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 […]

Wooden Chapels and Orthodoxy in America

Wooden Chapels and Orthodoxy in America

Long before the first temple was constructed in Jerusalem, the God of all creation dwelt among his people in a tent. This mobile, wilderness tabernacle preceded the temple of Solomon by several years. And when the Orthodox Christian faith arrived in the United States, many of the first churches were essentially log cabins. Log buildings were not only […]

What is the Orthodox Church?

What is the Orthodox Church?

Properly speaking, there is no such thing as “the Orthodox Church.” This is used by convention to refer to a body of fourteen autonomous, local churches, united by a common faith, worship, and Eucharistic fellowship. Each of these local churches together comprise the one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of Jesus Christ. In recent memory, the […]

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 […]

A Note from the Vatican on the Expression ‘Sister Churches’

A Note from the Vatican on the Expression ‘Sister Churches’

This is the official, Vatican perspective on not only ecumenical efforts in general, but also the relationship between the Vatican See and the Orthodox Church. Written under the oversight of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope emeritus Benedict XVI), Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, this document was approved by Pope John Paul II (June 9, […]

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 […]

Triumphalism and the Church Triumphant

Triumphalism and the Church Triumphant

Every student of Church history knows that history is messy. There was never a ‘Golden Age’ of the Church, nor will there ever be one before the Last Day. And yet, as Orthodox Christians, we believe that the Church is the one, true Body of Christ. We believe that she is the pleroma or ‘fullness’ of God (Eph. […]

How to Live a Simple, Christian Life

Simple Christianity

Christianity is a calling to become like Jesus Christ. It is a calling to live up to our namesake as ‘Christians.’ As St. Ignatius of Antioch, a disciple of the apostle John, writes: It is fitting, then, not only to be called ‘Christians,’ but to be so in reality. Our faith has been reduced by many today to ‘Christ plus […]

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 […]

Strangers in a Foreign Land: Nationalism and the Orthodox Church

Strangers in a Foreign Land: Nationalism and the Orthodox Church

In calling the Church ‘catholic,’ Orthodox Christians confess belief in a Church for all ages, nations, and races. The Catholic Church is whole, complete, and lacking nothing—for this is what ‘catholic’ truly means. It is a calling for all, and Christ our God is sacrificed ‘on behalf of all, and for all.’ There is often confusion—especially for […]