The Secular Man and the Christian Man

The Secular Man has been the great threat to the Christian faith over the past two or more centuries. Disguised as the person is only only doing the “normal thing,” he lives in a godless world, where others can be tempted to live as though there were no God. Earlier I quoted Berdyaev, “If God does not exist, then man does not exist.” I would add to that that the God Who Exists must be everywhere present and filling all things, or He is no God and a false god. Let us renounce the “soft atheism” of the secular man and live always and everywhere for God.

Many Orthodox writers have spoken about the nature of the secular world, the defining form of modernity. I take here an opportunity to make a small comparison between the secular man and the Christian.

The secular man may believe that there is a God, but he also believes that the situation and outcome of the world are dependent upon the actions of human beings. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Christ addresses Himself to each person

Fr. Alexander Schmemann, Celebration of Faith (Sermons, Vol. 1: «I Believe»), pp. 15-17

Several years ago a French publishing house asked a cross-section of famous people –writers, philosophers, artists– to contribute to a small book, entitled What I Believe. … Their responses were profoundly different from one another, and each essay is fascinating to read. One and the same faith has become new and personal when mediated by personal experience, personal understanding, yet it never ceases to be one faith shared in common.

[P]eople today often speak about religion and Christianity primarily on an impersonal, objective, dogmatic level. Not only religion’s opponents, but even believers are accustomed to discussing how and what Christianity teaches, how and what believers affirm. Yet faith, in its very nature and essence, is something deeply personal, and therefore it is only really alive when seen in the context of personality and personal experience.Only when a particular teaching of the Church –or, as we say, a dogma, an affirmation of some particular truth– becomes my faith and my experience, and therefore the main content of my life, does this faith come alive. If one reflects on faith and thinks about how it passes from one person to another, it becomes obvious that what really convinces, inspires and converts is personal experience. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Saint Nektarios Metropolitan of Pentapolis (Libya) and the Vatopedi Monastery (3rd nocturn)

by Andri Hatzikosta-Tofalidou

1st Letter

3rd July 1900

To:
The holy commissioners of the Great and Holy Monastery of Vatopedi, at the Holy Mountain
After offering my brotherly salute in Christ, I take the courage to appeal to your brotherly affection to support my book, whose contents are included herewith. The entire contents of the book are cited in detail, and manifest its great importance and the significant benefit which will be derived from its publication.
I hope that your Holy monastery, as having the means by the grace of God, and as always being willing to support  the printing and publication of similar worthy works, will positively agree to my petition and support the publication of such a significant and beneficial book. read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The Holy Great-martyr Anastasia the Deliver from Bonds, and others with her

This glorious heroine of the Christian Faith was born in Rome into a wealthy senatorial family of a pagan father and a Christian mother. From her early youth, she clung in love to the Lord Jesus, guided in the teaching of Christ by a devout teacher, Chrysogonus. Anastasia was forced by her father to enter into marriage with a pagan landowner, Publius. Excusing herself on the basis of a female illness, she in no way wished to enter into physical relations with him. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

On the Presuppositions of our Personal Salvation, Elder Cleopa of Romania

Fresco detail from Vatopedi Monastery (Ascending to Heaven)

Fresco detail from Vatopedi Monastery (Ascending to Heaven)

Ch. 13. from The Truth of Our Faith:: A Discourse from Holy Scripture on the Teachings of True Christianity

Inquirer: Father, earlier you spoke about our “personal salvation.” Can you tell me more about this?

Elder Cleopa: Some religious confessions teach that personal salvation presupposes the action of Divine Grace alone, according to Calvin, or the grace of faith, i.e. of trust in God, according to Luther, by which the “merits” or virtues of our Lord Jesus Christ are conferred upon man. Therefore, to give a general outline, there are Protestant Christians who believe that salvation stems only from faith and that on the part of man himself there is placed no condition or requirement for his salvation. MORE… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The Orthodox Church

The Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky in Sofia, Bulgaria.

One of the three branches of world Christianity and the major Christian Church in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, the Orthodox Christian Church, also sometimes called the Eastern Church, or the Greek Orthodox, or Orthodox Catholic Church, claims to have preserved the original and apostolic Christian faith. Figures for its worldwide membership range from 100 to 200 million, depending on the method of accounting.

Structure and Organization Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »