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Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Limits of the Church

This is by Archpriest Georges Florovsky (1893-1979)

The link:
http://jbburnett.com/resources/florovsky/florovsky_limits-of-church.pdf







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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Revolutionary Died

This is Sho Baraka (an old college friend from Tuskegee University and calvinist christian rapper) and this is off his new album(Lions & Liars) coming out in March. I loved his first album called Turn my Life Up.





Sho's Story


Lions & Liars (about the album)








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Pagan Parallels and the Dionysus Amulet

This was done by Albert (A Traditional Anglican/Episcopal)




Responding to a Non-Response, Pt. 1



Responding to a Non-Response Pt. 2



Responding to a Non-Response Pt. 3




From someone else:












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Orthodox Monasticism is Not a Cult

This is by Fr. THEOLOGOS from the Athos in America website.

Quote:
"An interview and website-- written by Orthodox
lay friends of monasticism-- in response to unfair criticisms of traditional
monasticism and Elder Ephraim's monasteries

Introduction

One of
the most important developments in modern Orthodox Christianity has been the
renewal of Athonite monasticism.

This occurred first on Mount Athos
itself in the mid-20th century, largely through the work of Elder Joseph the
Hesychast and his spiritual children, and then more recently in North America,
through the monastic foundations of Elder Ephraim, one of Elder Joseph's
spiritual children.

The renewal of Athonite monasticism, based on the
institution of the elder and the practice of hesychastic prayer, is the direct
continuation of a centuries-old tradition, as Father Theologos discusses in the
interview below.

This renewed tradition, now growing in America, has
been a source of blessings to many in the modern West seeking a more fulfilling
life and a more meaningful Christianity.

However, this tradition is also
in many ways at odds with modern secular life in America, and is unfamiliar even
to some who are culturally of Orthodox background but living modern lives in
this country. As such, it has also engendered some controversy, and was unfairly
connected with recent past arguments among Greek Americans over church
government in the U.S.

On the Internet this controversy has focused on
the experience of one young man who has become a monk at one of Elder Ephraim's
monasteries in the United States.

This interview is an effort to let him
tell his own story, by those who are not monastics or clergy, but who know him
and respect his work as a monk, which is a blessing to many. This website is not
an official or unofficial production of any monastic establishment.

May
those who read it take it in this spirit and let the voice of this pious
Orthodox man be heard, as it is presented below.

The story of the
controversy is an old one, largely engendered by parents at odds with monastic
tradition, and indeed Christian tradition itself in its call to each person to
spiritually grow beyond (but still respect) ties of the flesh.

Similar
cases of disgruntled parents of monks and nuns are reported in old accounts of
monasticism, such in the Life of St. John Kalayvites of the Egyptian desert. But
the continuing prominence given to this particular case on the Web seems to
merit a response here, because it may unnecessarily turn away seekers for truth
from Orthodox monasticism.

First, however, some further but brief
historical background is in order.

Since 1989, Elder Ephraim has founded
16 men and women’s monasteries in North America, which are Greek Orthodox and
ultimately under the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch. These have been
funded and supported with gratitude by Americans blessed by the renewal of such
traditional monasticism on Mount Athos. Before this, there was very little
Athonite monastic activity in the Western Hemisphere, despite the growth and
prosperity of the Greek Orthodox Church in the United States and Canada during
the past century.

Monasticism has been a central part of Orthodox
Christianity, by which is meant traditional Christianity, since at least the
fourth century A.D. and the time of St. Anthony and the desert fathers. And
central to that monastic tradition is the institution of the elder, or the
starets, as the figure is known in Russia.

The Russian Orthodox novelist
Fyodor Dostoevsky gave the world its best-known image of the elder system in the
figure of Elder Zosima in the book The Brothers Karamazov, which many consider
to be the greatest or among the greatest novels ever written. Even modern
non-Christians such as Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud have cited it as a
monumentally influential book, largely due to its depiction of spirituality and
psychology from an Eastern Christian perspective.

