Monday, August 19, 2013

    1. Baptist Church History lesson
    2. Angels on the head of pins?
    3. Everybody knows


Fellow Orthodox blogger John (Notes from a Common-place Book) listens to preachers on AM radio when he drives through the American south. He reports that the late Dr. Adrian Rogers still gets much play, presumably as did J. Vernon McGee after his death. John reports  Rogers’ misbegotten foray into Church history:

He continued on — that the Council of Nicea in 325 AD declared the Bible to be “the infallible word of God.”  Here he proceeds from the twisting of history to outright fabrication.  I fear that in our broad American Christianist culture, that it is this sort of thing which passes for historical knowledge.  It reminds me of my own attempt in my old church to find anything approximating our view of “New Testament Christianity” between 100 AD and Alexander Campbell.  For a while, I latched on to the Paulicians, of all people, but dropped that before I embarrassed myself unduly.

(Emphasis and hyperlink added) I repeat that because John’s right and Adrian Rogers was being loose with the truth.  As they say, “you can look it up” in places like this and this. Fer cryin’ out loud: the Biblical Canon wasn’t even fixed yet.

John eventually came around to discuss Peter Leithart’s “liberal Protestant metanarrative” piece, which I discussed yesterday, and reaches the same basic conclusion:


When Evangelicals cease trying to distinguish themselves by their spontaneity (worship spontaneity, by the way, always turns out to be just a new ersatz liturgy) , they may just find that there’s nothing left to keep them from embracing historic Christianity, with which Leithart himself has a troubled relationship.


Leithart goes on to advocate a rooting-out or reformation, if you will, of this “metanarrative” for the future health of Protestantism.    But I do not see, Lutherans and Anglican notwithstanding, how can there be one without the other?


Should you be so foolish as to think that theology doesn’t matter, and that it’s all “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin,” Alison Sailer Bennett ably introduces the difference, and the ramifications of those differences, between the Orthodox view of The Fall (Ancestral Sin) and the Western view (Original or Inherited Sin).

Here is our working narrative at the bedrock of Christianity: Adam and Eve were created in communion with God, lost communion with God, and the rest of humanity followed them. Two competing anthropologies, however, have arisen from this narrative. While all Christians use the term original sin to refer to the state of humanity after the Fall (Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:22), many Eastern Orthodox Christians prefer the term ancestral sin. Thus, for convenience I will use the term original sin to refer exclusively to Roman Catholic, Calvinist, or Lutheran articulations of the consequences of the Fall, teaching that humanity inherited both the effects and the guilt of Adam’s sin. In contrast, I will use the term ancestral sinto denote the Eastern Orthodox teaching that humanity inherited only the consequences of Adam’s sin, and not his guilt. One view is ontological; the other is existential.

That’s just the introduction, of course.


Long time since I posted a video. This one was brought to my attention by Cosmos the in lost.

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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.