Mary the Queen of Heaven

Mary the Queen of Heaven

Before God became man, an important sign of God’s presence was the Ark of the Covenant. In the wilderness, Moses placed it in the Holy of Holies. The Israelites crossed the Jordan River with it, and they marched around Jericho with it. King David danced before it. And after King Solomon built the temple in […]

Salvation as Theosis in John 1

Salvation as Theosis in John 1

Theosis or “Christification” is what I’ve come to believe is the end-game of salvation: to be united with God and so be restored in His image and likeness. St. Athanasius summed it up by saying, “God became man so that man might become divine.” He didn’t mean that we cease being creatures, but that we […]

Where Greek Philosophy and Theology Intersect

Greek Philosophy and Orthodoxy

Philosophy has changed a great deal over the centuries. While today philosophy is often an idle occupation of the undecided undergrad, to be a philosopher in the ancient world was to be a vested guardian and steward of the culture. Philosophers were more like monastics of the early Christian desert, isolating themselves from the world in order to focus […]

Gregory Palamas on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

Gregory Palamas on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

The commemoration of each of the saints on the appointed feast day is an occasion for town and country, citizens and their rulers to share in rejoicing, and brings great benefit to all who celebrate. “The memory of the just is praised,” says the wise Solomon (Prov. 10:7), “When the righteous is praised the people […]

Augustine on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

Augustine's Homily on the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul

Today the Holy Church piously remembers the sufferings of the Holy Glorious and All-Praised Apostles Peter and Paul. St. Peter, the fervent follower of Jesus Christ, for the profound confession of His Divinity: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” was deemed worthy by the Savior to hear in answer, “Blessed art […]

What is the Orthodox Church?

What is the Orthodox Church?

Properly speaking, there is no such thing as “the Orthodox Church.” This is used by convention to refer to a body of fourteen autonomous, local churches, united by a common faith, worship, and Eucharistic fellowship. Each of these local churches together comprise the one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of Jesus Christ. In recent memory, the […]

The Strength of Oral Tradition

The Strength of Oral Tradition

In a world characterized by the rationalism of the Enlightenment and the instant knowledge of Google, it’s hard to believe things have not always been so. In the ancient world, ideas, customs, stories, and even history were committed primarily not to books, but rather memorized through both poetry and song. They were preserved through oral tradition. And of […]

Theosis and Justification in Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians

Theosis and Justification in Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians

Reading the Bible as an Orthodox Christian post-Protestantism can be difficult. Even as one’s views of God, Christ, sin, and salvation dramatically shift, old reading habits can stubbornly persist. More than once I have encountered converts who simply have no idea how to read St. Paul consistently with the Orthodox faith. I believe that such a […]

A Response to Bart Ehrman on Paul and Salvation (Part One)

A Response to Bart Ehrman on Paul and Salvation (Part One)

Bart Ehrman has made quite a name for himself, both on the scholarly and popular level. I have no particular disdain for his work, even when I disagree. In fact, I was impressed by his recent book on the deity of Jesus because of its subtlety and genuine scholarship (which is not to say I […]

Israel and the Church: Why Does It Matter?

Israel and the Church: Why Does It Matter?

There is an effort among many Christian scholars today to revise the traditional approach to the question of Israel’s identity. These scholars argue that the Church must be subtly distinguished from the ‘actual Israel’ in order to do justice to the voice of the Old Testament. But I will argue that this position must be rejected, not simply because it […]