No Repentance After Death: Facing Hard Questions about Salvation

When one turns to the Church Fathers with these questions in mind, one thing that becomes apparent is that the Fathers did not find them pressing in the same way as we do today. Just as they took for granted that some will be eternally damned, so they assumed that there can be no repentance after death, at least of the thoroughgoing, “deep” kind that is essential to Christian life.

Tom Holland’s Dominion: A Review

Christianity emerges as a system of interacting with understanding the world, described in teachings and lived by the actual human persons of every era. This way of thinking and seeing has been bred into the bones of every person born in the West for centuries, though today it may go unnoticed like the air which we breathe.

No Pregnancy in Heaven: Infertility and Theological Anthropology

Over the course of writing my recently released book, Under the Laurel Tree: Grieving Infertility with Saints Joachim and Anna, I’ve had the honor of talking to individuals and couples from a variety of Christian backgrounds who have one thing in common: they struggle to integrate the reality of infertility with faith in a God who is supposedly life-giving. There are many…

The Incarnation: Principle and Goal of History

For the Christian, the union of our nature with Christ in His one Person, even that deified human nature that we receive in the Eucharist, unites us at this present moment with that pinnacle of history which is the Incarnation, and by it we are tied to our fathers and mothers of the old covenant.

Scripture: Myth or History?

The scriptures call us, rather than attempting to reframe the scriptures and tradition of the church within the context of the things which we as modern people “now know,” to reframe our own understanding of our lives, our personal histories, and the world as we encounter it in terms of the fullness of God’s creation and the reality of Jesus Christ himself.

Can You Baptize Without Baptism? Review: The Ecclesiological Renovation of Vatican II by Fr. Peter Heers

Is it possible to receive an unbaptized person into the Orthodox Church without baptizing him? What would it mean to do such a thing? You might not expect a book about the Second Vatican Council to elicit such questions from Orthodox sacramental theology but Fr. Peter Heers’s 2015 doctoral thesis, published with the title The Ecclesiological Renovation of Vatican II (ERV2), does…

Synodality or Supremacy? Orthodoxy and Rome

Catholic University professor C. C. Pecknold has a column out today regarding the failure of “synodality” in the modern Roman Catholic Church as practiced under Pope Francis. There is a reference there to Orthodox conciliarity: Governance within Orthodoxy is built not around the papacy but around “sister churches” gathering together for collaborative, deliberative self-governance in synodal assembly. It is important to understand…

Ss. Paul and Constantine

It is commonplace for many modern Christians, even Orthodox Christians, to consider St. Constantine a problematic figure.  Even the fact that he is considered a saint within the Orthodox Church is seen as difficult.  Obviously, the end of Christian persecution by the Roman Empire was a great benefit to the Church and to the Christians of the day.  But it is not…