Gavin asked a very important question about this blog.  I decided to turn his question into a blog posting.

Hey Robert, I found your blog through a friend’s facebook link.  Looks interesting.  Just curious: since your blog is “intended to serve as a meeting place where Calvinists and Orthodox can dialogue, ask questions, exchange opinions, and debate matters of faith in a civil manner,” will you be having Calvinists or evangelicals posting about their own perspective at all, or will your posts be primarily Orthodox responses to Calvinism/evangelicalism?

Great question!  Let me upfront about my bias.  I’m a former Calvinist who converted to Orthodoxy.  I set up the OrthodoxBridge so that Reformed Christians who are interested in Eastern Orthodoxy can raise their concerns and receive honest and balanced answers in a hospitable manner.  I remember my frustration when I was looking into Orthodoxy.  Fr. Peter Gillquist honestly and humbly told me that he did not know enough about Calvinism to answer my question.  Frank Schaeffer’s answer on the other hand left me a bit affronted and taken aback.  I’m aiming for a more welcoming and informed middle ground in this blog.

This blog is not intended to be a place for detached academic dialogue but rather a place where we discuss our convictions openly and charitably.  The fundamental purpose of OrthodoxBridge is evangelistic; I noted in “About”: “It is my hope that I can help Calvinists interested in Orthodoxy come to a better understanding of Orthodoxy and perhaps cross over to the other side.”

This blog just started so there are a number of directions it can go.  I began with commentary/reactions to Reformed posts I found or were sent to me which deal with Reformed-Orthodox issues.  In the future I plan to include book reviews dealing with Reformed-Orthodox concerns.  I will also be posting my research on topics that normally concern Reformed inquirers, e.g., icons, sola scriptura, salvation in Christ etc.

So to answer your question: Yes — the blog will be primarily Orthodox responses to Calvinism/Evangelicalism, and Yes — I am open to postings by Reformed Christians or Evangelicals.  To avoid confusion I might recommend that an essay written from a Reformed/Evangelical perspective be posted on another site to which I will provide commentary on OrthodoxBridge.  I want to avoid readers having the impression that this is a Reformed vs. Orthodox site; the main intent here is apologetics and evangelism with an Orthodox slant.

In this time of openness among Reformed Christians and Evangelicals I want to clear away misconceptions and have people come to a better understanding and appreciation of Orthodoxy.  I want to contribute to an atmosphere of mutual respect even when we differ in our convictions.  I hope you will be part of these discussions!

Robert Arakaki