Again – The Sin of Democracy

...  light of the present discussion of reading the Bible, I offer this reprint. Our modern age has drunk the kool-aid of philosophical democracy (the autonomous authority of the individual) to the dregs and seeks ...  can confirm, such positions are under increasing pressure and scrutiny. They often have authority, only because they have ...

The Sin of Democracy

...  I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man ...  else nor subject to any. We are filled with the spirit of democracy, and, as such, despise the Kingdom of God. The world of kings and ...  can confirm, such positions are under increasing pressure and scrutiny. They often have authority, only because they have ...

The Bible and the Spirit of Democracy

...  was in my Classical Greek classes my freshman year of college. Most of those were tortuous exercises filled with the rules of a ...  at mastery opened new worlds to me. Tracking down a single problematic passage and making sense of it would easily entail an ...  of all. It is the bedrock foundation of the Spirit of Democracy that defines the modern period. Democracy (and Modernity) can be ...

Can This Really Be the End? – Musing about the Eschaton

...  is one of the earliest articles I wrote. In view of our current crises (plural) it ...  In it, the reviewer says of Dylan: "...he started off singing about the end of the world, and he ended up adopting the theological ...  great battle in the West today is not about democracy (though we are told democracy is what it's all about), but about the ...

What To Do With What You Know

...  to mistake knowing something as important and good in and of itself. As such, the acquisition of spiritual information is something of a ...  last year with a troubled young man who was accusing me of various heresies. Throughout our exchanges, my concern was to turn ...

Shaming Silence

...  “silence is violence.” It is the demand that some form of political speech or action, expression of opinion, meme-sharing, and the ...  Crowds have sought to overthrow emperors, change policies, single-out and execute individuals, etc. Indeed, the sorry history of racial ...

The Ladder of Divine Ascent and Moral Improvement

...  Fourth Sunday of Great Lent in the Orthodox Church, is dedicated to St. John Climacus, the ...  as the Catholic Church) and the royal state (hurrah for democracy), modernity is a story told to individuals that they can now become ...  the sort. Everyone should, at all times, struggle against sin. But measuring, even watching for improvement can be not only ...

Fixing Jesus

...  a ghostly theologian has found himself at the very edge of heaven, having taken a bus from hell. He is invited to remain, though doing ...  have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened. Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our ...

Of Kings and Things and What Matters

...  October 25, 1415 (St. Crispin’s Day), the army of King Henry V of England engaged the army of Charles VI of France at ...  some weeks later and shook his head. Agincourt was a single battle in a conflict known as the Hundred Years War, a contest between ...  changed its mythology and declared every man a king. In a democracy, it is everyman’s war, “us versus them.” At its worst, modern ...

The Wound of Shame

...  us from both ourselves and others. FromThe Psychology of Shame, Gershen Kaufman I have been working on papers for presentations at ...  next assault. Our culture’s language has become increasingly shaming in character. We make global pronouncements at the drop of a ...

A Terrible Knowledge

...  Mythology made the curiosity of Pandora the primary cause of suffering in the world. She fails to resist the ...  are a curious lot. We want to know everything about our business and much about what is not our business. In a world that has deeply internalized the notion that everything is a democracy, we cannot bear hearing that not all knowledge is meant for us. And ...

Beneath Her Compassion

...  the greater mysteries of the New Testament are those surrounding the Mother of God. A large segment ...  There are no words that I would ever exchange for that singular taste. The oldest known devotion to Mary can be found in the words ...  the court of Christ, and fancied the Kingdom either as a democracy, or the King without His entourage. They have forgotten the place of ...

The Ladder of Divine Ascent and Moral Improvement

...  Fourth Sunday of Great Lent in the Orthodox Church, is dedicated to St. John Climacus, the ...  as the Catholic Church) and the royal state (hurrah for democracy), modernity is a story told to individuals that they can now become ...  the sort. Everyone should, at all times, struggle against sin. But measuring, even watching for improvement can be not only ...

A Purpose-filled Life

...  project of modernity was to produce people who believe they should have no story except ...  economically as capitalism and politically as democracy. That story, and the institutions that embody it, is the enemy we ...  Orthodox, I was told by both of them, “You have our blessing and any help we can give.” They only ever wanted me to be a good man. ...

If It Makes You Happy

...  staff and tremendous programs. I took up the work of starting an Orthodox mission. Of course, such a life-change creates awkward ...  such a thing if you believe it is the truth and that choosing such a path sets your feet on the road to salvation. You do such a thing ...

Wrestling with God

...  of the most interesting stories in the Old Testament is found in Genesis 32. ...  but I have agonized more than once over how I might love a single person. We never wrestle in general - real wrestling is quite personal, ...  of his broad designs: "The War on Poverty." "Take Democracy to the World." "Equality, Fraternity, Liberty." But it is the ...

