About

Glory to God for All Things is written and maintained by Fr. Stephen Freeman. All unsigned posts are written by him.

Fr. Stephen is an Orthodox Priest under the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in America. He serves as the Rector of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

He is the author of numerous published articles and the books Face to Face: Knowing God Beyond Our Shame, and Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe. He is also the author of the popular podcast, Glory to God, on Ancient Faith Radio.

Fr. Stephen has a B.A. in Classical Languages from Furman University (1977), a M.Div. from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary (1980), and a M.A. in Theology from Duke University (1991). His thesis at Duke was entitled 
The Icon as Theology.

Comments are welcome. Those commenting are asked to be respectful of others and to express disagreement with kindness. This is a private blog – all comments are subject to being removed for the sake of the greater conversation or for disturbance of the peace.

Comments

131 responses to “About”

  1. seth Avatar

    fr stephan,

    i’m thrilled you joined the blog world with your own blog. i shall look forward to reading more from you. meeting you last year in atlanta at st john’s was quite fun.

  2. Daniel Greeson Avatar

    glad to see you join the blog world Father.

  3. Priest Matthew Jackson Avatar

    Fr. Stephen-

    Christ is in our midst!

    Nice blog. I think you will find that many people will find your blog, and you will be able to share the richness of Orthodoxy with them. If you are so inclined, take a peak at mine, listed in the website blank above. May God bless your effort to reach people in His name.

    Priest Matthew

  4. fatherstephen Avatar
    fatherstephen

    He is and ever shall be!

    Thank you for the good words. I look forward to enjoying your site.

  5. Michaelszy Avatar
    Michaelszy

    Wonderful blog Fr. Stephen! It is a true to gift to read your articles and selections.

  6. tmatt Avatar

    Father bless:

    Father Stephen, I seem to have lost your most recent email address.

    Please drop me a line to make sure I have the right one.

    tmatt

  7. Theron Mathis Avatar

    this is great.

    I linked you on my blog.

  8. Tylor Avatar

    I was wondering where you found this bit of information on your “pagans” post:

    “Neither did we borrow the date for Christmas from the pagans (that’s a 19th century German myth). The use of December 25th for Christmas predates the feast for Sol Invictus, instituted by Marcus Aurelius, by some decades. So it’s not about the winter soltice (sorry again, pagans).”

    That struck my curiosity and I’d like to know more.

  9. Anna Avatar

    Father Stephen,

    I stumbled across your blog a little earlier today, and have been enjoying reading your posts, especially your thoughts on the smallness of god, and on paganism.

  10. Fr. Philip LeMasters Avatar

    Fr. Stephen:
    Greetings in the name of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ!
    Were you in the Graduate Program in Religion at Duke University in the late 80’s? I was, and was a Southern Baptist at the time. I am now a priest in the Antiochian Archdiocese. If any of this rings a bell, please email me. If not, please forgive.
    Asking for your prayers for this unworthy priest,

    Fr. Philip

  11. thomas Avatar
    thomas

    Father,

    I just wanted to thank you for the blog. I have been reading it for about a month, and consistently find my heart touched by what you write here. In my experience this is a rare thing to find anywhere, even more so on the internet.

    Although I am not a member of the Orthodox Church (I am a Roman Catholic – not too offensive to you I trust ;), your blog has been a means of real grace for me. I hope this encourages you!

    I will pray that God continue to bless you and if you should think of it, please say a small quick prayer for me as well.

    thomas

  12. Chuck Avatar

    Fr. Stephen,

    It turns out that my wife is a friend of an old friend of yours (from Greenville). We are currently attending a local Episcopal parish in NC. We have Orthodox friends and occasionally join them for services at the OCA parish in Charlotte, NC (there we met Archbishop DMITRI)

    I’m also from Knoxville originally and have lots of family over there. We hope to meet you one of these days while over in that neck of the woods.

  13. Stephanos of Nikopolis Avatar

    Father Stephen,

    I just discovered your blog indirectly through the http://orthodoxwiki.org/Online_Orthodox_Communities
    list.

    May God bless the work of your hands!

    With your blessing, I would link your blog to mine.

    In Christ,

    Stephanos

  14. fatherstephen Avatar

    Thank you Stephanos. May the Lord bless you!

  15. intlxpatr Avatar

    I read your blog often, but I am so intimidated by all your learned commenters that I rarely make a peep. Your blog feeds my soul. I love coming here; it is like a quiet traditional church.

