Do Atheist “Mega-Churches” create the same effect as Christian ones?

Hundreds of atheists and atheist-curious packed into a Hollywood auditorium for a boisterous service filled with live music, moments of reflection, an “inspirational talk” about forgotten — but important — inventors and scientists and some stand-up comedy. During the service, attendees stomped their feet, clapped their hands and cheered as Jones and Evans led the group through rousing renditions of “Lean on…

If King David danced, should Christians dance in church?

The above video recently made the rounds on social media, and in many of the discussions that followed, there was a predictably negative response from traditional liturgical Christians and a predictably positive response from those who have in one way or another departed from liturgical tradition. From the latter, the question is typically why the former are so uptight as to insist…

An Orthodox Circuit Preacher: St. Anastasius of Sinai and the Church Today

The following piece by Nicholas Marinides was originally a talk given at Princeton University to the Florovsky Orthodox Theological Society on December 10, 2011. It followed on a talk given by about the theology of St. Maximus the Confessor. Both were part of a half-day workshop on “Athens vs. Jerusalem,” intended to allow doctoral students to present their research on Church Fathers…

Believing Thomas: How I Left the Bahá’í Faith

This post, by author Anjali Sivan, a convert to Orthodox Christianity, was originally featured on her personal weblog on the occasion of St. Thomas Sunday. In honor of St. Thomas Sunday, I would like to share my own special appreciation for him. There is the fact that he was the apostle who brought the Gospel to India. But even more than that,…

The Big Bang and the Torah

While this isn’t about Orthodox Christianity, of course, it’s worth noting for the several potential parallels here, after you get over the fascinating discovery that Mayim Bialik of NBC’s “Blossom” is not only a highly observant Orthodox Jew but also has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. (She is apparently also now in some new television show… something about a large banging?)…

It Can’t Be Helped: Atheism and the Problem of Determinism

There is a certain term in Japanese whose history I very much dislike: shikataganai – “It can’t be helped.” Now such a concept is not completely alien to Western thought, we often remark how there is “nothing one can do” in certain situations, but the difference is that shikataganai reflects the fatalistic ethos of Japan that the modern West has never quite…

On Deaconesses and Women’s Ordination: Fr. David Bissias replies to Valerie Karras

My thoughts below are in response to this fine review article by Fr. David Bissias directed at a recent screed article by Valerie Karras ostensibly seemingly to justify some form of women’s ordination. I’ve read through Fr. David’s article, and now wish I had Karras’s as well. But in reality I don’t need it, for my thoughts are actually in response to…

The Narrow Gate: Eastern Christian Spirituality and Eastern Religion

The following is the manuscript of a talk recently given by Ancient Faith Today host Kevin Allen at an Advent Forum in Merced, California.  He has kindly given us permission to publish it in full.  It’s a bit longer than most of our pieces, but it didn’t make sense to us to break it up. Tonight I will be speaking about some “points of…

From Hinduism to Orthodoxy: “But what can a virgin know of the sorrows and travail of mankind?”

This post, by author Anjali Sivan, a convert to Orthodox Christianity from Hinduism, was originally featured on her personal weblog. The original is here. The quote in the title is from a book I loved as a teenager, The Mists of Avalon [by Marion Zimmer Bradley -ed.]. In it, Morgaine (the legendary Morgan Le Fay) states: I have no quarrel with the…

In Defense of Dogma

The following article was originally published on the Roads from Emmaus weblog in March of 2011. It has been revised for this publication. An encounter by my wife with a Unitarian Universalist has set me thinking again upon what I believe is one of the great Christian evangelistic questions of our time: We now have to make the case for dogma. We…