Category: Atonement

  • Praying for the World That Lives Within You

    This XXIX prayer of St. Nicholai of Zicha from Prayers by the Lake, echoes the kneeling prayers of Pentecost, or perhaps, the Prayer of Manasseh… The “collective” voice that characterizes its petitions echo St. Silouan’s prayers for the “Whole Adam.” In a time of trouble (such as our days), we do well to learn this…

  • The God Claws – The Therapeutic Work of the Holy Spirit

    In a graphic scene of redemption, CS Lewis depicts a young boy who has unfortunately been turned into a dragon. The boy (Eustace) is largely at fault in this transformation – something which brings his life to a miserable and seemingly unsolvable conclusion. He is, however, confronted by God in the figure of Aslan, the…

  • The Way of Shame and the Way of Thanksgiving

    The language of “self-emptying” can have a sort of Buddhist ring. It sounds as we are referencing a move towards becoming a vessel without content – the non-self. Given our multicultural world, such a reference is understandable. It is, however, unfortunate and requires that we visit the true nature of Christian self-emptying. Our self-emptying is…

  • Broken Communion

    The holidays can make it all too poignant: the terrible fact of broken communion. Often, our festivities bring us into close contact with some (few or many) whom we most commonly avoid. An uncle, an aunt, a brother, a parent whose relationship is marked with pain, misunderstanding, shame, and various other torments. Statistics say that…

  • It’s a Lying Shame

    The story of the first sin begins not with a choice, but with a lie. As much as we tend to emphasize “free-will” as the origin and dominant factor of human sin, we do well to remember the true nature of our lives. Things are much more complicated than freedom can account for. Rather, we…

  • Repentance for the World – Prayers by the Lake XXIX

    This XXIX prayer of St. Nicholai of Zicha from Prayers by the Lake, echoes the kneeling prayers of Pentecost, or perhaps, the Prayer of Manasseh… The “collective” voice that characterizes its petitions echo St. Silouan’s prayers for the “Whole Adam.” In a time of trouble (such as our days), we do well to learn this…

  • This Is My Body

    The most fundamental experience of being human is biological. We enter the world in a state of biological dependence, having left an utterly symbiotic existence in the womb. Parents’ first thoughts about a child are consumed with biological issues. Nursing, digestion, sleep, and various discomforts rightly occupy the often sleep-deprived parents of newborns. Conversations among…

  • Knocking Down the Gates of Hell

    The Swedish Lutheran theologian, Gustav Aulen, published a seminal work on the types of atonement theory in 1930 (Christus Victor). Though time and critical studies have suggested many subtler treatments of the question, no one has really improved on his insight. Especially valuable was his description of the “Classic View” of the atonement. This imagery,…

  • The Life Aquatic – Underwater Ministry

    The Baptism of Jesus is an event that, in many Churches, is passed over in relative silence. At most, they treat it as an act of obedience or humility. Christ is clearly not in need of repentance (He has no sin), and yet He insists that John should baptize Him. The Holy Spirit is seen…

  • Orthodoxy, Systematic Theology, and Music

    I have heard it said, numerous times, that Orthodox Christianity “does not do” systematic theology. Having done my graduate studies in systematic theology, I occasionally bristle at the comment, particularly when those making it have never actually studied the subject. It is true that Orthodoxy does not do “systematic” theology, as such, but the statement…


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  1. Matthew, just remember, noetic perception is a gift. One can prepare through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving but it is a…


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