Saved from Sin or From God

I have written before on the typical Protestant concept of “Life Boat” salvation.  However, upon more in depth consideration of this erroneous notion of “once and then you’re good” salvation there appears to be a much more flawed ideal at the base of it all.The Bleak Background of a Well Meaning Notion:Those who espouse the notion of “life boat” salvation do so out of a sincere kindness.  Their concern for the salvation of those around them is nothing short of admirable, and it shows a tr … [Read more...]

Some Wisdom From Optina

The following is a letter from Elder Macarius of the Optina monastery in Russia to one of his spiritual children on the topic of death and suffering.  Enjoy.On the 20th of January, the letter announcing to me the sad news of my esteemed grandmother, A.P., reached my hand. Thanks be to the merciful God, Who allowed her to leave this world when she had reached her declining years, in the white garments of sincere repentance and confession of her sins, bearing the seal of Holy Unction upon … [Read more...]

How Your Work-Out Might Be Destroying Your Destiny

Work-out mania has always disturbed me.  Perhaps it is my inherent fear of people too buff to touch their face, or my annoyance with some people's incessant need to post pictures of "the results" via every form of social media imaginable.  Whatever the root of my disturbance, the fitness frenzy contains a  much more concerning issue; not only is it making you thin, healthy, and obnoxious, it might also be destroying your life.This may sound like a pretty serious claim to raise against so … [Read more...]

Stealing Paradise

On this most solemn and sacred of days, the day in which the Church remembers the violent death of Her Spouse and Lord, we are accustomed to the Passion narratives (in the West)  and the lengthy and ornate funeral procession (in the East).  But today marks not only the death of the only truly innocent man to walk the earth, but also the death of the first saint of the Church.  No, I don't mean Jesus, God is far above the saints, I mean Dismas.  Also known as Titus, Zoatham, Demas, and Rach, dep … [Read more...]

What Friedrich Nietzsche Can Tell Us About Heaven

Nineteenth Century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is renowned by atheists everywhere for his (usually taken out of context) axiom of the era, "God is dead."  This misuse of this quote can perhaps in some way shed light on what I mean when I say that we have anything to learn about Heaven, the place where we live with God for eternity, from the man who said that "God is dead."  When Nietzsche proclaims that "God is dead," he does not do so in the way that the quote out of context may make … [Read more...]

A Case for Camus

In times of great tragedy there are so many questions.  The greatest of these questions is "why?"  Man is a rational animal, and as such, he refuses to live in a world in which things don't make sense.  He refuses to believe that he resides in a universe which is indiscernible and not logical.  And yet, he is faced with events so horrendous that he can find no understanding in them.  He sees a tragedy, a true tragedy, and knows that there must be some reason behind it.  But does he ever find it? … [Read more...]

The Horror of Springtime

In our complicated world of abstractions and specters it is very easy - nay necessary- to compartmentalize the world around us, so that we can understand it and easily think about it.  Take barbecues for example; when we think of them, we don't think of any particular instance of a barbecue we were at, we think of the idyllic image of the great American cookout, with children playing, men cooking and drinking beer - all American beers of course- and everyone talking and laughing and having a … [Read more...]