“My Wife is Absolutely Opposed”

Recently, Father Evan Armatas was fielding telephone calls on Orthodoxy Live when one listener called in with a particularly vexing dilemma. The caller wants to become Orthodox, but his wife is dead set against the move. Father Evan gave some really good answers — answers that may surprise some listeners. Brian from Cincinnati asked: I have a difficult life situation. I thought maybe you could give me some words of wisdom. You’re…

Jesus Christ the Grave Robber

  Quite often on the way up to receive Holy Communion, I stop and venerate the tapestry icon that shows Christ’s body “lying in state,” surrounded by the Virgin Mary, the Apostle John, and the angels.  Unlike painted icons of Christ hanging vertically on walls, this woven icon is placed on a covered table called in Greek epitaphios. During the Holy Friday night service the epitaphios is taken outside and processed around the church building much…

Heading to the Cross

    Holy Week is a reenactment of the last week of Jesus’ life.  Through Scripture readings, songs, chants, and prayers, the Orthodox Church relives the last days of Christ.  Holy Week is an opportunity for us to follow our God and Savior to the Cross.  In Orthodoxy’s sacramental understanding of reality, we are there in spirit partaking of the events of Holy Week. On Great Friday we observe the Holy, saving, and…

Do We Need a Photo ID of Christ?

A Response to Pastor Toby Sumpter     Rev. Toby Sumpter’s “A Plea & A Sketch of an Argument on Icons”  is not a simplistic bashing of icons.  Rather, he has taken the trouble to engage the Christological issues underlying the iconoclastic debates.  Among the earlier objections to icons was the two-fold argument that either icons depict Christ’s divinity, and by doing so circumscribed the divine Being, falling into the heresy of…

Do Your Homework?

A Response to Pastor Toby Sumpter   In “A Plea & A Sketch of an Argument on Icons” Pastor Toby Sumpter exhorts Protestants interested in icons and Orthodoxy to do their homework before making any move to Orthodoxy.  Reading through his admirably comprehensive list of references my first reaction was: “How many people have the time to do all this reading?!”  Second reaction was: “OMG!  This is way more than a typical…

Corpus Formation versus Canon Formation

  A Response to Pastor Toby Sumpter On 3 March 2016, Pastor Toby Sumpter posted on Reformation21 “An Apostolic Case for Sola Scriptura.” In this article he argues that canon formation of the New Testament proves the Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura.  He writes: In fact, there is a strong case to be made that the apostles and first Christians knew what books would form the New Testament canon very early on.…

Eschatological Discipleship

Every year in preparation for Lent the Orthodox Church celebrates the Sunday of the Last Judgment.  On this Sunday we hear the Parable of the Sheep and Goats (Matthew 25:31-46).  It is sobering to be reminded that we will all one day appear before the Great Judgment Seat of Christ. When the thrones are set up and the books are opened, and God sits in judgment, O what fear there will be…