Christianity and the One-Storey Universe

Christianity and the One-Storey Universe

Glory to God

What is the Orthodox view of the world in which we live and how are we to live in it? Is God in a distant place uninvolved and uncaring about what happens here or is he “everywhere present and filling all things”?


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  • October 19, 2007
    In his inaugural podcast, Fr. Stephen describes the Orthodox view of the world in terms we can all understand.
  • October 27, 2007
    Fr. Stephen continues his look at the world from an Orthodox perspective.
  • November 3, 2007
    "It's not until we cease to divide the world into ordinary and extraordinary, into usual and unusual, into sacred and secular, that we will have either the possibility of knowing God, much less living the Christian life." -- Fr. Stephen Freeman
  • November 10, 2007
    Continuing with his illuminating series, in part four Fr. Stephen Freeman discusses those (both non-Orthodox and Orthodox) for whom knowledge of God is but a relationship with a book (albeit a sacred book) or with ideas about God. These people are what Fr. Freeman calls "practical atheists." "Although a person may espouse a belief in God, it's quite possible for that belief to be so removed from everyday life that God's non-existence would make little difference."
  • November 17, 2007
    Fr. Stephen looks at the way icons help us to see the world as it truly is rather than as a window to a "second story."
  • February 9, 2008
    Fr. Stephen looks at the aspect of seeing the world in wonder—an experience shared by both Christian and non-Christian—and suggests, following St. Gregory of Nyssa, that it is the place where our faith should begin.
  • November 24, 2007
    Fr. Stephen describes the spiritual warfare that Christians are to engage in as a battle within the heart—which is where we find the very depths of heaven.
  • December 1, 2007
    Fr. Stephen Freeman speaks on icons as doors that open onto other rooms. He also speaks about how we view evil in this understanding of God's world.
  • December 8, 2007
    Fr. Stephen continues his series on the modern world's division between things secular and things spiritual, showing that the Orthodox life should be lived not in a "two-storey" universe but in a "one-storey" universe. This talk looks at our modern understanding of time and how it runs counter to the Church's traditional understanding.
  • December 15, 2007
    In this talk Fr. Stephen continues with the imagery of the One-Storey Universe, but uses it to challenge our sense of finitude and scarcity and instead boldly proclaims that the risen Christ has raised us to a kingdom where we are not bound by limits, but by the endless abundance of His love.
  • December 22, 2007
    Fr. Stephen continues his series on the One-Storey Universe and looks at what it means for the Church. The Church is concrete and real. The "Fullness of Him that Filleth All in All" is not an abstraction or an "invisible" Church, but rather the very real Church established by Christ.
  • January 26, 2008
    Fr. Stephen looks at morality and virtue, particularly as understood during the so-called "Age of Enlightenment," and compares it with an Orthodox understanding of right actions in the life of a Christian.
  • May 2, 2009
    Fr. Stephen offers his observations on the split in our world between sacred and secular (the "two-story universe) and the role it plays in causing unbelief and the role unbelief may play in allowing us to be healed.

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