A Short Dialogue on Ecumenism

one-in-christ

Note: The text below was written in response to questions addressed to me over a year ago, by Rev. Dorin Druhora (now Rev. Dr. Druhora), from Los Angeles, US, while he was doing his doctoral research on Evangelical-Orthodox relations in the USA. In the mean time he has successfully defended his thesis and I will publish soon some details about it.

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  1. Please define the uniqueness of the ecumenical dialogue here on the North American continent, in contrast with the dialogue in Europe or elsewhere? Do you see a paradigm that is specific to western culture (particularly in US, in the context of a pluralist Christian tradition or in the light of the dialogical development)? If your expertise is focused more on Europe, please address the question based on your experience.

DM – Although I never lived in the US, I traveled extensively there and I follow constantly the religious landscape there. Ecumenism is well and alive in the US. Yet, it involved more the Catholics and the mainline Protestants. Many of the American evangelical leaders do not strike me as very open ecumenically. That is true especially with the neo-reformed movement (the likes of Piper and Mohler), which is the new form of fundamentalism. However, there is a lot to appreciate also. Continue reading “A Short Dialogue on Ecumenism”

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In the Beginning, The Gospel: Al Mohler vs. Andy Stanley

Scot McKnight on Jesus and orthodox faith in the 21st century

Source: In the Beginning, The Gospel: Al Mohler vs. Andy Stanley

There is trouble, again, in Southern Baptist ‘paradise’. Fundamentalist bully Al Mohler chastises Andy Stanley for putting Jesus before Scripture, and thus, undermining Mohler’s obsession, the dubious and confusing concept of innerancy. Well done, Andy!

An Interview with Rachel Held Evans on What It Means for Her to Join Anglicanism

Rachel Held Evans
Rachel Held Evans

Those who read this blog from time to time know how much I like what Rachel Held Evans writes. Although I do not necessarily agree with her on everything, and I am sure she does not mind this, her pilgrimage of faith, from  (radical Reformation) Evangelicalism to (magisterial Reformation) Anglicanism is very similar with mine, and we share similar convictions and struggles.

This is also reflected in her latest interview in The Huffington Post, which is very relevant in the context of the recent polemic around Mohler’s frustrated comments about Baptists becoming Anglicans (or Catholics).

Here is the interview.

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Q: You say that the way to stop the exodus of millennials from churches isn’t cosmetic changes like better music, sleeker logos and more relevant programming. Why are these methods ineffective?

A: These aren’t inherently bad strategies, and some churches would be wise to employ them. But many church leaders make the mistake of thinking millennials are shallow consumers who are leaving church because they aren’t being entertained. I think our reasons for leaving church are more complicated, more related to social changes and deep questions of faith than worship style or image.

If you try to woo us back with skinny jeans and coffee shops, it may actually backfire. Millen Continue reading “An Interview with Rachel Held Evans on What It Means for Her to Join Anglicanism”

Again on Al Mohler’s Comments – History, Evangelicals, and Protestantism | Carl R. Trueman | First Things

History, Evangelicals, and Protestantism | Carl R. Trueman | First Things.

Here is another comment on Mohler’s pathetic discussion about the two Baptists who ‘left the fold’ to be one a Catholic priest and the other an Anglican bishop.

This time the comment comes from Carl Trueman, from Westminster Theological Seminary, a Reformed school.

Trueman argues that Mohler’s position on the Bible, which is implicit in his comments is unfaithful to Reformation teaching. he writes:

‘A Protestantism which fails to acknowledge those historical roots and indeed to teach them to its young people leaves itself vulnerable to Canterbury and Rome. There is an historical dimension to Christianity which is important and which needs to be an integral part of pedagogy and discipleship. McKnight is correct to point to the weakness of strands of evangelical Protestantism in this area and we do well to take his criticism to heart.’

Bob Allen – Al Mohler: Baptists, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Catholics (or Anglicans)

Brad & Chad Jones
Brad & Chad Jones in their family garden (WSJ)

A Southern Baptist seminary president says churches are to blame when young people leave the fold to follow another faith tradition.

A recent Wall Street Journal story profiling twin brothers who followed separate spiritual paths — one to become an Anglican bishop, the other a Catholic priest — represents failure by the Southern Baptist church in which they were raised, according to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler.

Mohler, who posts a daily podcast commenting on current events on his personal website, said March 6 he has no firsthand knowledge of First Baptist Church in Elkin, N.C., home church of the men now in their 40s featured in a March 3 article headlined “When We Leave One Religion for Another: How two brothers, raised Baptist, found their way to two different faiths.” But the story of young seeking answers outside their evangelical upbringing is all too common.

“We are losing far too many evangelical young people as they reach older ages because they are simply not adequately grounded theologically in the Christian faith,” Mohler said. “They may go to vacation Bible school, and they may go to Sunday school, but the question is, are they really grounded in the Christian faith? Are they well-grounded in the beauty of Scripture? Are they well-grounded in a knowledge of the deep theological convictions that define us as Christians?”

Continue reading “Bob Allen – Al Mohler: Baptists, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Catholics (or Anglicans)”

Al Mohler in Conversation with Stanley Hauerwas

Al Mohler  Stanley Hauerwas
–       Al Mohler                     Stanley Hauerwas

Scot McKnight published today on his blog a fragment from a very interesting recent dialogue between Al Mohler, President to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Theological Ethics at Duke University, a post-liberal theologian from the Methodist tradition.

Here is this fragment:

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Mohler:            The very next essay in this book you write about the end of Protestantism and that leads me to ask a very personal question: as an American evangelical Christian, do you think that Evangelicalism is in many ways the quintessential representation of the American faith and do you think that even as you write about the church in general – I actually don’t want to put a message in your mouth, I’d rather here it from you, but I get the impression that when you look at American Christianity in general, and American Evangelicalism in particular, you appear to see a church that is looking less and less like the church. Continue reading “Al Mohler in Conversation with Stanley Hauerwas”

Roger Olson vs Al Mohler – Should Christians Support Capital Punishment?

roger-olson      Al Mohler
–          Roger Olson               vs             Al Mohler        –

The CNN religion blog published on 1 May an article of Al Mohler in which he argues that ‘Christians should support the death penalty’.

On 2 May, Roger Olson responded to what he describes as Mohler’s ‘ambiguous defence of the death penalty’.

This discussion was occasioned by the recent failed execution by lethal injection of a person condemned to the death penalty in Oklahoma.

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Mohler believes that ‘the Bible clearly calls for capital punishment in the case of intentional murder’. His arguments? The direct ones are all from the Old Testament, while the New Testament texts he quotes are very general, and they are, at best, inferrances on the topic under discussion. He also tries to qualify the implications of his conclusions by stating that ‘society is to take every reasonable precaution to ensure that no one is punished unjustly’; which, we know already, from innumerable cases, is an impossible task. There simply cannot exist absolute assurance as to someones’s guilt, which makes mistakes – meaning, state sactioned murder of wrongly accused innocent victims – unavoidable. Continue reading “Roger Olson vs Al Mohler – Should Christians Support Capital Punishment?”