I will respond to a few of Drake's points, but do not have the time to write a detailed analysis.
He makes a great deal of comments in the New Testament that in “later times,” many will fall away from the truth. He adjective “later” means just that “later” not immediately, but in the distant future. Instead, he claims that the very people who learned the Gospel from the Apostles fell away. As an historian, I find that claim incredible. Men like Sts. Ignatius of Antioch, Clement or Rome who actually heard the Apostles, or St. Irenaeus of Lyons who learned from St. Polycarp, who learned from the Apostle John have much more credibility than someone like John Calvin who lived 1,400 years later and had no contact with the Apostles.
I do not think that he really understands Orthodox theology because he does not present an accurate statement of what we believe. Part of the problem is that he is cannot get past the fact that we do not use the same language as Calvinists. For example, although we do not use the Anselmic language of penal substitution, or vicarious atonement, that does not mean that we do not believe that Christ died for our sins on the cross. The difference is that we put the Cross in its proper context of the Incarnation and the Resurrection. The Cross is only part of Christ's saving work which began with the Incarnation and ended with the Ascension. In Christ. God assumed all that is human to deify humanity and reunite us to Him. That is why St. Gregory the Theologian wrote, “That which is not assumed is not healed.” The problem with the doctrine of the vicarious atonement is that it is based on a partial view of salvation which is confined to the forgiveness of sins, and does not understand that God not only declares the believer righteous, God also makes the believer righteous. There is a judicial aspect to salvation, but it is only one aspect, not the totality of salvation, which includes deification.
Drake makes the point that in the New Testament the titles “presbyter” literally elder, and “eposkopos,” overseerer or Bishop are used interchangeably. That is correct. However, the New Testament was written while the Apostles were still alive. Drake does not consider what happened when they began to die. We know from the example of St. Matthias, and historical documents such as the writings of St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Clement of Rome, and St. Irenaeus of Lyons that when the Apostles realized that Christ was not coming again during their lifetime, that they appointed successors, who were called Bishops to distinguish them from the Presbyters. Thus, although it is only hinted at in the New Testament, we know from the history of the Church that the Apostles left the leadership of the Church in the hands of Bishops who acted as their successors. The Apostles acted as Bishops over the Churches they founded. For example in Acts 14:23, refers to the ordination of priests for the Churches they founded by Sts. Paul and Barnabas; “And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed.” The Greek word translaed “appointed” really means ordained, and “elders” is “presbyters” which is the source of our English word Priests.
He fails to understand that there is a difference between forbidding to marry and placing restrictions on when one may marry. There is no prohibition of marriage in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Indeed, unless one wishes to be a monastic, it celibacy is strongly discouraged among the parish clergy. However a man must marry before he undertakes the sacred office of the Priesthood. (actually Diaconate) Here Drake is twisting words instead of honestly dealing with the issue.
There is a difference between fasting for a time and forbidding eating certain foods. Our Lord, Himself spoke of fasting. In Matthew 6:16, Christ says, “When you fast...” He does not say, “If you fast,” but “When you fast,” because fasting is a part of the Christian life. Besides the citation from Acts 14, there are several references to fasting among the earliest Christians in the Book of Acts.
He accuses the Orthodox Church of being Gnostic. This is laughable. Gnosticism taught that the material world is evil. Orthodox bless the material world. We bless everything, our homes, our cars, our food, firetrucks, railroad, everything. Our worship is very physical. Calvinism, on the other hand has no place for the blessing of the material world. The Sacraments are symbols and not real means of grace, and the central act of worship is the sermon, which turns Christianity into an exercise of the mind or emotions. The model for the arrangement of a Calvinist Church is a medieval university lecture hall, there is no Altar, but a communion table placed below the pulpit, showing that preaching is more important to them than the Sacraments. The truth is that Calvinism is Gnostic because it denies the sanctification of matter.
He dismisses free will and does not understand that although God knows how we will respond to the Gospel, that does not mean that He predestines some to salvation and some to damnation. This goes completely against the entire spirit of the Gospel which teaches again and again that Christ died for all. Drake contradicts the words of St. Paul, who wrote that God, “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” I Timothy 2:4. This verse alone demolishes the entire Calvinist system for if God desires that all be saved and there is no free will, one must assume that all are saved. However, we know that not all are saved. Since God desires that all be saved and all are not saved, it is obvious that God has given us the ability to accept or reject His offer of salvation. In other words, free will. Calvinism with its denial of free will makes God into a sadistic monster who sends people to hell without giving them a chance to be saved. Such a God is not the God of love described in the New Testament.
Drake accuses Orthodox of being Arians and Monophysites. Thus at the same time, we deny the divinity of Christ and teach that the divinity of Christ absorbed His humanity. That is obviously a major contradiction. Actually, if one studies Calvin, his Christology is highly defective. He has a strong tendency towards Nestorianism. He denies the deification of the human nature of Christ and the “Communication of Attributes,” both of which are important doctrines from the age of the Holy Fathers. Calvin's Nestorianism compromises his entire theological system and with it the Reformed Movement.
Finally, Drake uses all sorts of philosophical language to discredit Orthodoxy. However, this simple verbiage that really has no meaning. He actually uses high language to hide the shallowness of his theology and basic misunderstanding of Orthodoxy. Calvinism has become the latest fad among American Evangelicals. However, like all fads it lacks depth. Instead, Calvinism provides easy answers to complex questions and falsely relies on human reason to understand the mysteries of God. Calvinism also appeals to people because it tells them that they are special because God has chosen them for salvation out of the mass of sinful humanity. As Orthodox Christians know the worst sin of all is the sin of pride, a sin produced by Calvinism. Calvinists are experts at taking a few verses out of context and twisting the words of the Holy Scriptures to fit them into their Calvinist presuppositions. Like all Protestants they have no sense of historic Christianity, but pridefully think that they or the rock star like preaches they adore know more about God than the Holy Fathers and the 7 Ecumenical Councils. At worst, Calvinism is boring. What they call worship lacks the sense of mystery and majesty found in Orthodox worship, but is a few hymns that express a shallow theology and a long sermon, that usually is either boring or lacking in depth. Calvinism lacks the profundity of Orthodoxy and rejects the historical experience of the Church. They think that a 16 century French lawyer had a better understanding of the Holy Scriptures than a giant like St. John Chrysostom.
Fr. John W. Morris