Orthodox Christian Theology

A layman's understanding of the will of God in the Christian life, from the perspective of an Orthodox catechumen.

About Me

A picture of my wife and me.
A picture of my wife and me.

I am just a run-of-the-mill Bible-reading, church attending layman. My wife and I were married at First Presbyterian Church in Schenectady, NY and spent years as members of Red Mills Baptist Church in Mahopac, NY. Recently, we began the process of conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy. My initial aim for this blog was for my readers to be better introduced to reformed theology and the Gospel. Now that we are converting to Orthodoxy, the emphasis of the blog will change likely to the Gospel and Church history, though Reformed theology will remain an emphasis.

Most of my writing experience pertains to writing technical articles in the auto repair industry. My sole scholarly contribution was published by the Philosophy East West Journal and is called “Al-Ghazali and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola on the Question of Human Freedom and the Chain of Being.” Presently I work in the civil service and my wife as an engineer. Most importantly, we both love the Lord!

16 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hey, Craig. Listen, I’ve been having some trouble sleeping recently. Could you send me a copy of that East West Journal article? lol
    Love you, brother.
    Pastor

  2. Hi I saw you post at Shameless Popery yesterday and came to your blog to see what you were interested in. I blog at Nick’s Catholic Blog where I “specialize” in addressing Reformed Theology (with an emphasis on the Book of Romans), and I think you might be interested in some of what I’ve written. I believe the issue between Protestants and Catholics comes down to Paul’s teaching on Justification, with everything else being of secondary importance. I have written a lot on the Biblical definition of Justification, Righteousness, “Clothed” with Christ, Penal Substitution, Imputation (Logizomai, look it up if you haven’t!), and Active Obedience. I stick to Romans and Galatians as much as possible.

  3. Hello Craig,

    Sorry I didn’t get back to this earlier. I’ve been very busy with life and for some reason WordPress hasn’t been sending me updates telling me new comments have been posted, so I didn’t know unitl I just checked. Now as I try to respond here, it wont let me post links.

    My blog is CatholicNick at Blogspot, and should be an easy Google Search. I cover key texts like 2 Cor 5:21, Rom 4:3, 4:6, etc, and show how Sola Fide is impossible on an exegetical level.

      1. Hmm, I guess the comment did go through and it looks like you found my blog.

        If I had to point to my absolute favorite article I would point to “A Study on Imputation of Righteousness.” It’s somewhat long though, but that’s because I document about 50 Reformed Scholars who completely err on a key Greek term “Logiomai”.

        Also my “Romans 4:6-8 crushes Calvinism” (June 5, 2013) is a go-to apologetic for me.

        Finally, as to not over load you with reading, I’d simply suggest “Is Imputation taught in 2 Corinthians 5:21?”

        I’ll comment on your Penal Substitution post you made last month.

      2. Give me some time on that, I have been teaching through Job and it has been taking away from even time I have to post my commentary of Romans (which is already finished!) Keep up on me 🙂

  4. Hey Craig,

    My name is John and I’m actually a follower of Joe’s blog at ShamelessPopery, and I see you commenting there rather frequently.

    I just wanted to commend you on your patience and respectfulness, as well as your intellectual honesty, when you dialogue there. A true demonstration of Christian charity! “Love is patient, love is kind…” I see that not all the Catholics who comment there give you the same courtesy (not speaking of Joe himself), and I think that’s their own problem.

    In my own subjective experience, I’ve seen so much online discussions where people from both sides just yell religion at each other, being both passionate and ill informed. Thanks for being a breath of fresh air. I wish there were more people like you. It would make discussing our differences so much more edifying.

    Keep up the good work and God bless you.

    John

    1. Thank you for the kind words, I am not always such a great example of what you write of but thank you for letting me know that men like you have an eye on me 🙂 Christians must be known by how they love one another.

      God bless,
      Craig

  5. Hi Crqig,
    I was wondering if you had studied/read about when the change took place in regards to “representing Christ” during the Eucharist? My understanding, limited to scant gleanings from a few websites, is that the change took place mid to late 4th cent., but I have not been able to confirm this with any certainty. The Eucharistic Sacrifice, from what I understand, in the early church was limited to receiving Christ’s finished work on the cross and offering praise, thanks, and oneself, not Christ. Any information and sources you may have would be greatly appreciated.
    Scot

    1. Thanks for the question. In short, the idea that the Eucharist had a propitiary effect has its earliest support in the antiochene liturgies. See https://christianreformedtheology.com/2015/11/16/development-of-the-term-unbloody-sacrifice-in-the-antiochene-rites-early-liturgies/ The earliest of these liturgies is probably from the early fifth century. The Liturgy of Saint Chrysostom, which is probably from the 5th or even 6th century, is the earliest I have found with the notion of the Eucharist forgiving sins.

      However, early CHristians did believe that they literally received Christ in the Eucharist. Both Justin Martyr and Ireneaeus were explicit about this fact, Ignatius debatably so.

      God bless,
      Craig

  6. Hi Craig, I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of months now. I just read that you aren’t a Protestant anymore and that your are a catechumen for the Orthodox Church. Do you have any article in which you explain your change of mind/testimony? I currently am a Protestant but leading towards Catholicism. There are still some things that are keeping me from converting (such as family) but I see my conversion in a future.

    Regarding Orthodoxy, do you have any particular book suggestion? Mainly on its doctrine and history. I’d like to know your reasons for converting to Orthodoxy and not Catholicism.

    Hope you have a great day,

    God bless.

    1. There are not a lot of “great” Orthodox books vis a vis Roman Catholicism . The best all around treatment I have seen is “Light from the Christian East: An Introduction to the Orthodox Tradition” written by a Lutheran scholar. As for why Orthodoxy and not Catholicism my reasoning is two fold. First, I find that Orthodox soteriology is much more explicit Biblically and traditionally than the highly merit-based Catholic system. Second, Roman Ecclesiology is historically a minority, and peculiarly Roman view (big surprise.) It was never an ecclesiology adopted by the East and it was specifically rejected as early as Cyprian, and emphatically so. Please stick around as I will be having articles on this subject coming up, though my contributions will hardly be the best work ever done on it.

      I did a Sola Scriptura debate with Matt P., a Catholic, and I think the weakness of the Roman position is very clear. In the debate I do not argue the Protestant view of sola scriptura, but rather against the Roman view of authority (Roman Supremacy.) Personally, though I love him and owe my conversion to his efforts, I think Matt’s arguments are weak–ultimately minority Scriptural exegesis and well wishing. Hardly a compelling view if we want to adopt the historical mode of understanding the Christian religion that Christians have always understood.

      Please stay in touch,

      God bless,
      Craig

  7. Craig, a valid priest can absolve us from our sins. This is simply wonderful, the good news! As you prepare to approach the Eucharist, I hope that you do not come as an anti-catholic, or anti-anything. Our mother Maria can help you in your discernment, catholic or orthodox. There is no better help. She is the mother of all baptized – ask her. There is a book by Saint Louis De Montfort on true devotion to Mary. I hope it is helpful to you. In the end, going to confession and being absolved from sins is what matters. God bless you!

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