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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The 2 Faces of Samson That Reveal Your Heart

In a previous post, the oft criticized Samson was defended as a better judge than his reputation usually suggests.  Samson's life is full of contradictions--much like ours.  On we hand we aspire to unite to God but so often we push against God's hand to follow our own path.  Samson speaks to this.

1.  Samson -- the possibility of purpose

Samson personifies God's plan for His people Israel.  At the blessing of Abraham, God gives a vision of His people blessing the earth and all nations, but within a handful of generations this promise looks shattered as His people become enslaved and will stay so for 400 years.  Moses then arrives as a vessel to rescue the people from slavery, consolidating them into one nation, establishing clarity of purpose and vision through the law he receives on Sinai.  Israel was to be a light to the nations.

One purpose of the law separates Israel from the rest of mankind, so that they might display the greatness and lovingkindness of their God.  This display would magnetize the world drawing all men into the commonwealth of Israel, uniting with the One True God.

Samson, like Israel, was made separate from conception.  His appearance and behavior were designed to proclaim consecration to the God of Abraham, and the possibility of union with the God above all gods.  His  early pursuit of a Philistine woman and her test of loyalty typifies God's pursuit of the nations through Israel.


Like this image of Samson, we have been created to unite with God among His people, living St. Seraphim's maxim: Acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved.

2.  Samson -- the descent into sin 


Samson flirts with sin time and time again, once again going to Philistia, not with the intention of bringing Israel to Philistia, but conceding Israel to the seduction of Philistine life.  His final break with the life of Israel is the removal of the physical sign of His mission and consecration--his hair.

Samson's life typifies the pattern of Israel laid down in Judges: sin, slavery, supplication and salvation.  In the midst of his slavery and humiliation, he does finally cry out to God, and saves His people through death.

Sadly this descent of Samson, is more typical of Israel, but to berate Israel for this failure is to point out the speck in her eye, while living with a plank in our own.

This is our pattern, but God does not forsake, holding out salvation, so that we might unite with Him becoming once again the crown of His creation.

Samson's life presents two paths, one toward life, the narrow less chosen one, and the other toward death, the broad path of the masses.  We face this choice each day as we struggle with our own Philistia, and this fight will lead to life, but cost us our lives.  





Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem




Tomorrow we officially begin Lent, although we have been easing into the spirit and fast of the season the past couple weeks, and it is the Prayer of St. Ephrem that will be our constant companion in this journey, haunting us as pride trips our steps, encouraging us to rise and walk again.

O Lord and Master of my life, give me not the spirit of sloth, idle curiosity, lust for power and idle talk. 
But grant unto me, Thy servant, a spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love. 
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own faults and not to judge my brother. 
For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Friday, February 24, 2012

5 Reasons Samson was a Great Judge

In my mind, I always viewed Samson as the bumbling judge, wondering if he made it in the Bible just for sheer entertainment purposes.  It seems like he always stumbling over himself, and being made a fool like a circus sideshow.  Rereading his story over the last couple weeks and dipping into the commentary of the Fathers (especially St. Ambrose), I am thinking differently about this man.

He wasn't perfect, but there is much that is admirable about him.  Here's at least 5 reasons, Samson stands out as a true hero and faithful judge.

1.  He was a thorn to Israel.  Unlike previous judges, there was no cry from Israel for deliverance from their oppressor.  God raised up Samson to deliver Israel from their own complacency.  They embraced their Philistine master allowing themselves to become assimilated into this pagan people, losing their identity as God's covenant people.  He irritated Israel.  Judah seemed frustrated at his actions, arresting him to deliver to Philistia.  Samson stirs up the Philistines so that Israel will return to God.


2.  He was a pest to the Philistines.  Samson unlike other judges, had no army, no followers, and apparently few friends.  He was a one man wrecking crew.  Philistia had subdued Israel and maintained a level of peace in the land, but Samson would not allow it.  He caused trouble at every turn, creating animosity between Philistia and Israel.


3.  He was faithful to his calling. At least until the Delilah incident Samson remained faithful.  In his first story, it seems he is being disobedient to the customs of Israel, and creating fools of his parents, but the text is clear that he is being directed by the Spirit of God.


