Month: April 2010

First "Photograph of the Week"

Part of the new direction I’m taking this blog (a bit more personal, a lot less confrontational): on Wednesdays from now on (or until I’m bored with it) I will be posting a “photograph of the week.” Most of these will be of something related to Holy Orthodoxy, but I don’t want to limit myself so there may be others as well. I was inspired to start doing this because, well, I’ve come across a lot of really beautiful and inspiring pictures in the last few weeks. I hope you all enjoy it!

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin light candles together, saying a prayer for the recently departed Polish President Lech Kaczynski and the 95 others, including President Kaczynski’s wife and the Orthodox Bishop for the Polish military, Archbishop (Brigadier General) Miron Chodakowski, who were killed in a plane crash near Smolensk, Russia, on April 10.

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Judaism, Islam, and Christianity

Check out this very interesting post (which I agree with completely, by the way) from John at Notes from a Common-place Book. A short sample (this being the point that particularly stood out to me as I’ve been saying much the same thing for a long time [and, of course, weathering the inevitable accusations of anti-Semitism in the process]):

Jewish organizations here and in Europe view Christians as people whose exaggerated guilt over the Holocaust can be channeled into support for the Israeli government. Prominent Jewish groups…show nothing but indifference or hostility to the continued existence of Christian institutions in what used to be Christian countries.

(And, by the way, if you don’t believe it just look up the information related to the struggles of the Jerusalem Patriarchate [and, in addition, the struggles of that Patriarchate’s Palestinian members to celebrate the Resurrection of their Lord in the Place of that Resurrection without harassment by Jewish authorities] — and all while the so-called “Christian” nations of the world [especially the United States] remain silent about these humiliations and fork over amazing amounts of money, and military and moral support. As much as I want to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land someday I think that perhaps [Coptic Orthodox] Pope Shenouda’s current ban on visitation to the Holy Places within the borders of Israel by members of his flock might be a good idea.)

Irenaeus against predestination

An excellent argument from St. Irenaeus of Lyons against the Gnostic/Calvinist (really the same thing) heresy of predestination, exegeting Matthew 3:11:

“For He who makes the chaff and He who makes the wheat are not different persons, but one and the same, who judges them, that is, separates them. But the wheat and the chaff, being inanimate and irrational, have been made such by nature. But man, being endowed with reason, and in this respect like to God, having been made free in his will, and with power over himself, is himself the cause to himself, that sometimes he becomes wheat, and sometimes chaff. Wherefore also he shall be justly condemned because, having been created a rational being, he lost the true rationality, and living irrationally, opposed the righteousness of God, serving all lusts; as says the prophet, “Man, being in honor, did not understand: he was assimilated to senseless beasts, and made like to them.” (St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies, book 4, chapter 4, paragraph 3)