  16. fatherstephen Avatar

    Commentators run the gamut here – from learned to just simple folk needing an answer to a question. Please feel free to comment or ask. My rule is to try and keep kindness as the norm.

  17. Blake Avatar

    Father, bless. Christ is in our midst!

    I’ve really enjoyed the posts I’ve read on your blog. Time permitting I’ll be reading more and more of them. I added you to my blogroll. You’re most welcome to take a peek at mine if you’d like to.

    Ever the sinner, a simple catechumen,

    Isaac

  18. Beau in NC Avatar
    Beau in NC

    Father Stephen, You mention a Protestant seminary and Stanley Hauerwas. Did you attend, by any chance, Duke? I was there in the mid seventies.
    Boyd Holliday

  19. Curtis McMinn Avatar

    I look forward to reading your blog!

  20. Beau in NC Avatar
    Beau in NC

    Father Stepehen, you would be interested in this article that appeared in Christianity Today. It describes the movement of many evangelicals toward Orthodoxy and Catholic traditions. I especially recommend that any interested in these developments do a search on the name Thomas Oden.

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/february/22.22.html

  21. Mike Boyd Avatar
    Mike Boyd

    Fr. Stephen,

    I just discovered your blogsite – well done! How do you find the time to do all that you do?

    Thank you for all you have contributed to our journey of faith.

    God bless you and your family.

  22. fatherstephen Avatar

    Mike,

    I time travel. It’s the only way to multi-task.

  23. Alice C. Linsley Avatar

    Father Stephen,

    Would you consider listing Just Genesis on your blogroll? It has much of interest to Orthodox Christians and my thinking would benefit from more interaction with Orthodox readers. You will find it here:

    http://jandyongenesis.blogspot.com

  24. Beau in NC Avatar
    Beau in NC

    I would be interested in your thoughts on the doctrine of apocatastasis. Wikipedia defines it as the idea that hell will be abolished and all (lost souls included) will be saved. But I wonder if that isn’t confusing apocatastasis, which is a broad statement about the final reconcilition of “all things” in Christ, with only one question, that of universal salvation. Might not final reconciliation mean more? Can it be taught or understood without answering the question of who will (or won’t) be saved? And if that question is set aside, then what does it mean?

  25. fatherstephen Avatar

    The apocatastasis is not a part of Orthodox doctrine. There are some mild speculations within about three fathers that in the end God’s mercy triumphs over all. But as far as the Church’s teaching is concerned, we affirm that most assuredly some will refuse the love of God. Whether that will remain eternal is perhaps more open for speculation. But I cannot go further than the teaching of the Church.

  26. Thomas Eric Ruthford Avatar

    I really like your blog! I’ve started one of my own about the Plight of the Single Person. I’d appreciate hearing what you think of it.

    In Christ,
    Thomas

  27. Nina Avatar
    Nina

    Evloyeitai.

    I have been blessed in this one second in my life to come across your blog via the blog stnicholasdallas. God is merciful to His servant.

    I am overcome by the beauty and truth of what I have been reading here….more so when the direct simplicity of HOW it is written is taken into account.

    I look forward to getting to know you and all the others who write/comment here.

    With Christian love,
    Nina

  28. T.A. James McCallum Avatar
    T.A. James McCallum

    Good afternoon,

    I have really enjoyed your blog. At the moment I am developing a site in Australia and wanted to ask where you sourced your digital images of antiquity?

    Covenantal blessings,
    TA James McCallum

  29. fatherstephen Avatar

    Mostly those of antiquity were in my computer when I bought it (Hewlitt-Packard). I use a lot of shots from my own travels. Other images I hunt down on the web – usually through google images.

  30. sceptik Avatar

    wow, orthodox foreigners have blogs also… This is amaizing. I’m from Romania and I also have a blog: http://sceptik.wordpress.com . In Romania there are tenths of orthodox blogs, of a very good quality. Also, you might wanna checj this out as well: http://eresulcatolic.50webs.com/aggiornamento.html which shows the apostasy of the catholic church and the bad consequences of Aggiornamento. Click on those links…

  31. Myrna Martin Avatar

    Fr. Stephen,

    Please forgive, but I was hoping to get in contact with you concerning possibly speaking engagements. I am a member of St. Ignatius in Franklin, TN, with Fr. Stephen Rogers. This comments field was the easiest manner I saw in which to leave you a message. I will continue to look for an email address as well.

