Transcripts

Ancient Faith Commentaries

Ancient Faith Commentaries

The Anaphora of St. Basil

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Fr. Philip LeMasters, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Religion at McMurry University, explains that St. Basil's Anaphora calls us to live out practically what we enact liturgically in response to the needs of the human beings whom we encounter every day.

During the season of Great Lent, when we serve the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great on Sundays, I’m always struck by how beautifully the anaphora portrays the compassion and mercy of God for us weak and corrupt human beings. At the very heart of our eucharistic celebration, our remembrance and participation in the love of the Father who sent the Son, of the Son who offered himself to deliver us from death, and of the Holy Spirit in whom we personally become…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Orthodoxy and Politics

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Fr. Philip LeMasters, a professor of religion at McMurry University and the host of the AFR podcast Eastern Christian Insights, discusses how Orthodox Christians should approach politics.

Since many folks seem to be a bit puzzled at how to respond to the current presidential campaign, I thought that I would share with you a section of my book, The Forgotten Faith, which speaks to these matters, at least a bit.

The cultures, forms of government, and economic systems in which Eastern Christians find themselves vary widely around the world. It is safe to say, however,…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Paschal Trumpet

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Fr. Lawrence Farley explains that Christ is the jubilee of the whole world and his Resurrection is the trumpet which announces it.

Pascha: the Blast of a Trumpet

From the prophecies of Isaiah 27:13: “It will come about also in that day that a great trumpet will be blown, and those who are perishing in the land of Assyria and who are scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord in the holy mountain at Jerusalem.” The prophet here surveys the world around him and sees how the people of God were languishing in exile, scattered to the four winds and perishing helplessly…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Islamophobia

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In order to understand our Muslim neighbors and make sense of the world today, says Fr. Lawrence Farley, we need to distinguish between Mohammed's practice, the history of Islamic expansion, the practice of Muslims throughout the Islamic empire, liberal Muslims today, and Islamists.

Islamophobia. With an admitted abundance of irony, I find myself phobic about the use of any word that ends in “-phobic,” largely because the word is usually used to shut down sensible and sustained debate and functions as a kind of rhetorical club in the hands of ideological bullies. Take the popular word, “homophobic,” for example. The word is used as a label to denounce and silence anyone arguing that homosexual practice is sinful. Those…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Fifty Shades of Grey

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Fr. John Parker, Chair of the Department of Evangelization of the Orthodox Church in America, encourages us to replace any impulse we might have to either see Fifty Shades of Grey or read the book with charitable acts done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is Fr. John Parker, the chair of the Department of Evangelization of the Orthodox Church in America. Fifty Shades of Grey, according to the plot summary which I read—I did not read the book, nor will I see the movie—is about a girl named Resurrection, whose best friend is named for one of the most beautiful and intelligent virgin martyrs in Christian history, St. Catherine the Great of Alexandria, and a sick and depraved male—we cannot…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Magical Thinking in the Orthodox Church

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Is Orthodoxy really somehow immune to the liberalism and worldiness that afflicts everyone else in North America? Fr. Lawrence Farley argues, "No!"

Magical Thinking in the Orthodox Church

In any sustained discussion regarding the progress of liberal theology in the Orthodox Church, one sooner or later encounters magical thinking. Magical thinking is defined by Wikipedia, that modern oracle, as “the attribution of causal relationships between actions and events which cannot be justified by reason and observation.” In my experience, it often begins like this: Someone, often a convert from a liberal…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Is the LGBT a New Reality?

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On a new "Ancient Faith Commentaries," Fr. Lawrence Farley explains that the LGBT reality is not really new; it is the same old darkness that St. Paul encountered in his time. And Paul's word to the Church then still stands for us today.

Is the LGBT a new reality? The battle between those who condemn homosexual activity as sinful and those who celebrate it as a valid alternative is heating up, and the sound of its fury is shaking the walls and rattling the windows even of the Orthodox Church. It’s like Dylan prophesied long ago: The times, they are a-changin’. And though our official Church pronouncements remain consistent with our patristic past, such as the episcopal pronouncement on…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

That’s Not Logical

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Fr. Lawrence Farley reminds us that our God is the God who rises above logic and nature and frustrates laws which mere creation finds inflexible.

Recently, I was taking a walk in a park nearby our home when two young girls met me offering a tract and, ostensibly, wanting to talk about the Kingdom. Actually, they were Jehovah’s Witnesses, and what they really wanted was to convert me to their sect. Usually, I politely decline, and the preacher man keeps walking. But today I took the time to converse. It was, as I knew it would be, a complete waste of time since both young ladies had been well and thoroughly…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

In Praise of Old Women

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Fr. Lawrence Farley comments on a strange wedding ceremony and the role of elderly women in guarding the faith.

Just when you think that you’ve seen it all, the Church of England comes to the rescue.

This summer a couple was married in the church of St Mary and St Martin in the town of Blyth in Nottinghamshire. After the vicar, a lady named Kate Bottley, tied the matrimonial knot with the words, “Those whom God has joined together let no-one put asunder.” She then led the newly married bride and groom in a pre-arranged flash-mob inspired dance. Sounded a little…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Pacify the Ragings of the . . . Who?

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Fr. Lawrence Farley reminds us that when the fourth-century Christians prayed in their liturgy that God would "pacify the ragings of the pagans," they were taking a public stand against the majority of the world around them. The same is true of us today, only in our case the pagans are better known as secularists.

You have probably noticed that we are no longer in the fourth century. In that century the great rival of Christianity was paganism, the worship of the old gods still worshiped by much of the population then, a few of whom were powerful and well-heeled — the population that is, not the gods.

Some scholars estimate that when Constantine declared himself on the side of the Christians earlier in that century, only ten per-cent of the population were actually…

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