Come Out and Be Separate: Redeeming the World by Standing Apart

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost / First Sunday of Luke, September 27, 2015 II Corinthians 6:16-7:1; Luke 5:1-11 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. I had a friend who was a Ph.D. student at a university in New York City. He was a brilliant, traditional Orthodox Christian who…

Do We Preach “Orthodoxy”… or Christ?

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 monk trained on Mt. Athos, Father Maximos. Though Markides himself seemed not wholly on…

Do Orthodox Christians know the Gospel message?

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. I normally do not publish full talks like this on my weblog, but I…

“We had the one, and we lost him”: Fr. Matthew Baker’s Significance in Orthodoxy

Several times now I have been asked by folks who were not at Fr. Matthew Baker’s funeral this past Saturday to write something about it. I have to admit that I do not really want to. I am a bit exhausted. But I will at least mention that it was beautiful—not merely in an aesthetic sense, though of course it was, with the roughly…

“We need more spiritual brothers”: Losing Fr. Matthew Baker

I awoke this morning hoping that it wasn’t true, that somehow, the nightmare of losing my friend of ten years so instantly had just been a dream. But it wasn’t. Fr. Matthew Baker is dead. And I realized that I have to write something about him, to capture for just a moment something of what he meant to me. Promising. Brilliant. Down-to-earth. Genius. Important.…

St. Raphael and Me: On the 100th Anniversary of His Repose

Fifteen years ago, in the month of May, I drove with two of my friends from Raleigh, North Carolina, to St. Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania, for the canonization services of a new saint. I knew almost nothing about him at the time. I had been an Orthodox Christian for only two years, I was still a bit starry-eyed about the faith (and…

Unifying the Orthodox Church in America

I’ve got a new piece published today at First Things, where I discuss the problems and solutions of Orthodox Christian unity in America. Here’s an excerpt: Are you Greek?” This is the question I get asked the most when I tell someone that I am an Orthodox Christian. At first, this question rankled, because I am not Greek. (I am, among other things, Lithuanian.)…