The Apostle Paul and the ‘Works of the Law’

The Apostle Paul and the 'Works of the Law'

A great emphasis in the protestant reformation was the doctrinal formulation of “justification by faith alone,” which many asserted to be “the doctrine upon which the Church stands or falls” (Martin Luther: “articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae”).

While this was in and of itself a complete novelty (and devoid of Patristic warrant) — supposedly being based upon the Scriptures alone — it is quite easy to demonstrate that not only is this concept foreign to the Scriptures but is also foreign to the first century Judean mindset (not to mention the Christian). To be plain, Luther and other reformers were reading their contemporary disagreements with the mainstream Latin church into the words of St Paul.

Who Were the Pharisees?

Who Were the Pharisees?

To be named a Pharisee today is to be named a legalist. To be someone who trusts in themselves and their own righteousness more than that of the righteousness which comes from the faithfulness of God. While to be a Pharisee is almost always seen in a negative light among Christians and even non-Christians today, […]

An Orthodox Response to Feminism (Part 1)

An Orthodox Response to Feminism (Part 1)

While much ink has been spilled over the ‘complementarian’ vs. ‘egalitarian’ debate in recent years, Orthodoxy remains largely aloof. Not only because such distinctions are somewhat unintelligible from an Orthodox perspective, but also because with a living, apostolic, authoritative tradition which speaks to aspects of our life and faith, there is less ambiguity as to […]

Completing His Good Work

Completing His Good Work

At some point in the early 60s AD, the apostle Paul—after three decades of preaching the Gospel, suffering for it, and both founding and encouraging dozens of churches throughout the Roman Empire—found himself in the capital city under house arrest (Acts 28:16). Having appealed to Caesar almost five years beforehand, he—a Roman citizen—was guaranteed an audience […]

How Many Different Churches Are There?

How Many Different Orthodox Churches Are There?

It has been suggested by some that a conversion from other Christian traditions to the Orthodox Church is completely unnecessary, not only because of deficiencies in doctrine, but also because of the fact that the idea of a single, cohesive, Orthodox tradition is no more than a pious myth. But is this true? It is […]

Greek Philosophy and Orthodoxy

Greek Philosophy and Orthodoxy

As I was reading through one of my Church history texts for the Saint Stephen’s program (A History of the Christian Church by Williston Walker, etc.), I found several wonderful summaries of key philosophical “movements” that predated the Advent of Christ and also helped to play a significant role in the way the Church would […]