    You can reach me at email hidden; JavaScript is required . Thank you so much.

    Myrna Martin

    (written and posted by Miriam Martin, Myrna’s daughter, who is a little better at navigating websites. 🙂

  32. Sophia Avatar
    Sophia

    Good afternoon, I have been reading your blog for several weeks and I love that it gives me things to think about as I go through my day. It also gives me a substitute for participating in office gossip (something that I am prone to do when I am not mindful of it). I have noticed on your blog whenever I see the name of the Archbishop mentioned, it is is all caps. i.e. “Archbishop DMITRI.” Why is this? Is this the proper way to write his name, or is “Archbishop Dmitri” also acceptable?
    Thank you,
    Sophia

  33. fatherstephen Avatar

    It is conventional, in Russian practice (I presume) that the name of the Bishop be in all Caps.

  34. Rob Avatar
    Rob

    Hello,

    I’m not sure how I came across your blog originally but I check in here from time to time. I’m not a religious person at all and most of the time I question the existence of god completely. Still, something makes me return to this subject (and sometimes your blog). Sometimes something specific calls me back.

    I live in Winnipeg, Canada. A few days ago, a horrific murder happened on the highway, on a greyhound bus, between Winnipeg and Brandon Manitoba. A 22 year old was murdered and decapitated in front of all of the passengers on the bus – for no reason.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080801.wbus-victim01/BNStory/National/home
    http://www.winnipegsun.com/News/Manitoba/2008/08/02/6336156-sun.html

    In case the contents of the links above change- Tim Mclean was stabbed as many as 40 times (the actual number of times has not been released yet) and then decapitated. His murderer walked up and down the isle of the bus with his head and was rumored to have eaten parts of Tim’s corpse. This happened in front of a crowd of people. No one even tried to help Tim Mclean.

    People are talking about this everywhere in Winnipeg. Yesterday while at work, I casually mentioned that I had some trouble sleeping the night the story broke on the news. A work mate nearby chimed in and claimed the same. I had a nightmare about it actually, the first in years; and I’ve had trouble sleeping since. A third person in my office overheard and came by to also talk about how disturbed he was over this.

    It’s been a while since I have spoken to god. I usually don’t bother because I have the hardest time understanding that a supreme being can exist. But I want to believe. I am trying and yet things keep happening in daily life that say otherwise.

    Yet, today, I started to pray for Tim Mclean- someone I never knew. I am ashamed to say that I kind of fell apart when I began.

    What I tried to say was something like this:
    “GOD: A few days ago, your child, Tim Mclean died horribly at the hands of a monster and well before his time. I can’t fathom why you decided it was time for him to return home so early and why he had to come back to you in the way he did. I beg you to erase the last moments from his memory and let his heart and spirit be filled with joy and happiness. Help his family and friends in their suffering too. I don’t know him, but I bet Tim did not deserve an end like that.”

    What came out in stead was this:
    “GOD: Where are you? Did you know what has happened to Tim Mclean? Did you even notice or what it part of your plan- that he die the way he did without meaning or reason? What that your intention? What’s your plan for his killer?? Where you just in a bad mood when you allowed a monster to massacre your child right in front of you (and all of us)? You toy with us.”

    .. and it goes downhill from there.

    I find that I am not adequate to say a prayer for Tim.

    I wonder, if in one of your sermons; you might ask your followers to join you in a prayer for Tim Mclean and his family.

    Rob W

  35. Patty Joanna Avatar
    Patty Joanna

    Dear Rob,

    While I am no more adequate than you to pray, I will say a prayer tonight for Tim. I know what it is to be deeply moved — to tears — by one you have never met. Will you say a prayer for the child Ben who is suffering from cancer and the treatment for it? Neither of us is adequate, but Christ is.

    Patty Joanna

  36. Gerry Avatar
    Gerry

    Rob,

    A horrible, shocking occurrence of course, but such things happen every day – when it’s a computer game like strike on a ‘facility’ somewhere in the Middle East from a hi-tech US stealth bomber, the human suffering (euphemistically called collateral damage) does not seem quite so dramatic….the point is that God is not to be called into question for doing or allowing it. He allows us free will to make the better choices and suffers for us when we don’t.