4.  He was willing to stand alone.  Philistia hated him, and his fellow Jews betrayed him but he remained faithful as a deliverer, even at the end of his life, he remembers this calling and refuses to end his life faithless to His covenant God.


5.  He finished well.  The image of Samson grabbing the pillars of the Philistine temple with such force that the building collapses on himself and all the those Philistine revelers is the picture of Samson familiar to us all.  In that moment, he remembers his God and cries out for deliverance.  On one hand it is an image of repentance that delivers from the slavery of sin, and on the other He becomes a type of Christ sacrificing Himself to destroy the enemy of mankind delivering all from the slavery of sin.

In many ways Samson reminds me of the Holy Fool that belittles himself, making other believes he is stupid or lacking in mental capabilities, exposing the pride and ironically the foolishness of much of society.  It wasn't until Samson threw off this mantle of humility thinking himself untouchable that his slide into unfaithfulness began.  Through the Philistine's forced humiliation of shearing his head, gouging his eyes, and treating him like a beast of burden, he accepted that mantle of foolishness once again, sacrificing his life to defeat the enemy of his people.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Forge 2.22.12

Have you heard of the Thirteenth Apostle?  He's No Longer an Ancient Curiousity, and back in action spreading Christianity throughout Africa at an unprecedented rate.  This is exciting stuff and should encourage and inspire Christians everywhere.   ht: Jason Rossiter

If you have ever dipped into Biblical studies for very long, you have come across the discipline of Textual Criticism.  Textual Criticism gathers up all the manuscripts and fragments of the Bible found throughout the ages, and tries to determine what is original and what is not.  Orthodox Christians have been proponents for the Majority text.  This means that the manuscripts, fragments, and versions in the majority win the day.  Gabe Martini in his continuing series on the Bible has one of the clearest arguments for the Majority text written without any scholarly jargon:   Origin of the Biblical Context

Recently Catholic bishops made it to Capitol to discuss contraception and Obama care.  Here is one of the best commentaries on the event:  Just Against Abortion

The Abbot of a Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington writes a daily blog that short and insightful, and should be placed in your Reader or daily activities.  Here's a recent one, he wrote on Post Christian America.

God Bless.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Are You the Father of the World's Strongest Man?

For most men, the following story should sound vaguely familiar.

An angel announces the miracle of a coming child to the ears of a grateful barren woman.  The now-expectant mother asks for details, and he gives instructions about how she is to behave while pregnant and how to rear the child once born.  In her excitement she runs to her husband with the joyful news.

Details pour out of her mouth, there is no holding back, no vague suggestions, but she speaks verbatim as if each word of the angel was written on her heart.

What did the husband do?

He asks God to tell him what his wife just said.

God concedes, sends the angel, and the angel tells the man what his wife had said.

Several years, my wife and I were discussing food and self-control.  She wisely stated that she tried to stop eating while a little hungry.  I don't know where that morsel went when it hit my ear, but later when we reading St. Mark the Ascetic he offers similar advice as a weapon against gluttony.  Of course, I proudly showed my new found discovery to my wife, and no sooner than the words left my mouth and her eyes hit mine, I remembered.

So the next time you proudly proclaim to your wife the wisdom you read in a book, or heard in a sermon, gleaned from a friend, or gathered from that bolt of inspiration inside your head, don't be surprised when she informs you of your conversation yesterday, last week, or perhaps over the last couple years when this nugget was offered by her freely.

At least we men have Biblical precedent for our thick-headedness! (Judges 13)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Pearl 5:2,3 - Precious for the Poor and the Child


St. Ephrem's The Pearl 5:2

It is thou which art great in thy littleness, O pearl!
Small is thy measure and little thy compass with thy weight;
But great is thy glory:
To that crown alone in which thou art placed, there is none like.
And Who hath not percieved of thy littleness, how great it is;
If one despises thee and throws thee away,
He would blame himself for his clownishness,
For when he saw thee in a king's crown he would be attracted to thee.

5:3

Men stripped their clothes off and dived and drew thee out, O pearl!
It was not kings that put thee before men,
But those naked ones who were a type of the poor
And the fishers and the Galileans.

For clothed bodies were not able to come to thee;
They came that were stript as children;
They plunged their bodies and came down to thee;
And thou didst much desire them,
And thou didst aid them who thus loved thee.
Glad tidings did they give for thee:
Their tongues before their bosoms did the poor [fishers] open,
And produced and showed the new riches among the merchants:
Upon the wrists of men they put thee as a medicine for life.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Interview with Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick, Author of Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy

A couple months ago, I grabbed a copy of Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy: Exploring Belief Systems through the Lens of the Ancient Christian Faith, by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick, and even though I have two religion degrees I discovered facts I never knew and learned ways of expressing ideas that were incredibly helpful.  


Fr. Andrew does the seemingly impossible in a mere 224 pages.  He gives a broad scope of Orthodox belief, but details every imaginable brand of Christianity, cult, and world religion.  


The book originally began as a podcast series on Ancient Faith radio with the same name, but don't be afraid of redundant content, there is plenty of new information expressed clearly for the religion teacher and the non-specialist.  


Last week, two Mormon missionaries stopped by front door, leading to a brief but cordial conversation.  Retelling this encounter to a friend, prompted the idea of a future series in our Sunday School that will use this book as our textbook.  


Fr. Andrew was gracious enough to take interview questions, and you will find the questions and thoughtful answers below.  


 1.  For me, the Catholic section of the book was extremely helpful, because
this is an area where I could shore up my knowledge.  Have you had any
Catholic reaction or interaction with the book?

Fr. Andrew:  Almost everyone who contacts me about the book is either already an Orthodox Christian or in the process of either considering Orthodoxy or becoming Orthodox.  So I don't think I can recall any direct reaction from any current Roman Catholics on the book.

That said, there were some Roman Catholics present when I delivered the lectures in Emmaus (which were the ones recorded for the "Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy" podcast).  Some mainly listened.  A couple of them criticized what I was saying.  Some of their criticisms were based in ignorance of what their own church teaches (or perhaps, the ignorance of their teachers), and some were criticisms based essentially in the reality that we didn't share the same theology. But some turned out to be things I had gotten wrong or emphasized wrongly.  So I used some of their criticisms to correct the text as it was being prepared for publication.  I also consulted friends who could help me delve more deeply into their theology beyond the kind of thing one finds in official catechisms and papal statements.


 2.  I often get basic questions about "What is Orthodoxy?", and they are
 usually in contexts where I can't give a historical dissertation or
 theological lecture.  Usually someone is asking whether I am Jewish, and
 just needs cliff notes version.  Have you developed an "elevator speech"
 that you you use in these situations?

Fr. Andrew:  Honestly, I'm not really a fan of the "elevator speech" for serious topics like the meaning of life and the universe (which is what religion is about).  Nevertheless, I do think one should have a ready answer, even when there are only a few minutes to deliver it.  But you can't say everything, and our faith strongly  resists being summarized.

So I think the best approach is to try to leave a "hook" in people's minds, something that can later be used to hang a future experience of Orthodoxy upon.  I might say something like, "Orthodoxy is the first and oldest of all Christian churches" or "Orthodoxy is the church that still lives in the places where the Apostles were" or even "Orthodoxy is the faith that connects with the whole human being -- not just his mind and emotions, but all his senses, too."  It very much depends on what I imagine might connect with the person standing in front of me.

I also keep a business-sized "contact card" on hand with basic information about my church (location, website, phone number, that we have daily church services, etc.), so that I can hand it to people and
let them follow-up later. 


3.  It seems that a lot of the book was developed organically in your parish
 life, as you designed these lectures to help equip people in their faith and
 interaction with others.  What specifically did you learn when writing?
  Were you surprised by anything?

Fr. Andrew:  My family's original name from Lithuania (Domeika) comes from a Lithuanian word meaning "to be interested in something."  So I suppose we're curious people.  I wasn't really surprised, exactly, though I did learn much that I had never heard of while doing the research, and people in my family often delight in collecting a vast array of details on any particular topic.  We seem to like encyclopedias, and in some sense, this was a chance to make something like that of my own.

