Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy 2.0 is now here. Here’s an excerpt.

Update: New episodes are now available at this link. As I’ve announced on social media and elsewhere, I’m in the process of producing an updated, revised, and expanded version of Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy—both the podcast and the book. New episodes of the podcast begin airing on Ancient Faith Radio on November 22. This new podcast series (and book!) represents a full revision,…

Why Would a Calvinist or a Baptist do Confession?

A friend shared this article today, in which one of the writers at The Gospel Coalition (a generally Reformed bunch of Evangelicals) laments the lack of confession in (his?) church: It is puzzling to see one of the defining marks of a Christian’s identity quietly disappear from a church’s worship. I’m speaking, of course, about confession – a time when the church…

The Rejection of Universalism in the Triodion

One of the big problems with an Orthodox Christian embracing universalism is that he has to reject a large portion of the liturgical tradition of the Church in order to do so. The eternality of the punishment of the wicked is ubiquitous in the services of the Church. This may be less apparent if one does not have access to frequent church…

The Pastoral Malpractice of Preaching Universalism

Let us struggle with all our powers to gain Paradise. The gate is very narrow, and don’t listen to those who say that everyone will be saved. This is a trap of Satan so that we won’t struggle. —St. Paisios the Athonite We began a series on universalism here at O&H with Fr. Stephen De Young’s piece from the Biblical record. He…

Hell (Unfortunately) Yes: Why I Can’t Be a Universalist

I would very much like to be a Universalist. In terms of my Christian hope, in terms of my emotional attachments, I would love to believe that in the end, no one would harden their heart against the Love of our Lord Jesus Christ, all would repent and believe, and all would find salvation in the age to come. I believe that…

“Born Again” Experience or Baptismal Regeneration?

 Soon after the Berlin Wall came down many American Evangelicals saw Eastern Europe as a mission field ripe for the Gospel.  However, they overlooked the fact that Orthodox Christianity had already been there for over a thousand years!  Mihai Oara wrote “Conversions and Conversions: Romanians between Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism” which describes how Evangelicals sought to evangelize Eastern European Orthodox. The typical narrative…

Grace and Wrath in the Orthodox Tradition

Eric Jobe’s recent series on justification (Part I, Part II, Part III) has spurred some discussion regarding the role of divine wrath in Orthodoxy. To simplify: Some readers seemed to believe that there was no place in Orthodoxy to speak of the wrath of God at all. Our salvation, to them, has nothing to do with deliverance from God’s wrath. Rather than…

Grace and Debt – How do we Understand Legal Terminology in Paul?

The discussion of justification in my past two posts have brought up a lot of good discussion in the comments revealing the great discomfort that Orthodox Christians seem to feel with forensic (i.e., legal) terms used to describe justification. Nevertheless, such forensic terms are quite dominant in Paul’s language, and the Fathers use them as well. We cannot completely rid ourselves of this…

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…