    If you question the existence of God completely, as you say, then may I ask where you think you get the moral sense from that allows you to feel the way you do about the tragedy that has happened in Canada? After all, if there is no natural order beyond ourselves and we are no more than the result of some infinitesimally unlikely random chance, then why not just do whatever we feel like at all times?

    Science is great but in terms of the universe, that which it can explain is far less than that which it cannot, so for me the existence of God provides a framework which can far more compellingly explain how the world works than any alternative.

    God rest Tim, and bless you Rob.

    Gerry

  37. Jan Ligon Avatar
    Jan Ligon

    Could it be the same wonderful priest I knew 20 years ago in Simpsonville, SC @ Holy Cross??
    Remember our Wednesday “dates” to the Red Barron for Ruben’s and beer?
    You are truely a man of God and I want my Grandson to meet you.
    May God’s peace be with you.
    Jan

  38. fatherstephen Avatar

    Jan,

    I’m the same guy. Older, grayer, and a little banged up. But I now serve as an Orthodox Chrisitian priest in Oak Ridge. I’d love for you to come up some time. I think the Red Baron shut down, pity.

  39. jojulie Avatar
    jojulie

    I am residing in Singapore and there is no Orthodox church. How can I participate in an Orthodox liturgy?

  40. fatherstephen Avatar

    Jojulie

    Look at this website

    http://www.orthodoxchurch.sg/Welcome.html

    It is from the Orthodox Church in Singapore, which is under the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople. I do not know if it is convenient to you but they should have good information for your local situation.

  41. jojulie Avatar
    jojulie

    Dear Father Stephen,
    Thank you so much for your prompt reply. I have been reading your blog for the past couple of months and to say that I have been blessed is an understatement. May our Lord continue to use you and this blog site to bless all those who are seekers like me. With prayer and blessings…

  42. Beau in NC Avatar
    Beau in NC

    This comment is for Rob. Years ago in college I read the book Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevski. It is a very long read and very difficult. (The newest translation by Random House/Vintage books is supposed to be the best, and I just bought a copy, but haven’t read it yet. My old, beat-up, college version is covered with highlighter ink and underlined sections. This book, reflecting Orthodox spirituality, is a lengthy meditation on the presence of inexplicable evil in the world, and why God appears to let it happen. I hope you will get a copy and that if you do, it will help you as much as it has helped me. God bless you.

  43. Maxim Avatar

    Dear Father Stephen,
    I am a french lay orthodox from south of France. Thank you for your blog and your writing I find very nice and nurturing. So I’ve put your link in my blogroll. I’d like to translate texts from your website to include them in my blog. Do you allow it ?
    God bless you and The Most Holy Mother of God suppot your works. In XC Love. Maxim

  44. fatherstephen Avatar

    Maxim,

    Yes, feel free to translate. If possible, include a link or reference to my site. Thank you for your kind words!

    Send me a note when you do your first translation, I’ll put you on my blogroll.

  45. zpap Avatar
    zpap

    Good Day Father,
    please give me your blessing. I recently discovered your blog. IT IS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. God bless you.
    Zissis

  46. Maxim Avatar

    Dear Father
    it’s done your recent text “Death of religion” is trnaslated and can be read on my site. Thank you a lot and Our Lord save you !
    Maxim

  47. Marie Eliades Avatar
    Marie Eliades

    I’m not a blogger and am working on an old fashioned book on Orthodox Christian parenting.. I’d like to talk to you.. like your work. Will you email me so I can give you info via email? I could look you up the old fashioned way but since I’ve gone this far… I’m receiving occasional emails from many quarters with your articles.

    Good strength.
    in Christ,
    m

  48. Ben Avatar
    Ben

    Father,

    Please join us as we pray for Christian missionaries in Bolivia who are being threatened by corrupt elements both inside and outside government. Our missionaries (some of them have been in-country for over 40 years), are asking for divine protection to continue carrying the Light of Christ in darkest places.

    Thank you, and may God bless and protect you, and the entire Orthodox community in America.

  49. Claudiu Avatar

    Hello Father Stephen,

    I read your blog often and I like it a lot. God inspires you tremendously because your articles are superb. I will pray for you and for your family, to continue this blog ministry.

    I’m a Romanian student at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Bucharest, and I want very much to become a priest and to serve God and all the people every second of my life. in everything I do. Me and some other friends we have also an orthodox blog. The reason that made me start a blog was you and the beautiful articles on this site.

