Saturday, December 1, 2007

Christe, redemptor omnium
(St. Ambrose of Milan)

Christ, Redeemer of all,
out of the Father, and with the Father one,
alone before the beginning
born ineffably.
Thou art the light, the brilliance of the Father,
Thou art the perennial hope of all,
to Whom Thy servants in the world
direct the estate of their prayers.
Remember, O Author of Salvation,
how in taking on our flesh
from the unstained Virgin,
Thou wast born in our form.
So doth today testify,
as well the circling years,
that Thou alone hast come from the Father
for the Salvation of the world.
The sky, the earth, the sea,
and all that lieth therein,
to the Author of Thine Advent
chant exultantly in praise.
And also we, who Thy
holy blood hast ransomed,
on this day of Thy Nativity
join together in a new hymn.
Glory be to Thee, O Lord,
Thou Who was born of a virgin,
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
unto ages everlasting.

[Ephrem Hugh Bensusan, Translator]
Original Latin Text

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Items of Interest - Week of All Saints of North America 2007

American Paterikon: The Lives of the Saints who have shown forth in North America

Today the choir of Saints who were pleasing to God in the lands of North America
Now stands before us in the Church and invisibly prays to God for us.
With them the angels glorify Him,
And all the saints of the Church of Christ keep festival with them;
And together they all pray for us to the Pre-Eternal God.
I have included in the above list only those North American Saints that, at this moment, either been officially glorified or are under consideration for official glorification. It is my belief and hope that the names of the Blessed Archbishop Vitaly of Jersey City and the Blessed Metropolitan Antony of New York should be added to the rolls of glorified American Saints.

Why I Am Not an Athiest
Voice of Russia's Nadezhda Pronina highlights the life and views of Fr. Deacon Andrei Kuraev.

What Is at Stake?
by Fr. Stephen Freeman. "In the struggle to come to the wholeness of Personhood - to become the “true self” rather than to sink into the “false self” our very existence as spiritual beings is at stake.

Kosovo’s Albanian Nazi Past: The Untold Story
As George W. Bush promises the creation of a new Jihadist terror state in the Balkans, Carl Savich reminds us of the Nazi-Muslim inheritance of the Kosovar Albanians.

Why Do They Love Us?
by Julia Gorin. "For a single day, George W. Bush knew what it felt like to be Bill Clinton. In Albania on Sunday, Bush for the first time got the Clinton treatment—being adored, cheered, hugged, reached for, applauded. And little wonder: Bush reiterated American support for Kosovo independence, gratifying the jihad-enabling Albanian goal for a “Greater Albania.”"

Albanian Necrophilia
by Julia Gorin. "Indeed, you could fill a mass grave with the number of empty Albanian mass graves we’ve found."

The Murderous Church of Rachel Carson
by Eli Lehrer. A century after her birth, the academic left worships a wildlife bureaucrat whose false claims have led to the death of millions of children, mostly in Africa.

Hunting Winston Smith
Ron Capshaw on George Orwell's near-execution in Spain.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Items of Interest - Week of All Saints 2007

Sunday of All Saints
Sermon by Metropolitan Antony (Bloom) of Sourozh, delivered 25 June 1989.

The Violent Love of God
Commencement Address of Fr. Thomas Hopko at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, May 2007

Why I am Not a Good Ethicist
Fr. Jonathan Tobias on injustice and sin.

Daniel Dennett Hunts the Snark
by David B. Hart. Debunking a self-professed "Darwinian fundamentalist."

A Dark Day in History
Dr. Srdja Trifkovic on the Fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Remembering The Six-Day War
Joseph Puder on the day that changed the Middle East, and t he reason that the "Occupied Territories" remained occupied.

Terror and Double Standards
by Jacob Laskin. While Israel is condemned, Lebanon is free to fight terrorism.

Resurrecting Yugoslavia
by Julia Gorin. "Western powers led by the United States went to great lengths to abolish a pluralistic society called Yugoslavia,...yet as soon as one of those separate identities that we’ve buttressed misbehaves, suddenly we bring Yugoslavia back from the dead."

Religious Poetry / Just Leaving Town
Special thanks to Alice C. Linsley, who has published on her blog Students Publish Here (dedicated to the publishing of writings by elementary and secondary school students) a poem I wrote in high school over two decades ago, a few months before my conversion to Christianity.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Items of Interest - Week of the Samaritan Woman 2007

Hristos voskrese iz mrtvih, smertiju smert poprav, i suščim vo grobje život darovav!
Al masih qam baini'lamwat, wa wati al mowt bil mowt, wa wahalba'l haya lil ladhina fi'l qubur!
Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!