What honestly did surprise me, though, was not really in the writing, but rather in the delivery, first at my previous parish in Charleston, West Virginia, and now in my current one in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, and
that was this:  People actually are interested in theology.  Now, if you say, "Hey, let's talk theology," most folks' eyes glaze over, but try saying, "Do you think that you can 'get saved' and you keep that forever, no matter what you do after that?'"  I find questions like that gain fascinating engagement.  And even though advertising a class in "comparative theology" might turn people's minds snoozing, saying "Hey, let's talk about the religions of our neighbors and friends and how they're different from ours" turns out to be pretty interesting to a lot of folks.

I was extremely surprised both of the times I delivered the lectures that I had dozens of people show up from multiple churches.  Most of the classes I do draw perhaps a dozen to twenty people, but the
"Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy" series never had fewer than fifty, and sometimes as many as a hundred.

And of course I also remain surprised at how much attention both the podcast and the book have gotten.  You can ask my wife -- I'm not really sure what to do about it!  

 4.  I am really glad that you included non-Christian religions in the book,
 considering our pluralistic society and the need for us and our children to
 interact with people of various faiths.  Are there any non-Christian people
 that you have been able to interact with, and discuss Orthodoxy?  If so,
 what have you learned?

Fr. Andrew:  As I said above, relatively few non-Orthodox people have contacted me about the podcast or book.  But I have had a few non-Christians say things to me like, "After reading all this, if I ever became a
Christian, Orthodox is the only kind I could ever be."  

 5.  Here's a big question: Your book truly has a worldwide appeal, and not
 focused primarily to an American audience (outside those forms of
 Christianity that arose here), but you minister in America.  What can
 Orthodox people do to make greater inroads into American life?

Fr. Andrew:  Primarily, we have to reject the secularist idea that almost every other religious body has tacitly acceded to in America, namely, the idea that religion is something that is private and that it is not
polite to talk about it publicly, and that therefore it is appropriately relegated to one hour or two of the week but has little to do with the other 166 hours.  That is utter nonsense.  What could be of more public concern than the meaning of life?  Is it really worth it to remain quiet and polite when eternal souls are at stake?
And do we actually think the brief training in holiness we receive on Sunday mornings is enough to teach us to be citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, when we spend 34 hours a week being trained by our televisions
to be consumers (not to mention all the other kinds of training we receive).  I think our biggest problems are probably cowardice and laziness.

That said, our main task in bringing America into the Orthodox Church is to become actually cognizant that we should be doing that!  If the roughly one million active Orthodox Christians in America actually all
agreed with the sentence, "It is my duty to bring all of my family, friends, neighbors and co-workers into Christ's Church," you probably wouldn't even be asking me that question.

We could of course talk about numerous questions of technique and method, but I think our biggest obstacle is that, collectively, we've got our identity wrong.


6.  Any future projects?

Fr. Andrew:  I'm currently working on another book with Conciliar Press (title forthcoming), whose purpose will be to introduce Orthodox Christianity to the unchurched and the ex-churched, people who either have no real religious affiliation at all or who gave up on it, probably out of disgust or hopelessness.  With that audience in mind, it will deal with the most primal and basic questions of Christian faith:  How do
we know anything about God?  What is worship, and why should we do it?  Whom can you trust to tell you about God?  What is the point in being moral?

It's a tough assignment, and these and related questions haunt me at times, because I'm not always sure I know the answers, but I believe that we have to ask these questions, even those of us who are already
"churched."  Because if we don't know why we're there, then what are we doing there, anyway?  And if we don't know why we're there, then what business do we have in inviting someone else?

Thanks again Fr. Andrew!  
Theron Mathis

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Forge 2.15.2012

In honor of yesterday's celebrations of Valentine's Day, here's a couple links:

A Valentines Day Love Story from the book of Tobit

The Orthodox St. Valentine

The Feast of St. Valentine

and for something completely different about the book of Romans, for any Calvinist friends (or recovering Calvinists) that stop by: The Elect according to Romans 9

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Church as Context

In previous posts, I ran through the 4 basic ways that the people of God have interpreted the Bible over the centuries.  These 4 Senses of Scripture reveal a depth to the text, and ultimately reveal Christ. 

Imagine you are reading the Bible, and a flash on insight floods your brain, verses and images converge into a coherent picture.  Quickly you write down your insights, planning to share with friends and church-mates, convinced you have stumbled upon something important that illuminates in ways no Christian has seen in the Church’s 2000 years. 