In that book, written
in the 19th century, Dostoevsky notes that the elder system had been in
existence for more than a thousand years. He also notes the controversy it has
engendered. Yet in the figure of Elder Zosima he created one of the most
memorable characters in world literature based in part on the life of the
real-life Elder Ambrose of Optina Monastery in Russia. St. Ambrose of Optina in
many ways exemplified the institution of the elder, who is chosen by a monk or
layperson as a spiritual guide, and to whom obedience is due in the context of a
spiritual life, within the traditions of the church and the gospels.

Elder Ephraim is firmly within such tradition. For many years he was
abbot of the historic Philotheou Monastery on Mount Athos, the traditional
center of Orthodox monasticism and eldership. Traveling to America for health
reasons and then to see his spiritual children here, he in 1991 briefly became
associated with the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, which had had a more active
record of establishing monasteries in America than the Greek Orthodox church, in
a tradition traced back to Russian Alaska. Traditional Orthodox monasticism, it
should be noted, is pan-Orthodox, and not exclusive to any one jurisdiction,
although Athonite-style monasticism in the 19th and 20th centuries was
especially associated with both Greek and Russian jurisdictions.

However, having been called to bring the practice of this tradition to
America on a larger scale, and having been requested to return to the
jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Elder Ephraim and his monastic work
have for the decade since been fully supported by the Greek Archdiocese and the
Patriarchate of Constantinople."




To read the rest, please visit Athos in America







ICXC NIKA
Sunday, January 24, 2010

Holy Icons: The ancient Christian tradition of images

This is by David






I totally forgot that there was a house church next to the synagogue. For well over a year, I was trying to find books about a different area in Syria that Dr. Emma Loosley was working on......and wrote a book about. Thanks Dave for making this vid.






ICXC NIKA
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wheaton and the Fathers

This is from the podcast Ancient Faith Presents



As seen from the website:
"Wheaton College, the epicenter of Evangelical
Protestantism, has just opened a Center for Early Christian Studies that will
immerse students in the fields of Patristics, the Ecumenical Councils, and early
Christian literature. This audio documentary, exclusive to AFR, explores the
reasons for the sudden Evangelical interest in the Church Fathers, as well as
the potential ramifications of this interest"






Play Audio






ICXC NIKA
Monday, January 18, 2010

Death To The World











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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Will the 21st Be the Orthodox Century? by Bradley Nassif

He wrote this a few months before I was chrismated in April 2007


The link:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/december/30.40.html


Quote:
"Jaroslav Pelikan, the late professor of history
at Yale University, wrote of the Christian tradition on a scale that no one else
attempted in the 20th century. Then after nearly a lifetime of studying the
history of doctrine, Pelikan, a lifelong Lutheran, was received into the
Orthodox Church, just a few years before he died last May at age 82.

Pelikan is just one of a growing number of people who are joining the
Eastern Orthodox Church. It makes me wonder if the 21st century will be the
century of the Orthodox. Will there be a rebirth of the church's theological
vision, if not its numerical growth? I'm not a prophet, nor do I want to
evangelize evangelicals or reinvent Orthodox identity. But I would like to (a)
offer a theological explanation for why I believe more and more Christians,
especially evangelicals, may well be attracted to Orthodoxy in the 21st century,
and (b) explain why more and more Orthodox need to become more evangelical.

I haven't merely thought about Orthodox and evangelical compatibility;
for most of my life, I have lived it. I'm a Lebanese American who grew up in the
Orthodox Church of Antioch and was transformed by Christ during my high school
days in Wichita, Kansas, through the leading of evangelical friends. I did my
doctoral studies under the late Orthodox theologian Fr. John Meyendorff. A
portion of my scholarship over the past two decades has been devoted to
introducing the Orthodox tradition to evangelical students and faculty in North
America. I've also pioneered dialogues between Orthodox believers and
evangelicals, and I have spoken on the subject at World Council of Churches
meetings in Egypt and Germany.

Thus, I bring an intellectual and
experiential knowledge of both communities, which is probably why I have a
love/hate relationship with them. I'm not fully at peace with either one.
Although I'm absolutely committed to the theological truth of the Orthodox
church, I'm equally persuaded that we have not made that truth meaningful or
accessible to our own parishioners or to those who peer inside our windows. And
because of my Orthodoxy, I'm also committed to the evangelical faith.

