Laurus’ Orthodoxy

“Time is a flat circle.” So says Russ Cohle in True Detective, season one. For him, as for Nietzsche before him, this observation is a nihilistic conclusion about the the ultimately meaningless repetitiveness of life. In the novel Laurus by Eugene Vodolazkin, which follows the life of a Russian Holy fool and healer in the fifteenth century, the main character – who goes by different names at different junctures of life: Arseny, Ustin, Ambrosius,…

Been There, Done That — Homosexuality and Church Tradition

In the wake of recent Supreme Court ruling Obergefell v. Hodges—legalizing same-sex “marriage” in all fifty states—a conversation among Christians regarding both potential consequences and the appropriate response has ensued. There are also conversations taking place between Christians and non-Christians as to the role of faith in the public square as it relates to marriage. Opposition, Not Hatred One dimension of these conversations is the question of how Christians have historically treated homosexuals, and whether or…

St. Andrew the First-Called Apostle (Nov. 30)

St. Andrew the First-called — given this title because he was the first Apostle to follow our Lord — was a fisherman from Bethsaida. A disciple of St. John the Forerunner and brother to St. Peter, St. Andrew responded to the call of Christ with tremendous vigor. In the Gospel of John, we see Andrew respond to The Forerunner’s declaration “Behold the Lamb of God!” by leaving John to follow Christ, and telling his brother Peter that…

Hear No Evil – The Problem of Openness

A fundamental assumption of our modern discourse is that dialogue, openness, and a free exchange of ideas are intrinsic goods, without limit or qualification. Closed-mindedness is one of the chief sins in this milieu, and any hint requires swift correction from the appropriate gatekeepers. You even find this same basic assumption in Christian higher learning and among writers who aspire to be viewed as–or at least like to consider themselves–“enlightened.” You find this…

According to the Scriptures

In the Nicene Creed, recited by the faithful at every divine liturgy, the Church confesses that Jesus Christ was crucified and rose again “according to the Scriptures.” This language is taken directly from St. Paul in 1 Cor. 15:4, and is thereafter a common expression among the apostolic fathers. Most of us today–somewhat naturally–take this to mean that Christ was crucified and rose again in accord with the account of those events as recorded in…

Fire and Brimstone

A man on a busy street corner holds a sign that reads “Sinners Repent!” There are other signs posted around him with longer bits of text, with messages of a similar tone, warning of the wrath of God and hellfire that awaits those who refuse to repent and believe in Jesus. To help hammer home the message of the signs, the man also attempts to persuade passersby with his voice: “Idolaters, slanderers, and sexual perverts will not inherit the…

Reparative Therapy in the Life of the Church

Directly following the astonishing revelation in the Sermon on the Mount (as recorded in St. Matthew’s Gospel, Matt. 5–7), in which Our Lord most fully taught about His Kingdom and its characteristics, He immediately begins to show us the Kingdom he spoke of in action. And what is the first thing he sets about doing? Healing. The next two chapters record a long string of healings performed by Jesus. In the healing of the paralytic (Matt. 9:1–8) it…

A Time to Weep and a Time to Laugh

Reading the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, I came across the following: A hermit saw someone laughing and said to him, ‘We have to render an account of our whole life before heaven and earth, and you can laugh?’ While this probably strikes most as curmudgeonly, for us Christians, a reference to the Last Judgment ought to inspire sober reflection. How appropriate is frivolity given the desperate spiritual state within which we find ourselves—and the world…