Orthodoxy and Roman Catholic Social Thought

Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!” John 19:5 In a famed episode of The Twilight Zone in 1962, aliens known as Kanamits make first contact with earth, claiming that they come in peace. They offer advanced technology that eliminates famine, disease, and war. When they go, they leave behind a book, written in their undecipherable alien language. Naturally, the cryptographists get to work decoding it, led by scientist Michael Chambers. While some responded with skepticism toward the…

The Asceticism of Scrutiny: The Royal Road of Discernment pt. 2

We began this series by underlining the absolute necessity to develop the virtue of discernment in our spiritual lives. According to the St John Cassian and the Fathers he encountered in the deserts of Egypt, discernment is the “mother, the guardian, and the guide of all the virtues.” This may come as a surprise. Perhaps we would imagine another virtue to hold such a high office or maybe we just find ourselves at a loss in regard to the virtues and how they relate to each other. Whatever…

Humility and Gratitude: sine quibus non of the studious mind

“We are not sure we are right until we have made the best case possible for those who are wrong.” Lord Acton We live in an age where people read little, but yet vehemently assert the verity of their own opinions. Debates during the Reformation were bruising affairs. Not only did they demand quick wits, a vast memory, and a comprehension of all the implications of various doctrines and the arguments attendant on them, but it took thick skin and a ready wit. The key thing, however, was…

What is Christian Social Thought?

“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:40 In “Yorktown,” the climax to the first half of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, the victory that marks the end of the American Revolution ends with the refrain “the world turned upside down”—an apt description of the birth of the first modern, liberal, democratic republic that has survived to the present. A decade later, a very different liberal and democratic Revolution in France would…

Books are Technology, Too

In his famous poem, “Archaic Torso of Apollo,” Rainer Maria Rilke writes about the experience of looking at a great piece of art. His point is that great art looks at us, too; we find ourselves observed, questioned and judged. I argue that this is as true of literary art as of sculpture. What will we do after we close the book? The last line of Rilke’s poem tells us, “You must change your life.” The same Orthodox Christians who rightly express concern over the dangers of gaming…

The Real Red Pill: Orthodoxy and Conspiracy Theories

The origin of the American fixation with conspiracy theories is hard to trace through history.  Perhaps the very fact that our nation emerged from a revolution against its motherland has something to do with this proclivity.  Some historians point to the role of secret societies like the Freemasons in the plot leading up to American independence.  But it is probably true that our founding fathers spent more time meeting in pubs over pints than they did gathering under the cloak of darkness at a masonic lodge.  And although…

Minding the Gap: Orthodox Theology and the Internet

Recently Fr. John Cox, the managing editor of Rule of Faith: A Journal of Orthodox Thought, gave the Founder’s Lecture at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. Fr. John’s talk outlined and pointed towards many current problems plaguing contemporary Orthodox theological discourse, whether in the “hallowed” halls of academia or the minor eddies of various YouTubers and bloggers. To summarize: back to the sources! We heartily encourage your viewing or reading of his lecture! Be edified!  

St. Moses and the Royal Road

Christians have always needed to decipher and discern the times in which they live. We are told by the Apostle Paul to “walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17). One of the goals of this new blogging effort is to underline the need for discernment in the Christian life. In order to explore this I would like to break down what it means…

A New Venture

This blogging venture has gone through many title revisions. Some were vague. Others were forgettable. Hopefully we have landed upon a title which captures the spirit and mission of this blog. We aim to take “Every Thought Captive” to the obedience of Jesus Christ. As Orthodox Christians we are guided by the Scriptures and the sacred tradition of the Fathers and Mothers of the Church. But this is not a simple cut, copy, and paste job. This is especially true when it comes to discussions of the social…