Calvin’s Corner

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26 Responses

  1. Erunner says:

    Oregon didn’t have a prayer regardless of who suited up. OSU was dominant. I enjoyed the talk on the Orthodox church but have more questions. I believe Xenia mentioned Matt Slick has issues with the Orthodox and churches go overseas to convert them. What are the specific issues people have?

    It’s nice to hear you guys talking mental health again. It’s an issue that isn’t going away and I like the “hillbilly theology” Tackled head on! 🙂 Enjoy listening to you each week.

    Michael, people constantly listen to various teachers via social media and your teaching is strong and well presented. Maybe one day……

  2. Xenia says:

    Hi Michael, thank you for the nice comments. Phil, I go to a Russian church, not Greek. 🙂

  3. Xenia says:

    Erunner, Matt Slick is extremely anti- Roman Catholic and he really ought to listen to Michael’s podcast. He was (back when I knew him) quite ignorant about Orthodoxy and asked me (in a mutual friend’s living room) if we believed in the Trinity, for example. He has a rather intense personality, to be charitable. I don’t know if he’s ever gone to an Orthodox country to convert the Orthodox but I am sure he would support such an effort.

    Protestant critics of Orthodoxy generally have the same criticisms as they do against Roman Catholicism. One problem is that many critics mistaken believe that EO is just an exotic version of RC with the same theology, which is not true. But some of the things we bold have in common that they criticize would include:

    1. Veneration of the Saints (includes asking Saints to pray for use)
    2. Baptism saves
    3. The Eucharist is the real Blood and Body of Christ
    4. Prayers for the dead
    5. Priestly hierarchy
    6. Special role for the Theotokos (which the EO thinks the RC overdoes)

    Some things the RC believes that the EO does not:

    1. Original sin theology (which I think most of western Christendom holds, not just the RC)
    2. Purgatory
    3. Immaculate Conception of Mary (not to be confused with the virgin birth, which all hold)
    4. Filioque addition to the Creed
    5. And of course, the role of the bishop of Rome, AKA the Pope

    Also, EO practice (liturgies, private piety, etc) is much more conservative than RC

    For those who are wondering who Matt Slick might be, he is the owner of the CARM website which is very Reformed in orientation. I used to participate in their chat room and was repeatedly told I was not a Christian in very harsh terms. Now here on the the PhxP it is very pleasant to bat theology and practice back and forth and in such an environment, it is pretty easy for me to keep my cool and behave like a lady. But in the CARM chat room I went ballistic a number of times and finally quit. I would like to say I departed in peace but that would not be the truth!

  4. Michael says:

    Erunner…thank you, my friend.
    Xenia…everything I said was true. 🙂
    You are much loved and respected here.

  5. Michael says:

    I think Matt would consider me apostate…

  6. Xenia says:

    Michael, I think Matt would consider you to be an apostate, if for no other reason than you believe I am a Christian. He wouldn’t be too keen on your fondness for Dread, either.

    I should say that I have been outside CARM-land for many years and he may have softened his views since my wranglings with him.

    One of his favorite tactics was to corner someone he didn’t agree with (that is, 99 percent of all living humans) and ask them a “When did you stop beating your wife” type question. That is, a question that either has no answer or would take a few thoughtful paragraphs to answer. If the victim didn’t answer right away he’d retype the question in all caps over and over, leaving no chance for anyone to answer and then after a few minutes of this he’d ban the person and say to the room “See, he/ she has no answer.”

    But who knows. He may have given up this behavior by now.

  7. Michael says:


    I have always found it odd that my tribe, which believes in the total sovereignty of God in salvation, doesn’t believe that God saves people outside our narrow tradition.
    It saddens me that love for all those whom God has sovereignly saved makes me an apostate.
    I prefer the fellowship of you and Dreadly over them any day…

  8. Erunner says:

    Thank you Xenia. I spent much time on CARM. I left when they opened a “room” about CC and I was amazed that anyone would speak against the church of Philadelphia! I left because I was linked here and I’ve been here since.

    I knew the woman who was Matt’s moderator and became quite familiar with the people who posted often.

    Matt allowed there to be a section for atheists which I found interesting because many of them had their convictions but shared in a fair manner. He had huge problems with Universalists and eventually banned them as it got pretty hairy.

    Matt’s goal was to be able to make his living through his blog. Don’t know if that happened.

    I appreciate you putting together that post listing difficulties others have with Orthodoxy. I agree with what Michael shared. You are a gracious woman filled with knowledge.

  9. Xenia says:

    Oh, Erunner, I am a complete idiot, but thanks for your kind words.

