Blog Archive

Saint Moses the Black

Saint Moses the Black
Saint Moses the Black

Popular Posts


Saint John the Theologian

Saint John the Theologian
Saint John the Theologian


Total Pageviews

Powered By Blogger
Monday, February 28, 2011


His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH Addresses the Faithful of the Archdiocese of Washington from Archdiocese of Washington on Vimeo.

How Africa Shaped the Christian Mind: Rediscovering the African Seedbed of Western Christianity

Today is the last day of Black History Month, and so the last book to show is How Africa Shaped the Christian Mind by Thomas C. Oden

The book is mostly geared towards the next generation of Sub-Saharan African Protestant Evangelical Christians. He wants them to look at the Christianity of the first five centuries as a means to capture a lost identity. He knows the global south in general will eventually dictate the future of protestant Christianity. He also knows of the tension between Islam and Christianity as well as the negative social and psychological impact that western missions have had on the continent. I'm only 20% into the book, but so far it's looking pretty good. This work was a result of his Ancient Christian Commentary project. He saw the profound influence the Continent had on shaping early christian thought.
Sunday, February 27, 2011

N.T. Wright talks about Hell

I got this from Richard's blog

On Limited Atonement by Maximus Scott

The link:

The Biblical Doctrine of Salvation by Thomas Seraphim

The links:
Friday, February 25, 2011

Egyptian armed forces chanting "Allahu akbar" storm Christian monastery with tanks, open fire, injuring 19

Lord Have Mercy!

Read here for more info.

What Evangelicals and Orthodox Can Learn From Each Other

This is from The Illumined Heart podcast by Kevin Allen

Recently His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos Ware spoke at North Park University, as well as at Wheaton. Below is a 25 minute audio about what Evangelicals and Orthodox Can Learn From Each other:

Play Audio (the interview)

Play Audio (The Lecture at North Park University)
Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Ancient Faith for Modern Problems


Will be held in the city of Detroit

From August 26th to August 28th

To learn more please visit The Brotherhood of Saint Moses the Black.

The PDF files for:

Conference Registration Form

Conference Schedule

Conference Flyer

Please visit the website. I will post this again in the months of May and August.

Beginning To Pray

Ancient Orthodox Christian Writings On Prayer: From The Eastern Orthodox Book "The Philokalia"

On Depraved Nature by Maximus Scott

The link:
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Black History month is almost over, and so I will only have one more week left to do this, but for this week, it's Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Dr. Maxie Burch mentioned the book in passing when lecturing about this era of American History here.

Also Father Moses did an excellent job in talking about the real meaning of the word "Uncle Tom":

Be A Father To Your Child - Ed O.G. & Da Bulldogs

This is my hiphop video pick for this year's black history month. I remember talking about this video back in the 7th or 8th grade. It's too bad mainstream hiphop doesn't make songs like this anymore.

Monday, February 21, 2011


A friend quoted this to me in an e-mail three years ago. I learned alot from her wisdom and scholarship. She humbled me more than once. I was a tad bit too dogmatic back then. But she was patient with me and kind. And for that I will forever be thankful.

"Today, under the pretext of knowledge(gnosis - he is talking about Gnosticism) , heretics rise against the Church of Christ. They pile on their books of commentaries. They claim to interpret the gospel and apostolic texts. If we are silent and do not oppose them with true teaching, famished souls will be fed with their abominations."
Origen, Commentary on John 5:8


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Where did American Baptist churches come from?

I was raised Baptist, and when I was little I was told by both my Mother as well as by a deacon that "we Baptists came from John the Baptist". I believed it then, but as I got older I quickly saw how that wasn't true. Below is a response about the issue:

As seen from the forums

"I'm sorry but the history in that quote isn't accurate. The link between Anabaptists and Baptists is weak (John Smyth, Thomas Helwys and company...around 1610 A.D.). This line of Baptists(general baptists and yes they came from English Separatism too) were influenced by the Mennonite Anabaptists but they didn't practice water Baptism by full immersion when they first began(the later particular Baptists would practice and teach it first). They practiced it by pouring. They were also more Arminian in theology and later on they became liberal and I think Uniterian? Hmm, I gotta double check my sources, but yeah, the American Baptists didn't come from them.

Baptists in America came from the English Separatist link by way of Henry Jacob and company. This group of English Baptists were called Particular Baptists(because they were Calvinistic), and they first began to exist some decades after Thomas Helwys's general Baptist group. Like around 1640 or 1680 A.D.....I forgot the exact date. But it was from this group of Baptists that the teaching and practice of Baptism by full immersion would eventually come about.

In America Roger Williams (the 17th century) is seen as being the one who started the first Baptist church in North America. As well as the one who started the colony Rhode Island. Other English Separatists as well as English particular Baptist separatists (in the 17th century) would migrate from England to the Americas. Setting up churches not only in New England, but also in the Mid-Atlantic, and South.

This is where American Baptist churches come from.

I will have to do a youtube video about this. ....well, one of these days."

