When people call you a blasphemer, Christ-denier, a defender of tyranny, and an apologist for Babel, who cares more about impressing liberal academics than listening to the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church, the best response is almost always silence. My general practice is to avoid confrontations with anyone who believes him/herself capable of knowing me in 1500 words or less. But, for Fr. Johannes Jacobse and some of his readers, I am going to make an exception. Fr. Jacobse is involved with a call-in radio show I will appear on this Sunday (June 17). Even though his article did not speak for the show or its station, I thought it might be wise to offer potential listeners/callers a short “intellectual memoir” of my involvement in the gay marriage debate over the past year. I do not intend to change anyone’s mind. I only hope that offering a little insight into my intentions and motives might help us have a more substantive conversation – one focused more on the issues than speculations about my character. Continue reading “My Year as a Pro-Gay “Orthodox” Heretic”
Today, I thought I would sum up some basic points from a paper I presented at the Wesleyan Theological Society Meeting a few years ago. What follows are a few thoughts on consumer culture and how liturgy might help you to live with it.
One of the things I love about the Eastern Orthodox Church is that we get consumption right. I am under no delusions that we are “perfect.” We have our problems, but I think our spiritual practice can help a person live more authentically in modern consumer culture. Continue reading “Eastern Orthodox Consumerism”
The following is a review of Gayle E. Woloschak’s article, “The Compatibility of the Principles of Biological Evolution with Eastern Orthodoxy,” published in St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, 55.2 (2011).
I added Gayle Woloschak’s article on evolution and Orthodoxy to my reading list for a couple of reasons. For one, it goes to my interest in the culture wars and the ideas that fund them. It also bears upon my role as a recovering-evangelical convert to the Orthodox Church and the way I evaluate the impact people like me have on Orthodoxy at large.
When Jesus faced the man who was about to crucify him, the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, he was asked, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world…My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36). But that does not mean Jesus rules a “spiritual” kingdom. Christians often talk about the kingdom of God as if it is something “in the heart.” After all, Jesus did say, “For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). But that word “within” may be one of the most atrocious mistranslations in the history of modern Bible production. The eternal Word was born a Jew, and Jews did not think the kingdom of God was “spiritual.” In the original Greek, Jesus is saying something more like, “The kingdom of God is in your midsts.” Or, as most modern translations indicate in their footnotes, “The kingdom of God is among you.” The kingdom of God was among them, and continues to be among us, because Jesus is!
Warning, the following post contains an image that may trouble some readers. If it doesn’t, then there’s something wrong with you.
This video captures pretty much everything that is wrong with Christian politics today. The hammer of the blacksmith pounds out important issues, issues that are surely on the mind of the woman marching toward the voting both (in a very small polling station): jobs, taxes, and energy (gas prices?). But then, with about as much subtlety as a California forest fire, the blacksmith urges us to commit those concerns to the flames. For Catholics (the target audience of this video), and by extension all Christians, this election is about three things: gay marriage, abortion, and “freedom.” Continue reading “What’s Wrong with Christian Politics”
The Huffington Post e-mailed me yesterday to let me know my article on gay marriage had been published, and I immediately got a sinking feeling in my stomach. (It was the same feeling I got less than a year ago.) I hate writing about this subject. Really, I do. I get attacked from both sides. New atheists (who apparently have too much time on their hands) attack my beliefs, and my sisters and brothers in Christ attack the sincerity of my faith. Just this morning, someone called me stupid (atheist) and a liar (Christian).