Accusations are powerful. In the Garden of Eden, the dragon accuses Eve of naivety for following God’s commandments: You certainly will not die; for God knows that in the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be as gods who know good and evil. —Gen. 3:4–5 In John’s apocalypse, […]
The Orthodox conversion rites—Chrismation, Baptism, and the holy Eucharist—are a fulfillment of priestly types or shadows in the Old Testament. Just as Israel was a nation of priests (Ex. 19:6), so too is the new covenant Church (1 Pet. 2:9). A description of priestly consecration can be read in Leviticus, mirroring the conversion rites for […]
For many, a symbol is roughly defined as “an illustration whose purpose can be termed pedagogic or educational.” It merely points to or teaches about an idea, but offers no real connection to anything beyond itself. In Orthodoxy, however, a symbol is a gateway or ‘window’ to something beyond; it truly connects us with that which […]
When a faith is highly traditional—so traditional that her Tradition is seen as nothing less than the presence of God living and breathing in the life of the Church—it is sure to clash with the sensibilities of a modern, critical, and pluralistic culture such as our own. One of the many sources of friction between the Orthodox Church […]
In the Apostle’s Creed (an early Roman baptismal statement of faith) a person confesses belief in “the communion of saints.” While this creed is not widely used in the East, it is important that we understand the communion of saints as a matter of both ontology and incarnation—it is related to the essence or ‘being’ […]
Many evangelical groups today are proposing that we abandon “traditional” models of “being the Church,” and instead replace that stodginess with what is presumably a more “New Testament” model: that of the “house church” or “cell church.” Essentially, they are promoting that the local Church be a de-centralized assembly, meeting in the homes of various individuals, proportionally scattered throughout a city. The presumption is that this is the “Biblical” model for both fellowship and discipleship, being derived from the New Testament itself.