Gay Marriage and Eastern Orthodoxy

The historical and cultural context of the Eastern Orthodox Church has meant that She has not had to grapple with many of the same questions as Christians in the West. The instability of the West following the barbarian invasions, together with the role that the papacy played in bringing some measure of religious and political stability following the fall of the Western…

“Aren’t You Supposed to Hate Me?”: Calvinism and the Politics of the Damned

The following article was originally published on the Roads from Emmaus weblog in May of 2012, just after the passage of a constitutional amendment defining marriage by the state of North Carolina. Given recent national-level discussions about marriage in the United States and what they mean for the theology of man, and especially given that the Supreme Court opined that legal support…

“A Premodern Sacramental Eclectic”?: Evangelicals Reaching for Tradition

An Evangelical friend who is interested in Orthodoxy sent this link to me: Ten years ago I was a poverty-stricken Christian…and I didn’t even know it. My poverty was theological and it was the sad consequence of my arrogant sectarianism. By restricting my Christianity to the narrow confines of modern charismatic evangelicalism I suffered from a self-inflicted theological poverty. I needed the…

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…

The Big Bang and the Torah

While this isn’t about Orthodox Christianity, of course, it’s worth noting for the several potential parallels here, after you get over the fascinating discovery that Mayim Bialik of NBC’s “Blossom” is not only a highly observant Orthodox Jew but also has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. (She is apparently also now in some new television show… something about a large banging?)…

Medical Study “Proves” Speaking in Tongues has Divine Origin

The video above is from several years ago, but I came across it and thought it was worth commenting on briefly. This is interesting in a number of ways. One major drawback in the reporting is that the Pentecostal practice of speaking in tongues (glossolalia) is not presented as what it is — the practice of only one sector of Protestantism. Rather,…

Did Pope Francis say everyone will be saved by doing good?

Enormous theological ignorance and bad reading exploded onto the scene this week: Pope Francis Says Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed, Not Just Catholics (An earlier version had this headline: “Pope Francis Says All Who Do Good Are Redeemed – Atheists included.”) (Huffington Post) Pope Francis rocked some religious and atheist minds today when he declared that everyone was redeemed through Jesus,…

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 5 of 5)

Editor’s Note: Following is the final entry in a 5-part series by Gabe Martini addressing the claim by Presbyterian pastor Steven Wedgeworth that there is significant patristic testimony against iconography. The response is necessarily more in-depth than the original post it responds to, because numerous quick claims are made there without much in the way of examination of their context or historic character. A…

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 4 of 5)

Editor’s Note: Following is the fourth part in a 5-part series by Gabe Martini addressing the claim by Presbyterian pastor Steven Wedgeworth that there is significant patristic testimony against iconography. Keep watching this space for all five parts. The response is necessarily more in-depth than the original post it responds to, because numerous quick claims are made there without much in the way of…