Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 1 of 5)

Editor’s Note: Following is the first 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…

“Who is a Christian?”: A Discussion with Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick on Ancient Faith Today

On May 12, 2013, at 8-9:30pm EDT / 5-6:30pm PDT, Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick, author of Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy: Exploring Belief Systems Through the Lens of the Ancient Christian Faith (Conciliar Press, 2011) appeared on the live call-in show “Ancient Faith Today with Kevin Allen.” The topic: “Who is a Christian?” Fr. Andrew and Kevin discussed the sensitive subject of defining who…

The Ecumenical Early Church: A Reply to Pastor Wedgeworth

Steven Wedgeworth operates the Wedgewords blog and is the Founder of The Calvinist International website. Last week he wrote a thought-provoking article for the Calvinist International website titled “The Myth of the Ecumenical Early Church.” This summer I plan to interact with Wedgeworth’s article in my columns at The Colson Center. However, before doing that I thought it would be helpful to…

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…

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,…

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…

St. Cyprian’s Seamless Garment: An Answer to Peter Leithart on Church Unity

I‘m very grateful for the dialogue that has emerged in recent weeks with regards to the catholicity, unity and uniqueness of the one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, particularly in an engagement with the camp calling itself “Reformed Catholic” (a minority group within the general Reformed tradition), represented most prominently by Dr. Peter Leithart. One of the assertions that this group has…

“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…

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…

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…