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…

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…

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…

Remembering St. Nicholas, Recovering a Christian Heritage

One of the unexpected blessings of becoming Orthodox is discovering a Christian heritage forgotten in the West.  One example of this is St. Nicholas of Myra, the original Santa Claus.  He is well known in the Orthodox Church.  Every December 6 (December 19 on the Old Calendar) the Orthodox celebrates the life of St. Nicholas of Myra.  When I was a Protestant…

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…

The Curious Case of St. John Cassian

St. John Cassian, in his 75 year life lived at the turn of the fifth century, interacted with every major Christian figure of the Patristic Age, founded monasticism in the West, laid the theological foundation for the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’, wrote the papal brief for the position of the Roman See at the Third Ecumenical Council, and wrote the most read work…

Why Evangelicals Need Mary

In recent years growing numbers of Evangelicals have become interested in Orthodoxy.  Many want to convert to Orthodoxy but have difficulty with certain Orthodox teachings. Without question, one of the most difficult obstacles for any Protestant Evangelical interested in Orthodoxy is Mary. A large part of the problem lies in a communications gap between Evangelicals and Orthodox.  Unlike Eastern Orthodoxy which has…

Venerating the Virgin: Orthodox Christian Reflections for Protestants

One of the more divisive issues between Orthodox Christians and Protestants is how Mary, the Theotokos, is viewed by the Church. I frequently meet people who are on the fence about what church to attend, who have a great interest in Orthodoxy, but who are uncomfortable with the place of Mary in our faith and worship services. The purpose of my article…