Toll Houses: Truth or Lie?

The Unnecessary Controversy:

I first learned about the toll houses from a friend who was quite concerned that I be exposed to the truth early in my journey into Orthodoxy.  He sent me a copy of Fr. Michael Azkoul’s booklet: The Toll-House Myth: The Neo-Gnosticism of Fr. Seraphim Rose.  I was not impressed with the book, but since I had no other knowledge of the subject, I agreed with my friend and the author that the toll house doctrine must be some kind of new heresy that has been emphasized in the past couple of centuries, especially in Russian Orthodoxy.

Several years later, my beliefs have completely changed.  No one argued me into changing sides.  Shortly after my conversion, when I saw that there were various controversies between modern Orthodox people, I decided to mostly stay away from books that were not written by people glorified as saints of the church.  That “limits” me to tens of thousands of texts written over the past 1,900+ years.

I have no shortage of reading material. Continue reading Toll Houses: Truth or Lie?

Intro to Iconography – part 1

Who are the solid people anyway?

“Like ghosts we walk upon the earth, the ground it groans” sings Michael Gungor of the uber-talented band Gungor.  He takes inspiration from CS Lewis’ writings in which he questions our very concept of reality.

When we think of spirit beings or ghosts, we tend to visualize something that is misty, a vapor that can’t even be grasped.  The spirit world seems foggy and illusive, much like trying to clasp your fingers around steam as it rises above a pot of boiling water.    Continue reading Intro to Iconography – part 1