An Orthodox Commentary on the Gospel Coalition Controversy

An Orthodox Commentary on the Gospel Coalition Controversy

In recent months, several key evangelical pastors have been involved in a public debate regarding the Christian doctrine of sanctification. In the Protestant framework,1 sanctification is the progressive transformation of a converted sinner into a true disciple of Christ. Having been justified by God’s grace, sanctification is the “setting apart” or consecration of Christians as people […]

Symeon the New Theologian on Predestination

St. Symeon the New Theologian on Predestination

In the history of the Orthodox Church, the honorary title ‘Theologian’ has been granted only three times. First to the beloved disciple and apostle Saint John, then centuries later to Saint Gregory of Nazianzen, and finally to the eleventh century Saint, Symeon ‘the New.’ Born in Galatia (A.D. 949), St. Symeon was educated in Constantinople, […]

The Victory of God

The Victory of God

The victory of God is not a schizophrenic victory over himself; it is a victory over death and its author, the devil. It is a great reconciliation; the warm embrace of the prodigal son. During both Great Lent and Holy Week, Orthodox Christians hear some of the most deeply profound words ever uttered. And through these hymns, readings, […]

Why Are Lutherans Converting to Eastern Orthodoxy?

Why Are Lutherans Converting to Eastern Orthodoxy?

In a recent podcast titled “Introducing Eastern Orthodoxy” at the Just & Sinner blog, Lutheran author Jordan Cooper laid some groundwork to help not only explain why many conservative Lutherans are ‘heading East,’ but also provide an introduction to Orthodox belief and practice for his largely Lutheran audience. Since I have a lot of respect […]

Reading Scripture in Tradition: Why Sola Scriptura Doesn’t Work

readingscriptureintradition

Orthodox Christians do not hold to the Reformation principle of Sola scriptura. Instead, we view the scriptures as the pinnacle or “summit”1 of holy tradition, neither separating the two as wholly distinct, nor eliminating one or the other. The reason for this is simple: the scriptures are a witness to divine revelation, given from God to mankind […]

‘Pistis Christou’ and Implications for the Doctrine of Justification

Pistis Christou and the Implications for the Doctrine of Justification

In my last article, I explained how an Orthodox Christian might appropriate modern Biblical scholarship faithfully, and in submission to the Church. In this post, I would like to give more detail on how this works in practice, particularly with respect to the writings of the Apostle Paul and his teaching on justification. One of […]

A Nestorian Canon of Scripture

A Nestorian Canon of Scripture

I have long been interested in the development of the biblical canon. I probably wouldn’t have found my way into the Orthodox Church without such studies. Recently, I found a 13th century canon defined by Nestorian Metropolitan Mar Abd Yeshua (ca. A.D. 1298). He apparently served as the chief bishop of Nisibia and Armenia for […]

Our Prayers Arise as Incense

Our Prayers Arise as Incense

Since the very beginning, the right worship of God has always involved incense. From before Israel’s foundations, to the ministry of the temple, to the earliest days of the apostolic Church, incense has continued to be an important, prophetic, and transformative aspect of our heavenly worship. It’s is important to worship because incense is a […]

Martin Luther on Mary as Theotokos

Martin Luther on Mary as Theotokos

Like many other Protestant Reformers, Martin Luther had no problem honoring Mary as the ‘Mother of God.’ Following the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431), he was adamant that Mary be referred to and honored as the Θεοτοκος or ‘Birth-giver of God’ (also, ‘Mother of God’). The importance of this title is chiefly in its […]

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons?

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons?

Part One Introduction Steven Wedgeworth, Assistant Pastor of Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Clinton, Mississippi, has recently written a post at The Calvinist International against the Christian use of icons. In this post, he proposes to “counter-balance” the evidence in favor of icons and their veneration with evidence to the contrary. The reason, as he puts […]