Greek Fathers on Human Sexuality and Eden (a Few Brief Comments)

Someone on a closed group posted a question about why several Greek church fathers would have taught that Eve was a virgin until after she left Eden. Someone else pointed out that, in this case, Adam would have also been a virgin before leaving the garden, and it was noted that Irenaus mentions Adam’s virginity […]

St John saw the true temple restored, and this is the earliest picture we have of Christian worship

The fact that we call Jesus the Messiah, the Christ, which means the Anointed One, shows that Christians live and think in a world where the lost anointing oil and everything it stood for has been been restored. The perfumed anointing oil was fundamental to the original temple world. Tradition remembered that it represented oil […]

the world was created for my sake

“Whosoever saves a single life, saves an entire universe.” (From the Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5.) The entire surrounding passage is noteworthy: How are witnesses inspired with awe in capital cases? They are brought in and admonished as follows: In case you may want to offer testimony that is only conjecture or hearsay or secondhand evidence, even […]

Adam was made in the image of the incarnate Christ

Irenaeus concluded—amazingly—that Adam came into being as a result of Christ and his passion, that Adam was made in the image of the incarnate Christ, who himself is the beginning and the end. From Beginnings: Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical Creation Narratives by Peter C. Bouteneff. Here it is with more context (including several […]

taught by a Star

This sampling of ancient Christian hymns connected to Mary and the Nativity (and taken from Orthodox service books) represent a remarkable range of theological insights: From the most common megalynarion (used in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom): It is truly meet to bless thee, O Theotokos, ever blessed and most blameless and the […]

the very food of our world became His body

In this world Christ was rejected. He was the perfect expression of life as God intended it. Th fragmentary life of the world was gathered into His life; He was the heart beat of the world and the world killed Him. But in that murder the world itself died. It lost its last chance to […]

offering the world to God

It seems natural for man to experience the world as opaque, and not shot through with the presence of God. It seems natural not to live a life of thanksgiving for God’s gift of a world. …The natural dependence of man upon the world was intended to be transformed constantly into communion with God in […]

one all-embracing banquet table

From the opening of chapter one in For the Life of the World by Alexander Schmemann: “Man is what he eats.” With this statement the German materialistic philosopher Feuerbach thought he had put an end to all “idealistic” speculations about human nature. In fact, however he was expressing, without knowing it, the most religious idea […]

the beauty and sanctity of the act of modeling

From Divine Craftsmanship by Jean Hani (33-37): The author of Ecclesiasticus pauses a moment to watch the potter at work and gives us a graphic portrait of him, a sort of generic picture and a rather rare passage in sacred literature: So doth the potter sitting at his work, turning the wheel about with his […]

both mother and son gaze sadly off-stage while he holds an apple

Giovanni Bellini, Madonna Greca, 1460-64. Tempera on wood (32.3 x 24.4 inches), located in the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan. In Bellini’s Madonna Greca, both mother and son gaze sadly off-stage while he holds an apple, propped against her wrist. The apple brings to mind a scriptural allusion. He is, in the words of Elizabeth, the […]