The Rebirth of Orthodoxy

Scholars define the Great Tradition as
the theological consensus of the first 500 to 1,000 years of Christian history
(there is some disagreement on exact dates). This consensus encompasses the
church's universally agreed upon creeds, councils, fathers, worship, and
spirituality. Some key teachings and figures include the Nicene Creed, the
Chalcedonian Definition, the works of Athanasius, the Cappadocian Fathers (Basil
the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa), the spiritual writings
of monks like Anthony of Egypt, and certain biblical commentaries and pastoral
works."


To read the rest please visit http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/december/30.40.html






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Desidério interviews Richard Swinburne

I recently found out about Richard Swinburne through David's youtube channel. It turns out that there are alot of Orthodox out there that I know nothing about.




More about Richard Swinburne from Orthowicki: http://quotes.orthodoxwiki.org/Richard_Swinburne








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J P Moreland Skepticism & Apologetics











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Thursday, January 14, 2010

"A couple of reading suggestions" by David










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How to help Haiti



You can do so through alot of different nonprofit orgs:
International Orthodox Christian charities

American Red Cross

Catholic Relief Services

The Salvation Army






ICXC NIKA
Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jesus and the Space Aliens

Albert (A traditional Anglican/Episcopalian) did a good job with this.













ICXC NIKA
Sunday, January 10, 2010

Orthodox Church History by Jeffrey Macdonald



His website:
http://www.orthodoxchurchhistory.com/



I never knew of his existence. Thanks to Dave, I found out about him through his youtube channel.










ICXC NIKA
Friday, January 8, 2010

Kyriopascha

They were talking about this in the comment box at the
Ochlophobist blog. I never knew about Kyriopascha and it's to my shame and ignorance, but this is something rare and important to alot of Orthodox. There is a certain nostalgia, reverence and mystery about it.

The next one on the old calender....because it will never happen on the new...is the year 2075. The last time it happened was 1991, but this is what Orthodoxwiki had to say about it:


Quote:
"Kyriopascha ("The Lord's Pascha") is the rare
concurrence of the Great Feast of the Annunciation (March 25) with Pascha. It is
an especially festive event, including complex rubrics for its liturgical
celebration.

On Kyriopascha, the polyeleos normally appointed for the
Annunciation is omitted, the canon of Annunciation is sung together with the
Paschal canon during Orthros, and the Gospel of the Annunciation is read after
the sixth ode of the canon. On the remaining days of Bright Week the usual
Paschal services for these days are performed in combination with the service
for the Annunciation: the litia and artoklasia at Vespers, and the polyeleos,
megalynarion, and Gospel reading at Orthros.

Because of the difference
between the astronomical vernal equinox and the theoretical vernal equinox
calculated by the Julian Calendar—the latter of which is used by both the Julian
Calendar and the Revised Julian Calendar to calculate Pascha—Kyriopascha never
occurs on the Revised Julian Calendar, while it can occur on the Julian. It can
also occur on the Gregorian Calendar, however, which uses the astronomical
vernal equinox to calculate the date of Pascha.

As such, Kyriopascha can
be celebrated by the Old Calendar churches and those New Calendar churches which
use the Gregorian Calendar (i.e., Finland and Estonia), though it will not occur
in the same year.

The elimination of Kyriopascha from the cycle of the
Revised Julian Calendar is one of the criticisms leveled against those who use
that reckoning.

One of the more notable celebrations of Kyriopascha in
history was in 1821, the day which also marked the uprising of the Greeks
against the Ottoman Turks, leading to Greek independence.

The last
Kyriopascha on the Julian calendar was in 1991, which was the year of the
collapse of the Soviet Union, which resulted in the liberation of the Orthodox
people of Eastern Europe. The next will be in 2075, 2086 and 2159. The last
Kyriopascha on the Gregorian Calendar was in 1951, and the next will be in 2035,
2046 and 2103."

It looks like, I'm gonna have to visit Finland in the year 2035. I may not be able to witness this Great feast on the old Calender, but Lord willing, it may be possible to see it in my lifetime on the Gregorian Calendar......in which the Orthodox in Findland observe. And so, the Orthodox worldwide pretty much observe 3 different calenders.






