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…

Liturgical Boundaries: Praying for the World, Communing the Faithful

The question is sometimes asked: “Who may the Church pray for in its Liturgy?” What are proper subjects for the Church’s ministry of intercession? For example, may we pray for the repose of non-Orthodox and intone the “Memory eternal” for them? May we commemorate them at the Proskomedia? Should we differentiate between Orthodox and non-Orthodox in the Litany of Fervent Supplication—perhaps by using two separate columns for the names? What boundaries should…

In Praise of Old Wolves

Many decades ago, I was a Wolf Cub. This is not, of course, a confession of lycanthropy, but of my membership in an organization for young boys. The Wolf Cub organization was patterned after The Jungle Books written by Rudyard Kipling, and founded by Lord Baden-Powell (1857-1941). I still have the thin red textbook of the Cubs, entitled, “Tenderpad to Second Star” (i.e. from the first initiation to getting the reward of…