“I Made a Couple of Mistakes”

Lately I came across something online, a phone exchange between a man and his fiancée wherein he confronted her about her public infidelity and broke off their engagement. The whole exchange was set up and recorded by a phone-in radio show.   All humanity is guilty of stupidity and bad judgment, and fortunately most of our stupidities and bad judgments remain undocumented, perhaps only to be shared with others in the context of…

The Choices of Joni and Brittany

Catastrophes come in all shapes and sizes. It came to Joni Eareckson one day on July 30, 1967. While swimming in Chesapeake Bay, young Joni dove into the water, misjudging its depth. That water was shallower than she thought, and she struck her head, suffering a catastrophic fracture to her back and paralyzing her from the shoulders down. She was just seventeen years old. She then spent two long years in rehabilitation,…

Billy and Chuck: a Tale of Two Evangelists

In the middle of the twentieth century, two men shared a deep friendship, based on their mutual love of Christ and belief in the Scriptures: Charles (Chuck) Templeton, and Billy Graham. Odds are you have heard of the latter; probably not the former. Chuck Templeton was nonetheless someone to whom the young Billy Graham looked up (as Billy admits in his autobiography Just As I Am). They shared rooms together as well…

The Jesus Seminar, John Meier, and the Reliability of the Gospels

Many people will have heard of “the Jesus Seminar”, a group of about 150 self-appointed experts gathered by their leader Robert Funk in 1985 to pronounce on the authenticity of the various sayings of Jesus. They were famous for using coloured beads to cast their votes regarding the likelihood of various sayings of Jesus being authentic, with a red bead meaning that Jesus probably did utter the saying in question, a pink…

“I Don’t Believe in Organized Religion”

Whether it is due to the secularity of the Canadians among whom I live or whether it is a widespread North American trend, I often hear people say, “I consider myself a very spiritual person, but I don’t believe in organized religion”. I am tempted to reply, “If you don’t like organized religion then you’ll love Orthodoxy in North America. You can’t get much more disorganized than we are.” But I usually…

Appreciating Seraphim Rose

September 2, 1982 saw the untimely death at the age of 48 of Eugene Dennis Rose, better known to the world as the ascetic monk of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, Fr. Seraphim Rose. For an ascetic ROCOR monk, Fr. Seraphim had an unpromising start.   Though born a Methodist and baptized at the age of fourteen, he later declared himself an atheist, and studied Oriental philosophy at Berkley College in California,…