From Under the Rubble

Dostoevsky wrote in the mid-19th century, a time when many ideas and cultural forces were only beginning to coelesce. We live in an age after which those forces have come together, and after which they have largely been judged by history to have fallen short of their stated ideals. The world has witnessed more than a century of failed promises and programs (not that we have completely rejected such things) and are,…

The Secular Man and the Christian Man

The Secular Man has been the great threat to the Christian faith over the past two or more centuries. Disguised as the person is only only doing the “normal thing,” he lives in a godless world, where others can be tempted to live as though there were no God. Earlier I quoted Berdyaev, “If God does not exist, then man does not exist.” I would add to that that the God Who…

Culture and Remembrance

Debate about the place of Islam in the West is growing – particularly in light of the various struggles and terrorist attacks of the past decade. In places like America, that once had no consciousness of Islam outside of film and fantasy, a re-education is taking place as people re-learn the struggles of the past. Thus there is talk of a “clash of civilizations.” Western Europe is also witnessing the growth of…

Candlewax and Hedgehogs – Groundhog Day

This article, from an earlier parish newsletter is posted here by request. Candlewax and Hedgehogs—a peculiar way to entitle an article, I’ll admit. But both have their associations with the second day of February. The first is more important so we’ll begin there. The second day of February is one of the 12 great feasts, and is also celebrated by Christians in the West. The feast is the Presentation of Christ in the…

The “Crisis” of Modernity

What do you call a Christian whose mind is so constructed that belief in God is almost impossible? Answer: a modern man. I occasionally make allusions to the crisis of modernity (in one form or another), as in a recent post in which I made reference to Florovsky’s term, the tragedy of Western Christianity. The crisis is not financial, though financial stumbles do reveal some of the cultural weakness within modernity. In many…

Christianity in a One-Storey Universe

Conciliar Press has just made my book, Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe, available for pre-ordering. It is due to be released on March 1. I greatly appreciate the encouragement I have had from readers as this work has been unfolding and pray that it will be useful. I’ll keep everyone posted on any developments, should there be any.

Living Orthodox in the Modern World

We live in the modern world – a fact for which we have no antidote. It is the moment in history that is ours. Christians before us have lived in the Roman world, various pagan worlds, the Byzantine world, the world of “Holy Russia,” but we are tasked by Divine Providence to live as Orthodox Christians in the modern world. It is a setting that has its own unique challenges and its…

Sloshing Our Way into the Kingdom

A dear friend of mine serves as an Orthodox priest in one of our coastal cities. He told me about a visit to his port of a Russian “sailing ship.” It was a wonderful visit, as he related. The ship had a small chapel on board and a Russian Orthodox chaplain. Together they celebrated a small prayer service in the chapel, which was packed with visitors and sailors. The service including the…

Awakening

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10). This fear descends on us from on High. It is a spiritual feeling, firstly of God and then of us ourselves. We live in a state of awe by virtue of the presence of the Living God together with awareness of our own impurity. This fear places us before the Face of God to be judged by Him. We have…

Between Christmas And…

The Feast of Christmas has, for many, come and gone. The eagerness of children for the day of their presents has now passed and, with it, some of their anxieties. Far from marking Christmas as “Twelve Days” (as the old English Christmas carol notes) many parts of the culture hurry forward, eager to put Christmas in the past. In my childhood, it was generally held within the surrounding Protestant culture that a…