Category: Mystical Theology

  • The God Who Sees Us

    Recent days and thoughts have brought me to the conclusion that what we require is not so much to see God, as to be seen by God. The most frightful words in all of Scripture are, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” To not be known, it seems to me, is tantamount to having…

  • The Royal Priesthood in a Secular World

    St. Peter describes us as a “royal priesthood.” “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…” (1 Peter 2:9) We live in a world metaphor and simile. That is to…

  • Mystical Theology and the Orthodox Faith

    A turning point in my life took place in an unremarkable manner. In my college years, my best friend approached me in the university library and thrust a book into my hand. “Steve, read this!” He said. The book was Vladimir Lossky’s Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church. The year was 1976. I did as…

  • To Serve God

    In a therapeutic culture in which our goal is to be our very best, it is almost impossible to serve God. The reason is quite simple: when my goal is to be my very best, the goal is my God. “Serving God” thus becomes a euphemism for a Christianity that we take to be therapeutic…

  • Falling Between the Cracks

    … human nature is created and so, is unavoidably mortal; with death man’s entire psychosomatic being comes to an end. All of his psychological and mental functions cease to function: his self-conscience, reasoning, judgment, memory, imagination, and desire. Man is no longer able to function through the parts of the body in order to speak,…

  • When Miracles Ceased

    One of the stranger ideas that accompanied the Reformation, was the notion that miracles had ended at the time of the New Testament’s completion. Never stated as a doctrinal fact in the mainstream of Protestantism, it remained a quiet assumption, particularly when joined with an anti-Roman Catholicism in which the various visions, weeping statues, and…

  • Remembering the End

    Orthodox Christianity often seems inherently conservative. The unyielding place that tradition holds within its life seems ready-made for a conservative bulwark against a world all-too-ready to forget everything that is good or beautiful. There are subtle but important distinctions that make this treatment of Orthodoxy misleading and can lead to the distortion of the faith…

  • Working With What We Know

    I recently had a question put to me that made me think about “where we start” when we think about the things of God. The question was this: “A friend of mine who is familiar with Jewish beliefs told me that the Jewish Sheol was self-emptying. It was a purgatory-like place where people lamented and…

  • Identity and the Resurrection of Christ

    There is a strange moment described in the gospels regarding the resurrection of Christ (in fact, there are several such moments). When Mary Magdalen first encounters the risen Lord, we are told that she “took Him for the gardener.” But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into…

  • Rest for Your Soul

    If…then… Among the most alluring ideas in our lives are the notions of cause and effect, performance and award. Nothing seems more soothing than the simple promise that doing one thing leads to the reward of the other. It is predictable, subject to control, clearly delineates the rules of reward and punishment and makes obvious…


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  1. Matthew, You asked how I would feel. I just glanced at my previous comments. I’m not sure I have presented…


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