Tag Archives: Christian

Why Do We Pray? 1 – Series Intro

Sometime last fall, a blog I follow published a poll asking respondents why we pray. (I think it was Tony Jones, but it’s been long enough that I’m not certain.) If I recall correctly, the poll provided two answers: we pray to change God or we pray to change ourselves. Ever since then the question, […]

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A Christian Nation?

      Especially on the “conservative” side, it’s common to hear people claim our country was founded as a Christian nation. It wasn’t, of course. Nor was it founded as an atheistic nation, like the Communist regimes of the 20th century. Our founders were trying to establish the world’s first secular nation and I […]

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Love of Enemies

Like many, I was disturbed by the gleeful celebration of so many Americans at the death of Osama bin Laden. Was his death necessary? Perhaps. Fortunately, I was not the one who had to make that decision or act upon it. But as Christians, we worship the God of life who joined his nature to […]

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Ancient Texts 1a – What do you trust?

I realized today that I left an important thought out of my discussion of oral cultures this morning — the cultural bias of trust. In an oral culture, texts tend to be distrusted. That was particularly true in the ancient world where all texts were written by hand. How do you know that a text […]

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Four Hundred Texts on Love (Second Century) 23

81. Four things make a soul cut itself off from sin: fear of judgment, hope of future reward, love of God and, lastly, the prompting of conscience. There is a growth or progression in the path St. Maximos outlines. It seems to me that far too many Christians are trapped in one or both of […]

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Four Hundred Texts on Love 19

70. You have not yet acquired perfect love if your regard for people is still swayed by their characters – for example, if, for some particular reason, you love one person and hate another, or if for the same reason you sometimes love and sometimes hate the same person. We can always find a reason […]

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Four Hundred Texts on Love 12

43.  If a man desires something, he makes every effort to attain it. But of all things which are good and desirable the divine is incomparably the best and the most desirable. How assiduous, then, we should be in order to attain what is of its very nature good and desirable. As something of a […]

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What Does It Mean To Be Alive?

I almost always enjoy listening to Fr. Thomas Hopko, but I’ve especially liked his podcast series on The Names of Jesus. Names remain important today. The names by which I am known certainly describe me in the minds of others. But in the ancient world, the power of names was much more widely recognized than […]

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On the Incarnation of the Word 8 – The Word Became Flesh

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. Having described the breadth and depth of the problem, Athanasius turns again to God’s response. As you read Athanasius and my own thoughts, also rest in […]

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On the Incarnation of the Word 6 – God’s Goodness

God’s goodness is the phrase I hear echoing in this chapter of Athanasius’ treatise. For it were not worthy of God’s goodness that the things He had made should waste away, because of the deceit practised on men by the devil. Especially it was unseemly to the last degree that God’s handicraft among men should […]

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