December 1, 2018

I was having a think recently about whether the icons in my beautiful corner are reflective of my spirituality, and my tentative conclusion is that they do not. If they were reflections, then my prayer would be pure projection. If I could allow myself to be caught in the ideological fantasies of such a secular view of the supernatural, then perhaps I could be persuaded to see my icons are mirrors. But I prefer to be true to my own… Read more

November 30, 2018

Last night, I had the Asian American evangelical uniate dream to own them all. I dreamed that I was in Richmond, and somehow Julian from Chicago was with me. For some reason, we were going to attend an evangelical worship service at the charismatic Anglican parish at which I used to work. The church is named for ‘Emmanuel.’ It occurs to me now that one of the free associations that may be being made here is that I prayed a… Read more

November 30, 2018

I grew up evangelical. Things make sense to me in the theological register of evangelicalism, much more so oftentimes than in the Catholic and Orthodox registers that they now arrive to me. I often deny it, but the truth is that as much as I might be formed by the mystagogy of our church, there is a part of me that will remain evangelical for much longer than I care to admit. What I mean when I reference my evangelical… Read more

November 29, 2018

My friend Abraham used to bake cranberry bread for communion at an evangelical church that my wife and I used to attend in the late stages of my doctoral work and well into my postdoctoral fellowship. There was a reason we went there. When we got married, Jenny was not Anglican, whereas I was. Not wanting to leave either of our communities, we shuffled between churches every week until we were tired of the inconsistency, at which point I was… Read more

November 28, 2018

I was having a conversation recently with a Korean American friend of mine who finds himself deep in the classical Reformed tradition. In this description, one should realize that the ‘classical’ modifier means that he is not a ‘New Calvinist’ in the sense that a number of Asian American evangelicals are: passionate, but scared of baptizing babies, while claiming to have a covenantal theology though the truth is that they probably latched onto the likes of luminaries such as John… Read more

November 27, 2018

In the autumn of 1999, our family was in a bit of a lurch. My father is, among other things, a pastor, and in the Chinese evangelical church that we were in, the politics that had followed a major sex scandal that rocked the community to the core had featured the exit of the Cantonese congregation from its infrastructure. The church, strictly speaking, was a Mandarin-speaking one, founded by young Taiwanese Chinese professionals who had studied in the United States… Read more

November 25, 2018

At Matins just this morning, parts of the first song of ascents were sung. In these dangerous times in both Ukraine and the United States, I consider this psalm in the Robert Alter translation and will say no more till I have soaked in prayerful discernment for more than a knee-jerk reaction can allow: To the Lord when I was in straits I called out and He answered me. Lord, save my life from lying lips, from a tongue of… Read more

November 25, 2018

By Orthodox standards, the saint of the Kyivan Church, the Holy Hieromartyr Josaphat (Kuntsevych) of Polotsk, is a controversial one. No matter how much it has been shown that Holy Josaphat was Orthodox in his practice of the liturgy, his association with the Union of Brest, for which he was killed by an angry mob, forever paints him as an agent of uniatism. The Orthodox accuse him of ordering the burning of churches, and while accusation may be more akin… Read more

November 24, 2018

  Two nights ago, I was at my dear friend and mentor Ji-Yeon Yuh’s house for American Thanksgiving. I had decided with my family in Canada that I wouldn’t come back for the weekend, as we had already celebrated the holiday in October. As it was, I was going to work right through Thanksgiving as if it were a workday, but a message from Ji-Yeon came in right on time, stopping me from my workaholism. I accepted immediately. A meal… Read more

November 23, 2018

Last night, on the eve of Thanksgiving, I prayed the Akathist of Thanksgiving, Glory to God in All Things. Written in exile by Metropolitan Tryphon in the difficult days of the Russian Church’s experience of the early Soviet Union, the series of hymns, often with incomplete stanzas, is a grateful meditation on everyday life, finding the grace-filled supernatural infusing all things in creation and working from those encounters with the world to the deeper mysteries of life in Christ. The… Read more

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