The Ecumenism of Fr. Georges Florovsky

A short piece on the ecumenism of Fr. Georges Florovsky has been written by Florovsky scholars Fr. Matthew Baker and Seraphim Danckaert and published in Orthodox Handbook on Ecumenism: Resources for Theological Education. It’s brief but fascinating it its detail. Here are a few highlights: Georges Florovsky (1893-1979) was the leading architect of Orthodox ecumenism in the 20th century. He combined magnanimity…

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…

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.”…

“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…

Coffeedoxy and Heterodoxy

Your local coffeehouse may be a hotbed of heresy. Check the following list and see how yours measures up. Decaf is Docetic because it only appears to be coffee. Instant is Apollinarian because it’s had its soul removed and replaced. Frappuccinos are essentially a form of Monophysitism, having their coffee nature swallowed up in milkshake. Chicory is Arian, not truly coffee at…