Pentecost and the Promise of God Fulfilled

This article is a reposting of an article published on 29 May 2012. The Orthodox Church celebrates Pentecost as the fulfillment of Christ’s promise that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to His Church to lead Her into all Truth. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I…

Getting to Know Your Church Fathers

  One reason why many Protestants today bought the notion that the early Church Fathers were theological infants is their ignorance of church history.  The best remedy for that is getting to know the Church Fathers by actually reading their writings.  The early Church Fathers are the heritage of all Christians, regardless of denomination.  One way Reformed Christians, Evangelicals, and Orthodox Christians can deepen fellowship with each other is by exploring their…

The Early Church Fathers: Babies or Giants?

I recently received an inquiry from someone with a Reformed background.  He brought to my attention that a certain Protestant pastor is said to have claimed that the early Church Fathers were “church babies.”  I have not been able to verify whether or not this pastor actually made that remark but I felt that the question deserved a good answer.  This reader has also been in conversation with friends who are interested in…

“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…