Eventually I will make a video about the issue on youtube

On Predestination

Maximus Scott did an awesome post about Predestination over on the Classical Christianity blog:

The link:
Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Development of Doctrine

The Eastern view is different from the Western views.
Normally as Orthodox we would say that we don't believe in the development of doctrine. But when we say this it's because we assume one is talking about the western views. Below is what we mean when we make use of the term "development":

Doctrinal Development by Fr. Hopko

Video by David:
Saturday, February 12, 2011

Egypt explodes in celebration as Mubarak steps down

Revelation 18 "Babylon is Fallen!" by GMK

This was done by an OO friend of mine.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Welcome to the Ehrman Project

The actual website link:

Up From Slavery

For African American History month I will post a number of must read books. For this week, Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington will be the first.

I had to read this in my very first year at Tuskegee University, and I'm glad I did. I read it a few times after that as well.

The link:
Up From Slavery

As also seen from

"I found this to be a most amazing work. In telling the story of going from a child of slavery to the founder and president of the Tuskegee institute, Mr. Washington illustrates for us the life-lessons which can empower any individual or race in our free society today.

Namely, look to your neighbor in love, not anger; recognize the nobility in working hard for something rather than expecting charity; be willing to give yourself to a greater cause; believe that people are capable of great things and they will live up to your expectations; recognize the importance of education, not just of the mind, but of the body and soul as well; recognize that any man who provides value to the community in which he lives will be accepted and even welcomed into that community; and above all, trust in God to care for your needs.

I highly recommend this book as a testament to the positive result of thinking from a perspective of Love and Abundance rather than Anger and Scarcity. When Mr. Washington's humility is measured against his accomplishments, he becomes in my eyes one of the greatest Americans to have lived."

I couldn't of said it any better! It's a great book to read!

Metropolitan Jonah

visit to a Lutheran congregation. I first saw this on the Conversi ad Dominum blog.

Do not react, do not resent, keep inner stillness from Andrew Johnson on Vimeo.

This was excellent! I really enjoyed it!
Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Term "Propitiation" In Saint Paul

The link:

"The ancients felt that if a taboo was infringed, the person or thing involved became unclean, defiled or profane. The condition of defilement might be removed by the performance of the appropriate act: it might be washing with water, or sprinkling with blood, or simply the forfeiture of some valuable object to the deity concerned with the taboo. Such acts were felt to have the value, so to speak, of a disinfectant. Thus in the Old Testament a whole range of ritual actions are prescribed for disinfecting the priest, the altar, or the people from various forms of defilement, ritual or moral. Our versions in such cases use the phrase "to make propitiation"; but the more proper translation would be "to make expiation"."

To read the rest please visit Mystagogy
Friday, February 4, 2011

Polamalu family supports the new Pittsburgh center of FOCUS

As seen by The Pittsburgh Post Gazette

"The entire Polamalu family was on hand to support the new Pittsburgh center of FOCUS (Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve). Mrs. Polamalu, a founding board member of FOCUS North America, said the center that is to open in the Hill District in April will provide food, shelter, job training and other services to the needy, regardless of their religion.

"This center will fill so many needs of people in this city," she said.

Her husband, who corralled both boys long enough for a group photo, said earlier: "For me, [giving] has always either had to do with children or to deal with helping the homeless, because it's something I have dealt with personally."

Homeless veterans are among those the Polamalus are especially eager to serve. FOCUS Pittsburgh's director, Paul Abernathy, is a non-commissioned Army officer and an Iraq War veteran.

The location of the FOCUS Pittsburgh center, the eighth in the country, is not yet set, but Charles Ajalat, founder and chair of FOCUS North America, said he hopes to eventually use the former St. Michael's Orthodox Church in the Hill, the oldest Orthodox church east of the Mississippi"

Read more: At the post Gazette

I should of brought my flipper. I don't know why I didn't.

You can also read more about it at Post Gazette

as well

Greg Bahnsen

He past away in 1995, but he was one of the best presuppositional apologists. A friend of mine has his hand written notes. Below is the famous debate with an atheist that alot of people still talk about.

Play Audio

Statement from His Grace Bishop Suriel concerning recent attacks against Copts in Alexandra, Egypt

I could be wrong, but I believe this was a few weeks before the recent Egyptian protests.
Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sole Fide & The Assurance of Salvation

This is from a lecture by an Anglican at a Lutheran Symposium: (Sola Fide: Luther and Calvin)
"The Protestant Doctrine of Conversion

So how is it that Protestants got into their distinctive agony, asking the question of
reflective faith: "Do I truly believe?" It's not simply that most of them don't like sacraments.
That wouldn't be fair to say of someone like Calvin, for instance (let's leave Zwingli out of this).
But there are specific reasons to find the kind of reasoning in the standard Protestant syllogism
attractive, and you can even feel the pull of that attraction in some places in Luther.

