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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Desire, Stillness, and the First Murder

Desire, Stillness, and the First Murder

When all the pain and misery of this world is considered, there is often one attitude at the heart of it all: a lack of contentment. Generations of Americans were raised on the “American Dream.” Many of us were taught from childhood that we could be and do anything we wanted. We were told to expect and even demand as much, stopping at nothing to […]

Carrying the Cross and Suffering in Hope

Carrying Our Cross in Hope

Jesus didn’t suffer so that we wouldn’t have to. He suffered so that we could handle suffering with him. In other forms of Christianity, one is often told that Christ suffered and died so that we could be freed from a similar fate. A focus in Protestant theology is Christ appeasing the wrath of the Father, freeing us from a […]

A Time to Weep and a Time to Laugh

A Time to Weep and a Time to Laugh

Reading the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, I came across the following: A hermit saw someone laughing and said to him, ‘We have to render an account of our whole life before heaven and earth, and you can laugh?’ While this probably strikes most as curmudgeonly, for us Christians, a reference to the Last Judgment ought to inspire sober […]

‘What Would Jesus Do?’ and the Feast of All Saints

'What Would Jesus Do?' and the Feast of All Saints

This past Sunday was the feast of All Saints in the Holy Orthodox Church. On that day, we commemorate all the Saints of God, fruits of the sending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, commemorated the Sunday prior. On this day we especially seek the intercessions of these holy men and women, and set them before […]

A Journey through Romans 9 (Part Four)

A Journey through Romans 9 (Part Four)

This is the final part of a four part series on interpreting Romans 9. You can also read part one, part two, and part three. – – – And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah.” —Rom. 9:29 The […]