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 […]

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 […]

Mosaic Authorship and Misconceptions Regarding Source Criticism

Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch: Misconceptions About Source Criticism

In a previous post, I argued that Mosaic authorship was structurally significant for the Orthodox faith. I demonstrated that a non-critical acceptance of source criticism was no more amenable to Orthodox Christianity than it is to Protestantism. But before I provide my reasons for rejecting most source critical scholarship, I want to explore and reject poor […]

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 […]

Is Orthodoxy Compatible with Modern, Biblical Criticism?

Is Orthodoxy Compatible with Modern, Biblical Criticism?

In his first homily on the creation of the world, St. Basil the Great writes: Now it is Moses who has composed this history; Moses, who, when still at the breast, is described as exceeding fair; Moses, whom the daughter of Pharaoh adopted; who received from her a royal education, and who had for his […]

Liturgical Hermeneutics and the Meaning of Scripture

Liturgical Hermeneutics and the Meaning of Scripture

Contemporary scholars and certain Christian groups today tend to approach the study of scripture as archaeology. Rather than receiving the scriptures as God-breathed tradition in the life of the Church, the text is abstracted from its incarnate context, subjected to scientific analysis. While much can be learned, of course, from a knowledge of Greek, Aramaic, and […]

The Canon of Christ

The Canon of Christ

For the earliest Christians—the first two generations or more—the ‘Bible’ was what we now call the Old Testament. The ‘memoirs of the apostles’ and four canonical Gospels spread more widely by the middle of the second century, but before this there was no consensus on which scriptures of the New Testament were canonical. This is […]

The Church is Catholic

The Church is Catholic

The third ‘attribute’ of the Church is catholicity. In Russian, this is sometimes Собо́рность or sobornost, meaning ‘symphony’ or a unity of consciousness. In this, the conciliar essence of the Church is emphasized, though the meaning of catholic goes deeper than conciliarity alone—the monarchical unity of the Church is also essential, a reflection of the […]

Guarding the Chalice

Guarding the Chalice

When a faith is highly traditional—so traditional that her Tradition is seen as nothing less than the presence of God living and breathing in the life of the Church—it is sure to clash with the sensibilities of a modern, critical, and pluralistic culture such as our own. One of the many sources of friction between the Orthodox Church […]