    I want to ask you if you allow us to create a blog on WordPress in which we will translate daily all your articles in Romanian, because I think they will be of great help. We will not change anything, we will keep everything as it is (text, pictures,…) If you want we can use the same wordpress theme and the same header as yours.

    In our orthodox country we have a lot of orthodox blogs, but only few are worth reading daily.

    Please let me know if you are ok. I think romanian people will love you. If you say yes I will ask for the blessing of my priest and then we will start right away.

  50. Natalia Avatar

    Dear Father Stephen,

    I work for an Orthodox missionary website “Orthodoxy and the world” http://www.pravmir.com. Thank you for a great work you do on your blog!
    Would you please allow us to post on our site two of your articles “Me, You and the Other Guy” and “When Money Fails”? Thank you!
    Our site contains plenty of information about Orthodox Christianity and we try to do our best to give people a chance to know more about it. You might find our site interesting and worthwhile and add our link to your blog, if you’d love to.

  51. fatherstephen Avatar

    Cladiu,

    I would be honored. I feel unworthy to address the long-suffering Romanian Orthodox people, but if you find it helpful, may God bless it. I’ll contact you by email to work out the details Thank you for your kind words and offer,

  52. fatherstephen Avatar

    I would be honored, Natalia. The more readers, in any form, the better. I am flattered, useless servant that I am.

  53. Balan Claudiu Avatar
    Balan Claudiu

    Thank you very much Father Stephen for your good willing. I’m very glad, I’m thrilled about this….I hardly wait to start doing it.
    I’m waiting for your email.

  54. Balan Claudiu Avatar
    Balan Claudiu

    Father Stephen, I’ve already created the blog in Romanian language, on which we will you tranlate your articles> http://parintelestephen.wordpress.com/
    The name of the blog is the same in romanian as in english: “parintele = father”
    I’ve used the same header and the same title, only that is translated.
    Please let me know what do you think. You can send me an email to email hidden; JavaScript is required
    Thank you very much!

  55. Kathy Lu Avatar
    Kathy Lu

    Dear Fr. Stephen–I just found out about your website from one of our members at Holy Apostles on Facebook. Wow, I could spend days reading your articles. I am at heart an information addict, and can easily spend too much time in books and blogs. So I will check occasionally. I try to see your parents once in a while–they seem to apppreciate a visit. Kathy Lu.

  56. Ron Avatar
    Ron

    I just found your blogsite through Fr. Joseph Hunneycutt’s “Orthodixie” site. I am so happy to have found this and what you have to say!

  57. Heath_Edw Avatar
    Heath_Edw

    Father Stephen, first I’d like to thank you for your blog. It has provided me with many thoughts, answers, and questions. Though I haven’t commented on any posts, I’ve been following your blog and your podcasts for a little over six months. As well as your blog, I’ve been reading and listening to other orthodox communicators. For many years I’ve felt the desire to learn more of God and search for a more intimate communion with Him (my protestant upbringing not fulfilling my desires). Thank you for being a helpful provider…

    Having been in this place for awhile now, i wish to continue further into the Orthodox Church. I’ve noticed that many of your readers have asked you concerning how to enter into the Orthodox Church while living far from any churches… My own problem is twofold: distance and language. I live in Switzerland. The spoken language is German, whereas my own language is English as I am an Australian. I have found a number of Orthodox Churches in the region, but none are English-speaking. Can you advise me on the correct way to get in contact with people who can help me?

  58. Laura Avatar

    Father Stephen,

    I’d like to say thanks, first of all, for your posts. I’m not sure how I first came across your blog, but I’ve been reading it for the past few months, and you have both encouraged and challenged me greatly. I come from a tradition that is very different from the Orthodox Church in many ways, though I believe we hold many things in similar regard, and hearing your thoughts has been inspirational to me.

    I see that in at least one of your posts, you’ve mentioned studying theology at Duke. I’ve recently completed applications for graduate schools to study for a Master of Theological Studies degree, perhaps continuing on for a doctoral degree later, and Duke was among those schools I applied to. I’m sure things may have changed in the intervening years between when you attended and now, but I was wondering if you would mind giving me your thoughts on your experiences at Duke. I’d appreciate it!

    Thanks again, and God bless!

