Orthodox Church will have its “Vatican II”

The “Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church” will be held in Crete, June 16-27.  The Council, which will be attended by the leaders of all of the world’s 14 Orthodox bodies (though two are threatening boycott),  is being described as the Orthodox equivalent of “Vatican II.”  The issues to be taken up will reportedly include ecumenical relations, how to handle marriage to someone who is not Orthodox, problems of ethnic identity, achieving greater unity, and dealing with various contemporary questions.  After the jump, a story from a Catholic site with an interview of a key Orthodox player.

Orthodox readers, can you tell us more about this?  This wouldn’t have the authority of the early church councils, would it?, since it isn’t “ecumenical.”  But how would this fit in with its “conciliar” theology?  Do you expect the council to take up issues that are roiling the Western churches, such as homosexuality, gender issues, etc.?  Is the council likely to “modernize” Orthodoxy, as Vatican II did to Roman Catholicism?

UPDATE:  Five church bodies are refusing to come, including the biggest one, the Russian Orthodox Church.  So nearly half of the world’s Orthodox churches representing a majority of Orthodox Christians won’t be there.  For a good discussion of this disunity, including the big issue of the conflict between Russia and Constantinople for leadership in Orthodoxy, go here.  (HT:  Joe & McCain)

UPDATE: The Council will go on as planned, despite the absence of the Russians.  The Serbian church decided to attend after all, so only four will be absent.

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Summer Christians & Winter Christians

Some Christians feel closer to God when they are happy (and if they aren’t, they often feel that there is something wrong with them spiritually).  Other Christians feel closer to God when they are hurting or struggling.  Those with the sunnier religious experience have been called “Summer Christians.”  Those with the darker experiences of God have been called “Winter Christians.”

This distinction may have some affinity with Luther’s “theology of glory” vs. “the theology of the cross,” but it seems to be more a matter of temperament.  But in today’s climate, “Winter Christians” may well feel themselves written out of the church.  After the jump, some links to the subject, including a study of how today’s pop Christian music is nearly always oriented to Summer Christians, while Christian music of the past deals with darker, more wintry themes. [Read more…]

Immigrant converts must pass Bible trivia test

In the UK, Muslim immigrants converting to Christianity have been given “Bible Trivia” tests–which many long-time Christians would be unable to pass–as a way to check whether or not they are really Christians.  The problem is, many of the immigration officials asking the questions seem to know little about Christianity themselves.

Read about this after the jump.  Then take the quiz to see whether or not you too would be deported. [Read more…]

Turning pride from a sin to a virtue

An LGBTQ theologian, apparently thinking of “gay pride” parades, wants Christianity to change its teaching that pride is a sin and turn it instead into a virtue.

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Christian converts assaulted by fellow immigrants

The Muslim immigrants who are converting to Christianity that we have been blogging about (see here and here and here), are paying a price for their new faith.  They are facing violent and even sexual attacks in the refugee camps for their apostasy from Islam.

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Indifference

Jake Meador, a thoughtful young evangelical, reflects on monasticism and says that one thing we can learn from that practice is the virtue–yes, the virtue–of indifference. [Read more…]


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