This flash of light should be a warning sign, a neon sign on the streets of 1st Century Jerusalem, screaming something is wrong. 

Not only does the text provide context for understanding—the Church is context. 

St. Vincent of Lerins (434) “Hold fast that faith which has been believed everywhere, always and by all.

So how do we stay in context and follow St. Vincent’s maxim.

  1. Read the Bible with the Church:  follow the lectionary, think about why it is read and why especially on feast days.
  2. Listen for how Scripture is read in church.
  3. Ask questions.
  4. Does your reading deviate from standard Church teaching such as the Creed, beliefs about the Trinity, beliefs about Christ?
  5. Periodically dip into Church history.  Look at the early controversies  (pre-1000) and how they read and used Scripture.
  6. Read the Fathers.  This can be intimidating because translations can be old and clunky, but stay with it.  St. John Chrysostom is always a faithful guide. 

How do you stay in context?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Pearl 5:1 - A Free Gift


St. Ephrem's The Pearl 5:1

O gift that camest up without price for the diver!
Thou laidest hold upon this visible light,
That without price rises for the children of men:
A parable of the hidden One
That without price gives the hidden Dayspring!

And the painter too paints a likeness of thee with colours.
Yet by thee is faith painted in types and emblems for colours,
And in the place of the image
By thee and thy colours is thy Creator painted.

O thou frankincense without smell,
Who breathest types from out of thee!
Though art not to be eaten,
Yet thou givest a sweet smell unto them that hear thee!
Though art not to be drunk,
Yet by thy story, a fountain of types art thou made unto the ears!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

The Forge 2.09.12

Here are links of interest this week:  Often those antagonistic to Christianity try to find weak spots of morality to argue against, yet the ironic fact is that they are arguing inside the Christian moral framework that shaped the Western World.  Here is one such example of how the West was shaped: The Christian Origin of Hospitals

Have you heard of St. Brendan?  He was an Irish missionary that traveled great lengths by a small boat.  Some believe he may have made it to the new world, and there is evidence that Irish monks found their way to America from scribblings found throughout the East Coast.  This man is on a similar journey: Ghost in the Brendan Voyage

The Arab Spring is been anything but springtime for Christians living in Muslim countries and Newsweek covers it in their latest issue:  The Global War on Christians in the Muslim World

I am horrible about keeping up with the news, but this is a hot topic right now: 65 Orthodox Church Bishops Call on Obama to ‘Rescind’ the ‘Unjust’ Contraception Mandate

And finally, here's some interesting WW II history, and the struggle of Christians against Hitler:  Russian Orthodox Church Canonizes New Martyr Who Died at the Hands of the Nazis

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Fate of Jephthah's Daughter

So what happened to Jephthah's daughter, was she offered as a human sacrifice or something else?  A quick reading could lead to this conclusion, but read it again and another option appears.  In a previous post, the circumstances of this story was developed, but no answer was given to her fate.  Among Jewish and Christian commentators, two basic views dominate.  One is she was tragically sacrificed and the other is her sacrifice was a life of perpetual virginity wholly devoted to the service of God.


Let's weigh both views.


1.  A Human Sacrifice.  The greatest argument for this view is it is the plain reading of the text.  This was common among ancient Rabbinical writers, and along with their comments a tradition emerged about Jephthah himself.  


Among these ancient Jews arose a belief Jephthah was ultimately punished for this act along with the contemporary high priest, Phineas, who could have annulled the vow but was too proud to act.  Phineas was punished by God removing His Spirit from him, a grave curse of loneliness for a spiritual leader familiar with the communion of His God.  Jephthah's body, upon natural death or via capital punishment, was cut into pieces and buried throughout the cities of Gilead.  


The Fathers of the Church without exception (that I could find) assume human sacrifice occurred.  Their approach to the OT was different than ours today, neither examining texts with an eye toward defending repulsive behavior, nor condoning these acts as examples for behavior, they are looking for Christ.  They know the whole of the OT and NT condemn murder and human sacrifice.  They bemoan the vow of Jephthah and see it as a warning to us all about oaths and rash promises before God.  


