August 16, 2019

Scripture is full stories with prophetic warnings about potential futures. Whether we take them as literal history, or as some theological myth, or a mixture of the two, we should learn the lessons being implied by them and consider the ramifications of them in our lives today. What is important is to realize that these warnings are given for a reason: to help motivate people to change before it is too late. Sometimes, like Jonah with Nineveh, the threats are… Read more

August 14, 2019

Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus,  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above… Read more

August 13, 2019

Champion of Orthodoxy, teacher of purity and of true worship,  enlightener of the universe and adornment of hierarchs:  all-wise father Maximus, your teachings have gleamed with light upon all things.  Intercede before Christ God to save our souls (Troparion for the Feast of the Translation of the Relics of St. Maximos the Confessor) St. Maximos (Maximus) the Confessor was one of the most erudite theological writers of the patristic age. His claim to fame, his status as being a confessor,… Read more

August 12, 2019

One of the worst aspects of medieval theological speculation is that it often relied upon theories about nature and the world coming from supposed authorities (like Aristotle) instead of experience. This influenced the way many viewed animals. Through centuries, indeed, millennia of undermining their potential, animals were denigrated, their rational abilities not only misunderstood but often outright denied, so that when Christians asked whether or not animals had immortal souls, the answer was no. To have an immortal soul, many… Read more

August 9, 2019

Many of Trump’s policies, and the actions undertaken to enforce his policies, are cruel. There is no way getting around it. And cruelty seems to be the point. From all appearances, he does not care about the people he hurts so long as it gives him more power (or money). The crueler he is, the more power he seems to possess, the happier he is. Certainly, inspired by his base, and his own background, the cruelty is directed towards those… Read more

August 8, 2019

Defenders of the death penalty usually employ one or two distinct strategies in their apologetics, sometimes separately, sometimes together. The first is to promote capital punishment as “retributive justice,” and the second is to suggest the death penalty should be used as it acts as a kind of “self-defense” for society. For Christians who embrace the dignity of life, both arguments are invalid. Jesus overturned the notion of retributive justice when he rejected the notion of “an eye for an… Read more

August 6, 2019

In the second letter attributed to Peter, there is a reference to the event of the Transfiguration: For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” … Read more

August 5, 2019

When Jesus cleared the Temple (cf. Matt. 21: 12-17; Mk. 11:15-19; Lk. 19: 45-48; Jn. 2:13-23), he not only cleared it from the defilements of the moneylenders and priests who made a profit on the sacrifices, but he also freed the animals which were within so that they would not be used as sacrifices. We often contemplate the effects of Jesus’ actions on the people involved, and that is indeed, an important part of the event. However, we must not… Read more

August 1, 2019

In what often seems like a robotic response, whenever someone like Pope Francis speaks about the need to take care of the earth, critics, especially on social media, respond by suggesting the Pope (or whoever makes the plea) is incorporating unholy paganism into their exhortations. Such critics want to suggest that the notion of Mother Earth, Gaia, of the World Soul, lies behind environmental concerns, and that notion runs contrary to orthodox Christian thought. What utter nonsense encourages so-called Christians… Read more

July 30, 2019

The inviolable dignity of life means that no one can ever deserve being put to death. If it is suggested that someone should be executed for something they have done, that means the dignity of life can be violated and overturned. To be prolife is to rejection such a violation of human dignity, which is why anyone who promotes such a violation of life, for any reason, cannot be said to be pro-life. It undermines the very postulate, the fundamental… Read more

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