Tag Archives: church history

Practical Christianity

Following Jesus Practical Christianity Thursday, January 24, 2019 When the Christian tradition chose an imperial Christ, living inside the world of static and mythic proclamations, it framed belief and understanding in a very small box. The Christ of the creeds is not tethered to earth—to the real, historical, flesh-and-blood Jesus of Nazareth. Instead, this image… Continue Reading Practical Christianity

People of the Way

Following Jesus People of the Way Monday, January 21, 2019 Church historian Diana Butler Bass has brought new light to forgotten or misconstrued elements of Christianity. Today I share some of her research on what early Christians thought it meant to follow Jesus: Throughout the first five centuries people understood Christianity primarily as a way… Continue Reading People of the Way

The Christian Contemplative Tradition

Western Christianity The Christian Contemplative Tradition Sunday, September 16, 2018 Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy have a long tradition of teaching contemplation or nondual consciousness. But its systematic teaching was primarily held in the Eastern “Greek” church; the Western “Latin” church was more extroverted and aligned with empires. Serious contemplative teaching—very upfront in the desert fathers… Continue Reading The Christian Contemplative Tradition

Participation in the Incarnation

Eastern Christianity Participation in the Incarnation Friday, September 14, 2018 Rise up in splendor! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. —Isaiah 60:1 George Maloney (1924–2005), a Catholic priest in the Russian Byzantine Rite with a doctorate in Eastern Christian spirituality, and I used to be on the same speaking… Continue Reading Participation in the Incarnation

Universal Restoration

Eastern Christianity Universal Restoration Thursday, September 13, 2018 The shape of creation must somehow mirror and reveal the shape of the Creator. We must have a God at least as big as the universe, or else our view of God becomes irrelevant, constricted, and more harmful than helpful. The Christian image of a torturous hell… Continue Reading Universal Restoration

Theosis

Eastern Christianity Theosis Wednesday, September 12, 2018 The Orthodox teaching of divinization, or theosis, according to Pope John Paul II, is perhaps the greatest gift of the Eastern Church to the West, but one that has largely been ignored or even denied. [1] The Eastern fathers of the Church believed that we could experience real and transformative… Continue Reading Theosis

Trinity

Eastern Christianity Trinity Tuesday, September 11, 2018 Just as some Eastern fathers saw Christ’s human/divine nature as one dynamic unity, they also saw the Trinity as an Infinite Dynamic Flow. The Western Church tended to have a more static view of both Christ and the Trinity—more a mathematical conundrum than an invitation to new consciousness.… Continue Reading Trinity

Christ is Everyman and Everywoman

Eastern Christianity Christ is Everyman and Everywoman Monday, September 10, 2018 Many passages in the New Testament give a cosmic meaning to Jesus as the Eternal Christ (Colossians 1, Ephesians 1, John 1), but the Eastern fathers of the Church were the first (and last) to make this into a full theology until Bonaventure and… Continue Reading Christ is Everyman and Everywoman

The Patristic Period

Eastern Christianity The Patristic Period Sunday, September 9, 2018 As I shared last week, the desert fathers and mothers focused more on the how than the what. Their spirituality was very practical: virtue and prayer-based. Now we turn to its parallel, the Patristic Period, which emphasized the what—the rational, philosophical, and theological foundations for the young Christian religion. This… Continue Reading The Patristic Period

Practical Prayer

Early Christianity Practical Prayer Friday, September 7, 2018 In the same way as the early church, the desert Christians were deeply committed to Jesus’ teachings and lived practice. Withdrawal to the wilderness—whether into close-knit communities or solitude—was only for the sake of deeper encounter and presence. Diana Butler Bass describes the natural flow from prayer… Continue Reading Practical Prayer

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