Sola Scriptura & the Archaeological Casserole

One commonly held but mistaken conception of ancient Israel is the assumption of the priority of oral tradition over written record. I’ve gathered that many ancient cultures are thought to have been primarily oral and therefore the practice of writing things down developed later in the course of history as an afterthought or curiosity. For…

Living God Living Icons

Jer. 1:11-25, 1 Thess. 1:4-10 Idolatry is ultimately about power. The great lie, the great seduction of idols is the illusion of power. If you bow down to this image, you will take control of your life. If you bow down to this statue, you will overcome what holds you back. If you serve this…

The Letter from the Synod of Nicaea II Concerning Icons

Just to be clear on what a person is agreeing to when converting from Protestantism to Eastern Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism: A portion from the letter from the synod of Nicaea II to the emperor and empress: The things which we have decreed, being thus well supported, it is confessedly and beyond all question acceptable and…

When Silence is Love

Greyfriars Hall Spring 2016 Preaching Retreat Sermon Text: Acts 8:26-40 Introduction The problem of exegesis and the meaning of language goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden where the serpent asked the woman: Did God really say? And ever since, men have asked why God doesn’t speak more clearly. If there is…

Liturgical Patriarchy

If I were to write an article about the dangers of patriarchy, my blog hits would spike the way peoples’ hair stands on end in the cartoons when they get electrocuted. Start talking about the husband being the head of his wife or the wife’s sacred duty of submission to her own husband, and everybody…

A Plea & A Sketch of an Argument on Icons

There are many reasons people find themselves attracted to Eastern Orthodoxy, but one of them is the presence and veneration of icons. Entering a sanctuary full of religious art can seem visually stunning and feel refreshingly spiritual compared to kitschy banners or television screens or hospital-blank walls. For the westerner, icons suggest a certain “eastern”…

Bultmann, Cyril, and a bit more on Sola Scriptura

Robert Arakaki has responded here to my Reformation21 article An Apostolic Case for Sola Scriptura. I’m grateful for his interaction and some of the other questions I’ve received. Here are a few thoughts in reply. Arakaki rightly points out that if the apostolic commission included a written testimony, there should be evidence in the New…

Testing the Spirit of Sola Scriptura

One aspect of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura that sometimes seems problematic is what the Protestant tradition has called “the internal testimony of the Spirit.” Is this the Protestant version of the Mormon “burning in the bosom?” Is this the catch all excuse-maker justifying all manner of iniquity? I cannot submit to my elders because…

God Does Not Mumble

The biblical doctrine of Sola Scriptura, that Scripture alone is the only ultimate and infallible authority over the Church and every Christian, rests on the fact that Scripture is God’s perfect Word. The Bible says that God’s Word is perfect. His Word is complete. His Word is breathed out by the Holy Spirit. We know…

Sola Scriptura & Truth with a Beard

One caricature of Sola Scriptura often sketches the Protestant doctrine as problematic on the grounds that since many people read the Bible and come away with different interpretations, it is necessarily (even if unintentionally) an individualistic doctrine. When it comes down to it, Protestants submit to themselves and their personal interpretations and not to Christ…