Ed Stetzer on Hanegraaff Switch: What CT Gets Wrong About Orthodox Conversions

Writing in Evangelical flagship publication Christianity Today, Ed Stetzer, who is a professor at Wheaton and heads up the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, made some guesses about why Evangelicals become Orthodox Christians in “Hank Hanegraaff’s Switch to Eastern Orthodoxy, Why People Make Such Changes, and Four Ways Evangelicals Might Respond“: The obvious question is what draws evangelicals to more liturgical traditions—and…

“Born Again” Experience or Baptismal Regeneration?

 Soon after the Berlin Wall came down many American Evangelicals saw Eastern Europe as a mission field ripe for the Gospel.  However, they overlooked the fact that Orthodox Christianity had already been there for over a thousand years!  Mihai Oara wrote “Conversions and Conversions: Romanians between Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism” which describes how Evangelicals sought to evangelize Eastern European Orthodox. The typical narrative…

Protestants and a Churchless Tradition: “Sola” vs. “Solo” Scriptura

One of my ongoing fascinations is what I have come to refer to in my head as “the Evangelical appropriation of tradition.” Charismatics are celebrating Lent. Baptists are talking about the Eucharist. The inscrutable maybe-universalist and now Oprah-darling Rob Bell is even using the phrase the tradition. Maybe this tradition stuff isn’t so bad. I can branch out a little. I can…

“I Don’t Worship God by Singing”: So Why Bother Going to Church?

A reader alerted me to best-selling author Donald Miller‘s Feb. 3 post “I Don’t Worship God by Singing. I Connect With Him Elsewhere,” and I was immediately struck by both the rightness and the tone of his critique: I’ve a confession. I don’t connect with God by singing to Him. Not at all. I know I’m nearly alone in this but it’s…

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…

“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…

“God is much bigger than… your style [of worship] or mine.”

I recently posted the image above from my professional page on Facebook, and it drew this response: I guess King David worshipped incorrectly then. You know, the whole leaping and dancing and shouts of joy thing? Totally got it wrong. Tambourines? Lyres? If you know anything of Israeli culture, liturgical worship was not the norm until much later. My response: King David’s…

Institutionalizing the Revival: The Culture of Revolutionary Christianity

I was digging recently into the darker recesses of my childhood memories and came upon a name I probably haven’t thought about in almost thirty years—Sutera. I really couldn’t remember what the name meant (and I half suspected that I was simply thinking of Chicago’s original lead singer), but I started doing some Googling and discovered the names Ralph and Lou Sutera,…

Emergent Church Leader Performs Same-Sex Ceremony

(Christianity Today) Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christian and a prominent Christian speaker, led a non-traditional marriage commitment ceremony this weekend, according to The New York Times. Held at the Audubon Naturalist Society in Chevy Chase, Maryland, this ceremony included “traditional Christian elements,” but no bride. And the groom—one of them—was McLaren’s son, Trevor McLaren. The Times reports that…

Orthodox Worship Versus Contemporary Worship

Within the past few decades, a new form of worship has become widely popular among Christians.  Where before people would sing hymns accompanied by an organ, then listen to a sermon, in this new worship there are praise bands that use rock band instruments, short, catchy praise songs, sophisticated Powerpoint presentations, and the pastor giving uplifting practical teachings about having a fulfilling…