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,…

Jerusalem

Since the days of King David, Jerusalem has been a city of destiny, the center of the world, and the hometown of every soul that yearns for the Kingdom of God.   A beloved song from my Jesus People days ends with the words, “The highway to Your city runs through my heart”, and that city is Jerusalem. I am not the first or only person to think so. An epitaph inscribed on…

David Bentley Hart’s That All Shall Be Saved: a Review and Rejoinder

Note: recently a friend asked me to review Dr. Hart’s book and respond to it, and I obliged for friendship’s sake. Given the importance of the topic and the stature of an author such as Dr. Hart, the response is necessarily detailed and long. The first thing that a reader should know about Hart’s That All Shall Be Saved is what Dr. Hart is here offering the reader.   Hart is not writing…