The Sacrament of Freedom
Archimandrite Victor (Mamontov) on personal liberation.

Do You Know Jesus?
Fr Stephen Freeman on conversion and knowing our Lord and Saviour.

Orthodox Mission in the 21st Century
by Fr. Deacon Methodius Hayes.

Call No Man Father
Fr. Richard Ballew on Matthew 23. In answer to a friend's question.

Balkan Muslim Gratitude
Julia Gorin on the planned attack on Ft. Dix.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Items of Interest - Week of the Paralytic 2007

Hristos voskrese iz mrtvih, smertiju smert poprav, i suščim vo grobje život darovav!
Al masih qam baini'lamwat, wa wati al mowt bil mowt, wa wahalba'l haya lil ladhina fi'l qubur!
Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!

Ironic and Sardonic
Fr. Stephen Freeman on how the world needs divine irony.

Reader Christopher Orr's answer to the question, "What do you think the strongest argument against Orthodoxy's claims are?"

Personal Jesus
Jason Lee Steorts on John Shelby Spong's “nontheistic” Christianity.

Christ on the Silk Road
by Glen L. Thompson. The Evidences of Nestorian Christianity in Ancient China

The Religious Left's Monster
Mark Tooley on the WCC and its support for the tyranny of Robert Mugabe.

Carter Comes to Berkeley
by Lee Kaplan. The saga of Jimmy Carter's one-sided and deceptive pro-terrorist agenda continues.

More Scientists Reject Evolution
A column by Jim Hyest in The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Items of Interest - Sixth Week of Veliki Post 2007

In Accordance with the Scriptures Part I · Part II
More excellent hermeneutical reflections from Fr. Stephen Freeman

Feathered Friend of Christ
by D. Ian Dalrymple. Good Christians, let us praise the noble Phoenix, and mourn his tragic loss.

This is Why the Altar Guild Gets Paid the Big Bucks
Terry Mattingly takes on Anglican defections and TEC bacchanalia.

Orthodoxy as Boutique Religion?
by D. Ian Dalrymple. A convenient entrance into a current and possibly productive debate running in the Orthodox-Catholic blogosphere.

The Cry of the Centurion
By Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon. "Truly this Man was the Son of God!"

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Items of Interest - Fifth Week of Veliki Post

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
Fr. Stephen Freeman on reading Scripture in spirit and truth.

A Notable Ruling at The Hague
by Dr. Srdja Trifkovic. In a landmark case that put a nation on trial for genocide for the first time in history, Serbia has been found not guilty by the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

Just Genesis
Alice C. Linsley has set up a blog to disseminate her years of fabulous in-depth research into the book of Genesis.

How Mr. Taleb Got Utterly Fooled by Randomness
Gary North on Nassim Taleb, Albert Einstien, John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich Hayek, and the Providence of God in economics.

Deliverance from Egypt
The late Rev. R.J. Rushdoony on the Exodus and being freed from the Egypt of the heart.

Why are Black and Hispanic Converts to Islam on the Rise since 9/11?
Anti-Jihad humour from Julia Gorin.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Items of Interest - Fourth Week of Veliki Post 2007

What Wilberforce Would Do
By Terry Mattingly. Words on religion and politics in 1779 that could have been written yesterday.

The Deceptive World of Raymond Chandler
Ron Capshaw on the Leftist misuse of Chandler's literary world.

Contra Paul: Teasing Out the Pattern

by Alice C. Linsley

Christianity builds upon certain established facts. It does not spring forth ex nihilo. It develops out of the Semitic experience of God, which in the Scriptures is well represented by Abraham and his descendents. What do we know about Abraham and his people? We have enough factual information to fill the pages of a large volume.

One of the facts that can’t be avoided is that salvation for Abraham was personal and embodied. Abraham, like Moses after him, spoke to the Lord as an intimate. His relationship with his Maker was so unlike most people’s that Abraham’s faith is remembered throughout the Old and New Testaments.

