Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, Rather than a fool in his folly. (Proverbs 17:12)
G. K. Chesterton points out the glorious sanity and vigorous life that has existed in the Christian Church since Her founding. While Chesterton doesn’t specifically mention the Orthodox Church I found his comments most appropriate for the Sunday of Orthodoxy we just celebrated. “This is the Faith of the Apostles, this is the Faith of the Fathers, this is the Faith of the Orthodox, this is the Faith which has established the Universe.” ~ Confession of faith from the Day of Orthodoxy
“This is the thrilling romance of Orthodoxy. People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dramatic than to be mad. It was the equilibrium of a man behind madly rushing horses, seeming to stoop this way and to sway that, yet in every attitude having the grace of statuary and the accuracy of arithmetic. [Read more…]
The masterful and wisdom-filled writings of G. K. Chesterton remind us why the Christian Church cannot afford to swerve even “a hair’s breadth” on important theological truths. While not written with regards to the Orthodox Church specifically, his insights also describe how the Orthodox Church has continually fought to defend the Truth and the Christian faith as taught by Jesus Christ, embodied in the Scriptures, preached by the Apostles, attested by the Martyrs, reflected in the writings of the Saints, and expounded by the Fathers.
“Last and most important, it is exactly this which explains what is so inexplicable to all the modern critics of the history of Christianity. I mean the monstrous wars about small points of theology, the earthquakes of emotion about a gesture or a word. It was only a matter of an inch; but an inch is everything when you are balancing. The Church could not afford to swerve a hair’s breadth on some things if she was to continue her great and daring experiment of the irregular equilibrium. Once let one idea become less powerful and some other idea would become too powerful. [Read more…]
by C.S. Lewis –
‘What are we to make of Jesus Christ?’ This is a question, which has, in a sense, a frantically comic side. For the real question is not what are we to make of Christ, but what is He to make of us? The picture of a fly sitting deciding what it is going to make of an elephant has comic elements about it. But perhaps the questioner meant what are we to make of Him in the sense of ‘How are we to solve the historical problem set us by the recorded sayings and acts of this Man?’
This problem is to reconcile two things. On the one hand you have got the almost generally admitted depth and sanity of His moral teaching, which is not very seriously questioned, even by those who are opposed to Christianity. In fact, I find when I am arguing with very anti-God people that they rather make a point of saying, ‘I am entirely in favour of the moral teaching of Christianity’ — and there seems to be a general agreement that in the teaching of this Man and of His immediate followers, moral truth is exhibited at its purest and best. It is not sloppy idealism; it is full of wisdom and shrewdness. The whole thing is realistic, fresh to the highest degree, the product of a sane mind. That is one phenomenon. [Read more…]
From The Prayer of Azariah –
Blessed are You and praiseworthy, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is Your name unto the ages. For You are righteous in all You did for us, and all Your works are true. Your ways are upright, and all Your judgments are true.
The judgments You made are true, according to all You brought on us and on the holy city of our fathers, because in truth and judgment You did all these things on account of our sins.
For we sinned and acted lawlessly to depart from You. We sinned in every way, and did not obey Your commandments. Neither did we treasure or do as You commanded, that it might go well with us. Everything You brought on us and all You did to us, You did in true judgment. [Read more…]
“The wisest thing in the world is to cry out before you are hurt. It is no good to cry out after you are hurt; especially after you are mortally hurt. People talk about the impatience of the populace; but sound historians know that most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late. It is often essential to resist a tyranny before it exists. It is no answer to say, with a distant optimism, that the scheme is only in the air. A blow from a hatchet can only be parried while it is in the air.” ~ G.K. Chesterton
by Chris Banescu –
Mid-twentieth century C. S. Lewis witnessed and wrote about the increasing moral breakdown and intellectual decay of Western civilization. He observed how secular and atheistic academics, philosophers, politicians, intellectuals, and cultural elites abandoned reason, denied universal truths, undermined Christian doctrines, and rejected moral principles that formed the foundation of civilized society. “Lewis walked our cultural ground,” explained Chris R. Armstrong. “He lived, as we do, in a society that denied objective value; lacked a coherent social ethic; wallowed in instant gratification, sexual license, moral evasion, and blame-shifting; and failed to pass on a moral framework to its children.”
In his book, The Abolition of Man, Lewis warned that moral relativism (the denial of universal and objective moral truths and principles), foolish emotionalism, and the rejection of reason would bring about cultural decay and growing depravity. [Read more…]
The “Biology of the Baroque” documentary explores the amazing patterns, order, and beauty in biology that go beyond what can be explained by Darwinian evolution. In the video, geneticist Michael Denton, author of “Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis” (2016), explains that there are patterns “in the natural world for which you can’t imagine what function it served. And that’s a fantastically serious challenge to Darwinism.”
Denton began wondering about the standard Darwinian explanation of nature while studying the red blood cell to complete his Ph.D. at King’s College in London. He came across many features in biology that did not seem to possess any particular survival benefit. Denton started to realize just how much order in biology was actually non-adaptive. He began to see life more as a piece of baroque artwork than as a purely functional machine.
Transcript from the Biology of the Baroque video (embedded below):
“Ornate mathematical patterns, lavish design, exquisite detail. Nature surpasses even the most talented artists in her extravagant beauty, richness, and deep order. Her forms are marked by an overabundance that cannot be reduced to mere utility. But can such order and beauty be explained by Darwinian evolution? And if it can’t, what does that mean for our understanding of nature? [Read more…]