    I had some serious email back-and-forths with Diane their moderator. What I found was a woman of strong opinions with a very, very kind heart after all was said and done. She reminds me of someone here we all know, someone who, as I have said in the past, would go to the lions for the sake of Christ. I like people like that. 🙂

    Most of my time ill-spent (I now believe) on CARM was in their chat room, not the forums.

    My former confessor (now departed, may his memory be eternal) blessed my participation on Christian blogs and forums only if I promised not to argue. That’s something I try to adhere to, with mixed results for sure! It’s hard to know when you are crossing the line of “explaining” vs “arguing.”

  10. Michael says:


    There is so much better teaching than I’m capable of already online.
    When I teach in our church there is so much interaction that it really wouldn’t work online.
    I might think about doing some things for the blog…if so, what would you like to hear taught?

  11. Erunner says:

    Xenia, I knew Diane and sent her music for her station. She offered me a mod position at one time. Being here so long I’ve observed you change and mature so much in how you have interacted with others. You are an example for us all.

  12. Erunner says:

    Michael, you are a gifted communicator and teacher. It’s so obvious when you speak with Phil and have been interviewed in other venues. Walter Martin admired Donald Barnhouse greatly and I remember him saying how he had the gift of making the difficult understandable to the common man. I see that in you.

    I’d like to hear you go through Ephesians as it is so rich. I’d also like to hear you speak to the person of Jesus as there is so much misunderstanding about who He is in and out of the church. I don’t think you realize what a gifted communicator you are.

  13. Xenia says:

    Donald Barnhouse used to say, as quoted by Walter Martin, that Bible teachers need to get the hay down on the floor where the horses can eat it.

  14. Phil N says:


    Thanks for taking the time to listen!!

    Sorry Xenia. I thought you were Greek Orthodox. I don’t know why I thought that either. Thanks for clearing that up!

  15. Erunner says:

    That’s the quote I recall Xenia!

  16. Michael says:


    You’re very kind, thank you.
    Maybe a daily, fifteen minute podcast on Ephesians would be a good way to test the waters to see if it works for all of us.
    I’ll think about it…

  17. Xenia says:

    Erunner, when I first got here on the PhxP I was a fresh convert to Orthodoxy and had what we derisively call in Ortholandia “convert zeal.” In those days, everything I read or observed I related to my experience as an Evangelical. Even at my own EO church, if the priest would say something I would immediately compare it to what a CC pastor would have said. I don’t know how you can fast-forward someone over this stage of constant comparisons but the sooner it’s done, the better. I have convert friends and for the first few years it’s all spit and vinegar about where they came from. But they (usually) grow out of it. I know they have finally arrived when they stop talking harshly about their old church and begin to really appreciate their new one on its own, not just as a foil for comparisons.

  18. Xenia says:

    Phil, Greek, Russian, all the same. Different food at coffee hour, that’s mostly it.

  19. Phil N says:


    And different Patron Saints 😉

  20. Jim says:

    “Maybe a daily, fifteen minute podcast on Ephesians would be a good way to test the waters to see if it works for all of us.”

    Do this…

  21. Here is an article about the LCMS entering into an agreement with the Istanbul Lutheran Church.

  22. Linda Pappas says:

    Good to hear more on mental health and the counseling field.

    The term “counselor” can be confusing to most people. Much of this has been the result of non-licensed persons being able to work in places hires on employees to provide what is termed “supportive” counseling and can obtain some type of certificate that states they have completed specified number of hours either at community college level or by attending a number of workshops. These counselors serve their purpose, however, at the same time, they would like to be recognized as being as viable and respected as those who are true counselors in the sense of psychotherapists. Overall, in all the time I have been practicing, there is this lack of education coming from what I would term as being “lay” counselors in making sure they let their respective client know that they are not trained, nor licensed, nor qualified to assess, diagnose, and treat a mental health issue.

    Beginning from the “lay” counselor, mental health providers levels are:

    1. Support (certificate or AA with a focus in mental health, human services, alcohol and drugs, social work, human services), or one who has taken classes or have done hours to obtain certificate in such things as: Domestic Violence, addictions, and Christian counseling issues.

    2. Supportive counseling with Bachelor’s degree with a major Social Work, Human Services, Sociology, Psychology and that may include a specialization in Addiction or other types of specialization.

    3. Master level Counselors: Psychology, Sociology, Counseling, Applied Counseling, Applied Psychology, Social Work usually with an emphasis in specialized field. But not having completed 3000 hours of intern hours, nor are licensed.

    Psychologists: have completed their Psy.D or other related degree, but have not completed their hours, nor obtained their license. They absolutely are forbidden to assess, diagnose, and treat a person for mental health issues. The can teach and work in the field of research. Very important to find out if they are licensed. Note: they pass themselves off as “Dr. So and So,” but cannot by law treat you nor are they permitted to provide supervision for any intern, no matter what level a counselor might be.

