Will Beauty Save the World?

“Such beauty has power,” Adelaida said hotly. “You can overturn the world with such beauty.” –The Idiot, by Fyodor Dostoevsky Perhaps the most famous phrase from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s quite voluminous body of writing is the statement that “beauty will save the world.” Much ink has been spilled concerning this phrase by all manner of critics and commentators, both Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike. And without doubt it is extremely important that we Orthodox…

Not Yours, But You: Almsgiving in the Modern Age

In the Gospels there are many “hard sayings” of our Savior. Of these hard sayings, there are also many which have been all but forgotten — even by those who sincerely strive to be faithful Christians. Of these hard and forgotten sayings, I would like to call our attention today to one in particular: When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your…

Demonic Autonomy and Divine Obedience (Anthropology of Antichristianity, Part 8)

Brethren, join in imitating me, and mark those who so live as you have an example in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is the belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it…

The Age of Morality (Anthropology of Antichristianity, Part 7)

My most recent article in this series advanced a rather grim argument: that modern man, having rejected the Cross and having pathologized obedience, has thereby not merely renounced his own humanity, but has even begun to make war openly upon it. The traditional Christian understanding of what it means to be human — to be formed in the image and likeness of God — is now considered by our culture to be…

The Age of Loneliness (Anthropology of Antichristianity, Part 2)

We live in strange times. Modern technology has nearly obliterated the constraints of distance, allowing us to become interconnected with one another to an extent unimaginable even a few short decades ago, and yet nevertheless at the same time we find ourselves living in an age of absolutely unprecedented loneliness. According to a recent article in Psychology Today: In the last 50 years, rates of loneliness have doubled in the United States. In a survey of over 20,000…

The Leaven of the Pharisees and the Kingdom of God

The secret thought nestles within me: ‘Who knows what happens after death?’ If I say I believe in immortality, then I am speaking about my mind only; and my heart is far removed from a firm conviction about it. That is openly witnessed by my conduct and my constant care to satisfy the life of the senses. -The Way of a Pilgrim It is a striking fact that in the Gospels, Christ…

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…

Abortion and the Graveyard of Europe

Last weekend, Ireland voted overwhelmingly by referendum to repeal its constitutional ban on abortion. Once a country virtually synonymous with Christian faith and piety, Ireland has now become the first nation on the face of the planet to embrace by popular vote the murder of infants by their own mothers. In a very real sense this vote was nothing other than a referendum on Christianity. The constitution of Ireland begins with the…

The Inseparability of Church and State

A glimmer of truth appeared in The Washington Post several days ago when Kathleen Parker responded to yet another legal battle being waged across the country relating to the separation of Church and State: can government entities grant funds or contracts to religious adoption and foster care agencies who decline to place children into the homes of same-sex couples? Parker criticizes the city of Philadelphia for answering “no” to this question, but she…

The New Rituals of Techno-Utopia

Perhaps my assertion that secular humanism is the embryonic form of the religion of the Antichrist, and that scientific materialism is essentially a tool to build that religion, struck some people as a bit extreme, perhaps even ludicrous. If so, then I would encourage you to take a look at a very interesting article in today’s Atlantic about the new rituals being created to accommodate modern sensibilities, i.e. mankind’s worship of man.…