Transcripts

Ancient Faith Commentaries

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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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Why Sola Scriptura Doesn’t Work

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A blogger on Orthodox Christianity and subdeacon at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in Bellingham, Washington, explains why the Scriptures must be read in the context of tradition.

Orthodox Christians do not hold to the Reformation principle of sola scriptura. Instead, we view the scriptures as the pinnacle or summit of Holy Tradition, neither separating the two as wholly distinct nor eliminating one or the other. The reason for this is simple. The scriptures are witness to Divine Revelation given from God to mankind, and specially to God’s holy people, first Israel and now the Catholic Church. Holy Tradition refers to the totality…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Lenten Homily

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Fr. John Parker is the Chair of the Dept. of Evangelization for the Orthodox Church in America. He wrote this homily to begin Lent based on the Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom.

FORGIVENESS SUNDAY HOMILY FR JOHN PARKER

If anyone be devout and love God, Let him commence this radiant fast with joy! If anyone be a wise servant, Let him, rejoicing, enter into the school of repentance. We who have wallowed long in sin, Let us now begin our return. If anyone has strayed from the first hour, Let him today repent with zeal. If anyone has sinned from the third hour, Let him…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Food, Sex, and Sports: Idols or Pathways to Salvation?

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Fr. Philip LeMasters reminds us that our Orthodox faith does not require us to abandon or condemn any dimension of life, but instead to offer all that we are and do for fulfillment and blessing and healing.

Putting words on a page often helps to clarify our thinking. In writing my recent book, The Forgotten Faith: Ancient Insights for Contemporary Believers from Eastern Christianity, I attempted to present key Orthodox insights in ways that average Americans could appreciate them, not as exotic or abstract ideas, but as invitations to the abundant life found in Jesus Christ. To connect with people…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Russia, Christianity, and the Olympics

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Fr. John Parker, Chair of the Dept of Evangelization of the Orthodox Church in America, comments on an Op Ed piece in the New York Times about Russia and the Olympics. An edited version of Fr. John's comments can be found in the The Post and Courier.

Rick Warren had an enigma on his mantle:  a medallion of a double-headed eagle.  When I asked him if he knew what it meant, he admitted that he did not know, and asked me.  The double-headed eagle is the symbol of the Byzantine Empire, and that symbol carried through to Russia.  One eagle represents Church, and one the State.  The symbol shows the synergy between both.  Then, as now, there have been both benefits and drawbacks to such…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Re-evangelizing the Nation

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With the Church of England just one generation from extinction, the call has gone out for re-evangelization. Fr. Lawrence Farley asks whether this particular church still possesses the evangel of Saints Cuthbert and Aidan.

Re-evangelizing the Nation

In a piece published in The Telegraph, we learn that a former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, warned a Christian conference in Shrewsbury that the Church of England was “one generation away from extinction,” he said, and that all of its 43 dioceses throughout the world…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Food and Fasting

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Fr. Philip LeMasters explains that our diet and eating habits have a profound spiritual and moral significance as they shape who we become as people and how we relate to others and to the Lord.

Have you ever noticed that food often is at the center of controversies, whether it’s eating meat offered sacrificed to idols in Corinth, figuring out how early Christians from Jewish and Gentile backgrounds could eat together, or even responding to the current hubbub about Chick-fil-A? What we put in our mouths and stomachs can easily involve us in disputes.

Leaving those celebrated cases aside, our diets and eating habits have profound spiritual and…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

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Fr. Lawrence Farley reviews Reza Aslan’s book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, calling it "a tired rewriting of the same nonsense that pseudo-scholars have been churning out for some time now."

When I turned recently to my window on the world (aka “Facebook”), I discovered that the Next Big Noise in the cultural world of the west is a book recently written by Reza Aslan entitled, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.  Mr. Aslan, as one might guess by his name, is a Muslim by faith, and, as he repeatedly reminds us in an interview, a scholar and professor by trade.  The interview to which I refer is the one given on Fox Network’s…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Satisfied

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Ancient Faith Ministries CEO John Maddex comments on a controversy involving the lyrics of a new hymn widely used in the Evangelical world.

In the evangelical world, a young and talented team of musicians have become the new hymn writers who are celebrated for providing a much needed antidote to the often shallow and monotonous praise songs that get projected onto screens in contemporary worship services across the country. Keith and Kristyn Getty along with Stewart Townend are the writers and composers of such modern day hymns as “By Faith”, “The Power of the Cross”, and “O…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

The Arrow That Flies

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Fr. Lawrence Farley reflects on the twin bombings at yesterday's Boston Marathon in light of the promises of God.

At this time, we are still reeling from incoming news of the bomb blasts that went off at the Boston Marathon.  News footage of twin explosions that went off within seconds of each other, reports of shattering glass, of individuals killed outright and many others injured and maimed, including young children, all combine to pummel the heart and reduce us to a state of shock.  Though the President of the United States did not use the words “terrorist act”…

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