  59. Jonathan MCcormack Avatar
    Jonathan MCcormack

    Dear Father,

    Recently I quoted you in an article I wrote criticizing Bill Mahr’s film Religulous.
    If you wish simply email me and I will include it in an attachment if you want to view it.
    Sincerely,
    Jonathan McCormack
    email hidden; JavaScript is required

  60. marinei Avatar

    V-am adaugat la blogroll nostru !

  61. Frank Morrall Avatar

    Hi Fr. Stephen,

    If you want to add Facebook or email sharing buttons to your blog posts, there’s a plugin that does it for you: http://tinyurl.com/sharebuttons

    Hope you find it helpful!

    Cheers,

  62. ula Avatar
    ula

    Dear Father Stephen,

    I would like to thank you deeply for your Blog, i’ve found your thoughts very interesting and inspiring – the world needs your ‘two cents’ now more than ever! I’m not Orthodox but Roman Catholic but I truly respect everything you’ve written and the Orthodox religion itself.
    Do you have an email address where I can contact you? Lately i’ve been needing some wise advice about life matters and you seem like the person I should be asking.

  63. fatherstephen Avatar

    ula

    email

    email hidden; JavaScript is required

  64. GREECEWATCH Avatar

    The Holy Great Monastery of Vatopedi on Mount Athos today (July 1, 2009) mourns the dormition of our Elder Joseph of Vatopedi
    1 Ιουλίου, 2009 — VatopaidiFriend
    The Holy Great Monastery of Vatopedi on Mount Athos today mourns the dormition of our Elder Joseph of Vatopedi, one of the few remaining true Athonite elders who reposed this morning at 2:30, July 1, 2009. The Elder was born on July 1, 1921, on the celebration of the Holy Anargyroi (Saints Cosmas and Damian). After the dormition of his Elder, Joseph the Hesychast, he left the Skete where he lived and went to the Skete of the Holy Anargyroi. St Cosmas and St Damian were those who protected him throughout his life and those who chose to take him with them on the day of their celebration.
    The funeral rite will be held at 18:00 today at the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopedi.
    MAY HIS MEMORY BE ETERNAL

  65. natodallospirito Avatar
    natodallospirito

    Dear fr. Stephen, Christ is in our midst!

    I have added your precious blog in my favourite links. Hope you will accept to add my blog’s address too: http://www.natidallospirito.com.

    It is about orthodox spirituality, in Italian and Arabic.

  66. A Spray Painted White Man Avatar
    A Spray Painted White Man

    I have decided this Blog is a work of Genius – the comments often border on the surreal and the lunatic – but it makes for a tremendous read.

    Here is an example of why this Blog is so interesting:

    “The Reformation left the Catholic Church in a position where it had to clearly define more of its beliefs because they were under constant attack in a way the East was relatively safe from. Protestantism attacked the Faith in a much more sophisticated way than was faced when contending with Muslims…..”

  67. Ralph Wilson Avatar

    I came across this image in your site:

    https://glory2godforallthings.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2007/11/pascha-fresco.jpg

    Do you know where this fresco is physically located. It is a great illustration for my new e-mail Bible study series on 1 John.

  68. fatherstephen Avatar

    Ralph,

    I’m sorry. I could not find its physical location. By its inscription, it is Russian. More than that i do not know.

  69. Sharon Avatar
    Sharon

    fatherstephen, thank you for you this beautiful blog. I am a Catholic who just started visiting your blog and have already linked one of your articles on facebook so my friends can discover this place too.

  70. Susan Avatar
    Susan

    I just found this blog today, and I absolutely love it! Thank you for fostering an environment of peace on the internet, especially in the “blogosphere” world! Your beautiful posts have helped to settle my restless heart which sent me out searching and brought me to your blog in the first place. I especially appreciated your post on the ecclesiology of the cross. Thanks again, I will be visiting often. God bless you!

  71. Laura Avatar

    Father Stephen,

    Your blog is good to read. Thank you!

  72. Ruth Ann Avatar

    I began reading your blog recently. I am a Roman Catholic, but I find what you write quite compatible with my own beliefs and spirituality. I understand that you are from Orthodox Christianity. I don’t know whether or not it matters, but I do wonder which version of Orthodox.

  73. fatherstephen Avatar

    Ruth Ann,
    It does not matter. I am a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, a daughter Church of Moscow, where Russian practice is the most common part of our heritage. But the Orthodox faith is one faith, whether Greek, Russian, Romanian, American, etc.

  74. Jeremy Krenz Avatar
    Jeremy Krenz

    Father Bless!

