Culture War? A Call to Arms pt 3

We ended our last post in this series by pointing to “strategies of retreat.” But, I think it best we first address the infamous conflagration known as “culture wars.” For it is concern about “culture wars” that spurs other forms of retreat.  In some of the responses to this series, I was surprised to see this discussion labelled as “culture war.” Why was I surprised? Well, I have done little in the past two posts but assess how I think Orthodox Christians would hear and react to Robert…

Escaping the West: A Call to Arms pt. 2

We are returning to an entry I posted a few weeks ago about Robert P. George’s article “The Pagan Public Square: Our Christian Duty to Fight Has Not Been Cancelled.” In conclusion there I stated that I wanted to “sketch out how Orthodoxy may fruitfully respond” to George’s article. Well, I believe I still need to focus on assessing Orthodoxy in North America…so my sketches will be postponed until I feel I have adequately drawn up some of the challenges facing the Orthodox Church as we engage with…

Christmas Season and the Pandemic of Loneliness pt 3

We all desire to be connected, respected, and loved. Aristotle was absolutely right, humans are political animals, we are made for connection, and for living together. It is the rare individual who can go off and do it on their own. Those who do this successfully from the point of view of the Church are those who are immersed in prayer with the God of love. St. Seraphim’s exodus and return to the world was one marked by love and compassion, echoing with the Paschal greeting, “Christ is…

Christmas Season and the Pandemic of Loneliness pt 2

We continue from part 1… The Church as a Third Place? I often while reading older books or watching movies or shows about an older age pine for the spaces where people used to gather. My ideal space would be a nice wood panelled pub with absolutely no televisions or piped in music. How is this impossible to find here in the USA?! I remember when coffee shops used to actually be places of conviviality, now they exist as internet cafes, everyone with everyone else but staring at…

Christmas Season and the Pandemic of Loneliness pt. 1

A quick google search will yield endless entries of various websites and blogs giving advice as to how to stop feeling lonely during the holiday season. Our uber-connected world is lonelier than ever. This constant strain is exacerbated by the holidays, a time when the religious and the irreligious focus upon the home and traditions flowing from the hearth and table. The year end rhythm of joyous raucous gatherings, gift giving, and tables laden with celebration are for many absent. Our screens flicker with images and sounds of…

Orthodoxy and a Call to Arms: Are we ready for the 21st century?

Robert P George, of Princeton University, in his recent essay, “The Pagan Public Square: Our Christian Duty to Fight Has Not Been Cancelled,” sounded a “call to arms” to faithful Christians to stand courageously against a rising and newly aggressive progressivism. This is not a call to physical arms, but a call to “boldly bear witness to truths that are unpopular among those controlling the levers of cultural, political and economic power.” It is a call to arms which we are beginning to hear from many corners more…

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…

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…