Emergent Church Leader Performs Same-Sex Ceremony

(Christianity Today) Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christian and a prominent Christian speaker, led a non-traditional marriage commitment ceremony this weekend, according to The New York Times. Held at the Audubon Naturalist Society in Chevy Chase, Maryland, this ceremony included “traditional Christian elements,” but no bride. And the groom—one of them—was McLaren’s son, Trevor McLaren. The Times reports that…

Orthodox Worship Versus Contemporary Worship

Within the past few decades, a new form of worship has become widely popular among Christians.  Where before people would sing hymns accompanied by an organ, then listen to a sermon, in this new worship there are praise bands that use rock band instruments, short, catchy praise songs, sophisticated Powerpoint presentations, and the pastor giving uplifting practical teachings about having a fulfilling…

Salvation for everyone!

The following article was originally published on the Roads from Emmaus weblog in March of 2011. It’s been revised for this publication. This came up again recently in a conversation I was having, so I thought it might be interesting to revisit. One of the theological questions that’s making the rounds these days actually made the New York Times last March and…

The Anglican Itch

The Church of England and the Anglican “communion” have always fascinated me. I received my M.Div. from an Episcopal Seminary, and wrote my dissertation and first book (I am working on several seconds) on bishop John Jewel, the leading theological light of Elizabeth I’s first decade, and the chief defender of the 1559 Elizabethan Settlement. My brother William is a rector of…

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…

The Curious Case of St. John Cassian

St. John Cassian, in his 75 year life lived at the turn of the fifth century, interacted with every major Christian figure of the Patristic Age, founded monasticism in the West, laid the theological foundation for the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’, wrote the papal brief for the position of the Roman See at the Third Ecumenical Council, and wrote the most read work…

An Orthodox Critique of Mercersburg Theology

Mercersburg Theology’s High Church Calvinism: A Dead End? In recent years a renewed interest in Mercersburg Theology has emerged among Calvinists.  This can be seen by Keith Mathison’s Given For You: Reclaiming Calvin’s Doctrine of the Lord’s Supper (2002), W. Bradford Littlejohn’s The Mercersburg Theology and the Quest for Reformed Catholicity (2009) and Jonathan G. Bonomo’s Incarnation and Sacrament: The Eucharistic Controversy between Charles Hodge and John Williamson…

Sikhism Compared with Orthodox Christianity

In the wake of the recent shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, many folks in the West are probably just hearing about Sikhism for the first time. The following is an adapted excerpt from the brief section on Sikhism in Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy: Exploring Belief Systems through the Lens of the Ancient Christian Faith. If there are any converts from Sikhism…

“Spiritual But Not Religious” and the Path to God

The following article was originally published on the Roads from Emmaus weblog in March of 2011. It’s been revised for this publication. I sometimes encounter folks who tell me that they are “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR). I wish I asked more often what exactly that is supposed to mean, though I am usually held back from asking by a strong suspicion…

Why I Did Not Become Roman Catholic: A Sort of Response to Jason Stellman

I recently read former PCA pastor Jason Stellman‘s explanation for why he decided to head towards Rome.  As I read through his “I Fought the Church, and the Church Won” (which has subsequently been removed from the website that published it) I was struck by the absence of any mention of the Orthodox Church.  It is as if he had no awareness of the…