The battle for your heart

The Battle for Your Heart

There's a battle for your heart. The only question is whether you're going to join the fight.To understand the battleground and the nature of the fight, I think it's useful to take two things Jesus said about the kingdom and place them side by side. The first is from the seventeenth chapter of Luke's gospel. "[T]he kingdom of God is within you," said Jesus (v. 21). And the second is from the eleventh chapter of Matthew's. "[T]he kingdom of heaven suffers violence," he said, "and the violent … [Read more...]

We are all Protestants now

We're all Protestants now

"[D]o nothing apart from the bishop. . . ." -- Ignatius of Antioch, Magnesians 7One of the more intriguing narratives flowing out of the election concerns Roman Catholics bucking their bishops' entreaties -- some would say threats -- to abstain from voting for candidates who support abortion and the HHS contraception mandate.Regardless of the directive, a majority of Catholics punched the Obama/Biden ticket on November 6, acting as if the episcopal counsel counted for squat. This … [Read more...]

Where you go to meet with God

И. Максим, Flickr

During the Last Supper the disciple Philip asked Jesus show him God. "Lord," he said, as recorded by John's gospel, "show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied" (14.8).Did Philip know what he was asking? Surely he was aware that Moses asked a similar question, to see God's glory. "[Y]ou cannot see my face," answered the Lord, "for man shall not see me and live" (Ex 33.20).God allowed Moses a glimpse nonetheless, but not directly. Instead of seeing the Lord’s face, Moses was permitted a … [Read more...]

Celebrating Michael and the archangels

Michael and the Archangels

On November 8 the Orthodox church celebrates Michael and the archangels.The full title for the feast is "Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers: Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salaphiel, Jegudiel, and Barachiel." Feel free to shorten it if you like. Here's a helpful entry on the day from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.I've included here two "songs" that might prove edifying. The first is from Nikolai Velimirovich's Prologue from Ohrid. The second is from … [Read more...]

There’s no such thing as private prayer

Tolkovy Apocalypse

Modern Christians have a tendency to view their prayer life as a private matter. But as I discovered while researching my book Lifted by Angels, our counterparts in the early church assumed the active participation of angels in believers’ prayer lives. “[T]he angel of each of us prays alongside us,” wrote the third-century theologian Origen in his primer on prayer. How do we know when angels are present? Feelings of comfort, humility, and joy indicate their presence. When those feelings c … [Read more...]

Prayers of the persecuted church

Syrian Christians in prayer, MaghrebChristians.com

“'For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.' Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” --Romans 8.36-37On November 4 this year Christians gather to pray for their suffering brothers and sisters. The annual International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church provides a time to lift up believers who suffer deprivation, torture, and death for confessing Christ.Martyrdom has been a part of Christian witness … [Read more...]

Dependent on the body of Christ

Body of Christ

Paul speaks of the church as being the body of Christ, and he's rather literal with the metaphor."The eye," he writes, "cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you,' nor again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you'" (1 Cor 12.21). The Christian life depends upon other Christians. Ours is a contingent existence. Only in communion with each other do we find the means to live our faith.I reflected on that fact while recently reading about the death of Étienne de la Boétie. On A … [Read more...]


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