Transcripts

Musings from the High Desert

Musings from the High Desert

Pentecost 4 - Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils

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So often we think of these Councils as ancient history, but their message is clear. The Fathers were saving the Gospel in order to save the people. They were seeking to proclaim the Incarnation in all its glory. All these Councils are deeply important for your life and mine today. Listen in.

There’s one other text that you’ll hear tomorrow, and it’s just a portion of the text at the same time.

Now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end: eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is the weekend when we commemorate the Fathers of the first six Ecumenical…

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Musings from the High Desert

Christianity as Philosophy?: Part 7

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Fr. Gabriel explains why the mystical pathway, which involves the approach called "negative" theology, is our best hope in terms of knowing God.

I want to move this time on different ground with regard to the whole question of God. I begin with a quote from St. Augustine:

God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.

What I want to talk about this time moves beyond other philosophical approaches to the question of God. I guess that was obvious from the opening quote. It seems to me that there’s more stuff out there that simply doesn’t…

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Musings from the High Desert

St. Paul’s Influences

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Fr. Gabriel examines the theology and texts that came before St. Paul in order to prove that he was an inheritor and not an inventor of the Christian faith.

I’d like to speak this time about several Bible passages, so if you happen to have your copy of the Orthodox Study Bible handy, that would be fine. If you have another study Bible that you use, that would also be fine.

I want to talk this time about Paul, and specifically I want to talk about Paul’s predecessors, I guess you would say: some of those influences and actual texts that came before Paul wrote that would serve to prove that Paul…

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Musings from the High Desert

The Noetic Altar

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Fr. Gabriel discusses the first petition of the prayer after the anaphora and before the Lord's Prayer in the Divine Liturgy.

I want to talk about a section of the Liturgy this time around. This was inspired by both my wife, Connie Susan, and by one of our candidates for chrismation this year whose name is Hugh. Hugh asked me a couple of weeks ago, “What does the phrase ‘the noetic altar’ mean in the prayers?” At the litany before the Lord’s Prayer in the Divine Liturgy we ask, using the Ukrainian Orthodox prayer book:

That our loving God…

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Musings from the High Desert

The Disintegration of Western Theology

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A recent discussion with a friend causes Fr. Gabriel to reflect on the pervasiveness of Western thought.

I had a conversation with a friend just today in which he mentioned about the fact that so many people who came from more or less marginal or radical backgrounds were, in his understanding, seeking out Orthodoxy. He mentioned specifically—and this is not the latest wave—punk rockers back in the day of his youth—he’s considerably younger than I am—who were seeking out the Orthodox Church.

He said, “It’s because they…

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