The Act of Veneration

No spiritual activity permeates Orthodoxy as much as veneration. For the non-Orthodox, veneration is often mistaken for worship. We kiss icons; sing hymns to saints; cry out “Most Holy Theotokos, save us!” And all of this scandalizes the non-Orthodox w ...

Modern Illusions

A “better world” and “making a difference” are deeply embedded in our cultural consciousness. They seem to be obvious goals for the human life. My recent articles questioning this consciousness have touched a deep chord for many, some wondering tha ...

If It Makes You Happy

[caption id="attachment_15680" align="alignleft" width="300"] Storefront Orthodoxy in Oak Ridge[/caption] In 1998, my family and I were received into the Orthodox Church. I had served as an Episcopal clergyman for 18 years prior to that. I left a large pa ...

No More Debt

It is a situation that has become all too familiar: overwhelming debt that cannot be repaid. It is an image that the Scriptures know full well. But it is a situation that is easily seen from two sides - and only one of them belongs to God. The two sides a ...

Singing the Lord’s Song

In my first parish as an Anglican priest, I approached my first Midnight Mass with eager anticipation. I was trained “High Church,” with a very traditional liturgical emphasis - but I was serving in a “Low Church” parish. I was the first priest in  ...

Therapeutic Substitutionary Atonement

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures... (1 Cor. 15:3-4) No statement is more c ...

Justice Enough?

The human desire for justice is insatiable. And that is a problem. It is a problem because an insatiable desire can never be satisfied: there is no end to our desire for justice. It is a problem because many Christians use justice as a lens for understan ...

So Great A Cloud of Witnesses

...who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armi ...

Apocalypse Now

Few teachings of the Christian faith are as easily misunderstood and equally misapplied as the things pertaining to the "End of the World." Christian history, both East and West, offers numerous examples of popular misunderstandings - some of which led to  ...

The Life of Thanksgiving

This year I will make the annual pilgrimage back to South Carolina to be with family for the (American) Thanksgiving holiday. Fewer of my children will be there - a mark of the maturing of their own families and the difficulty of travel at this time of ye ...