the old blog

“From the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Matthew 11:12) From the Gospel of Matthew comes one of my favorite scriptural passages. In this section of Matthew, Jesus speaks of His coming as the fulfillment of what was preached by John the Baptist (Matt 11:10). He says John’s message of repentance (metanoia) and his life of self-discipline (... [ Read more ]
Defining Terms: Liberal and Conservative, Heterodox and Orthodox In many conversations about church life and teaching, people often carry over terms from civil political discourse: Conservative and Liberal, Progressive and Traditional to name a few. The problem with adopting them for our ecclesial discourse, is their imprecision, and their false dichotomies if we look at the word root. What I’d like to do is look at the meaning of these... [ Read more ]
"He that loves Me, saith the Lord, will keep My commandments; and 'this is My commandment, that you love one another.' He therefore who does not love his neighbor does not keep the commandment. Nor is he that does not keep the commandment able to love the Lord." - St. Maximos the Confessor  In the third century, the Roman Empire suffered a terrible plague that many historians believe was smallpox. It has been termed the... [ Read more ]
"Do not let the sun go down upon your anger" says Saint Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians (Eph 4:26). But how often do we go about our day as though nothing were amiss after having been gossiping about someone we know. Or having been dealt a criticism from our supervisor, we grumble and complain to coworkers at break. Or even worse, having set out to ruin a person's reputation, we immediately forget this, and when Sunday has... [ Read more ]
Charity is often viewed as interchangeable with the word, Almsgiving. However, the latter term is narrower, referring to the giving some of material thing or need. Charity on the other hand is tied to the Greek word, Agape. C.S. Lewis calls Agape the “Unconditional Love”, which God has for creation. This is the love which we are commanded to have for Him and for Humanity (Philanthropy), of which the other Loves (Storge, Eros, Philia... [ Read more ]