Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Shocking Truth about Christian Orthodoxy

Thanks to Bosco Peters, a lecture given by Orthodox priest Fr. John Behr on March 23, 2012 in the auditorium of St. Paul University as part of the annual Augustine College Weston Lecture series is making the rounds. Fr. John is dean of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary and a patristics scholar. Here's how Bosco summarizes the lecture:

The lecture is an hour long – but/and worth it. Fr John challenges the pulp and popular positions that early catholicity was monolithic, autocratic, homogeneous; despoiling the liberty, diversity, and fulness of life that Jesus brought. Early catholicity, he expertly explains, was what the word means – catholic: diverse. It was the heretics who could not remain in the dialogue of this diversity, who went and took themselves away to form monochromatic communities where everyone would agree with their particular narrow perspective.

Fr John stresses that we cannot access the historical Jesus “neat” as it were. We always receive him interpreted. And the interpretation focuses around the Scriptures and the Eucharist.

Fr John provides refreshing perspectives on much in this lecture, including on what it means for the scriptures to be inspired; that all knowledge, whatever the sphere, ultimately rests on an act of faith; and ultimately provides a moving interpretation of the salvation we have just been celebrating, and which Orthodox will celebrate this week.

Fr. John's lecture is a wonderful antidote to some of the silliness that passes for scholarship these days.

Watch it all:


FrRH said...

What a clear and concise "defence" for our faith in a time of a crisis in faith in the Christian Church. We are facing open hostiliy to Christianity in ever widening circles. This is a MUST listen to. Also do yourself a favour and read Fr John's book, "The Mystery of Christ" published by St Vladimir's Press. ISBN 0-88141-306-2

We need more teaching like this to be made available to younger people who are entering academic institutions and who are losing their faith as they do not have a defence for their faith.

The Church in the West is in crisis. In particular among the late teenagers and early twenties.

Bryan Owen said...

Well said, FrRH! And yes, it sounds like Fr. John's book is definitely worth reading.