ICXC NIKA
Thursday, January 7, 2010

10 Questions for Frank Viola Supporters

This video was made by Albert (a Traditional Anglican). He's real cool peoples. If/when I ever write a refutation of the book, I'm gonna use him as a source, his basic outline in refuting it was easy to follow.




Frank Viola & the Church (1 through 10)



Response to ChristoferL on Pagan Christianity: Part 1



Response to ChristoferL on Pagan Christianity: Part 2



Response to ChristoferL on Pagan Christianity: Part 3








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Ethiopia: His Imperial Majesty, Haile Selassie I "Talaku meri"








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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Coptic Orthodox Liturgy by Fr. Mauritius (In English)

It is very similar to ours(Chalcedonian Syrian/Greek Arab). For those who have never visited a Coptic Orthodox Divine Liturgy, I will just say that they still keep alot of the middle eastern customs of women and children on oneside while the men on the other. Also, they take their shoes off, and they make use of cymbols and Holy Water in the service. I never been to one where they actually did it in English.





Part 2



Part 3



Part 4



Parts 5 through 10 are on Youtube.








ICXC NIKA

Merry Christmas!

Today, Christmass is celebrated on the old Calander. And so I thought I would say merry Christmass to all the Orthodox on the old calander who read this blog.


















ICXC NIKA
Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Israel uncovers first Jesus-era house in Nazareth

I found this out by way of TurretinFan. I thought it was a good find, and so I wanted others to know about it as well.




Quote:
"Israeli archaeologists said Monday that they
have uncovered remains of the first dwelling in the northern city of Nazareth
that can be dated back to the time of Jesus.

The find sheds a new light
on what Nazareth might have been like in Jesus' time, said the archaeologists,
indicating that it was probably a small hamlet with about 50 houses populated by
poor Jews.

The remains of a wall, a hideout and a cistern were found
after builders dug up an old convent courtyard in the northern Israeli city,
said archaeologist Yardenna Alexandre of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Alexandre told reporters that archeologists also found clay and chalk
vessels used by Galilean Jews of the time - an indication the home belonged to a
simple Jewish family.

"It was likely Jesus and his childhood friends
would have known the house," said Alexandre.

"From the little written
evidence available we know that first century Nazareth AD was a small Jewish
village located in a valley," Alexandre said, adding that "until now a few
Jesus-era graves were revealed, but never have we unearthed the remains of
contemporary residences."



To read the rest, please visit the The website.







ICXC NIKA
Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Catechumen's Tale: Radical Christian Terrorists

A Catechumen's Tale: Radical Christian Terrorists


You gotta see this! LOL





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Pious Fabrications: Calvinism is a Gnostic sect

Pious Fabrications: Calvinism is a Gnostic sect by Dave

Quote:
"My recent conversations with Rhology have taken an interesting turn, and one
which is very telling in regards to the origins of our respective
interpretations of Scripture. In answer to my assertion that Calvinism is
essentially Gnosticism, Rhology found himself nodding his head in agreement with
the doctrines of the Gnostics and then responded with the question: Is
Augustinian theology Gnostic, then?

The answer is an emphatic YES!
Blessed Augustine of Hippo, the father of Western Christendom, introduced many
Gnostic concepts into his writings which later became key elements of Western
Christian belief. A little background information is necessary here. Augustine,
who lived in North Africa during the years 354-430, was a member of a Gnostic
sect before becoming a member of the Orthodox Church. He was also working with a
flawed Latin translation of the Scriptures, not the original Greek, due to his
own ignorance of Greek. In addition, due to a combination of geographic,
cultural, political, and linguistic factors, he was cut off from the
Greek-speaking half of the Church."


To read the rest please visit PiousFabrications.






ICXC NIKA
Saturday, January 2, 2010

Conversation between Richard Dawkins and John Lennox

Former KKK Leader Ordained As A Minister For A Black Church In San Diego!

Former KKK Leader Ordained As A Minister For A Black Church In San Diego! (SMH!)

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