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,…

The Book of Esther and the Glorious Ones of the Earth

In scholarly circles, battles rage on over (of all things) the Book of Esther. In this boxing match, we see Liberals and Conservatives slugging it out. The Liberals deny the historicity of the Book of Esther, while the Conservatives defend it. The Liberals point out, for example, that the Queen whom Esther replaces was not Vashti (as the Biblical text says), but was Amestris (as secular history like that of Herodotus says).…

Christian Weddings: The Prince on the White Horse

In our parish of St. Herman’s in Langley, B.C., there are many young people, and so I have the privilege of presiding at many weddings. At these happy events, the brides are all beautiful, and the grooms are all handsome, and all of those present rejoice in their unions. But when I look up and see the happy couple standing before me, I do not see a young man and a young…