All Kinds of Everything

The last few weeks of my life have been spent writing a commentary on the Book of Daniel, which of course includes pouring over the so-called “Benedicite” (to give its western name), the long hymn found in chapter three and put on the lips of the three young men as they sang to God in the midst of the fiery furnace. In the Greek version of Daniel chapter 3 it is found…

Is Perversion Possible?

We don’t often hear the word “perversion” used much any more, and anyone using the term in print to describe any form of sexual practice better have a good lawyer handy. Some people are proving themselves very aggressive these days, and seem to be not shy about litigating. In using the term, what is not often noticed is that the use of the word “perversion” presupposes a transcendent norm, a transcultural standard…

Reading the Old Testament

Though Marcion has been dead for a long time, his legacy is still among us. Marcion was a heretic in the second century who said that the Old Testament was un-Christian, and that the God of the Old Testament was not the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that Christians should avoid the Old Testament since it was the work of an inferior deity. The Church of his day rejected his…

The Death of Dialogue

“Dialogue” is a happy word, along with other happy words like “inclusive”, “tolerance”, and “acceptance”. It is assumed by our culture that all reasonable people are open to dialogue—that is, open to hearing the other person’s point of view, and to a respectful exchange of views, and to possibly changing one’s own view in favour of the opposing viewpoint if the arguments of the other person are found to be compelling. Dialogue…

“Congratulations: It’s a Baby Girl…Maybe”

An article about a presentation made in my neighbouring province of Alberta some time ago made me wonder if I didn’t live in the Twilight Zone rather than Canada.   Twelve years ago, a baby girl was born in Alberta by the name of Wren Kaufman. Soon after her birth, the customary birth certificate was issued, containing the information that she was “F”, a female. She later said that she found it stressful…

The Passing of Father Tom

Today I joined the sad multitude of those mourning the passing of the Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko, theologian, writer, Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary, known to the many who loved him simply as “Father Tom”.   Tributes will come pouring in soon enough, describing him in loving detail and outlining his many works and his lasting legacy. He takes his honoured place beside his illustrious predecessors at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, Frs. Alexander…