What Faith Shall I Defend?

Contemporary challenges to the Christian faith, whether from children’s writers such as Pullman or various scientific voices in the world of mass media, are frequently not challenges to the Christian faith but attacks on the misperceptions of the Christian faith. By the same token, many professions of the Christian faith are not professions of the faith, but professions of misperceptions of the Christian faith. To some degree, one can beget the other.…

Orthodoxy and Scripture – Fr. John Behr’s Lecture Revisted

The earlier attempted debate (in the comments about St. Michael the Archangel) about Scripture and Orthodox understanding of the saints, prayers, etc., is rooted in an understanding of Scripture that is itself the very basis of the Christian faith. Attempts to remove the Bible from its proper Churchly context by the Reformation and modern day Protestants inevitably leads to a misunderstanding of the gospel and an attack on the very Church itself. Fr.…

Knowledge that Saves

It is perhaps unfortunate that our English language (as well as the Greek and many other Indo-European variations) do not make a clear distinction between knowing something as a fact, and a different kind of knowing which requires participation in the actual life and reality of that which we know. Thus it is possible for me to know a great deal about the history of bread-making in 16th century France, even though…

A Matter of Perspective

During my recent foray into iconography – I spent a week studying with a Master iconographer and a week discovering how little use my hands are in certain circumstances. But among the most fascinating aspects of the week was a lecture that focused largely on the technique of “inverse perspective” that is part of the artistic language of icons. Essentially, inverse perspective does just the opposite of traditional Renaissance art with its…

A Smaller World – A Larger World

I posted an addition to my blogroll today, an Orthodox Blog in Macedonia (former Yugoslav Republic), Digital Areopagus. I added this link both because it seems a good site, and to return the favor of being added as a link to his site. The internet has a way of making our world both smaller and larger. Digital Areopagus found its way to this site through the postings of Fr. Dorin Piciorus on…

‘Til Christ Be Formed in You

Writing to the Galatians, St. Paul utters the cry of a spiritual father: My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you…(Galatians 4:19) Though, interestingly, the imagery he uses is that of a mother and her children… But it is a groaning parents have for their own children as they await their maturation. I can recall with each of my children the first significant (by…

How Vulnerable is Your Life?

Young parents quickly discover a level of vulnerability they had not known before a child came into their world. With the birth of a child, under most normal circumstances, your heart becomes extremely vulnerable. You discover that you’ve never loved anything so much and the fragility of their lives becomes, sometimes, all too obvious. I’m not certain that this sense of fragility stops even after their grown and no longer fit the…

Zizioulas and the Church that is Communion

One of the more profound writers and thinkers in the Orthodox Church today has to be Metropolitan John Zizioulas – who has taught for years in Scotland and England – and is known to be one of the closest theologians to His Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Zizioulas [as he is commonly referred to without meaning any disrespect] is also famously difficult to read – he can pack a paragraph with insights…

And Now for a Little Meat! Met. John Zizioulas and the Church

If you are not familiar with Met. John Zizioulas’ work, then you have missed some of the best writing by an English-speaking Orthodox writer. Not that having read him you’ll understand what you have just read. But the following small article was sent to my by my dear friend, the Pontificator, whom many of you know from (now-demised) blog. I appreciate the head’s up. The article was publish elsewhere.  John Zizioulas (Being as Communion)…

The Church of Many Rooms

In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? (John 14:2). I have shared before about a dream I once had of a Church in which there were many rooms. It was an old, wooden Orthodox Church, packed with people and with a service going on – but the service continued from room to room.…