For Jewish Christians living in the first decades, Father Abraham’s faith represented both imputed righteousness and the necessity of faithful works. It depends on who you read. “Abram put his faith in Yahweh and this was credited to him as righteousness.” (Gen. 15:6) For Paul this text proves that righteousness depends on faith, but James cites this text when he argues that faith without works is dead. James writes: “Was not Abraham our father justified by his deed, because he offered his son Isaac on the altar? So you can see that his faith was working together with his deeds; his faith became perfect by what he did. In this way the scripture was fulfilled: Abraham put his faith in God, and this was considered as making him upright; and he received the name ‘friend of God’.” (James 2: 21-23)

For both Paul and James it is clear that to be a son of Abraham meant to have faith like the Father. On the other hand, to be a disciple of Moses required keeping all the Law. For James there seems not to be a conflict here, but Paul sets these up as a dichotomy. For Paul the wife, Sarah, represents imputed righteousness or grace while the bondservant, Hagar, represents the Law. (Gal. 4: 21-31) Paul writes, “There is an allegory here: these women stand for the two covenants.” The Apostle strikes a contrast in order to teach the superiority of the covenant of grace which he understood to be fulfilled in the Person of Jesus Christ. But did all early Jewish Christians think of these figures this way? Isn’t it likely that they also saw similarities between Abraham and Moses that spoke to them of the Person of Jesus Christ?

We recall that both Abraham and Moses were in contact with the Pharaohs of Egypt and both found themselves in trouble there. They do indeed have much in common when it comes to Egypt. What might this have meant for early Jewish Christians? What did it say to them about Jesus?

To understand how they might have thought we must explore other similarities between Abraham and Moses. Consider these:

• Both came into Pharaoh’s presence by water: Abraham because of lack of it in Canaan, and Moses as a baby floating in a basket.
• Neither Abraham nor Moses had offspring in Egypt. In terms of progeny, Egypt was not a fertile place for them (as compared to Joseph).
• In Egypt both men’s natural relationships became distorted. Abraham was estranged temporarily from his wife (also his half-sister). Moses was not raised as his parents’ son, but as a prince in Pharaoh’s household.
• Both leaders left Egypt with greater authority and wealth.
• Both were princes yet foreigners among the people.
• Both were blessed and counseled by noblemen priests: Abraham by Melchizedek, and Moses by Jethro (his future father-in-law).
• Both met their wife at wells: Abraham married Keturah in Beer-Sheba (well of Sheba) and Moses met Zipporah, his future wife, at a well.

The Person of Jesus Christ is foreshadowed throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. Paul, John, Peter and the early Church Fathers found continuity between the faith of Abraham and the revelation of Jesus Messiah. Nothing in the Scripture is extraneous to the Person of Jesus Christ. As with Isaac, Jesus’ sacrificial journey required three days. As with Isaac, Jesus carried the wood upon which he would be sacrificed. As with Isaac, the sacrificed one is bound. As with Isaac, the Son is sacrificed on a mountain. Only with Jesus, no substitute is provided. God did not make a switch to save His Son. This is because Jesus is the real thing, not the archetype. Salvation is an embodied reality and has archetypes which point us to the True Form. As we consider Abraham and Moses as archetypes of Christ, we begin to see a pattern. Here are some threads of the pattern:

• The Prophet Hosea tells us that God called His Son out of Egypt. Since both Abraham and Moses were led out of Egypt, this can not apply to Israel. Were it so, the prophecy would speak of “sons.” Clearly this prophesy speaks of the Son, Jesus Christ.
• Jesus’ is revealed at his Baptism in the Jordan. Instead of the waters parting, the heavens part.
• Jesus had no progeny.
• On earth, Jesus’ natural relationship with the Father is distorted in that moment when He cries: “Why hast Thou forsaken me?”
• Jesus victorious rose from the grave, Almighty God.
• Jesus was a Prince whose royal lineage was not recognized by his own people. John reminds us that He came into the world but the world did not recognize or “receive” him.
• Jesus was blessed by noblemen sages (priests?) at His revealing by the great star.
• Jesus met his archetypical “bride” in the woman at Jacob’s well. She was the first female evangelist, and according to tradition, Photini and all her children were martyred. Photini means “Illumined One” and she represents the Church, the Bride of Christ.

Doubtless the reader will find more similarities between the archetypes and the True Form, but these suffice to tease out the pattern of Scriptural revelation. If we stay only with Paul’s dichotomy between Grace and Law, we are likely to miss some elements of the pattern.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Items of Interest - Third Week of Veliki Post 2007

From Canterbury to Constantinople
Frank Lockwood interviews former Episcopal Priest Alice C. Linsley on her recent conversion to Orthodoxy.

Antichrist is an ecumenist, Cardinal tells Pope
Ruth Gledhill discusses Cardinal Biffi, Benedict XVI, and Soloviev.

New Hate Crime Bill: Power Grab!
Lee Duigon unveils the sinister possibilities of the David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007, a bill currently being considered by the House Judiciary Committee.

Why Atheists are Theocrats
by Gary DeMar. "Don’t be fooled by the charge that a new theocratic form of government is threatening America; it’s already here."

Reflecting on 35 Years of Marriage
Gary North compares living now with living in 1972, and shares lessons learned about family life.