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Ancient Faith Continued: Theology and Symphony

 

 

Today I begin a series I call Ancient Faith Continued. I chose that title with a purpose.

Gregory of Nyssa (Wikimedia Commons)
  • At the most basic level, “Ancient Faith” refers to a radio program I recently appeared on to discuss how the church responds to gay marriage and the culture wars. I wanted to “continue” what I said there by addressing some questions I was told to prepare for but did not have time to discuss.
  • At a deeper level, “Ancient Faith” invokes the modern nickname for the Orthodox Church, and “Continued” points to the way I think about its relationship to culture. This raises questions of about the way I think about the Tradition (i.e. the scriptures and traditions of the Orthodox Church). Continue reading “Ancient Faith Continued: Theology and Symphony”

Goodbye Fr. Jacobse

 

 

I have stirred a hornets nest. It was one thing to publish articles in that “liberal rag,” the Huffington Post, about gay marriage. It was another thing to respond to some comments made by Fr. Jacobse and his readers about what I had written. Fr. Jacobse seems to believe I have attacked him. I have not. Nor do I intend to.

Continue reading “Goodbye Fr. Jacobse”

My Year as a Pro-Gay “Orthodox” Heretic

 

 

By Bilerico Project (California Marriage Equality – San Francisco)

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”

Words without Nuance: Three Challenges to Public Theology

 

 

FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sometimes I want to stop writing for the Huffington Post or on my blog. I have felt that way a lot this week. Next Sunday I will be a guest on Ancient Faith Today, where I will discuss gay marriage and Orthodox politics. I was offered this opportunity because of what I have written about gay marriage for the Huffington Post. (My articles can be found here.) Continue reading “Words without Nuance: Three Challenges to Public Theology”

Eastern Orthodox Consumerism

 

 

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”

Evolution and Eastern Orthodoxy

 

 

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.

Woloschak’s basic argument is that denying evolution is theologically problematic for an Orthodox Christian. Continue reading “Evolution and Eastern Orthodoxy”

The Kingdoms of God and Pilate

 

 

Nikolai Ge, via Wikimedia Commons

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.”[1] The kingdom of God was among them, and continues to be among us, because Jesus is!

Continue reading “The Kingdoms of God and Pilate”