Being a Faithful and True Witness

Being a Faithful and True Witness

According to the Scriptures, being a witness for Christ is, in most respects, synonymous with martyrdom. While not all Christians face literal martyrdom in their lifetime, the call to carry a cross is a call to each and every one of us. Jesus Christ was the first true and faithful Martyr (Rev. 1:5), and all Christians should […]

The ‘Kinesthetic’ Worship of the Orthodox Church

The Kinesthetic Worship of the Orthodox Church

In a recent post, Donald Miller—post-evangelical author of Blue Like Jazz—admits to not being much of a church-goer. Music and sermons don’t really do it for him, you see, as he is a ‘kinesthetic’ learner or a person who learns by ‘doing.’ There are also auditory and visual learners, who primarily learn by hearing and […]

Early Christian Worship and the Bones of Martyrs

Early Christian Worship and the Bones of Martyrs

In the Apostle’s Creed (an early Roman baptismal statement of faith) a person confesses belief in “the communion of saints.” While this creed is not widely used in the East, it is important that we understand the communion of saints as a matter of both ontology and incarnation—it is related to the essence or ‘being’ […]

The Eucharistic Liturgy in Ancient House Churches

The Eucharistic Liturgy in Ancient House Churches

Many evangelical groups today are proposing that we abandon “traditional” models of “being the Church,” and instead replace that stodginess with what is presumably a more “New Testament” model: that of the “house church” or “cell church.” Essentially, they are promoting that the local Church be a de-centralized assembly, meeting in the homes of various individuals, proportionally scattered throughout a city. The presumption is that this is the “Biblical” model for both fellowship and discipleship, being derived from the New Testament itself.

Divine Liturgy and the Great Thanksgiving

Divine Liturgy and the Great Thanksgiving

Some of the most profound words of the Divine Liturgy are rarely heard. Standing at the south corner of the altar, the deacon quietly utters to the presiding priest: “It is time for the Lord to act.” This phrase sets the tone for everything in our worship. We are not performing some sort of magical […]

Remaking the Temple of the Lord

Remaking the Temple of the Lord

While the temple of the first century was rejected by certain groups of Jews—such as those at Qumran—it was not because they had lost faith in sacrificial religion, but rather because they had lost the temple itself. Herod’s temple was no doubt wondrous in its externals, but the hierarchy was corrupt and the faith had […]

Fasting with the Orthodox Church

Fasting with the Orthodox Church

The ancient Christian practice of fasting on prescribed days and seasons — as the fulfillment of the Jewish fasting periods of the Old Covenant — is one that has been largely abandoned by much of modern Christianity, and especially in the west. While preparation for Christmas in our secular culture is marked chiefly by consumerism, […]

Transubstantiation in the Orthodox Church

The Doctrine of Transubstantiation in the Orthodox Church

Does the Orthodox Church believe in “transubstantiation” (μετουσίωσις in Greek) with regards to the Eucharist? Or is that only used in the Latin (Roman Catholic) church? There’s certainly a lot of confusion and conflicting information out there, so let’s take a closer look. As a blogger, I can vouch for the necessity of extending grace […]

The Eucharist of the Servant and Son

The Eucharist of the Servant and the Son

The Eucharistic liturgy, as described in the Didache or “Teaching of the Twelve Apostles” (ca. AD 50-70), contains prayers over the bread and the wine (mixed with water), which read as follows: We thank you, our Father, for the holy vine of David your servant, which you have revealed to us through Jesus your Child. Glory […]

Called to Communion

Called to Communion

Are there any sins unconquerable by Christ? Is there any illness that the Great Physician cannot heal? Can death overcome the fountain of immortality? When we consider with whom Jesus chooses to dine (as recorded in the Gospels), we can learn a great deal about the infinite love and mercy of God; that is, so […]