Category: Orthodox Christianity

  • Providence and the Good God

    How do you see the world? Is it deeply troubled, teetering on the brink of disaster? Are dark forces lurking, quietly undermining even the possibility of doing good? There is much talk, here and there, about the nature of the “Orthodox mind.” Whether it is discussed under the heading of “acquiring an Orthodox phronema” (which…

  • Right Glory – Orthodoxy in Its Own Language

    When I was in grad school, I had a term paper graded and returned to me. In it, was a phrase, circled in red, with an explanation and an exclamation mark. It read: “Double modal!” The offending phrase was “might could.” I looked at the phrase, which seemed perfectly acceptable to my ear, and puzzled…

  • Words for a Wounded Heart

    You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of him who gives and kindles joy in the heart of him who receives. All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other… Instead of condemning others, strive to…

  • Being Saved – The Ontological Approach

    I cannot begin to count the number of times I wished there were a simple, felicitous word for “ontological.” I dislike writing theology with words that have to be explained – that is, words whose meanings are not immediately obvious. But, alas, I have found no substitute and will, therefore, beg my reader’s indulgence for…

  • When Icons Became Windows

    Some thirty years ago I was doing doctoral work at Duke University under Geoffrey Wainwright. I was drawn to Wainwright on account of his commitment to liturgical tradition and practice as the ground of theology. A course that became a turning point in my studies was on the nature of language in theology. Like all…

  • Orthodoxy Represents Our Original Incompetency

    There is one thing to be said about Church-shopping: you can always find a better one… I often see examples of what I would describe as “comparative denominationalism.” It is the comparison of one Church to another (yes, I know that Orthodoxy is not a denomination). Indeed, the drive for a “better Church,” a “more…

  • Why Mary Has Always Been Honored

    This Wednesday (August 15) is the Feast of the Dormition, the Falling Asleep of the Virgin Mary. I offer this article as a reflection. The most difficult part of my Orthodox experience to discuss with the non-Orthodox is the place and role of the Mother of God in the Church and in my life. It is,…

  • Consent to Reality

    Catholic philosopher, Alasdair MacIntyre (After Virtue), has presented perhaps the most cogent account of our modern cultural landscape. It is not an account of how one set of ideas gave way to another set of ideas, but how a once-upon-a-time consensus gave way to our current collection of competing truth-claims and world-views. Indeed, he demonstrates…

  • Talking to Fish

    I have sleep apnea. When I fall asleep, I stop breathing at certain points. According to the sleep study I endured, it happens over 90 times an hour. Sleep apnea can kill you. And so, I sleep with a “sleep machine,” a device with a mask through which a positive air pressure is maintained so…

  • The Inherent Violence of Modernity

    The calm voice at the helm says, “Make it so…” and with it, the mantra of modernity is invoked. The philosophy that governs our culture is rooted in violence, the ability to make things happen and to control the outcome. It is a deeply factual belief. We can indeed make things happen, and, in a…


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Latest Comments

  1. I listened to Bishop Alexander’s 2016 OCAMPR talk, Father, because I learned of him from you. It was really wonderful.…

  2. I was aware of something during Liturgy this past Sunday. I was struggling with focus–constantly distracted by one thought or…

  3. Regarding shame, I’d like to add to the above, that in our “outcome-minded” mindset, I will often see such difficulties…

  4. Just another note on “worthy.” Today I was reading in Matthew 10, which finishes with these striking verses (striking esp.…

  5. “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!’. The sins of others that I see often remain unacknowledged and…


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