    4. Psychotherapists: Fully vested Master’s degreed, completing intern hours, sitting for written and oral exams and being licensed as: LCSW, LMFT, MFT, LPC, LPCC, LMHC.

    Doctorate level, licensed Psychologists. Psychologist provides psychotherapy and uses psychological tests. Many Psychologist do not provide psychotherapy, but focuses upon testing instead. What more, Psychologist doing testing do not need to maintain their license, because they are viewed as treating. Only providing the customer (usually, a psychotherapist who is treating) with additional information to supplement his or her assessment of the client whom they are treating.

    5. Psychiatrists: Medical Doctor with a degree in Psychiatry, having done part of their internship in mental health clinic or hospital. They do not provide psychotherapy, but rather assess, evaluate, and monitor medication to treat mental illnesses. These are fully licensed by the APA which is a national license (able to practice Psychiatric medicine, in all states and USA territories).

    A Psychiatrist usually works with a Psychotherapist to monitor for side affects and treatment progress. Adjustments to medication and need for higher or lower levels of acute care on behalf of the client or patient, such as a 5150 (24 hour psychiatric hold), IOP (Intensive outpatient program) or outpatient level of mental health psychotherapy, are then determined by either the Psychiatrist, and or the Psychologist, depending upon the level of care the client is currently in on during this time and the healthcare plan’s coordination of benefits and what is referred to as a “Utilization Review” team.

    As Phil and Michael shared, if you want legitimate and effectual counseling–go to those who are licensed providers. And if the person is a Christian at the same time, being licensed, all the more they are able to integrate those principles and concepts within what they are train and experienced in doing as a Psychotherapist or as a Psychiatrist.

  23. Michael says:


    Thank you…that’s helpful information.

  24. Linda Pappas says:


    Because a person has earn their doctorate degree, the can be addressed as: “Dr,” so it is vital that you asked to see their license or simply look it up by assessing the Internet and going to the state’s respective Board of Behavioral Sciences or search for: Verification of license Psychologist.

    As for unlicensed and licensed counselors—ask if they are clinical licensed therapist or psychotherapists and then verify with your healthcare plan who stay on top of credentials with the providers they contract. Also all licensed persons are required to display their license in their place practice. You my want to go online to verify to see if any type of discipline or sanctions have been placed or them or if their license is current though.

    Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselors are not licensed counselors. They have their own certification system and in most state cannot become licensed due to not having the training that licensed psychotherapist do. They have waged a long time endeavor to be able to be licensed by the various states, particularly in California, but as of this date, this has failed. They can be licensed from within their own association through ICRC, however, this is not through the state.

    A/D counselors are certified by a ladder or steps. Beginning as a RAS (one working as a support or mentor, desk clerk, sober living monitor), to several steps later to becoming a second level fully certified alcohol and drug counselor who can provide counseling for any alcohol and drug related issue, but not psychotherapy. Their main objective or goal is to teach the person who had become addicted to use, primarily cognitive behavioral tools, to maintain their sobriety.

    Those who achieve their sobriety frequently seek out additional counseling with a psychotherapist, now understanding that recovery goes beyond using the tools of recovery learned while in treatment with their A/D counselor. Those that do not, more often than none will relapse or switch their addiction or may not use at all, but still use those defense mechanisms that remain problematic in how they relate to others and cope with life challenges. The term used for this is: dry drunk. Because of the American Healthcare Reforms, along with the Federal and States Parity Laws, more and more people who have struggled with their recovery are now seeking additional counseling with licensed Psychotherapists. Whereas, before this, it was not affordable, nor were they able to be seen for as long as was necessary to enable the person to truly address those issues that served to sabotaged them.

    Not all people who become an addict (of any type) requires or need psychotherapy, but would benefit from such, should they decide to obtain this. It is important to seek out a psychotherapist who also has lots of experience in addiction. Most do not, however, this too is changing per requirements of licensing standards and healthcare plans contractual agreements.

  25. Linda Pappas says:

    Apologize for typos and tense usage, but trust you can do the corrections as needed.

    Just wanted readers to know, I know they are there. 🙂

  26. Linda Pappas says:

    Correction: @ 22 under #4

    “Doctorate level, licensed Psychologists. Psychologist provides psychotherapy and uses psychological tests. Many Psychologist do not provide psychotherapy, but focuses upon testing instead. What more, Psychologist doing testing do not need to maintain their license, because they are viewed as treating.”

    should read: because they are NOT viewed as assessing to determine the client’s or patients’ diagnosis and treatment plan.

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