Ecumenism as Dialogue or Monologue? (Part Two: The Witness of Scripture)

Ecumenism as Dialogue or Monologue? (Part Two: The Witness of Scripture)

In the first part of this series, I offered an overview of the traditional Orthodox method for addressing non-Orthodox communities, highlighting two notable events in Church history. In this essay, I’ll discuss the ecumenical method—that method of God’s covenant people interacting with those outside the covenantal body—as found in the Holy Scriptures. Examples from the Old Testament […]

Ecumenism as Dialogue or Monologue? (Part One: An Overview)

Ecumenism as Dialogue or Monologue? (Part One: Overview)

On the eve of the highly-promoted meeting in Jerusalem between the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church1, this ‘Apostolic Pilgrimage’2 has produced a fair amount of press. Largely positive, media coverage lauds the potential for “a new era”3 in Rome-Constantinople relations, which the 1964 meeting between Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope […]

The Song of Deborah and the Church of Christ

Deborah and the Church of Christ

From the time Israel (led by Joshua) conquered the tribes of Canaan until the first Kingdom of Israel under Saul, the Twelve Tribes experienced three centuries of alternating periods of peace and war, oppression and freedom. During this time, before the monarchy was established by the Lord in the person of Saul, judges (judicial and […]

The Messiah and Gift-Giving

The Messiah and Gift-giving

The giving of gifts is an ancient custom found in practically every society. It has, and does, serve many purposes: to cement alliances between kings; to pay tribute by a lesser nation to a greater; to convey thanks; as a cultural gesture of appreciation at the first visit to someone’s home; to mollify an angry […]

Completing His Good Work

Completing His Good Work

At some point in the early 60s AD, the apostle Paul—after three decades of preaching the Gospel, suffering for it, and both founding and encouraging dozens of churches throughout the Roman Empire—found himself in the capital city under house arrest (Acts 28:16). Having appealed to Caesar almost five years beforehand, he—a Roman citizen—was guaranteed an audience […]

The Personality of the Lord Jesus Christ

Discovering Orthodoxy

Much has been written by the Holy Fathers over the centuries about the close union between Christ and the Church. This mystical union between the Head (the Lord Jesus Christ) and his Body (the Church) is everywhere assumed, both in the New Testament Scriptures, and in the patristic corpus. For example, the story of Saul’s […]

Confession: the Sacrament of the Heart

Confession: The Sacrament of the Heart

The heart, my brethren, is only a small vessel; and yet dragons and lions are there, and there likewise are poisonous creatures and all the treasures of wickedness; rough, uneven paths are there, and gaping chasms. There also is God, there are the angels, there life and the Kingdom, there light and the apostles, the […]

Harmony and Peace Between Alexandria and Antioch

Harmony and Peace Between Alexandria and Antioch

In the Apostolic Church of the first century and even within the first four decades after the Church began on Pentecost, St Paul had to contend with personality factions devoted to various ecclesiastical leaders – “I am of Paul; I am of Apollos” (1 Cor 3:4). His constant epistolary admonitions to the people of God […]

The Logos of Animals

The Logos of Animals

As Orthodox Christians, we follow the Church Fathers in our beliefs. And those Fathers teach us that everything that is created has an “inner purpose”, a logos (λόγος), if you will. This “inner purpose” or “inner principle” is that purpose or goal to which everything — in its basic nature — strives.For example, consider a […]