Saving A Democratic Man

...  he goes, he meets his equals. All of the world is open to him, bidding him enter in, take what he wants and go ...  You are free but with a freedom that is a stranger to democracy. The modern Christian is generally a democratic man. It is a habit ...  and told me to follow him. I went “into the altar,” passing through the iconostasis that separates the nave from the Holy Place. It is ...

The Un-Moral Christian

...  recent articles I have challenged the place of contemporary morality in the Christian life. Some have had difficulty with ...  beings, how should we think? How do we confess our sins if morality is not the issue? Our culture sees morality as the rules and ...  It is the reduction of the Kingdom of God to the Democracy of the Mediocre: “I give thanks to God, for I’m doing better and ...

Hidden in Plain Sense

...  of the tools and methods used in interpreting the Scriptures, the Fathers had a ...  and its relationship with God. The argument is that since God has come to save every person, then He would surely have made His ...  believers are not spiritually equal.  But, of course, democracy and the spiritual equality of all believers is not supported within ...

America and the Perversion of Christianity

...  cultures have only a vague or non-existent knowledge of history. This is especially true of Americans. The downside of such ...  brought about a transformation of culture in addressing many social ills (slavery, women's suffrage, alcoholism, etc.). The ...  as well: Catholic countries were considered incapable of democracy. Protestantism alone would produce democratic results. That same ...

In the Secret Place

...  up on the previous article's discussion of shame and envy - I offer this reprint of an early piece which looks at the ...  curtain. It is an offense to their ingrained sense of democracy (a sentiment which has no place in the Presence of God). Where the ...  should often be spoken to no one else, and confess our sins. There is no legal exchange taking place (God's forgiveness for your ...

The Secret Place

Of all the places and spaces to which we should attend - this article names the most ...  curtain. It is an offense to their ingrained sense of democracy (a sentiment which has no place in the Presence of God). Where the ...  should often be spoken to no one else, and confess our sins. There is no legal exchange taking place (God's forgiveness for your ...

The Doorway to Bethlehem

...  we draw near to the feast of the Nativity, Bethlehem looms ever larger in my mind. At the same time, the ...  to ride their horses into the Church (a means of harassing the local Christian population). The local bishop, afraid to approach the ...  an action which is unusual in our culture. The culture of democracy has a history of "leveling," treating all things and all people as ...

The End of History

...  first part of this article is from one of my earliest posts. Appended to it are some ...  In it, the reviewer says of Dylan: "...he started off singing about the end of the world, and he ended up adopting the theological ...  great battle in the West today is not about democracy (though we are told democracy is what it's all about), but about the ...

In the Secret Place of the Most High God

...  article first appeared in 2007. It speaks of one of the most essential elements of our spiritual life - the secret place. ...  to find healing and quiet for the incessant chatter of our sin. I highly recommend Fr. Meletios book. You'll read it and give ...  curtain. It is an offense to their ingrained sense of democracy (a sentiment which has no place in the Presence of God). Where the ...

Scripture and the Church

...  - the relationship between Scripture and Church. Much of the modern world is today the product of Protestant cultures - or cultures ...  reformers became a "people of the book." A single Christian, with a copy of the Scriptures, somehow became a sufficient ...  of England. The 16th century is not the great century of democracy in Western Europe, but the great century in which were born the ...

Bowing in Bethlehem

...  a bit of history - then I'll get to the point. St. Helena, the mother of the Emperor ...  to ride their horses into the Church (a means of harassing the local Christian population). The local bishop, afraid to approach the ...  an action which is unusual in our culture. The culture of democracy has a history of "leveling," treating all things and all people as ...

In the Secret Place of the Most High God

...  that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1 There ...  curtain. It is an offense to their ingrained sense of democracy (a sentiment which has no place in the Presence of God). Where the ...  should often be spoken to no one else, and confess our sins. There is no legal exchange taking place (God's forgiveness for your ...

Orthodoxy and Torture

...  I have some experience in. Therefore the limited range of topics... However in one of the comments recently, I was asked to consider ...  something other than the commandments of Christ. It is a sin to kill and even treated as a sin if I inadvertently cause the death of ...

Praying with Icons

...  one of our recent services (Paschal Vespers as I recall) we had a handfull of ...  before an icon. It seemed clear that something was passing - from parishioner to God, or saint, and from God or saint to parishioner. ...  These things can come hard to a culture schooled in democracy, where greetings are pretty perfunctory, at best. When people ask ...

The Iconostasis

...  it, feeling on the one hand that they are “shut out” of the liturgy to some extent or that Orthodox practice is restoring the ...  Christ’s crucifixion rent in two.  Those are not surprising thoughts and are worth some comment. I have to say up front that some ...