Sunday 31 August 2014

Everything in Common

In the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2 v 44-47, it is written of the early Christian church in Jerusalem,

And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Friday 29 August 2014

Living together in Orthodox Community?

I was recently inspired by news of the sale of a small and very remote Canadian mining township to give serious thought to the possibilities of developing a practical and fruitful expression of Orthodox community in the UK. This has been on my heart for many years, and raising the possibility of an Orthodox community on the internet led to me receiving many messages of encouragement, and even of definite commitment.

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Orthodox Mission Report - August 26th

I am about to leave my home to drive up to Stoke on Trent. It's quite a long drive. Perhaps three and half hours there and the same back late tonight. It's raining heavily so I will have to drive more slowly and carefully than usual. Why do I bother to spend seven or eight hours travelling to a city far away? The answer is that it is because God is at work in that place, and in many other places around the UK. In Stoke I am supporting and pastoring the little Orthodox Community of St Chad as new opportunites for Orthodox service and outreach are developing, and every visit among them is an encouragement.

Saturday 23 August 2014

Submit to God

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

I would like us to spend a little while considering the passage we heard read to us from the Catholic Epistle of St James this morning.

Now it is never a good idea to take a passage out of its context. So let us remind ourselves of the substance of St James teaching throughout his short letter. Then we will be better able to read and understand the passage within the framework of St James’ argument.

Thursday 14 August 2014

The Secret of Growth in the Christian Life

What is the secret of growth in the Christian life? We might think it is deciding to be holy, or deciding to be active in ministry of one kind or another. We might consider that it is found in attending many Church services, or in learning hymns and prayers. All of these, and many more practices and disciplines of the Christian life are necessary aspects of what it means to be a Christian.

But having become a Christian, this verse provides the secret to growth in the life in Christ.

Monday 11 August 2014

He cannot deny himself - 2 Timothy 2:13

I noticed a quotation scroll up my Facebook newsfeed this morning. It stood out because not only had the Scriptural verse being referenced been taken out of context, but it had been so completely abused that it was being made to say the very opposite to that which the Apostle Paul had intended.

This would not matter so much if it were simply a verse describing which town in Asia Minor St Paul was intending to visit, or if it involved an edited list of Christians that St Paul was addressing his letter to. But in fact in this instance it was a matter of great importance to our very understanding of God and salvation, and the misuse of the passage could very easily cause those embracing it to hold an entirely erroneous view of their relationship to God.

Thursday 7 August 2014

Orthodox Christology - Second Edition

Orthodox Christology

A new, second edition, of this collection of papers by Father Peter Farrington of the British Orthodox Church within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate is now available for purchase as a paperback.

This new edition contains additional papers, and one paper which has never been published elsewhere before. The volume has now increased to over 350 pages of interesting and useful content.

These papers are of significant interest to those studying Orthodox Christology, and those interested in understanding the perspective of the Oriental Orthodox communion of Churches.