Showing posts from November, 2006

Theological Lectures

Thank you to Tad Dryden for filling in for me this past weekend. Hopefully, I won't have to travel for a while.

Our class will be sponsoring coffee hour the Sunday before Christmas (Dec. 24). Anyone who wants to participate, please let me know.

Tad went through Philippians 3:1-17 and I should be posting notes shortly.

In the meantime, here is something new I found online. I found some Orthodox lectures on various topics. If you don't listen to the all make sure you listen to the lectures by Fr. Roman Braga. Parishoners at St. Michael's may know him. He is the priest at the Dormition Monastery in Rives Junction, Mich. Fr. Roman spent many years in a Communist prison in Romania. This experience transformed him and gave him wisdom that has become precious to the American church.

Here is the link to the lectures:

Philippians 2:19-30 Two Faithful Men

Paul sends Timothy and Epaphroditus to the Philippians. Because Paul is not able to physically visit the church that he loves so much, he sends two trusted men back to them. Timothy is somewhat his representative and Epaphroditus is returning to his home parish of Philippi.

This passage tells us a lot about these two men, but from these examples we can gain insight into a model for ministry in our time.

19-24 Timothy

Timothy is the son of a Christian parent and a non-Christian father. However, it is apparent that he gained much from the influence of his mother and grandmother. It was from them that he received his Christian faith and instruction in the Scriptures.

Paul discovers him on one of his missionary journeys and takes Timothy with him to be his partner in ministry. Timothy becomes a “son” to Paul as Paul mentors him in the faith.

One characteristic of Timothy that we see throughout the NT, is his youth. He apparently was pre-30Â’s when he was ministering throughout…

Preparing for the Nativity

Today is an important day for Orthodox. It is the beginning of the Nativity Fast. This fast is similar to the Lenten fast in that it prepares the heart for the coming feast. This is a 40 day fast that will last until Christmas liturgy. Of all our fasts in the Church this one may be the hardest in our culture today. In American culture we tend to celebrate Christmas from November to Christmas day, then all is forgetten as the boxes and trees hit the garbage dumps. The Church prods us to be counter-cultural. Prepare, confess, fast, give alms for the next 40 days, then celebrate. Our celebration should last until January 6--the feast of Theophany.

During Sunday's class, we had a guest speaker--Prof David Drillock. Dr. Drillock is a retired professor of liturgical music at St. Vladimir's. He was at our parish to lead a choir retreat. During Sunday School, he gave a talk entitled, "Preparing for the Nativity of Christ in Orthodox Worship". Below is a copy of hi…

Philippians 2:12-18 Offering with fear and faith

Phil 2:12-18

In the previous passage, Paul has held up Christ as an example of humility, now he calls them to holiness and perseverance.

12. Paul commends the Philippians for their obedience to his teaching, not just in his presence but in his absence as well. This is instructive for us. It is important to be faithful, but to be faithful when no one is watching is more honorable.
In order to encourage their growth in Christ he offers the following advice: “work out your salvation with fear and trembling”. The word suggests accomplishment. Paul even uses it in Eph 6:13 in a military context to accomplish heroic feats (Farley). Christ has provided salvation and we are to live up or fulfill what He has accomplished. Paul then adds “fear and trembling”. This is to remind us that we accomplish this task in humility knowing that we are unworthy of such a great salvation.

13. The Orthodox NT does a good job with this verse: “for God is the One Who energizes in you both to will an…

Byzantine History Podcast

Today, I ran into an excellent teaching resource. I travel a lot and I am always looking for new and free stuff to listen to in my car. I am linking a series of lectures I found on Byzantine History. Everything is approximately 17 minutes in length, and the author does an incredible job summarizes long periods of history. I have only made it through Julian the Apostate, but so far so good. His decription of Constantine is a bit rough, so you may want to double check his characterisation.

Here's link and I hope you enjoy:

Byzantine Lectures