Theophany: A Celebration of Holiness on the 12th Day of Christmas

Theophany: A Celebration of Holiness on the 12th Day of Christmas

Snow is everywhere. Not just in Boston, where my family and I live. If you are anywhere in eastern North America, chances are good that the blizzard hit you on Thursday, and that the landscape around you is white. The first time I saw so much snow was sixteen years...

Read more
Examining the Reformation from an Orthodox Point of View

Examining the Reformation from an Orthodox Point of View

Five hundred years ago this past Tuesday, a professor announced a lecture. The announcement was mailed to the Archbishop of Mainz in western Germany, and was posted next to other announcements on the 16th-century equivalents of bulletin boards: church doors. One of these churches, famously, was All Saints in Wittenberg....

Read more
An Orthodox Education

An Orthodox Education

“You sing this one.” The head chanter points at me. I’ve been at my parish assignment for a few months. At seminary, I’m taking my first semester of chant. I’ve been recording Matins on my phone every Sunday and practicing at home. This particular melody runs easily through my head,...

Read more
Why and How We Support One Another

Why and How We Support One Another

This is a version of the talk given by James and Daphne Hargrave at the Pentecost Vespers OCMC Dinner 2016 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Spokane, Washington. Since it’s Pentecost, we’d better start with a foreign tongue: Furaha na amani!* And we’d like to tell you about Father...

Read more
Father Ioasaph and the Alaska Mission

Father Ioasaph and the Alaska Mission

  “We ate rotten three-year-old dried fish, to the last bit, although when we arrived here, fish were still running but not harvested.” The author of that sentence, Archimandrite Ioasaph Bolotov, was head of the first Christian missionary outreach to Alaska. Along with nine others, Father Ioasaph traveled overland from...

Read more
Preaching in Hell, Part 6: Almost Saints

Preaching in Hell, Part 6: Almost Saints

Preaching in Hell: Pastoral Care in Daredevil and Firefly Part Six: Almost Saints Over the past five weeks, I have introduced the television shows Daredevil and Firefly as cultural media in which we Orthodox Christians can find common ground with our neighbors. I have proposed an analysis of two priests, Father Lantom...

Read more
Preaching in Hell, Part 5: The Devil in Me

Preaching in Hell, Part 5: The Devil in Me

Preaching in Hell: Pastoral Care in Daredevil and Firefly Part Five: The Devil in Me In the previous section, I introduced Father Lantom in the Netflix series Daredevil, and his role as confessor to the vigilante Matt Murdock. In this section, I’ll show how Father Lantom’s pastoral ministry changes and...

Read more
Preaching in Hell, Part 4: Coffee for the Devil

Preaching in Hell, Part 4: Coffee for the Devil

In the first half of this series, I proposed that it’s worthwhile to investigate examples of Christian truth in popular culture in order to engage our neighbors and reveal the glory of God in our culture. I looked first at one example of a Christian missionary priest bringing the light...

Read more
Preaching in Hell, Part 3: The Missionary’s UnChristian Death

Preaching in Hell, Part 3: The Missionary’s UnChristian Death

Last time, I introduced Shepherd Book from the TV series Firefly and its sequels in the comic books and film Serenity. I showed his arrival as a missionary on the spaceship Serenity, and how his ultimate failure to “carry the Word” – or even keep his cool – led him...

Read more
Preaching in Hell, Part 2: Shepherd Book’s Mission

Preaching in Hell, Part 2: Shepherd Book’s Mission

In Part One, I proposed that we, as Orthodox Christians, can participate in some popular culture in order to have common ground with our neighbors. In particular, I brought up Father Lantom in the 2015 Netflix series Daredevil and Shepherd Book in the 2002 series Firefly and its spinoffs as...

Read more
Preaching in Hell, Part 1: TV and Missions

Preaching in Hell, Part 1: TV and Missions

This article, and its follow-ups, are a version of a presentation that I gave in July 2015 at Doxacon Seattle, a science-fiction and fantasy convention sponsored by Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Tacoma, WA. Doxacon “Prime” will take place this November in Washington DC, and if you’re interested in reading...

Read more
God is Father

God is Father

God is Father. What does that mean? Here’s what it doesn’t mean: We have, as a human reality, such a thing as fatherhood. Because we can’t really conceptualize God, we use human metaphors to define him. God as “father,” then, is a human construct that is helpful to partially understand...

Read more