On Allegations of Orthodox Fundamentalism (Part 3)

Tradition, Fundamentalism, and Modernity In my two most recent posts, I responded in depth to an article from Public Orthodoxy about fundamentalism. The first response concerned the view taken by the article toward the Holy Fathers and Holy Tradition, and the second had to do with the relationship between Orthodoxy and the modern world. There is one section of the article that I have not yet discussed, and that is its conclusion. In this case…

On Allegations of Orthodox Fundamentalism (Part 2)

The Church and Modernity Earlier this week, I began examining an article from Public Orthodoxy entitled “Fundamentalism as ‘Orthodoxism.'” In this article, the author laments what is, in his opinion, “our long-standing captivity to a sad caricature of Orthodoxy.” In the first part of my analysis I discussed two of his four main allegations: that the Orthodox world has developed an idolatrous attitude towards the Holy Fathers, and that it has additionally come to an…

On Allegations of Orthodox Fundamentalism (Part 1)

On the Holy Fathers and Holy Tradition Recently Public Orthodoxy published an article entitled “Fundamentalism as ‘Orthodoxism’.” The content is extremely characteristic not only of Public Orthodoxy in particular, but also of a growing trend in wider Orthodox circles, especially those of an academic character (Public Orthodoxy is published under the auspices of Fordham University, a Catholic institution). Seeing that the exemplified attitudes and beliefs are steadily gaining influence among Orthodox believers, I…

Morality and Truth in a Secular Age

It sometimes seems that each new day brings with it another assault on traditional Christian morality from yet another front. The dust had barely begun to settle after the Supreme Court of the United States descried a hitherto undetected right to gay marriage hidden somewhere between the lines of the Constitution, when immediately the forces of radical secularism began the fight to promote and normalize the transgender ideology. To give some context…

The Perfect Law of Liberty

Freedom and the Gospel Commandments I wrote several week ago about the salvific and life-giving nature of the Gospel commandments. I argued that those who would dispense with them out of a misguided sense of compassion for modern man are in fact dispensing with the very medicine by which modern man can and must be healed. So often we view the commandments as burdensome rather than as therapeutic, as obligations rather than…

The Unknown God

I would like to begin by telling two stories. The first is a story from the life of St. Silouan of Mt. Athos (in the story, Fr. Sophrony of Essex is the narrator and St. Silouan is the Staretz): I remember a conversation he had with a certain Archimandrite who was engaged in missionary work. This Archimandrite thought highly of the Staretz and many a time went to see him during his…

Against Modern Legalism

For all of its godlessness, this modern age hungers more than any other for love, compassion, and mercy. It hungers too for God (though often without realizing it), perhaps all the more strongly since no other age has banished Him more thoroughly from all its affairs. Yet so many modern people think of the God of the Bible as a vengeful, wrathful, angry deity, a god of hellfire and brimstone, a god…

Making Saints: Toward Establishing Orthodox Schools

The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions, but to destroy the capacity to form any conviction. -Hannah Arendt I’ve been writing a lot about Orthodoxy and education lately. However, I have as yet done little more than to point out the utter travesty which modern public education has become, as well as to emphasize the dire necessity of founding Orthodox schools for our children. Providentially, a friend forwarded me a…

On Doubt

I was not always a Christian. For many years of my life — may God forgive me — I viewed Christianity as something primitive and simplistic, something irrational and even immoral (like so many of the children of modernity, I considered the entire concept of the Last Judgment as theologically and morally indefensible — such was the enormity of my pride). And for many years, like the young St. Augustine, I wandered…

Will Our Children Keep the Faith?

The Catastrophe of Modern Education I have already written on multiple occasions of the urgent necessity of creating Orthodox parish schools in America. Our nation’s public schools have degenerated into prison-like institutions which have outlawed all mention of Truth (the Second Person of the Trinity), which forbid any public prayer to the Lord God, which teach sexual propaganda and promote infanticide to kindergarteners, which lead students to believe that they will likely be…