I just ran across this article by Dr. Dan Wallace: http://danielbwallace.com/2012/03/18/the-problem-with-protestant-ecclesiology/. Dr. Wallace is a massively huge name in Protestant circles. In many ways he wrote the book on Koine Greek. His very obvious difficulties with Protestant schism gives me hope that perhaps one day Dr. Wallace will look for the exit.
Several evangelical scholars have noted that the problem with Protestant ecclesiology is that there is no Protestant ecclesiology. In many denominations—and especially in non-denominational churches—there is no hierarchy of churches responsible to a central head, no accountability beyond the local congregation, no fellowship beyond the local assembly, no missional emphasis that gains support from hundreds of congregations, and no superiors to whom a local pastor must submit for doctrinal or ethical fidelity.
Three events have especially caused me to reflect on my own ecclesiological situation and long for something different.
Read the rest at http://danielbwallace.com/2012/03/18/the-problem-with-protestant-ecclesiology/
On March 2nd all three of our kids were baptized and chrismated in to the Orthodox Church. After a journey of a few years, we have all arrived at the Church, and we are very thankful to be here. The journey of the convert is not an easy one, but it is rewarding at the end. Now that this journey is over, a whole new one begins. Now we must continually convert our hearts, taking up our cross, and following our Lord and Savior in His death and life. I look forward to seeing my entire family grow in Christ-likeness as we pursue the spiritual life together!
My wife and I have decided to move forward into Orthodoxy. This has been a process of years for us both. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Taking your time let’s you really think about what you are doing, and allows you to make your commitment based on solid reasoning, rather than emotions. I’m happy that we’re entering this new phase though. I very much look forward to being past the constant searching and researching. :o)
Now we’re working through the logistics of actually becoming Orthodox. My wife and I have been baptized, but we need to come up with documentation to that effect. At some point we will be chrismated (an annointing with oil) and have our marriage blessed. At a separate time our children will be baptized and chrismated. Along the way we will pick up a new set of names (to be determined), and some new family relations (also to be determined). There’s lots of things on our to do list.
Questions from family and friends have largely stopped, and so this blog has quieted down. The content will remain and I may periodically post new information. Of course I still welcome questions, but more and more I come to realize that I am hardly the best person to answer. I am so new, still, I can’t imagine that I really add much to the conversation. Hopefully I have done more good than harm, and for the rest, Lord have mercy!
I wanted to share a note on an interesting documentary about icons that you might find helpful, if you are looking for an introduction to icons. This documentary was made in Russia, but the voice over is in English, so it’s easy to follow. You can find the first of seven videos at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMqI-9mcR1Y&feature=relmfu. Just follow on to the others from links on the side.
I recently sat down with my parish priest for another in a long series of discussions, which I’ve recently begun to record. I wish I had been recording them all along, but better late than never. We discussed the recent emailing I did with a protestant professor, and the issues of iconography and apostolic succession (among other things).
Today I just received a copy of Early Christian Attitudes toward Images by Fr. Dr. Steven Bigham, and man do I wish I would have had that in hand before writing my previous responses to the protestant professor. That would’ve saved a lot of time. I’m glad I did the research I did, but just from what I’ve read so far I can see that Dr. Bigham does a great job of taking this information and really going deep with it. He does a very well rounded take on icons from all sides, archaeological, literary and theological that is way beyond anything I could do on a blog, even if I were qualified. So, if you are interested in trying to understand icons as a non-Orthodox Christian, or to defend them (or even just to understand the issue better), you definitely need to get that book. I have also had Imago Dei, by Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan recommended to me, but I haven’t read it personally. I have many books by Dr. Pelikan and can recommend all the ones I have read, so I don’t doubt that he did a wonderful job on that subject as well, so you might check it out too.