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…

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…

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…

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…

An Orthodox Response to an Anti-Orthodox Defense of Gay Marriage

The following piece by Fr. John Whiteford is a response to David J. Dunn’s 2011 article “Civil Unions by Another Name: An Eastern Orthodox Defense of Gay Marriage,” which has been making the rounds on social media in the wake of the recent discussions by the United States Supreme Court concerning same-sex marriage. Fr. John has written extensively on the topic of…

“Spiritual But Not Religious” and the Path to God

The following article was originally published on the Roads from Emmaus weblog in March of 2011. It’s been revised for this publication. I sometimes encounter folks who tell me that they are “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR). I wish I asked more often what exactly that is supposed to mean, though I am usually held back from asking by a strong suspicion…

The “Biblical” Argument for Abortion

A fellow pro-life friend of mine recently sent me a post by the theologically and politically liberal Christian writer Fred “Slactivist” Clark in favor of abortion titled The ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal. It begins this way: In 1979, McDonald’s introduced the Happy Meal. Sometime after that, it was decided that the Bible teaches that human life begins at…

Convention Season

We’ve been a bit sparse on posts the past couple of weeks, so I thought I would at least put up a brief note so you don’t think we’ve disappeared.  Our collective quietness has been due, of course, to some summer vacationing, but also because some of us are attending to the professional habits that summer so often occasions—conferences. I always imagine…

The Eminem Ethic

The following article was originally published on the Roads from Emmaus weblog in February of 2012. I spotted this image on Facebook today, and it puts forth a commonly accepted ethic, which I’ve dubbed here the Eminem Ethic. Essentially, various categories of race, sexual desire, physical appearance, and economic status don’t matter when it comes to winning his kindness. What matters is…