This world has many dimensions that we do not see. And they would be frightening if the Lord opened our eyes fully to their reality.
We are fragmented. We are compartmentalized. If we will seek to reintegrate our lives by prayer being in everything and by everything being in prayer, then I believe that we will find new joy, a new song, new vitality in each of our lives and in our common life both as a parish and as the whole Orthodox Church.
Imagine God jumped onto the world stage in an obvious manner. By what measure would we know beyond a doubt that that is God? How do we know that most people wouldn’t think we were being visited by an alien from another world? What about a mass hallucination? What about a massive government conspiracy? How would we know what God would look like such that we could be sure it was really Him? That presupposes some prior knowledge of what to look for when God shows up. If God showed up, would we even know or believe it was really Him?
Christian Tolkien scholarship and fandom is often marginalized or even met with hostility in some quarters, which makes little sense, since Professor Tolkien himself was such a committed Christian and was explicit about the internal Christian themes of his work. This conference aims to create a space where Christian Tolkien scholars and fans can come together and share their love for both Christ and Tolkien.
People's faith can get shaken when they learn that Church leaders are weak and sinful, possibly especially because the weakness and sin that so often manifest among Church leaders seem to be so spectacularly bad.... But perhaps even more faith-shaking is when one discovers that some Church leaders are actually Machiavellian manipulators.
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.
When we look at the Twelve Apostles, we should know that we are looking not just at heroes who spread the faith and are admired for their work. We are looking at future kings who will reign with Christ over the nations.
Back in August, (formerly) Roman Catholic political columnist Damon Linker announced that he’d left the Roman Catholic Church, and this past week, he explained why, noting along the way some of the reaction against his announcement: It’s hardly surprising that writers deeply devoted to the Catholic Church would reject the reasons for my decision to leave the church. The former editor of Commonweal Paul…