Why I Stopped Being a Calvinist (Part 5): A Deformed Christology

By Robin Phillips A Deformed Christology About the same time that my wife and I started to question Monergism, we began to be interested in the early ecumenical councils of the church. We were fascinated to learn that the Sixth Ecumenical Council (680-681) had provided a framework for understanding the relationship between the human and the divine when it rejected the heresies…

Why I Stopped Being a Calvinist (Part 4): The Heresy of Monergism

By Robin Phillips The Heresy of Monergism If all Calvinism were to be encapsulated by a single term it would be the word Monergism. The term comes from the Greek mono meaning “one,” and erg meaning “work,” and describes the notion that salvation is affected by only one agent, namely God. As R.C. Sproul explains it, “A monergistic work is a work…

Why I Stopped Being a Calvinist (Part 3): Calvinism Dislocates God From our Experience of Him

Calvinism Dislocates God From our Experience of Him By Robin Phillips We have seen in Part 2 of this series that Calvinism essentially asserts that God has two sides of His character, a side that delights to show mercy and a side that delights to punish sin. Both these sides must be expressed. By redeeming the elect, God’s love and mercy are…

Why I Stopped Being a Calvinist (Part 2): Calvinism Destroys God’s Justice

By Robin Phillips Calvinism Destroys God’s Justice “May the Lord curse you and abandon you. May the Lord keep you in darkness and give you only judgment without grace. May the Lord turn his back upon you and remove his peace from you forever.” These words, taken from a popular R.C. Sproul video, starkly reveal the dark underbelly of the Calvinist’s concept…

Why I Stopped Being a Calvinist (Part 1): Calvinism presents a dehistoricized Bible

By Robin Phillips Introduction My wife and I used to be Calvinists (or ‘reformed’ as we liked to say), and we wanted our children to grow the same. We attended a Calvinist church and taught reformed theology to our children. Beginning in 2012, however, we began to grow increasingly uncomfortable with the primary doctrinal tenets of this perspective. We still have respect…

Are Conversions to Orthodoxy Tragic? A Response to Leithart

In his latest post at First Things, Leithart laments about ‘cross-Christian conversions,’ naming them ‘tragic.’ Are such conversions really tragic, or has Leithart missed the mark when it comes to explaining the Orthodox-Catholic vision of the Church and Holy Tradition?

OCN: Christians Coming Home To Orthodoxy [Video]

A new video from the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) explores some of the basic grounds on which Christians of other traditions choose to become Orthodox Christians. The production value is a little sketchy at points (there seems to be a bit of awkward blue-screening in a couple of the early shots), and some historical details are glossed over (the schism at Chalcedon…

Contemporary Philosopher Conversions to Orthodox Christianity [Video]

St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press has published a book about philosophers who have converted to the Orthodox Church, entitled Turning East: Contemporary Philosophers and the Ancient Christian Faith. Here’s the official blurb from SVS Press: The Orthodox Church is one of the largest religious groups in the world. Yet, it remains an enigma in the West, especially among those who mistake it either…

Conversions and Conversions: Romanians between Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism

The following by guest author Mihai Oara is in response to the 2006 Gospel Coalition piece John’s Story: Why I Left Eastern Orthodoxy for Evangelicalism. While in the United States we can see many conversions of Evangelicals to Orthodoxy, the situation is quite the reverse in traditional Orthodox countries. This phenomenon is relatively easy to explain in a purely mathematical way: if…

Believing Thomas: How I Left the Bahá’í Faith

This post, by author Anjali Sivan, a convert to Orthodox Christianity, was originally featured on her personal weblog on the occasion of St. Thomas Sunday. In honor of St. Thomas Sunday, I would like to share my own special appreciation for him. There is the fact that he was the apostle who brought the Gospel to India. But even more than that,…