My Presbyterian Field Trip: A Fragmenting Tradition

This last Thursday evening, I was supposed to be concelebrating at the festal services for a nearby Orthodox church, but over the days preceding I had so strained my back that I knew that if I followed through on my plans, even just standing during the services, I would likely not be able to stand the next morning. So I stayed home…

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…

Protestants and a Churchless Tradition: “Sola” vs. “Solo” Scriptura

One of my ongoing fascinations is what I have come to refer to in my head as “the Evangelical appropriation of tradition.” Charismatics are celebrating Lent. Baptists are talking about the Eucharist. The inscrutable maybe-universalist and now Oprah-darling Rob Bell is even using the phrase the tradition. Maybe this tradition stuff isn’t so bad. I can branch out a little. I can…

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…

“Show us the Father” – How The Father May or May Not be Depicted in Orthodox Iconography

Read through any collection of Gary Larson’s The Far Side cartoons, and you will doubtless come across a cartoon image of God as an old man, usually gigantic in proportion and surrounded by the clouds of “heaven.”  This kind of cartoon image has become the popular depiction of God within our popular culture, from the Sunday morning funny papers to popular films such as Monty Python…

7 Reasons that Reading the Bible = Tradition

I recently came across a conversation online in which someone insisted that he didn’t need tradition at all, because he had the Bible. Why trust the word of men when you have the word of God? I was reminded again of just how complicated it is to try to believe in what the Bible says while rejecting Christian tradition. We’ve covered matters…

Iconography in Ancient Israel (Part 1)

The prominence of the Second Commandment has been the touchstone by which Christian iconography has been judged throughout history. it was the basis for the Byzantine iconoclastic periods of 726 – 787 and 814 – 842 as well as iconoclastic movements today such as those found in certain corners of Protestantism.

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…