What I Saw at #AFCon

This past week I attended the Ancient Faith Writing and Podcasting Conference (AFCon), an event which I also attended last year (its inaugural year), where I spoke on ministry in social media. This year, though, I wasn’t one of the scheduled speakers but was just attending along with everyone else. Last year, I have to admit that I was a bit ambivalent about attending.…

6 Reasons Why Tithing is Good for an Orthodox Parish

Tithing is good for the Orthodox Christian and therefore good for the Orthodox parish. So why don’t more Orthodox Christians tithe? We know the usual reasons: We’re not used to it. Back in the old country the government paid for the church. The parish was founded on the “dues” model. Tithing is “Protestant.” Orthodox people are stingy. We just don’t have it in our…

Preaching Christ in a World That Doesn’t Need God: Orthodox Christianity and Secularism

The following is from a larger talk I am working on about Orthodoxy in the West. Secularism is essentially the idea that one can conceive of a world without God. It is the belief in an autonomous order existing apart from the divine order. It is not necessarily a denial of God’s existence, by the way. Such outright atheism has never been that attractive…

Come Out and Be Separate: Redeeming the World by Standing Apart

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost / First Sunday of Luke, September 27, 2015 II Corinthians 6:16-7:1; Luke 5:1-11 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. I had a friend who was a Ph.D. student at a university in New York City. He was a brilliant, traditional Orthodox Christian who…

Do We Preach “Orthodoxy”… or Christ?

In her review of Kyriakos Markides’s Gifts of the Desert, Frederica Mathewes-Green says she had a hard time finding Jesus in the book: Markides’ previous book, “The Mountain of Silence” (2001), was read eagerly by those interested in Orthodox spirituality, chiefly because he had faithfully transcribed taped conversations with a monk trained on Mt. Athos, Father Maximos. Though Markides himself seemed not wholly on…

Do Orthodox Christians know the Gospel message?

This is a talk I recently gave at the Orthodox Homeschooling Conference. (Listen to the recording here.) This topic has been of great importance to me over the past several years, and I must admit to a little bit of frustration regarding what I describe especially in its opening paragraphs. I normally do not publish full talks like this on my weblog, but I…

“We had the one, and we lost him”: Fr. Matthew Baker’s Significance in Orthodoxy

Several times now I have been asked by folks who were not at Fr. Matthew Baker’s funeral this past Saturday to write something about it. I have to admit that I do not really want to. I am a bit exhausted. But I will at least mention that it was beautiful—not merely in an aesthetic sense, though of course it was, with the roughly…