    Thank you Father, or maybe rather, thanks to God for working thru you in this blog.

    I find it a source of daily edification on my journey.

    Thank you and God’s Blessings.

    May the intercessions of the Theotokos bring us to eternal joy!

    In Christ,

    jeremy.

  75. Scott Avatar

    Fr. Stephen,
    Your blessings…
    I want to commend you on your site. I’ve been following along for a while and I believe you have the gift for gab that this sort of new media ministry commands. Your prose is dignified and almost elegant but remains accessibly colloquial. As a young man, a convert myself, and someone invested in new media, I thank you.
    I would like to talk to you sometime about a new ministry with the Orthodox Christian Network, one of an orthodox blogging hub. Fr. Chris Metropulos has charged me with some recruitment of talent and I naturally thought of you. Please email me when time makes it convenient. I would very much like to share with you the ideas and goals we have in mind to see if you might be interested.

    Yours,
    Scott Patrick

  76. Darrell Lahay Avatar
    Darrell Lahay

    Hello Father,

    I was wondering if you would ever be interested in writing a topical “guest post” on my blog from time to time..

    I am a Protestant pastor from BC Canada and i have benefited greatly from your Orthodox perspective. I have some beautiful Catholic roots, but. The Orthodox church is something i am still learning about..i would love to expose my blog audience (probably entirely protestant) to a fresh perspective..

    Topics i frequent are:
    Leadership
    Addiction
    Christology
    Sotierology
    Apologetics
    Worship/music
    Parables etc.

    My blog is

    http://www.darrelllahay.wordpress.com

    My email is

    email hidden; JavaScript is required

    Shalom..

  77. fatherstephen Avatar
  78. Joseph Avatar

    Fr Stephen, Bless!

    Glory to God for all things. I started a blog here in Orthodox Alaska, and wish to share. Thank you for your time! Please pray for me, a sinner.

    http://www.servantofprayer.wordpress.com.

    Yours in Christ,

    + Joseph +

  79. Mary Lanser Avatar

    Christ is Risen!

    Dear Father Stephen,

    I am adding Glory to God for All Things to my public blog roll at:

    http://irenikontheskete.blogspot.com/

    If you have any objections, please write to me at

    email hidden; JavaScript is required

    Thanks for keep this lovely blog going!’

    Mary

  80. fatherstephen Avatar

    Thank you, Mary. Christ is Risen!

  81. Mary Lanser Avatar

    That’s good of you, Father. Maybe once it gets a bit more meat on the bones I’ll ask you to consider it for your Catholic Roll.

    Christ is Risen!

    M.

  82. Barbara Avatar
    Barbara

    Dear Fr. Stephen,

    I successfully defended my doctoral thesis yesterday, and I wanted to tell you that your blog has been a constant source of inspiration throughout my journey. I am a fairly new orthodox Christian and I was working quite a bit with orthodox writers and theologians with regard to what it means to be a person. Often concepts that I struggled with were brought forward by you and explained very clearly, helping move me forward in my thinking. You also made me aware of sources for further thought and reflection.

    As I consider how my success was only possible because of others, I wanted to express my sincere gratitude to you. You also continue to inspire me with the way that you preserve the freedom of others to be other and also create a space of hospitable learning.

    God grant you many years!

  83. fatherstephen Avatar

    Barbara,
    Many years on such a great accomplishment! Indeed, it is a very fine thing. Any way I have been of assistance is of deep satisfaction. God bless your work! Many thanks for your kind remarks!

  84. David Hays Avatar
    David Hays

    It was a blessing to meet and hear you tonight. As when I read your blog, I was provoked to think some things afresh.

  85. Lina Avatar
    Lina

    Father Stephen,
    Have you ever visited the country Georgia?

    Many thanks

    Lina

  86. fatherstephen Avatar

    Lina,
    I have not though I have been told by friends who have been there of the warmth of the people and the welcome they received in the Churches.

  87. Lina Avatar
    Lina

    Father Stephen,

    Thank you so much for your quick and warm respond. I am Georgian Christian Orthodox that I am proud and happy of. I so wish you visit the country one day and meet our fathers and see our ancient churches.

    Father Stephen is it possible to speak with you in private somehow as I have couple of questions.

