Christian Iconography and the Art of Rewriting History

Iconoclasm and the Art of Rewriting History

Iconoclasm has always been an integral part of revolution. In revolution, a previous paradigm is eliminated, making way for the new. Statues are torn down, buildings and works of art are destroyed, people are slaughtered through riots and the resulting famine, and religious revival—or dissolution—is inevitable. History books reflect the triumph of the victors, while the […]

Liturgy and Icon

Liturgy and Icon

There is an important connection between our liturgical services and holy icons. In many ways, it’s difficult to imagine how our Liturgy could subsist without icons. They are an irrevocable part of the life of the Church. Ouspensky notes (Theology of the Icon, vol. 1, p. 8): It is absolutely impossible to imagine the smallest liturgical rite in the Orthodox Church without icons. […]

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 […]

The Road to Rome? Why Orthodoxy Deserves a Look

The Road to Rome?

A few years ago, I came across a series of posts by Jason Liske, a convert to Roman catholicism. In one such post, he laid out a few reasons why he had chosen Rome over the Orthodox Church. (For those interested, the full post can be found here.) Before I respond to some of Jason’s thoughts, I will provide a few disclaimers: […]

Is Orthodoxy a Stagnant Faith?

Is Orthodoxy a Stagnant Faith?

At the conclusion of a recent synaxis of Orthodox hierarchs in Istanbul (March 6–9, 2014), an announcement was made that the local Orthodox churches would gather for a pan-Orthodox synod in the Spring of 2016. At this synod, a number of issues facing the global Orthodox Church will be addressed, and many of them long-coming. […]

The Church is Apostolic

The Church is Apostolic

The fourth attribute of the Church is ‘apostolicity.’ According to the Greek tradition, salvation involves the transformation of a sinner into the likeness of God; it is to become by grace what Christ is by nature. This perspective of salvation, called theosis or deification, is at the heart of what it means to say the […]

The Triumph of Jesus Christ in the Triumph of Orthodoxy

The Triumph of Jesus Christ

The first Sunday of Great Lent is celebrated as the Triumph of Orthodoxy. This is connected with the victory of the iconodules (those who supported the veneration of sacred images) over the iconoclasts (those who opposed their veneration). The heart of the victory of Orthodoxy in the restoration of iconography—as well as our veneration of […]

Mary the True Woman and Mother of Life

Mary the True Woman and Mother of Life

As Jesus Christ is the true and final Adam—the true Man and exemplar of humanity, through whom all humanity can become truly human—so also is Mary, the Mother or Birth-giver of God (Θεοτοκος), the true and final Eve. She is ‘the woman,’ and through her faithfulness, the restoration of the cosmos is wrought. Jesus himself […]

Did You Know that Jesus Was Born in a Cave?

Did You Know that Jesus Was Born in a Cave?

Growing up, the day after Thanksgiving was the day our Christmas decorations were brought down from the attic. My grandmother is skilled in ceramics, and she long ago gave us a Nativity scene that she lovingly made herself. I fondly remember taking these pieces out of storage and arranging them on our coffee table. Most Nativity […]

Abortion as Murder in the Christian Tradition

Abortion as Murder in the Christian Tradition

According to the tradition of the Orthodox Church, abortion is a sin no different than murder. Among the non-Orthodox, there has been an attempt in recent decades to reframe the seriousness of abortion as a matter of choice. Rather than speaking plainly that abortion is a form of death, the two sides of the debate […]