The problem is this. Suppose you want to know you are eternally saved. Then no
sacrament is going to be good enough for you. In particular, the sacramental promise of baptism
cannot function as an unconditional guarantee that you will be saved in the end, because of
course lots of people get baptized (especially as infants) and later abandon the faith of Christ. As
Augustine points out, eternal salvation requires that God give you not only the gift of faith but
also that the gift of persevering in the faith until the end of your life.7 And no one—not
Augustine, not Luther, not Calvin—thinks that baptism promises that gift. So if you want to
know that you are eternally saved,now, you must look to a different promise—one more like the
major premise in the standard Protestant syllogism.

But you must do more than that. You must follow Calvin in what I take to be his most
radical innovation in Christian doctrine. You must teach that those who truly believe,now, are
sure to receive the gift of perseverance in faith to the end of their lives. This is the distinctively
Calvinist doctrine of perseverance, formulated in the 5th point of 5-point Calvinism (the "P" in
the famous TULIP, summarizing the 5 canons of the synod of Dordt).8 This is a stark departure
from the Augustinian tradition, for Augustine was quite explicit in teaching that no one knows
whether they will receive the gift of perseverance—a point on which he was followed by the
Formula of Concord.9 No one knows their own future that well. For no decision you make now
can determine that in five or ten years or even tomorrow, you won't apostatize, abandon the faith
of Christ, and go the way of eternal death.

The only way you could know you will persevere in faith to the end of your life is if you
could know you are predestined to be saved. Augustine thought it obvious that no one knows
this, but Calvin disagreed. This is what is profound and new about Calvin's doctrine of
predestination, which in other respects (as Calvin rightly argued10) differs little from
Augustine's—and therefore from Aquinas' or Luther's. Calvin teaches that believers can and
should know they are predestined for salvation,11 which means they can and should know they
will persevere in faith to the end, which means they can and should know they are eternally
saved, now, already in this life—not just saved in hope, as Augustine describes the effect of
baptism: saved in spe but not yet in re, in hope but not yet in reality. Augustine says explicitly:
we are “not yet saved.”12 We are still on the road to eternal salvation, and we don't get there
until after this life.

So how can Calvin teach otherwise? This is where reflective faith comes in as an
essential element in Calvin's theology. He makes a distinction between temporary faith and true
saving faith,13which of course is faith that perseveres, and he thinks we can and should know if
we have true faith. (The people with temporary faith may just be mistaken about the status of
their faith, which of course is a rather terrifying possibility). I have no idea why he thinks he can
get away with this. The agonies of conscience it leads to strike me as utterly unbearable and
pernicious. How am I supposed to make this distinction between temporary and true faith?

Where am I supposed to look?

Disastrously, I am supposed to look inward. After all, even the unregenerate can do
outward good works. So what the mainstream Calvinist tradition does is direct our attention to
the fact—and of course it is a fact—that true faith bears fruits in sanctification of the heart. So if
you are a good Calvinist, you are supposed to notice this—notice that you're getting more
inwardly sanctified, which gives you assurance of faith, i.e. assurance that you really do have
true faith. I have to say, this strikes me as a disastrous theological and pastoral move. The result
is: I amsupposed to believe I am inwardly holy and righteous. Instead of looking at myself and
finding a sinner—for as Luther rightly says, even the righteous man sins in all his good
works14—and thus being driven in repentance to take hold once again of the Gospel alone as the

sole assurance of my salvation, I amsupposed to look at my own heart and see something
reassuring: I've made real spiritual progress, I'm becoming more inwardly holy and righteous.15

I do not see how anyone can do this without becoming self-righteous, in a distinctively
Protestant way—claiming no righteousness of your own, of course, but comforted by how
powerfully the Holy Spirit is working in you, ready to boast of how transformed your inner life is
because of God working in your life, and so on. Isn't this the very essence of what Luther meant
bySchw ärm erei, fanaticism? It is, I think, the main reason why the very word "righteous" has
come to have a bad odor, being virtually indistinguishable nowadays from the word "self-
righteous." (Just think about it: if you call someone "righteous" nowadays, you’re insulting
them, no? I’m thinking: that’s because so many Protestants have worked so hard over the years
to convince themselves that inwardly, they really are more righteous than their unregenerate

One further innovation is needed to make Calvin's radically new doctrine of
predestination work. In order to know that I have true saving faith, not the temporary kind which
does not persevere, I must know that I have passed a point of no return. At some particular
moment in my life I have come into a faith that will never fail. So there develops a distinctively
Protestant doctrine of conversion as a once-in-a-lifetime event of justification, before which I
had no true faith and after which I know I am eternally saved, because I do have true faith. As
this distinctively Protestant doctrine of conversion develops, it replaces baptism as the moment
when I become a Christian and becomes in effect the basis of my assurance that I have a gracious

But you can see why. If you want to know you are eternally saved,now, already in this
life, then this is the route you need to go. You can see Luther himself exploring this route in
some of the table talk when he counsels people about anxieties about predestination and says that
if you know you believe, you can know you're predestined for salvation.16 But he never
systematically builds a theology around this point, as Calvin does............"

To read the rest please go to the link

English Christianity before the Reformation

I saw this on David's blog.

Related Posts with Thumbnails