Unveiled Holiness

There exists a tendency in our American culture to think of ourselves as being on familiar terms with God.  I am a friend of God proclaims the chorus of one popular Protestant “praise” song; Jesus is my homeboy states a trendy shirt design.  Our Lord is much more comfortable if he is friend, homeboy, or Buddy Christ, and God the Father if he is little more than a senile grandpa upstairs who blindly loves all of his little grandchildren.  A god that demands nothing from us and only exists to make us feel good is wildly popular, but is a false god created in our own image.

Many Christian groups have created a false sense of familiarity with God by removing awe and reverence from Christian worship.  They have banished the priesthood (after all, we’re all priests anyway, right?); stripped the walls of sacred art; replaced a service focused on the presence of Christ with one focused on a sermon; and replaced architectural beauty with either four walls and a pulpit or something that looks more like a nightclub.  All of this removes from us a proper sense of reverence. Continue reading Unveiled Holiness

Passing Through the Fire: Will All Be Saved?

Final JudgmentI don’t like the idea of anyone languishing in hell forever. For that reason, the topic of heaven and hell intrigued me for years, especially when someone made a good case for doctrine that is more palatable. When Rob Bell published his book Love Wins, he rightly argued that he was not asking any questions or presenting any arguments that Christians have not made before him. In my pre-Orthodox days, this idea excited me. After all, many in Protestantism are looking for creative new ways to understand the Bible.

On the one hand, we have innumerable Christians throughout the ages Continue reading Passing Through the Fire: Will All Be Saved?