Orthodox Social Thought and Biblical Theology

To search the Scriptures is a work most fair and most profitable for souls. For just as the tree planted by the channels of waters, so also the soul watered by the divine Scripture is enriched and gives fruit in its season, viz. orthodox belief, and is adorned with evergreen leafage, I mean, actions pleasing to God. – St. John of Damascus Growing up Evangelical (I’m a convert to Orthodoxy), I sang a lot of songs about the Bible. In principle, there’s nothing wrong with that—the Bible is great! (Turns out, we Orthodox have one, too.) However,…

The Poor: The healer of our wounds

Let us hasten to cleanse the pollution of our sins, Through fasting, charity, and love for the poor, That we may enter the wedding feast of Christ the Bridegroom, Who offers us great mercy! Apostikha from Monday of Cheesefare Week The Lenten Spring has sprung for us Orthodox Christians. We now stand at the end of an intense week of services. Many of us spent our evenings this week hearing the penetrating voice of St. Andrew of Crete calling us to deepen our repentance. This Wednesday, with stomachs rumbling, we laid prostrate waiting for the entrance…

The Necessity of Christian Scholarship

“If you make your enemy look a fool, you lose the justification for engaging him.” Oliver Lacon, in John Le Carré’s Smiley’s People. Years ago I became acquainted with the work of the Presbyterian scholar Robert Dick Wilson. A student of the Old Testament, he had taken up the study, one time or another, of some 25+ languages (Hebrew–and Samaritan, Amorite, the Akkadian languages, Sumerian, Hurrian, along with French, German, etc) and used them in his defense of the Old Testament’s reliability. I had a professor at Rutgers, Stephen Reinert, who knew 16. For him obtaining a…

Freedom in Marriage

In the prior essay on marriage and the theme of unity, we explored a bit how Saint John Chrysostom might answer the critics of marriage and family, who level against the institution of marriage the charges that it is too atomising and too alienating. We have seen from Saint John’s writings that the standard for marriage is that of a complete dissolution of ‘mine’ and ‘yours’, even at the level of the body and the breath. But how do we answer the charges we saw before, that marriage and the family are too stifling, too conformist,…