John the Baptist as Public Theologian

Feast of St. Eustratios the Wonderworker

John_the_Baptist_Square_2.jpegHE MAY have stunk from the river water. Surely he was a bit repulsive, with locust legs stuck between his teeth. His hair, disheveled; his wardrobe, camel’s hair and leather; but his voice—oh, his voice was that of a prophet, “yea, more than a prophet” (Mt. 11:9)—if you are willing to accept it, is that of Elijah, the promised messenger who prepares the way... Continue Reading

Amos: Iron Age Theologian in the Public Square

Feast of Theophany and St Theophane the Recluse

Amos_Square.jpegAMOS HAS long been one of my heroes. His boldness in bringing an unpopular message to the antagonistic Northern Kingdom of Israel (he was from the Southern Kingdom of Judah) is admirable. His faithfulness to God in accepting a role that he had not been trained for is astounding (“I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman,... Continue Reading

Watchmen: Do We Want Them?

Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles

Samuel_the_Prophet_Square.jpegMANY A Sunday sermon has been preached on the subject of Christ’s words at the Pool of Siloam. Approaching a wounded man at this place of healing, Jesus asked him a strange question: “Do you want to be healed?” The answer seems obvious. The man has been waiting 30 years. He is alone, friendless, near the end of hope. Surely the man wants to be healed. But... Continue Reading

Christian Culture: Can You Imagine It?

Feast of St. Steven, Archdeacon and First Martyr

Eighth_Day_Patristics_Square.jpegIMAGINE A bookstore in a Victorian-style home filled with classics in religion, philosophy, literature, and history.

Imagine a coffee shop pub next door where Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants gather together on a regular basis for prayer and study and food and drink and dialogue and celebration.

Imagine local Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant pastors gathering on a quarterly basis for spiritual encouragement, theological... Continue Reading

Imitate Anna and Rejoice in the Conception

Feast of the Conception of the Theotokos, the Prophetess Hannah, and the Consecration of the Church of the Resurrection

Sts.Joachim_Anna_Gate_square_1.jpegTODAY the Church celebrates the conception of the Theotokos, the Mother of God, the Prophetess Hannah, and the Consecration of the Church of the Holy Resurrection of Christ our God.

Many are familiar with the story of Hannah (cf. 1 Sam. 1). Like Sarah before her, Hannah was barren, until she... Continue Reading

Because a Girl Surrendered: Everyone a Bearer of Christ

Feast of the Holy Prophet Nahum

caryll_houselander.jpgIN THE FACE of all this I sit here in a bombed city and say that because a girl surrendered herself to God two thousand years ago, human nature can be constantly new; life always young; and everyone bring not death into the world but the miraculous life of the Spirit; everyone a bearer of Christ into the world.”   ~Carryl Houselander

I can think... Continue Reading

Remember Thy Mortality and Rejoice in the Resurrection

Feast of St Stachys and Companions of the 70

Monk_with_Athonite_Skulls_Square.jpgTODAY IS All Hallows Eve, a liturgical remembrance of mortality in the historic Western Church, and the commencement of Allhallowtide (including All Souls Day and All Saints Day). In Classical Judaism and Christianity, the human person is understood as a composite of different parts—the main two of which are breath or spirit and body or flesh—which come together to form a... Continue Reading

Homo Viator Needs an Oil Change

Feast of the Righteous Theophilus

Christ_in_Desert_Monastery_Square.jpegI HAVE visited the Monastery of Christ in the Desert in northern New Mexico several times in the last 40 years. Indeed, I became an oblate there in 1993. I think it was during that visit that one of the other guests was a woman who carried herself heavily like a depleted soul in her first days at a psychiatric facility. After breakfast one morning... Continue Reading

The Prophet Job: A Theologian of the Cross

Feast of Sts. Mark, Aristarchos, and Zenon, Apostles of the 70

Job_on_dung-hill_Square_2.jpegHOW MANY of us, at one point or another, have tried to comfort either ourselves or someone else by saying that God hasn’t caused this suffering (whatever it may be), but He has allowed it? Try playing that out with Job:

Who’s the one who started the conversation in that heavenly council?

Who’s the one... Continue Reading

The Glory of God: A Deified Human Being

Feast of the Holy Seven Maccabee Children, Solomone their Mother, and Eleazar their Teacher

Till_We_Have_Faces_Square.jpgHOW DID C. S. Lewis understand the concept of salvation, and how does it relate to his overall theological vision? In one sense, this question yields a simple answer: Lewis’s soteriology can be summed up as theosis, or the deification of the human person in Christ, coming to share in divine life. The present essay seeks... Continue Reading