Putting Things Back Together

One of the most striking features of the day of Pentecost, in the Scriptural account, is the emphasis on diversity. The mission to the Gentiles is a major theme in Luke’s writings (which includes Acts) and thus Pentecost has great importance for him. The disciples gathered in an upper room as they had so many times before in the preceding weeks. But now the promise they had been given was fulfilled – the…

Learning to Wait

I have never done a search to see how many times the word for “patience” is used in the New Testament – but my general impression is that it is a lot. Patience is not only a virtue, it is utterly necessary to our life in Christ. I can recall having almost no patience at all as a young man. At age nineteen I was sure that the Second Coming could be…

All the Fullness of Christ

When you read this you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that is, how the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Of this gospel I was made…

“Do You Know Jesus?”

I have written in numerous posts about various aspects of conversion to the Orthodox Christian faith. Oftentimes there is an unspoken agreement between myself as writer and those who read in which we assume that we understand each other – that when I say “conversion” we all know what I mean. On reflection there are several very distinct kinds of conversions – though each has a relationship to the other. There is…

Conversion Amidst Family Strife

My posting yesterday spoke of things we could do as a family to strengthen ourselves in the common mind of Christ, allowing for the possibility of greater unity, particularly when considering something as major as conversion to the Orthodox faith. Sometimes, all efforts to the contrary, no peace or common mind arise. If someone believes the Orthodox faith to be the true faith, then finally, it would be a tragic sin not…

An Orthodox Family

Yesterday, at least two of the comments on the post about my son’s birthday asked questions about the family and Orthodox conversion. This is extremely close to my heart – both because of the blessings we have enjoyed in our family – and the blessings and difficulties I have seen in others. I should quickly add that my own family then and now faces issues. In 1998, myself, my wife, my three…

Twenty Years Ago Today

Twenty years ago today, I witnessed the birth of our third child, our son, James. Always a joy to our heart and those of others he has become a young man of whom I am proud and whose company is a delight. He was ten years old when I announced to the complete family that we were converting to Orthodoxy. He had heard nothing of this before and had been blissfully enjoying…

On the Other Hand

On the other hand – irony is probably too much to ask of youth. If I can remember myself in my college years, the most I could muster was sarcasm. Irony required more insight. There is a deep need for the appreciation of irony to sustain a Christian life. Our world is filled with contradiction. Hypocrisy is ever present even within our own heart. The failures of Church and those who are…

The Choices We Make

Our culture celebrates the ability we have to choose – and so we think a lot about choices. We are told every four years that we get to “choose” our leaders (though the choices given to us might not be suitable in either direction). As I look back and think of my preaching over the years I can see a change – and not just a change wrought by my conversion to…

Reflections on Florovsky

The following is from my earlier post of Florovsky on Ecumenism:  The entire western experience of temptation and fall must be creatively examined and transformed; all that “European melancholy” (as Dostoevsky termed it) and all those long centuries of creative history must be borne. Only such a compassionate co-experience provides a reliable path toward the reunification of the fractured Christian world and the embrace and recovery of departed brothers. It is not…