I cannot be the only one who has had the experience of visiting a non-Orthodox church service and finding it stunningly empty and plain. After long familiarity with Orthodox worship with its icons, incense, candles, vestments, Gospel books, and crosses, attending such services produces a kind of sensory deprivation, rather […]
I would like you all to meet a young woman, raised a devout Roman Catholic, who converted to Islam. Her online story reads in part as follows: “I’m one of the many western converts out there…I grew up in a very traditional orthodox Christian household. My family was going to […]
The Papal Claims
Over two millenia there have, of course, been many papal claims, many of which Orthodoxy has always accepted. The claim to be the Patriarch of the West has proved unobjectionable to the East.
Who Prays For Marilyn?
God calls us to be a blessing to others in the world, including strangers whom we will never actually meet or get to know.
There is today in the Orthodox Church a cult of personality—or, more precisely, of personalities, in the plural. That is, there are a number of men, mostly monastics and wearing the badge of “elder” who have set themselves up as judges and arbiters of Orthodox praxis. Most of the hubbub […]
The One Mediator – And The Sacraments
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, (1 Tim. 2:5) There is no way to adequately explain priesthood without reference to mediation. A priest is a mediator between God and Man. From time to time over the years, I have had […]
The End Of The Sacraments – The End Of All Things
The holidays bring a bit of my family together – for fun and conversation and the joy of a feast. The conversations, however, can serve as a reminder of what I don’t know. Two of my adult children are deep into the world of computers: one is a software engineer, […]
The Final Destruction Of Demons – Holy Baptism
“Final” is not a word you often hear in Christian teaching. Most Christians leave the final things until, well, the End. But this is not the language of the fathers nor of the Church. A good illustration can be found in the Orthodox service of Holy Baptism. During the blessing […]
A Virgin Gave Birth
I was browsing through some online material recently and came across a conversation between a non-believing sceptic and a Christian apologist. The question was asked (right off the top): “Why a virgin birth?” The apologist did a decent job of responding, giving a fairly common explanation of “why Christ had […]
Have A Dickens Of A Christmas
In the late 1600’s in colonial Boston, the celebration of Christmas was against the law. Indeed, anyone evidencing the “spirit of Christmas” could be fined five shillings. In the early 1800’s, Christmas was better known as a season for rioting in the streets and civil unrest.1 However, in the mid-1800’s […]
The Christmas When Everybody Was There
The soldiers were scattered across Europe with the loneliness of war. The world was caught up in a total struggle. Women had gone to the factories; children were collecting scrap metal. The “war effort” was universal. In many places, food was rationed. The madhouse of consumption belonged only to the […]
Why I Am A Christian (II)
In my previous blog piece, “Why I Am a Christian (I)” I examined the question of why one should believe in the physical Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. I looked at the essential historical reliability of the Gospels portraits of Jesus and His claims to be God. I concluded […]