Orthodox Biblical Interpretation and Protestant Biblical Scholarship

by Fr. John Whiteford The question of what Orthodox Christians should make of Protestant biblical scholarship is a complicated question. First off, what do I mean by “Protestant biblical scholarship”? I don’t mean to limit this to the work of scholars who are actually Protestants — I include any scholar who takes the approach to […]

Suicide: Why the Church Does What it Does

by Fr. John A. Peck “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34). The following is an excerpt of a talk on Suicide in Christian History given at the 3rd Annual Orthodox Bioethics Conference held in Daly City, CA and sponsored by the Vicariate for Palestinian/Jordanian Orthodox Christian Communities in the […]

Six Men Who Tried To Paganize the Origins of Christmas But Failed

by John Sanidopoulos Every Christmas season, the usual myths are hauled out and distributed for popular consumption. You know them. We’ve all heard or read them. That Christmas celebrations were stolen from the Romans The Christmas tree is a pagan hangover That other gods had virgin births That Yule and the mistletoe are all about […]

Caveat Emptor: Ware’s ‘The Orthodox Church’

This is a short post on changes in the book “The Orthodox Church” by Kallistos Timothy Ware regarding the Orthodox teaching about contraception. Natural family planning is acceptable, because it simply involves abstinence from sex during times when fertility is likely. Such is the teaching of the Church of Greece as expressed in her encyclical […]

Stump the Priest: Raising Hands at the Liturgy

by Fr. John Whiteford Question: “Is it proper for laymen to raise their hands in prayer during the consecration of the Eucharist and the Lord’s Prayer?” No. Raising hands in prayer is a very ancient practice, and following this practice is private prayer is certainly acceptable. However, even among the clergy, only the presiding clergyman […]

The Continuing Validity of the Moral Law of the Old Testament

by Fr. John Whiteford One of the earliest heresies that the Church had to confront was the Marcionite heresy, which taught that the God of the Old Testament was not the God of the New Testament. The God of the Old Testament was evil, whereas the God of the New Testament was good. Consequently Marcion […]

St. Photius the Great, The Photian Council, and Relations with the Roman Church

by Dr. David Ford      Introduction There is considerable discussion today within the worldwide Orthodox Church about the status of the so-called “Photian Council,” held in Constantinople in 879-880. This is an exceedingly important council in the history of the Orthodox Church, and therefore deserves to be much more widely known among the Orthodox faithful. […]

Can the Dead Repent?

If someone dies without repentance, is it possible for such a person to repent after death? Fr. John Whiteford answers this question through the writings of the holy fathers of the Church. by Fr. John Whiteford Scripture, as explained by the Fathers of the Church, states that this is not possible. Psalm 6:5 says: “For […]