Why Orthodox Christians Can Love Tolkien and Other Imaginative Fiction

I am a lifelong Tolkien fan, but now that I have a Tolkien podcast, I’ve found more time to explore how my love for Tolkien fits into my spiritual life as an Orthodox Christian. And it turns out that there is actually a specifically Orthodox Christian reason to love Tolkien and other works of imaginative fiction.

No, Christmas is Not Pagan. Just Stop.

Well, it’s time for a good Christmas rant. This requires a rant, because every year, we see the same ignorant silliness. (Sorry, but it’s just true.) Supposedly, Christmas is secretly pagan, secretly syncretist, secretly a co-opting of pagan stuff and ignorantly claiming it to be Christian. But the truth about these things is so available that it’s literally staring out at you even from…

The Three Ways Christians Approach the World

There are generally three approaches that Christians have taken when it comes to their surrounding cultures: 1) Rejection, resistance, and hostility: This approach sharply distinguishes the Church from the world, emphasizing that the Church is so much “not of this world” that the world must be fled and an alternate community established. It is a posture that is fully closed to the world —…

#LivesMatter. But Why?

It’s been something of a rough week for news in America. Two very controversial police killings of black men were followed by a protest against police brutality in Dallas that turned deadly when snipers killed several police officers and wounded others. And not too many weeks ago was the deadly mass shooting in Orlando. Outrage. Politics. Hypocrisy. Outcry. Violence. Hatred. Injustice. Race war. These…

Can a Historic Christian Be a Nationalist?

Lately I’ve been seeing nationalistic / racialistic rhetoric from some who identify as Christian. Some say that this is just their politics and has nothing to do with their religion. That is, of course, a distinctly secular idea, that one can practice some part of life in a way that is separate from religion. While we don’t have to pursue theocracy, dominionism, etc., to…