    Thanks in advance

    God Bless

    Lina

  88. fatherstephen Avatar

    Lina, my email is email hidden; JavaScript is required

  89. Barbara Avatar
    Barbara

    Dear Fr. Stephen,

    I am looking for a copy of “Mary, the Untrodden Portal of God,” and have had great difficulty finding one. I’m wondering if you have any leads. It’s a book I heard about through your blog and have been trying to find ever since. There are sometimes used copies on Amazon.com, but often the traders don’t ship to Canada or they are unbelievably expensive. Sometimes I’ve come across one that is reasonable and when I try to order it, I get a message saying it’s now unavailable.

    Any help would be much appreciated!

  90. fatherstephen Avatar

    Barbara,
    I’ll keep my eyes open.

  91. Dana Ames Avatar
    Dana Ames

    Barbara,

    Eighth Day Books has it listed in their inventory for US$23.95.
    http://www.eighthdaybooks.com/index.php?p=catalog&mode=search&search_in=all&keywords=Mary+the+Untrodden+Portal+of+God&x=45&y=7&parent=

    They actually answer their phone and you get to talk to a human being. If the book is not available, they would probably know if/when it’s going to be reprinted.

    Dana

  92. Dana Ames Avatar
    Dana Ames

    Barbara,
    one also came up on the Holy Cross GO Seminary bookstore site.

    Dana

  93. Lina Avatar
    Lina

    Thank you Father Stephen,

    I will get in touch soon.

    Lina

  94. Barbara Avatar
    Barbara

    Thank you so much for your help, Dana!

  95. Lisa Ann Avatar

    Father Stephen, I was wondering how the Orthodox tradition would define the word “Gospel.” I come from the Reformed/Calvinist tradition, and I’ve been noticing that they seem to summarize it as “Jesus came to bear our punishment so we could be right with God.” This seems like a reduction to me. Isn’t there more to the Gospel than propitiation or even atonement?

    Thanks,

    Lisa (email hidden; JavaScript is required)

  96. David Avatar
    David

    Hi,

    I would first like to thank you for your time and spirit, as this blog is a great read of mine. I greatly enjoy it, and learn alot from it. Thank you.

    My question is not of profound spiritualty today and I must beg pardon, but it’s still something that I wanted to know for a long time. What is the exact passage in latin where it is said :

    ”God became Man so that Man could become God”*

    Thank you,
    David.

    * I know that there is alot of difference between translation, so I just kept the basic saying.

  97. fatherstephen Avatar

    It is not a Latin quote, but Greek, from St. Athanasius (though I think there is a quote in St. Irenaeus that is similar). In Athanasius it is in De Incarnatione, 54.3

  98. Sean Avatar
    Sean

    @ David:

    “Ο Λόγος σάρξ εγένετο, ίνα τον άνθρωπον δεκτικόν θεότητος ποιήση” are the exact words of St. Athanasius, translated literally to “The Word became flesh, to make man receptible to divinity”. Father, please correct me if I am mistaken, particularly with the translation

  99. fatherstephen Avatar

    Sean,
    Thank you for the Greek text. My computer doesn’t know Greek, even if I do. Translation is fine. Believe it or not, I found some good references on theosis online within some Reform sources. I guess if you read the fathers at all, you have to admit that theosis is a major and ancient doctrine of the Church. I believe it is clearly taught by Scripture if read correctly.

  100. Priest Jonah Campbell Avatar

    Fr. Stephen,

    Christ is in our midst!

    Great blog! Your articles and commentary are very inspiring… the internet is certainly the better for having you on it 🙂

    I also wanted to let you know about our new site, Damascene Gallery, which was just launched last week. We have an online store, but also many resources including an iconography forum, our own blog and a searchable Public Domain icon database. Let me know what you think…

    I’ll definitely continue following your wonderful blog!

    In Christ God, the Divine Word made flesh,

    Priest Jonah Campbell
    Co-founder, Damascene Gallery
    http://www.damascenegallery.com

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Latest Comments

  1. Janine, Thank you for replying! I understand what you’re saying about unworthiness and I totally agree, it is absolutely by…

  2. Father Stephen, Thank you for zeroing in on the shame and recommending your book. I look forward to reading it!

  3. Also, John the Baptist said he wasn’t worthy even to untie or carry Jesus’s shoes.

  4. Matthew, I’m glad that I could put into words your own thoughts on this gloomy matter, if only better to…

  5. PS “I am not worthy” is also echoing the words of the centurion whose servant was ill.


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