Can the Middle Class be Saved?

One of the hallmarks of Christ’s earthly ministry was the fact that harlots, publicans, “sinners” of various sorts, seemed to “get” his message a more easily than did the “righteous”: pharisees, sadducees, kings, scribes, etc. Indeed it is obvious that St. Paul, good rabbinical student that he was, had no idea that he was a sinner when Christ confronted him on the road to Damascus. “Concerning the law, I was blameless,” he…

My Thanks

I made the trip to SC and back today, spending about half the day with family at hospital. My father’s pelvis seems to be fractured rather than broken, but will require him to be in a rehab situation for some weeks. My mother will move down to be with my older brother (who is truly a Godsend in everyway). Their priest came to see them, their Orthodox sponsors (who are old friends…

Possible Hiatus

My father, James, fell and fractured his pelvis on Thursday. The long and short of it is the breakup of my parents’ household and moving them to other facilities, probably about 100 miles away from their home so they can be with my older brother and his family. I will be away, at least today, if not several days. Pray for Jim and Nancy and their journey (they are Orthodox). Pray for…

More on the Problem with God

I thought I would add some reflections to my earlier thoughts on “the Problem with God.” Generally I noted there that “God is a problem,” because He is not me, He is free, and He is Lord. That’s more than having a bull loose in a china shop, that’s a God who is free in the universe. I am convinced through the revelation of God in Christ, that this God loves me,…

Beginning to Pray

  I have always found the little classic Beginning to Pray, by Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh, to be one of the best introductions to prayer. I first discovered the book in college and used it in a small study group. It has never ceased to be relevant to my situation in life. His opening paragraphs are worth a short read (and more). As we start learning to pray, I would like to…

The Problem with having a God

I offer a little personal observation today (there is usally some everyday even when I am writing about something else). But today I am thinking about the problem of having a God. The problem with God is not the same thing as the problem with religion. Many people have a religion but do not have a problem with God. Many people have a Church but have no problem with God. Many people…

No Development of Doctrine?

I must first issue a notice of my ignorance. I have never read Newman’s Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. Thus I am at a distinct disadvantage in discussing it. I know that Newman is a great favorite of my dear friend, Fr. Alvin Kimel, over at Pontifications. I do, however, suspect that it is a place that I might part company with my friend. Does doctrine develop? I am going…

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

Nothing has greater importance in the Christian life than the place of Holy Scripture. On this, Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant can agree. Even if one places emphasis on the role of Holy Tradition, they still have to admit that the most prominent manifestation of Holy Tradition in the Church are the Scriptures themselves. But, of course, having said a few kind words about the Holy Scriptures is not to have said very…

“Save Me Whether I Want It Or Not” – Justification and the Orthodox

One of my favorite prayers (from the “Morning Prayers” which is not one of the services, but one of many variations of private prayers used by Orthodox Christians) is to Our Lord Jesus Christ, and is quite clear on justification – at least in a way that should quieten any critics of Orthodoxy who think we are not clear enough on justification and faith. I first published this prayer back on October…

Prayer to My Guardian Angel and Some Other Thoughts

For an update and additional comments on this article see angels. O Holy Angel, who stand by my wretched soul and my passionate life: do not abandon me, a sinner, neither depart from me because of my lack of self-control. Leave no room for the evil demon to gain control of me through the violence of this mortal body. Strengthen my weak and feeble hand, and instruct me in the path of…