Two Surprising Statistics about Orthodox Christianity in America

Plenty has been written about the Pew Research Center’s second Religious Landscape Study, published in 2014. Relatively little commentary has focused on what the findings tell us about Orthodox Christians in America. In part, the lack of attention is due to the very small sample size of Orthodox believers in the study — so small that the margin for error is somewhere…

A Helpful, But Uneven Contribution: Review of “The Benedict Option” by Rod Dreher

On April 2, 2017, Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option debuted at number seven for hardcover non-fiction on the New York Times’ bestseller list (promptly to drop from the list the following week). This new offering from Dreher is a summary of his life experience, a sort of manifesto for the conservative Christian seeking meaning in a world inundated by progressive agendas, commercialism,…

The Problem of Authority: How Do We Know What Is True?

By Mark Meador When formerly Protestant converts to Orthodoxy (or Roman Catholicism) recount the theological reasons for their conversion, it is not uncommon to hear among those reasons that they were persuaded by “the authority of the Church.” Once you become convinced of the Church’s authority, the telling goes, everything else falls into place. While this seems to be sufficient for the…

Orthodoxy and the Problem of Choice: Converting Out of Postmodern Pluralism

C. S. Lewis once famously remarked that “mere” Christianity, as he conceived of it, …is… like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms…[and] it is in the rooms, not in the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a…

Finding Your Way in Online Orthodoxy

A recent online debate (not linked to here for privacy reasons) has once again shone the spotlight on the phenomenon of online Orthodox communities, which unfortunately are all too often places where heated arguments, angry personal attacks, and prideful arrogance take the place of simple, reasoned discussions. What purport to be sources of information and answers for troubling questions provide disinformation and…

Losing our Religion: On “Retaining” Young People in the Orthodox Church

A recent article on the challenge of interfaith marriage in Greek Orthodoxy has been circulating widely on Facebook.[1] One reason for the article’s popularity is its startling claim that 90% of Americans with Greek roots are no longer in communion with the Orthodox Church. Similarly dismal statistics are likely true for most Orthodox jurisdictions in the United States, but the article in…

Is Our God Too Small? A Response to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos

On the night of March 9th, 2014, countless pop-science buffs like myself waited with bated breath for the premier of the rebirth of the Carl Sagan’s beloved science series Cosmos. Produced by Seth McFarlane of Family Guy and hosted by the popular astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the reborn series follows in the wake of many similar shows of more recent vintage, such…

Necromancy, Idolatry and the Superiority of Protestant Culture

Once in a while, someone writes or says something about Orthodoxy (and, in this case, several related traditions) that is just so incorrect in so many ways that one doesn’t really even know where to begin. This is one of those times. It’s one thing to disagree with a tradition. It’s something else entirely to get the basic facts about it so…

Gay Marriage and Eastern Orthodoxy

The historical and cultural context of the Eastern Orthodox Church has meant that She has not had to grapple with many of the same questions as Christians in the West. The instability of the West following the barbarian invasions, together with the role that the papacy played in bringing some measure of religious and political stability following the fall of the Western…