“Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: Answers and…People”

I have just finished reading a slim volume by Fr. Vasileios Thermos, an Orthodox priest in Greece, entitled, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: Answers and…People. It is more a booklet than a book, consisting of less than eighty pages of actual text, but its small size belies its importance. It deals with the topics of homosexuality and gender identity, and was written as a handy non-technical summary of his more massive and…

Bread and Peanut Butter and the Forgiveness of Sins

What do bread and peanut butter have to do with the forgiveness of sins? More than one might think at first glance. Recently a friend told me of how he met a pan-handler in the parking lot of a grocery store, asking for spare change. He knew the man well, for he had often met him and given him the requested spare change. They hailed each other by name as usual, but…

In the Beginning

In these days of darkness, moral disintegration, and confusion, we need more than ever to remember who and what we are—that is, we need to remember what it means to be authentically human. We in the West are surrounded by voices shouting lies and half-truths, with the media leading the charge over the cliff and most people following them like unthinking lemmings. Fortunately, we are not bereft of a source of wisdom…

The Fathers of the Church and the Creation Stories

No one interested in the history of Biblical interpretation can ignore the role of the Fathers of the Church. It seems clear that many (though not all) of the Fathers of the Church interpreted the narrative of Genesis literally, as sequential history, and that accordingly most of them regarded the world—including the sun, moon, and stars—as no more than about 6000 years old. They also believed that the sun revolved around the…

Personalism, Small Churches, and Building Community

When was the last time you heard a sermon or read an article or blog post on Romans chapter 16? Apart from Rom. 16:1, which describes Phoebe as “a diakonos of the church which is at Cenchrea” (the darling verse of those advocating the restoration of an order of deaconesses), most people pretty much ignore the whole chapter, which consists largely of a list of names of people in the Roman church…

The Wrath of God and Christian Apologetics

Many people today feel that the notion of a wrathful God is unworthy and should be scrapped. In particular, they feel that the notion that God could be wrathful means that God is somehow touchy, irritable, easy to alienate, and profoundly unloving and, well…unlovable. That is because we all know of all people who are broken like this and who are touchy, irritable, easy to offend, judgmental and unloving, and they are…