I Don’t Need Anything I Think I Do

Dispassion is a little like what Buddhists call “non-attachment.” The Church Fathers talk about dispassion intimately as a goal to achieve in order to separate ourselves from those thoughts that block our receptivity to God. Often when we read of suffering in the lives of the saints they are talking about spiritual suffering. This kind of suffering may be accompanied by physical pain and torture leading to martyrdom, but not necessarily so. The very condition of being separate from God… Read more

Orthodox: Before Hipster Was “Hip”

I always find the word “hipster” fascinating. As a derivative of “hippie” which referred to smoking an opium pipe by reclining on one’s hip, it’s an interesting way to describe being fashionable. Fashionable is also a weird way to describe oneself as Christian. If we actually did what Jesus did we would all be the most unfashionable people imaginable. Just look at how unfashionable John the Baptist, the Apostles, and the early church Fathers and Mothers were. They totally went… Read more

Instagram Idolatry and the “New” Church

In the film Blade Runner the anti-hero Deckard, whose job it is to “retire” or destroy human-like androids called “replicants,” is faced with an odd dilemma. Using a test to provoke responses and reactions in the subject Deckard tests someone who he believes is human at first. After a lengthy test he determines that the human is really a replicant. To add to the confusion the replicant herself is not even aware that she is not human. How? When she… Read more

What is the Deal with the Old Testament?

The first bible I bought in the Orthodox Tradition confused me. The problem wasn’t with the New Testament or the Apocryphal texts. The New Testament is in the same order as it is for other Christian traditions. I was familiar with the Apocrypha from both seminary and my brushes with Anglicanism. The translation wasn’t a problem since I had used the New King James frequently and it’s a solid translation of the text. What confused me was both the order… Read more

Does God Tolerate Us?

I was again reading through a chapter called “Illnesses of the Heart” from the book The Mountain of Silence. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for those interested in learning about the deep roots of Orthodoxy especially in its monastic communities. One passage of the book describes the practice that the monks have of bowing and kissing each other as they pass by each other. The entire passage is worth quoting in full. Father Maximos is currently a revered… Read more

Did Jesus Die for Wrath or Sin?

Scot McKnight continues the Atonement discussion at Jesus Creed: If the acted upon is sin, then the term does not mean “propitiate” but “expiate.” Thus, Moule: “If, then, God is the subject or originator, not the object or recipient, of hilas-procedures, it is manifestly inappropriate to translate them as propitiatory; one is driven to use a word such as ‘expiatory’, which has as its object not propitiating a wrathful God but removing a barrier” (114). The theme of NT atonement… Read more

How Reformed “Catholicity” is Wrong

There has been a recent discussion on what we mean by the term “catholicity” especially when compared to the assertions of other traditions. Orthodoxy & Heterodoxy reposts an article originally found at Lux Christi: (T)his inability to find Roman scholastic particulars or precise Latin medieval explanations of dogma in the Fathers amounted to nothing more than so many red herrings, for Truth in the early Church was union with Christ. And Christ was not, of course, only Truth, but also… Read more

Orthodoxy is Experience

For another great read on a key difference between Orthodox thinking and theology, do read Fr. Stephen Freeman’s piece “All In The Head.” Orthodox Christianity holds to a realist view of the world – but does so out of regard to God as the Creator and Sustainer of all that is (“in Him we live, we move and have our being”). The universe is not established on abstract spiritual principles – inert laws of the “supernatural.” The universe is established… Read more

Removing My Spiritual Tattoo

Kathy Escobar has a thought-provoking post today. In it she writes: it’s easier to default toward bondage than freedom. i will go so far to say that we have a fatal attraction toward control & power (not a crazy-boil-bunnies-fatal-attraction, but a propensity to keep going back to what’s not good for our souls). we like leaders who kick ass & take names, who tell us what to do and what to believe, who set the record straight and speak for God,… Read more

Does Communion Build Up or Tear Down Love?

There is an interesting conversation regarding the Eucharist over at Homebrewed Christianity. From Dan Hauge: (I)t’s worth questioning whether Paul’s reiteration of Jesus’ instructions to take the Eucharist “in remembrance of me” is really geared toward remembering the theological significance of Good Friday (as it’s often been understood), or if he might rather be emphasizing “remembrance” of who Jesus was—his radical inclusive love, his barrier-breaking kingdom (or kin-dom, if you like). How you treat each other—with dignity, with mutuality and… Read more

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