Learn History so as not to repeat the worst parts – a review of Red Famine

This is the 100th commemoration of the October Revolution in Russia.  You may remember an old TV game show “Name that Tune”.  The premise was that only a handful of notes can bring to mind entire melodies.  Contestants would bid on how few notes it would take for them to “name that tune”.  We know that […]

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 […]

If Putin were President of Mexico: the Reconquista (update)

The Background: Before Putin came to Power in MexicoDue to the annexation of large portions of Mexican territory in the 19th century and generations of immigration, a significant portion of the population of US border areas was comprised of Mexican-Americans.  At the beginning of the 21st century, there were about six million Mexican-Americans living in […]

Homily on Stewardship (the talents)

Homily on the Talents: What is (getting to) Heaven Like?St. Matthew 25:14-30 Main point: What do do with the riches God has given us? Multiply them! How? By investing all those riches in spiritual activities that provide a strong return on investment and having enough self-discipline not to waste them on activities that cause spiritual […]

Homily – Taking work (and liturgy) seriously

St. Matthew 21:33-42; 1 Corinthians 16:13-24   Work: A Homily for Labor Day Weekend This week’s epistle reading is a wonderful reminder  that no parish exists in isolation (any more than Christians exist in isolation), and that the bonds between our parishes should be strengthened and cherished. I strongly encourage everyone to visit other parishes, especially on […]

20120412 The Orthodox Way

Notes: The Orthodox Way (Hesychasm and St. Gregory Palamas) Interview with Bryan Davis as Doc Fermento. News. Why things aren’t really that bad (and likely to get even better).  Matt Ridley (The Rational Optimist):  17 Reasons to be Cheerful.  No, things aren’t as bad as Alex Jones et al claim. Effects of Greek orthodox christian church […]

Top Ten Books for Understanding Political, Cultural, & Religious Dynamics

Intelligence analysts should read quite broadly (not just outside their own message feeds, but also well beyond the boundaries of political science, sociology, security studies, & anthropology). Still, they also need to have a solid grounding in how things work. This list is my first attempt to suggest books that will help set the foundation […]

Of Mother Earth and the Invisible Hand

It’s been a real blessing to teach a course at seminary this semester. It’s not just that I love teaching no matter what the context (I do); it is just much more satisfying to work with people who share the same assumptions and goals I do, and to do so in a forum where we […]

Soviet atheism and American secularism

Introduction: thinking about the radical atheism of the Soviet Communists The Soviet Communists were atheist totalitarians. They tried to create a system that would make both faith and the religious institutions that foster it seem silly and superfluous. Given the strength of Orthodoxy in the pre-revolutionary Russian Empire, they had to be very intentional about […]

How many cars do we need?

Our economy continues to “correct” itself after decades of being artificially inflated by easy credit, poor saving habits, and superfluous spending. The government is attempting to ease the effects of this correction by replacing the suddenly prudent (i.e. risk-averse) credit market with its own. In this way, it forces more money into a system in […]