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 […]

Reparative Therapy in the Life of the Church

Reparative Therapy in the Life of the Church

Directly following the astonishing revelation in the Sermon on the Mount (as recorded in St. Matthew’s Gospel, Matt. 5–7), in which Our Lord most fully taught about His Kingdom and its characteristics, He immediately begins to show us the Kingdom he spoke of in action. And what is the first thing he sets about doing? Healing. The next two chapters record […]

Ripe for Metamorphosis: The Great Feast of Transfiguration

Ripe for Metamorphosis

Transfiguration is one of the twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church. It comes forty days before the Elevation of the Holy Cross, and is the next-to-last feast of the ecclesiastical year. In this feast we are reminded of our calling as Christians: to be transfigured, to mature into ripened fruit, and to be glorified […]

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 […]

An Orthodox Commentary on the Gospel Coalition Controversy

An Orthodox Commentary on the Gospel Coalition Controversy

In recent months, several key evangelical pastors have been involved in a public debate regarding the Christian doctrine of sanctification. In the Protestant framework,1 sanctification is the progressive transformation of a converted sinner into a true disciple of Christ. Having been justified by God’s grace, sanctification is the “setting apart” or consecration of Christians as people […]

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 […]

The World Turned Upside Down: The Service of the Bridegroom

The World Turned Upside Down

Once the forty days of Great Lent are complete, the Orthodox Church enters into Holy Week, a time of intense reflection and joyful sorrow. Beginning with the Saturday of Lazarus, and the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday), the next three nights are marked by one of the most beautiful services of the […]

Lazarus, the Friend of God

Saint Lazarus, the Friend of Christ

The Saturday before Palm Sunday is commemorated as the Saturday of Lazarus. In our hymns, we refer to Lazarus as “the friend of Christ” and “the four days dead.” This Saturday is celebrated with a Divine Liturgy in honor of Lazarus and his resurrection, which serves as a type of not only Christ’s resurrection from […]

Who Were the Pharisees?

Who Were the Pharisees?

To be named a Pharisee today is to be named a legalist. To be someone who trusts in themselves and their own righteousness more than that of the righteousness which comes from the faithfulness of God. While to be a Pharisee is almost always seen in a negative light among Christians and even non-Christians today, […]

‘Pistis Christou’ and Implications for the Doctrine of Justification

Pistis Christou and the Implications for the Doctrine of Justification

In my last article, I explained how an Orthodox Christian might appropriate modern Biblical scholarship faithfully, and in submission to the Church. In this post, I would like to give more detail on how this works in practice, particularly with respect to the writings of the Apostle Paul and his teaching on justification. One of […]