Blessed Rather

In the bad ol’ days when I was still highly resistant to what I now call “Holy Tradition” I was keen to sniff out the slightest whiff of idolatrous veneration of the Mother of God—including the use of the term “the Mother of God” used by those poor deluded people (the Catholics).  (I did not really know back then that the Orthodox existed; for me Christians only came in two flavours:  Protestant…

Marginalized Voices: a Review and a Meditation

Not many people know that the charismatic renewal movement which swept through the mainline Protestant and the Roman Catholic churches from the 1970s had an Orthodox component as well. Calling this component a “movement” in the Orthodox Church would be overblown; it was more of a blip than a movement, since it never gathered enough momentum or numbers to actually move. Because of this an historical account of Orthodox people involved in…

Baptismal Boundaries (3)

In my previous blog pieces I examined the question of how converts to Orthodoxy should be received, focusing mostly upon converts coming from Protestant denominations. I also suggested that non-Chalcedonians might be received by chrismation as schismatics, since theologians from our respective confessions have reached a Christological agreement which (in my view anyway) if reached in the fifth century could have preserved the unity of the Imperial Church and avoided the schism…

Baptismal Boundaries (2)

In my previous blog piece I examined the question of how converts to Orthodoxy should be received. One set of criteria which suggested that non-Chalcedonians should be received by confession alone, that those “who previously have been baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity in a manner recognized as authentic” should be received by chrismation alone, and that those “from non-Christian religions who do not believe in the Holy Trinity, or…

Baptismal Boundaries (1)

The question of how the Orthodox Church should receive converts from other Christian confessions is a large and complicated one, and is sometimes capable of drawing very warm responses—including from some of our Protestant and Roman Catholic brethren who may feel rejected and slighted by talk of conversion from their confessions to that of Orthodoxy. But the door of conversion swings both ways, with people leaving Orthodoxy to become Protestant and Roman…

Do Fish Know that They’re Wet?

Do fish know what wetness is or that they are wet? Obviously not, because they have never experienced what it is to be dry—or at least not for long. A “dried fish” is not something we find in the ocean but on the menu. Fish do not know when they’re wet as human beings know when they are wet, because fish have never known any other condition. For fish, wet is not…