“The Limits of the Church” by Fr. Georges Florovsky

The following piece by Protopresbyter Georges V. Florovsky was originally published in 1933 in Church Quarterly Review. Where Florovsky does not translate foreign phrases, we have supplied a translation in brackets for non-specialists. It is very difficult to give an exact and firm definition of a ‘sect’ or ‘schism’ (I distinguish the theological definition from the simple canonical description), since a sect…

Patristics for Baptists? Orthodox Observations on a Recent Debate among Southern Baptists

This post was originally featured on the Orthodox-Reformed Bridge site. The original is here. Reformed theology has been making inroads in unexpected places.  Christianity Today, in a recent article, reported on a surprising trend among Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) pastors.  A 2006 survey found that only 10 percent of SBC pastors overall identified themselves as “five-point Calvinists.”  However, a 2007 survey found that a surprising…

No True Scotsman does Church History Polemics

One of the criticisms of Orthodoxy’s understanding of its own history (not to mention, Roman Catholicism’s) is that there really is no unbroken Christian tradition of anything at all, that Church history is really just about multiple movements, doctrines and practices that cannot coherently be traced back to the Apostles. This is essentially one version of the historiography of the anti-ecclesiologists. If…

The Sinner’s Prayer: Baptists Debate the Evangelical Initiation Rite

We ran Vincent Martini’s piece yesterday regarding the Calvinism/Arminianism debates at the Southern Baptist Convention Great Commission Baptist Convention, and now there’s another fascinating doctrinal development at the convention: The vote wasn’t taken with every head bowed and every eye closed, but delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting today supported the “Sinner’s Prayer” after considerable debate. Jimmy Scroggins, chairman…

Some passing thoughts on Catholicity (or, an Ehrman/Pagels view of catholicity)

This post was originally featured on the Lux Christi site. The original is here. Herein is a quick comment on the continuing online saga of what constitutes “catholicity.” So far most of the things I have read have been coming from Orthodox and Reformed bloggers, and I just wanted to my give two cents on something touched on, but which needs some…

Why Do the Baptists Rage?

As Baptists Prepare to Meet, Calvinism Debate Shifts to Heresy Accusation, by Weston Gentry at Christianity Today A statement by a non-Calvinist faction of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has launched infighting within the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, and tensions are expected to escalate Tuesday as church leaders descend on New Orleans… The May 30 document, ‘A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist…

Who’s not a Christian?

I can recall growing up as the son of Evangelical Protestant missionaries being taught that Roman Catholics were certainly not Christians. I’m not sure whether my parents ever said that to me, but it was a marked theme in some of the preaching I heard in the various low-church Baptist and small non-denominational churches that marked my growing up years. After all,…

The Conciliar Mystery: The Orthodox Theology of Polity

Thus, in the Orthodox Church there is no world-wide, external mechanism to guarantee conciliarity, there is no external authority – neither one person nor in the form of a collegial organ – to guarantee the unity of the Church in ecclesiastical questions. This, however, does not mean that catholicity in the Orthodox Church exists only in theory. In practice catholicity at the…