The Great Apostasy: John Calvin and the Fall of the Church

Did John Calvin believe in the “Fall of the Church”?  That is, did he believe that the early Church apostatized from Apostolic doctrine and worship, and that true Christianity was not restored until the Protestant Reformation?  The “Fall of the Church” is widely held among Protestants but some readers on my personal weblog deny that Calvin held this view, calling it a “canard.”…

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…

Orthodox Theology in Symphonic Harmony

I once jumped off the southernmost point in the United States into the ocean, and the only way I was able to do it was to suck up my fear, hop off the cliff, and face what may.  Or, rather, back what may. Ouch. I’ve been behind the scenes here at Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy doing very little but cheerleading for over a…

Dancing Bishops Greet the Pope (and Other Such Nonsense)

Even if I were somehow able to be convinced of Rome’s unique dogmas, stuff like the above is one of the main reasons I could never become a Roman Catholic. I have been told by Rome’s apologists that these kinds of things are really just “abuses” and that the “true” culture and worship of Rome shouldn’t be like this. But if a…

“A Premodern Sacramental Eclectic”?: Evangelicals Reaching for Tradition

An Evangelical friend who is interested in Orthodoxy sent this link to me: Ten years ago I was a poverty-stricken Christian…and I didn’t even know it. My poverty was theological and it was the sad consequence of my arrogant sectarianism. By restricting my Christianity to the narrow confines of modern charismatic evangelicalism I suffered from a self-inflicted theological poverty. I needed the…

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 5 of 5)

Editor’s Note: Following is the final entry in a 5-part series by Gabe Martini addressing the claim by Presbyterian pastor Steven Wedgeworth that there is significant patristic testimony against iconography. The response is necessarily more in-depth than the original post it responds to, because numerous quick claims are made there without much in the way of examination of their context or historic character. A…

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 4 of 5)

Editor’s Note: Following is the fourth part in a 5-part series by Gabe Martini addressing the claim by Presbyterian pastor Steven Wedgeworth that there is significant patristic testimony against iconography. Keep watching this space for all five parts. The response is necessarily more in-depth than the original post it responds to, because numerous quick claims are made there without much in the way of…

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 3 of 5)

Editor’s Note: Following is the third part in a 5-part series by Gabe Martini addressing the claim by Presbyterian pastor Steven Wedgeworth that there is significant patristic testimony against iconography. Keep watching this space for all five parts. The response is necessarily more in-depth than the original post it responds to, because numerous quick claims are made there without much in the way of…

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 2 of 5)

Editor’s Note: Following is the second part in a 5-part series by Gabe Martini addressing the claim by Presbyterian pastor Steven Wedgeworth that there is significant patristic testimony against iconography. Keep watching this space for all five parts. The response is necessarily more in-depth than the original post it responds to, because numerous quick claims are made there without much in the…