On The Failures of “General” Christology

by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon In orthodox formulations of Christology, there exists an ongoing and apparently irreducible quandary: How should we speak of the obviously “special” quality of Christ’s humanity without compromising the principle that he was “made like unto his brethren” (Hebrews 2:17)? Or, to put the question from the opposite direction, how should […]

Why Christ Came Down

by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon In the second century, Irenaeus, the second bishop of Lyons, explicitly asked-with respect to the eternal Word – “for what purpose did he come down?” (Against the Heresies 2.14.7). And the answer, “that he might destroy sin, abolish death, and give life to man” (3.18.7). Irenaeus explains, “God created man […]

The Face In The Mirror

by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon Docetism, one of the earliest Christological heresies, derived its name from the Greek verb dokein—to “seem.” This name was descriptive: It indicated the teaching that God’s Son only “seemed” to be a human being. His presence on the earth, though real in itself, was conveyed by way of a revelatory […]

The Church in the New Testament

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos With the incarnation of Christ we have the manifestation of the Church. The Church becomes the Body of Christ and acquires its Head, Who is Christ. Let us recall the passage in Clement of Rome which we mentioned before, according to which the Church was “first created spiritual from above, […]

Savior In A Manger

Early Christian Teaching on the Incarnation & Redemption by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon Advent and the Christmas season form an ideal time, surely, during which to ponder the meaning—especially the soteriological meaning—of the Incarnation. The question, Cur Deus homo—“Why did God become man?”—rises spontaneously to the healthy Christian mind, I believe, and it is a […]

Affirming the Inherent Goodness of the Material World

by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon Against many heresies — Gnosticism and Manichaeism early and chief among them — Holy Church has been obliged to advocate the inherent goodness of the material world. Her position on this point has always been based, not only on the biblical doctrine of Creation — “God saw everything that He […]