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…

A Tale of Two Bishops: St. Cyprian and the Novatianists

For the previous post in this series, see A Tale of Two Bishops: An Introduction Via Ravenna. The history of early Christianity is replete with persecutions, and the time of St. Cyprian was no different. After thirty-eight years of tolerance, AD 250 began another persecution of Christians at the hand of the emperor Decius. At his command, all imperial inhabitants must sacrifice to the…

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…

The “Biblical” Argument for Abortion

A fellow pro-life friend of mine recently sent me a post by the theologically and politically liberal Christian writer Fred “Slactivist” Clark in favor of abortion titled The ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal. It begins this way: In 1979, McDonald’s introduced the Happy Meal. Sometime after that, it was decided that the Bible teaches that human life begins at…

We’re All Children Now – A Response to Bledsoe (and Leithart) on Orthodoxy

Peter Leithart (a minister in the PCA, author of multiple books on theology, literature, etc.) has recently re-blogged some thoughts from a counterpart in the “Federal Vision” movement, Rich Bledsoe. These thoughts were directed towards both Roman Catholicism and the Eastern Orthodox Church. For those unaware (likely the vast majority of you), the “Federal Vision” is a theological movement within present-day Reformed Presbyterianism,…

A Tale of Two Bishops: An Introduction Via Ravenna

Only minutes from the sandy beaches of the Adriatic, Ravenna is a tourist city for those “in the know.” Its local cuisine and small shops are a delight for those looking to escape the long lines of crowded Venice, Florence, and Rome. Ravenna is famous for its classical music, hosting numerous events by the world’s most accomplished musicians. However, Ravenna’s main attraction…

Leithart’s Double Edgy Sword

I know we’ve posted a number of responses to Leithart over the past several weeks, but his work is actually quite interesting and (we think) worthy of response. If anything, we respond out of respect for someone who’s engaging in his theology. Almost as if yesterday’s post summoned him forth, Dr. Peter Leithart tweeted today: I somewhat cynically read this as both…

Ecclesiological Darwinism: Reformed Catholicity’s Denial of the Foundation of the Reformation

It has always been one of the central claims of the Protestant Reformation that what was being reformed was a distortion of Christian life. The foundational narrative of the Reformation has always been precisely one of return, which is why the watchwords ad fontes (“to the sources”) rang with such power. With an embrace of sola scriptura, it was believed the Protestant…