A New Ecclesiology for the Orthodox Church?

Orthodox Christians often find themselves answering the following question: why is Orthodoxy divided along ethnic lines into different churches? At least officially, the answer to that question has been quite clear: we are not divided; we are one Church, united in faith and worship, with an administrative structure that organizes itself along local lines, in accordance with the ancient traditions and canon…

Is Orthodoxy Really United?: A Question from a Reader

I recently received the following question from a reader (slightly edited to remove identifying details): I am aware of one Orthodox church parish leaving one Orthodox group to go to another Orthodox group because of some issue. Doesn’t this kind of dispel the idea of the Orthodox being a unified church organization as it is in the case of the Roman Catholics?…

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…

Georges Florovsky’s Model of Orthodox Ecclesiology

By Dr. Lewis Shaw From Window Quarterly 2, 3 (1991); ACRAG c. 1991. (Source) Editors’ note [from Window Quarterly]: George Florovsky (1892-1979) is one of the most eminent Russian theologians of this century. The son of a Russian priest, he graduated in arts at Odessa University (1916), subsequently lecturing there in philosophy (1919-20). Leaving Russia in 1920, he went first to Sofia…

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…

Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy and “Ecumenism”: An Editorial

Recent discussions on some posts on this weblog, as well as some I’ve seen elsewhere on social media, have spurred questions about what the official positions of this site are, what my own positions are, etc. I have even had a few instances where commenters quoted to me from Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy, attempting to catch me in a contradiction with something I…

Do They See the Difference in Our Lives?: Encyclical on Ecumenism, the Pope and the Patriarch

Translator’s Note: His Eminence Nicholas (Hatzinikolaou) is metropolitan bishop of Mesogaia and Lavriotiki, suburban areas of Athens, Greece. He studied physics in Thessaloniki, Harvard, and MIT (receiving his PhD from the latter), and went on to work for NASA. His career took a decidedly different turn, however, when, after several years on Mt Athos, he became a monk in 1989 at the…

The Future of Protestantism and Catholicism: A Few Orthodox Comments

Over at First Things, R. R. Reno reflects as a Roman Catholic on his recent attendance at Peter Leithart’s Future of Protestantism conference, in which Leithart et al advocated for a post-Protestant future, especially in terms of what Leithart calls “Reformed Catholicism.” Reno notes that, while Protestants like Leithart may be looking at engaging with Catholicism to imagine their own future, Catholics…

Which Path to Church Unity? Recognition vs. Reception

From time to time, my friends and I get into a discussion about Christian unity.  Anglicans and Roman Catholics seem to be especially eager to reunite with the Orthodox and I have to explain why such efforts are difficult, if not improbable.  This position is often met with frustration and perplexity: Why can’t we just be one?  What’s the hang up?  I began…

The Ecumenism of Fr. Georges Florovsky

A short piece on the ecumenism of Fr. Georges Florovsky has been written by Florovsky scholars Fr. Matthew Baker and Seraphim Danckaert and published in Orthodox Handbook on Ecumenism: Resources for Theological Education. It’s brief but fascinating it its detail. Here are a few highlights: Georges Florovsky (1893-1979) was the leading architect of Orthodox ecumenism in the 20th century. He combined magnanimity…