St. Patrick on the Trinity

    Today we celebrate Saint Patrick of Ireland (c. 390 – c. 461).  He was the son of a deacon and a grandson of a presbyter (priest).  Although born into a Christian family, he was spiritually complacent until his enslavement by Irish raiders precipitated a spiritual crisis.  His brand of Christianity can be labeled Celtic Christianity, much like that of Saint Columba.  Saint Patrick was not a Roman Catholic.  Ireland and…

Memory Eternal! Billy Graham

    While I was at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 1993, I was fortunate to see Billy Graham on one his visits there.  Rev. Graham helped found Gordon-Conwell in 1969 and later served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1989 to 1993.  In addition to his administrative duties, he was there that day to meet with the student body. When I first saw him outside chatting with some students, I…

Christmas 2017

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!   Today is born of the Virgin him who holdest all creation in the hollow of his hand. He whose essence is untouchable is wrapped in swaddling clothes as a babe. Hours of the Nativity     Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Robert Arakaki    

Was the Reformation Necessary?

An Orthodox Assessment This is a reposting of an article I wrote in 2015 with a few minor updating. One notable addition is my assessment of “A Reforming Catholic Confession” which was just released today.   On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church (Wittenberg, Germany) sparking a huge theological debate that would radically alter the religious landscape of Europe. Within a few decades the once unified European…

Vampires and Iconoclasm

The Gospel for Vampires Protestants often have a hard time understanding why Orthodoxy objects so vigorously to iconoclasm. How does having or not having pictures inside churches relate to theology?  The answer is that iconoclasm undermines belief in the Incarnation.  Iconoclasm also undermines respect for God’s physical creation.  Church history teaches us about the early heresy of Gnosticism which denied the goodness of creation and for that reason rejected Christ’s humanity.  The…

Honoring the Dead

And Other Weird Orthodox Stuff For Protestant inquirers, Orthodoxy is more beautiful, glorious, wilder, and weirder than they would imagine.  They hear ancient prayers chanted in dark churches illuminated by candles while smelling the scent of incense drifting in the air.  If they attend the Orthodox services on special feast days, they will see other surprising rituals: the priest and congregation processing around the church building with the symbolic funeral shroud of…

Research Project – Why Evangelicals are Becoming Orthodox

    Dear Folks, Brian Curnutt of Trinity Theological Seminary in Evanston, Indiana, is doing his dissertation on why people are becoming Orthodox.  I took the survey and found the questions straightforward. The survey is not lengthy, but one should be prepared to give thoughtful responses to some of the questions that call for essay answers.  This looks like a worthwhile project.  I encourage readers who are Orthodox to take part in…