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 […]

Why Are Lutherans Converting to Eastern Orthodoxy?

Why Are Lutherans Converting to Eastern Orthodoxy?

In a recent podcast titled “Introducing Eastern Orthodoxy” at the Just & Sinner blog, Lutheran author Jordan Cooper laid some groundwork to help not only explain why many conservative Lutherans are ‘heading East,’ but also provide an introduction to Orthodox belief and practice for his largely Lutheran audience. Since I have a lot of respect […]

Reading Scripture in Tradition: Why Sola Scriptura Doesn’t Work

readingscriptureintradition

Orthodox Christians do not hold to the Reformation principle of Sola scriptura. Instead, we view the scriptures as the pinnacle or “summit”1 of holy tradition, neither separating the two as wholly distinct, nor eliminating one or the other. The reason for this is simple: the scriptures are a witness to divine revelation, given from God to mankind […]

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 […]

The Filioque and Arianism: Was It Really Necessary?

The Filioque and Arianism: Was It Really Necessary?

Was the addition of Filioque to the Nicene Creed necessary to combat Arianism in the West? This is an assertion often made in its defense, but is this really true? Filioque—”and the Son” in Latin—is a phrase later added to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in Western churches. This Creed or Symbol of Faith has been recited […]

Appropriating the Academic Study of Scripture from an Orthodox Perspective

Appropriating the Academic Study of Scripture

When I first studied Orthodoxy, I had long been studying contemporary Biblical scholarship. The history of the Church was foreign to me, and the revelation that the canon of Scripture emerged out of the history of that same Church (thus making Sola Scriptura self-contradictory)—along with the revelation that Patristic theology resembled Catholic and Orthodox theology […]

The Signature of God

The Signature of God

Years before Jesus was ever born, the Holy Spirit inspired one of His prophets to tell the future, and to write down some things which had not happened yet. In this prophecy, we hear about someone who claims to be the Son of God, and who is tortured, and is condemned to a shameful death. […]

A Nestorian Canon of Scripture

A Nestorian Canon of Scripture

I have long been interested in the development of the biblical canon. I probably wouldn’t have found my way into the Orthodox Church without such studies. Recently, I found a 13th century canon defined by Nestorian Metropolitan Mar Abd Yeshua (ca. A.D. 1298). He apparently served as the chief bishop of Nisibia and Armenia for […]