating Lent. Baptists are talking about the Eucharist. The inscrutable maybe-universalist and now Oprah-darling Rob Bell is even using the phrase the tradition. Maybe this tradition stuff isn’t so bad. I can branch out a little. I can…

7 Reasons that Reading the Bible = Tradition

I recently came across a conversation online in which someone insisted that he didn’t need tradition at all, because he had the Bible. Why trust the word of men when you have the word of God? I was reminded again of just how complicated it is to try to believe in what the Bible says while rejecting Christian tradition. We’ve covered matters…

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…

Should Christians read the Book of Esther?

The following guest piece by Joel J. Miller originally ran under the title “You’re reading the wrong Book of Esther.” It is republished here with permission. The Book of Esther occupies a controversial place in the Bible. John Calvin did not include the book in his biblical commentaries and only referenced it once in the Institutes (see 4.12.17). Though he included it…

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…

Using the Bible Against Christians: Sola Scriptura Atheism

One of the things that struck me during the Chick-Fil-A debacle couple of weeks ago was a curious theme I perceived in the inundation of negative comments I saw on social media regarding the statements made by Chick-Fil-A COO Dan Cathy, who came out (no pun intended… no, really) in favor of “the biblical definition of the family unit.” What was that…