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…

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,…