Homily Notes: Like Politics, Salvation is Local

Matthew 10:32-33, 37-38, 19:27-30 Like Politics, Salvation is Loval The Problem: How do we reconcile the Gospel that we have just heard – a very demanding call that we give up everything and take up our cross – with something Jesus says just in the very next chapter; “Come to me, all who labor and […]

Specialization as a threat to spiritual growth

One of the problems I have seen in Orthodoxy is [excessive] clericalism, the idea that religious experts are responsible for our spiritual needs.  We are all members of the royal priesthood!  Bishops and priests provide necessary sacramental services, grace, and guidance [etc.] … but we are all responsible for the state of our souls and the health […]

A Meditation on MLK Jr and Our Own Cowardice

The Lord God stands in the midst of the Divine Council and judges among the gods.”How long will you rule unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked?Defend the poor and fatherless, maintain the rights of the afflicted and the destitute.  Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Psalm 81/82:1-4) One […]

The Good-Idea Fairy has Run Amok

Full disclosure: I am a retired CW-3 (Military Intelligence, USAR).  I spent most of my time post-9/11 providing intelligence support to warfighters in Afghanistan.  It was important work.  However, colleagues and friends would be quick to point out that I got hit pretty hard by the good idea fairy myself, most notably in being part of a […]

Humanitarianism and Orthodoxy – a theological reflection

The Problem: the world (and humanity) groans in agony It’s a hard world.  It chews people up, divides them, deprives them, hurts them, and does its best to take away their hope.  It does its best to demean and dehumanize them.  We have all seen this and we are here because we want to do […]

The Illiberal Demand for Kosher and Halal Bacon

The Joy of BaconWith just a few days left before Pascha, the dominant logismoi distracting me from proper prayer (and analysis) is … bacon.  I love it.  I especially love the really fatty kind that just melts in your mouth.  The best of the best is fried salo, a sort of bacon cut so that it […]

Wolves in the Guise of Prophets: The Problem of Orthodox Fundamentalism

There is no doubt that fundamentalism is a problem, and Professor Demacopoulos provides a good introduction to it in its Orthodox form.   I dare say that the negative reactions to this article will come from two sources: one is the real fundamentalist who doubles down on his pharisaical pride and the second is the conservative […]

The Publican and the Pharisee in Film: Leviathan and The Island

This is an excellent review.  Corruption in politics and the Church is nothing new.  Christ is always the remedy, and sometimes he speaks through the witness of the holy fool.  Here is my favorite quote from the article; “If Zvyagintsev has the gumption to offer us a vision of what happens when Christians allow themselves […]

You do NOT have to hate the west to be Orthodox!

The rhetoric from Moscow – to include from the Moscow Patriarchate and its daughter Churches – may be great at gathering support for Putin’s domestic and foreign policy goals, but it is dividing Orthodox Christians in the West and threatens to do serious damage to Orthodoxy’s ability to spread the Gospel here.  There is no […]

Memory Eternal – Fr. Gleb Yakunin (3/4/34 – 12/25/14)

Soviet Dissidents: martyrs and confessors of freedom, truth, and human dignity I chose to major in political science back in the 80’s in large part so that I could study the Soviet Union, the “evil empire” that held a huge swath of the world’s population under the wicked yoke of anti-theistic, totalitarian, communist rule and […]