Category: History/Church History

The Mega Church Born Again

I arrived in the Thessaloniki airport and passed by the customs office, its door casually propped open, and saw everything I had come to Greece to avoid: a framed reproduction of Warner Sallman’s blonde-haired, blue-eyed American Jesus, testimony to the...

/ September 19, 2022

What Can Contemporary Christians Learn from the Desert Fathers and Mothers?

I am a working pastor. That means that I have joined the company of those for whom the care of souls is the sum and substance of the job description. It is our life’s preoccupation, our central work.

/ September 14, 2022

What Two Gilded Age Christian Socialists Would Say to Evangelicals Today

The rehabilitation of socialism’s reputation among Millennials and Gen Z has grabbed the attention of political analysts in recent years: “Socialism as Popular as Capitalism Among Young Adults in U.S.” (Gallup). “Majority of Gen Z Americans Hold Negative Views of...

/ August 1, 2022

Historians Behaving Badly

In certain regions of the Western Christian world, the opinion prevails that historians have been behaving badly of late. This opinion, in fact, extends to academics at large. From this point of view, historians are attempting to distract the faithful...

/ June 13, 2022

The Third Reformer

Bruce Gordon. Zwingli: God’s Armed Prophet. New Haven: Yale, 2021. xxii + 349 pp, $32.50. The contemporary of Martin Luther and predecessor of Jean Calvin within the Reformed family of churches, Ulrich Zwingli is sometimes described as “the third reformer.”...

/ May 17, 2022

“Those Heathenish Christians”: John Robinson’s Warning to the Puritans and to Us

“You will say they deserved it,” wrote the Separatist pastor John Robinson in 1623, after he first heard about the killings. The recipient of this letter was Pilgrim leader William Bradford, governor of the Plymouth colony in America. Robinson had...

/ October 7, 2021

Marcion’s “Gift”

The church’s participation in various historical injustices is a familiar theme, one rehearsed in some instances to discredit her, but in others to prompt her to needful repentance. But the primordial sin of the church which makes other, more tangible...

/ March 19, 2021

‘Passages,’ Chapter 1

(originally published on “Passages”) Who wrote the Nicene Creed? Why did the estimated 300 bishops present at the Council of Nicaea use terms such as “Light of Light… consubstantial… proceeding…” and more to describe God? Is the creed even intelligible...

/ March 8, 2021

Announcing “Passages”: A New Podcast from Mere Orthodoxy

(originally published on the Passages podcast home page) “O gladsome light, pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven, O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed! Now as we come to the setting of the sun, and our eyes behold the...

/ March 1, 2021

Presbyterians in Egypt

Writing a report of his time as a missionary in Egypt, Andrew Watson had this to say about Egypt’s Christians: “In general, the Copts are a simple-minded, devout, religious people, with great reverence for the Scriptures.”[1] The stated goal of...

/ July 28, 2020