Fr. Barnabas Powell joins Hank to discuss his journey from pastoring a Pentecostal church and holding a prominent role in evangelical media ministry to becoming a priest in the Orthodox Church. After years of pursuit, Fr. Barnabas found the timeless truth he was searching for in the ancient faith of the Eastern Orthodox Church and decided to live out his faith daily by being “Orthodox on purpose.” Fr. Barnabas and Hank are both uniquely positioned to discuss the divisions between Eastern and Western Christianity and why it is critical for Christians everywhere to embrace the doctrine of unity taught in the Lord’s high priestly prayer in the face of deeply entrenched tribalism inside and outside of the church today.
Topics discussed include: Fr. Barnabas Powell’s background as a pastor in a Pentecostal church and how his Pentecostal background prepared him for the transition to becoming a priest in Orthodoxy (2:45); the popular narrative that we should never call anyone (such as a priest) “Father,” and why that is a mistake (4:45); what does it mean to be “Orthodox on purpose?” (7:30); are there Christians outside of Orthodoxy? (14:00); incarnate theology and the significance of a priest, like Fr. Barnabas himself, wearing robes (17:00); the significance of the quote by St. Cyprian: “He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the church for his mother,” and what it says on the unity of the church (20:15); comparing liturgical practice in the church to a spiritual gymnasium where the disciplines of life in the church strengthen our spirit (25:00); the paradox of disciplining our desires and the misconception of viewing spiritual disciplines, such as fasting, as works done to earn our salvation (29:25); Rejecting RAPTUREMANIA (48:45); the purifying power of pain and the false perception that pain is the ultimate evil in an era of prosperity preaching (52:00); the pursuit of timeless truth and following St. Vincent of Lerins’s three rules of antiquity, universality, and consensus (55:50); combating our chronological snobbery to understand the enlightenment of the early church fathers (59:05); addressing problems within Orthodoxy (1:02:05); the difference between a transactional and transformational Christian faith (1:07:20); the significance of developing a dispassionate disposition toward our desires, and how spiritual discipline can help (1:08:35); understanding what the discipline of confession is really about, and the difference between how confession is conducted in the East and the West (1:12:35); why Christianity is Eucharistic at its core and why being grateful is at the heart of what it means to be a Christian (1:16:30); the importance for Christians everywhere to embrace the doctrine of unity taught in the Lord’s high priestly prayer in the face of tribalism inside and outside of the church (1:20:00); and weighing in on the current schism in the Orthodox church today (1:26:20).