Does God Have a Body?

Not so long ago I was asked by a very young child at church the question, “Fr. Lawrence, does God have a body?” She was not thinking of the incarnate Christ our God, but of God in the Old Testament, Yahweh, the pre-incarnate deity, the Father (though she did not express it in those terms). The answer, of course, is: No, God does not have a body. Next question? But when examining…

The Necessary Revolution

Throughout the years, I have had the privilege of receiving a number of people into the Orthodox Church—indeed, our own little mission consists overwhelmingly of converts and their children. Most of the converts come from various kinds of Protestantism, with Evangelicals predominating. Before receiving them into the Church, obviously some catechesis was required. One must teach them the differences between Orthodoxy and the churches from which they came—differences such as our views…

Zacchaeus and the Salvation of Sinners

Zacchaeus lives in the Church, abiding as an image of us all. In some sense, everyone of us is Zacchaeus, for everyone of us is a sinner at heart. That is why Zacchaeus is invoked and his example recalled every time the priest enters someone’s home to invoke the presence and blessing of Christ upon it (such as at the Theophany season, and when a new house is first blessed). Christ entered…

Overflowing Grace

Ecclesiastical labels are helpful, but they have their limits. In particular such labels as “Arian”, “Monophysite”, “Nestorian” should be used with care. They accurately describe outward membership in certain communities, and can help describe certain erroneous doctrines, but may not necessarily tell the whole story of the human heart or of the ultimate fate of the person. Take for example Nicetas the Goth. The Goths were Arians. According to the Synaxarion, “Nicetas…

What In the World Can Be Done with Magda?

In discussions about hell and the sad fact that not everyone will be saved (as is clear from the words of Christ, the writings of His apostles, the consensus of the Fathers, and the consistent teaching of the Church throughout the centuries) one quickly encounters the objection that this teaching is too much to bear. Some affirm that the teaching is not only emotionally difficult and burdensome, but wicked, and perhaps even…

Analyzing Antichrist

Once upon a time I thought that the Pope was the Antichrist. Sharing this deep dark secret is a little like sharing the fact that one has six toes: it is embarrassing; most people with six toes would rather just keep their socks on and say nothing. But that was not the whackiest thing I ever believed. Prior to that I thought the Antichrist was due to arrive more or less anytime,…