Yet they see in the daughter a willful sacrifice--a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Christ.  In a sense, she is laying down her life for the sin of her father, "for no greater love is this than a man lay down his life for his neighbor".  And because she is a woman who "knows no man", she typifies the Virgin Mary who laid down her life for her people, and all mankind, to bear the Savior of the world.  


2.  Perpetual Virginity.  This view draws power from the ambiguity of the Scriptural language, the circumstances surrounding her fate, Jephthah's hero status in the NT book of Hebrews, and the inconsistency such an action is to the morality of the Torah.  


The passage is not fully explicit that she was sacrificed.  Jephthah's original vow is oriented toward the giving of a person to God rather than an animal.  From the beginning, even if the daughter had not greeted him, he assumes the "sacrifice" would be human.  The language could easily read the person would be offered like a burnt offering.  A burnt offering was totally consumed by fire, and represented a person's total dedication and commitment to God for the animal being burned was a placeholder for the life of the one sacrificing, proclaiming to God and community their life was not their own but wholly dedicated to the worship and service of God.  


Her circumstances upon learning her fate suggest not death but perpetual virginity.  She request time to mourn together with her fellow women, a mourning not over death but over the prospect of never entering marriage and bearing children.  This was self-imposed barrenness. The Bible is peppered with stories of this fear, and subsequent miraculous conceptions and birth.  For children were extension of oneself and carried on the memory of the parent, granting a type of immortality of memory.  To be barren was like erasing one's life from the earth as if you never existed.  To is akin to being wholly annihilated by fire like a burnt offering.  


Although not common, children could be offered to the Temple/Tabernacle in perpetual service to God, such as Samuel.  In the NT, the widow Anna at Christ's presentation, was such a servant on the Temple grounds.  Psalm 45 hints at this as well, and the Virgin Mary herself was offered up to the Temple as a servant.  


Both views require us to consider the sacrifice of Christ and our own commitment to God, whether it is partial or whole.  


Are you convinced about either?

Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Pearl 4:4 - From Heaven and Earth


St. Ephrem's The Pearl 4:4


And if a man thinks that thou art framed [by art]
He errs greatly;
Thy nature proclaims that thou, as all stones,
Art not the framing of art;
and so thou art a type of the Generation
Which no making framed.


Thy stone flees
From a comparison with the Stone [which is] the Son.
For thy own generation is from the midst of the deep,
That of the Son of thy Creator is from the highest height;
He is not like thee,
In that He is like His Father.
And as they tell,
Two wombs bare thee also.


Thou camest down from on high a fluid nature;
Thou camest up from the sea a solid body.
By means of thy second birth
Thou didst show thy loveliness to the children of men.


Hands fixed thee, when thou wast embodied,
Into thy receptacles ;
For thou art in the crown as upon the cross,
And in a coronet as in a victory ;
Thou art upon the ears, as if to fill up what was lacking ;
Thou extendest over all.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

January 2012 Top Posts

Thanks again to everyone who stops by and reads awhile.  Here are the top posts for the new year.



Jul 11, 2011


Track 1 - Deliverance
Mar 31, 2011


Aug 7, 2011


Jan 13, 2012


Jan 11, 2012

Jan 26, 2012

Jan 18, 2012

Jan 24, 2012

Jan 31, 2012

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Forge 2.1.2012

If you grew up in the Evangelical culture, then the site Stuff Christians Like will have you cracking up; then not then you will just find yourself scratching your head.  This post was particularly funny considering my current status:  Wishing You Could Dance Like They Do at the Greek Orthodox Churches (I still wish I could dance like that...lessons anyone).

Because of my interest in the The Readables , I am always on the look out for posts and articles surrounding those mysterious OT books.  Here's the latest I have found: Were the Deuterocanonicals Ever a Part of the Jewish Canon of Scripture

I've mentioned it before, but today it is official: The Orthodox Christian Network has launched and updated their blog, The Sounding.

It's been redesigned, and there is a diverse slate of writers from all walks of life.  It should make for a great stopping place for all types of information and writing.

I will be a regular contributor which will be slightly different than the posts found here on the Sword in the Fire.

This video gives a nice introduction to the details surrounding the launch.


The Sounding Relaunch from Orthodox Christian Network on Vimeo.

And not to leave out any items of interest a Texas explorer believes he has found Noah's Ark.



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