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…

14 New Year’s Resolutions for Orthodox Christians

Editorial comment: This has gotten republished more times than I can count now, mostly without asking (which, while I won’t be hounding people, should still be noted as illegal in most countries). I don’t mind too much, but I do mind that in some places (like church newsletters), it’s gotten republished either without my name on it or having altered the text and still…

Jennifer Aniston Goes Makeup-Free. Liberation Ensues.

I read this morning that actress Jennifer Aniston (whose family name is Anastasakis and whose godfather is Telly Savalas) had declared that going makeup-free in her new film Cake was “dreamy and empowering and liberating.” I don’t normally bother with celebrity news, but of course when using social media, it’s hard to escape it. This caught my eye, though, because it struck me as…

Raising Authentically Christian Children: Good News and Bad News

My friend Seraphim Danckaert published an article today on the O&H site that I think every Christian (Orthodox or not) should read: Losing our Religion: On “Retaining” Young People in the Orthodox Church. Why? Almost every kind of church throughout America is losing kids. So read it first before reading the rest of this. Okay, done? First, some bad news: If you’re counting on…

Ten (Possibly) Surprising Facts about Fred Phelps

Besides being a heretical hate-monger who pushed the envelope of the definition of constitutionally protected speech, Fred Phelps, the late leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, had a number of perhaps surprising facets to his life. Here are ten of them, all culled from the Wikipedia article dedicated to him. 1. In the ’60s and ’70s, Phelps was a notable civil rights lawyer in…

12 Reasons Why I Became and/or Remain an Orthodox Christian

Lists like this are usually so much clickbait, I know, but I thought it was nevertheless worthwhile to compile a list of most of the reasons why I became and/or remain an Orthodox Christian. Some of these things were not really on my radar when I became Orthodox in 1998, but they are part of the reason why I genuinely do love belonging to…