Apostolic Succession

For the first three days of this week (Mon-Wed) I will be in Jacksonville, FL, along with my brother clergy from the diocese to meet with our hierarch, Archbishop Dmitri. It is always a joy to be with the Bishop. For years as an Anglican, I almost always dreaded such occasions. I rarely got along with other clergy, and I found myself either ill-treated by bishops or simply the butt of jokes.…

The Ecclesiology of the Cross – The Pillar and Ground of Truth – Part 4

We continue from our previous posts with the last two points: 3. All discussion of the Church and its life must include this self-emptying [of Christ], not only of God, but of each of the members of the Church. 4. Every description of the various aspects of the Church would do well to include the self-emptying of God and the self-emptying of Christians in imitation of the God Who Saves. These last…

Ecclesiology of the Cross – Pillar and Ground of the Truth – Part 3

Following earlier posts on this subject, I take up the second of four points:  2. Any imitation of God, any conformity of our life to His, will involve this same self-emptying [as the self-emptying of God on the Cross]. There is a tendency when we think of the Church to think in institutional terms – to speak of hierarchies, the role of Bishops, etc. Scripture uses a variety of images for the Church:…

Ecclesiology of the Cross – The Pillar and Ground of Truth – Part 2

I suggested in my previous post on this topic that the Cross be a central part of our understanding of the Church. There is a natural tendency to compartmentalize in theology – it’s hard to think of everything all the time and everywhere. And yet, it is important that we always remember that our salvation is not a series of discreet, compartmentalized events and undertakings – our salvation is one thing. Thus it…

The Pillar and Ground of Truth

Writing to the young Timothy (first letter) St. Paul gives this homey admonition: These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. Paul does not then go on to give us several chapters’ explanation…