Do We Preach Orthodoxy… or Christ?

St. Peter Preaching in the Presence of St. Mark, by Fra Angelico (1433)

In her review of Kyriakos Markides’s Gifts of the Desert, Frederica Mathewes-Green says she had a hard time finding Jesus in the book: Markides’ previous book, “The Mountain of Silence” (2001), was read eagerly by those interested in Orthodox spirituality, chiefly because he had faithfully transcribed taped conversations with a … READ MORE ›

Do Orthodox Christians know the Gospel message?

Synaxis of the Twelve Apostles (14th c.)

(From Wikimedia Commons)

This is a talk I recently gave at the Orthodox Homeschooling Conference. (Listen to the recording here.) This topic has been of great importance to me over the past several years, and I must admit to a little bit of frustration regarding what I describe especially in its opening paragraphs. … READ MORE ›

Back to Greek

wpid-img_20150319_215109.jpg

It’s been fifteen years since I did formal study of Ancient Greek. I’ve been wanting to get back to it for a long time now. So on the recommendation of learned friends, I got myself a copy of Greek: An Intensive Course by Hansen and Quinn. I also pulled out … READ MORE ›

Can the Virgin Mary “save” us?

St. John of Damascus asking the Virgin Mary for the healing of his severed hand

Today I read the comments on this YouTube video. I know, I know—YouTube comments generally are the lowest form of discourse on the Internet, and I wasn’t terribly surprised to see that someone thought that the musical line “Most Holy Mother of God, save us” was “blasphemous.” (He preferred to … READ MORE ›

Jennifer Aniston Goes Makeup-Free. Liberation Ensues.

From Wikimedia Commons

I read this morning that actress Jennifer Aniston (whose family name is Anastasakis and whose godfather is Telly Savalas) had declared that going makeup-free in her new film Cake was “dreamy and empowering and liberating.” I don’t normally bother with celebrity news, but of course when using social media, it’s … READ MORE ›

Why I Love (True) Religion Because I Love Jesus, Redux

This coming Sunday, Jan. 12, will be the two year anniversary of the post that has inexplicably (to me) probably been the most-read thing I’ve ever written. It’s always somewhat odd to me to note the things that get the most hits. They’re almost invariably stuff that’s more off-the-cuff than … READ MORE ›

What Does “Orthodoxy” Mean?

The following is an excerpt from the beginning of one of my lectures that I’ve also posted on my parish website. It is well-known among Orthodox Christians that the word orthodoxy—often used as a shorthand for our faith—has two parallel meanings. It is composed of two Greek words—orthos and doxa. … READ MORE ›