Category : Formation

Written on Sep, 26, 2017 by in | Leave a comment

It’s a new semester and I’m again teaching in St Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theology Seminary’s distance education program for youth ministers. This time around, I’m teaching Christian doctrine for youth minister. As I did last semester, I’ll post my class notes here. You are welcome to use them if you’d like. You’re also welcome to ask questions or offer your own thoughts on the material.

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Written on Sep, 21, 2017 by in | Leave a comment

The tradition of the Church reveals to me my own poverty and need for God and my neighbor for, well, everything. The other sees the tradition of the Church as something that erases my poverty and makes me rich.

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Written on Sep, 20, 2017 by in | Leave a comment

Benjamin Schwarz in his review of The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett  writes that the author describes …the process of “assortative mating” and elite bunching that Murray previously elucidated, Currid-Halkett explains that “smart people want to be around other smart people…over time that results in highly stratified hyper-educated affluent places.” The practical social …

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Written on Sep, 19, 2017 by in | Leave a comment

Those who claim that their lives should be such as to console no one and to be a burden or the occasion of grief to no one, who derive no joy from others’ success and inflict no bitterness on others with their own perversity, I would call not human beings but beasts. They have only one goal: neither to love …

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Written on Sep, 16, 2017 by in | Leave a comment

Source: (WSJ) The Challenge of Jewish Repentance Meaning comes not from systems of thought but from stories, and the Jewish story is among the most unusual of all. It tells us that God sought to make us His partners in the work of creation, but we repeatedly disappointed Him. Yet He never gives up. He forgives us time and again. …

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Written on Sep, 16, 2017 by in | Leave a comment

Don’t expect to find much guidance on liberal education in the mission statements of leading American colleges and universities. They contain inflated language about diversity, inclusion and building a better world through social transformation. Missing are instructive pronouncements about what constitutes an educated person or on the virtues of mind and character that underlie reasoned inquiry, the advance of understanding, …

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Written on Sep, 14, 2017 by in | Leave a comment

I thought of you when I read this quote from “Spiritual Friendship (Cistercian Fathers)” by Aelred of Rievaulx, Marsha L. Dutton, Lawrence C. Braceland – What plot of land or what stream turns up only one stone of a single kind? Or what forest produces only one tree of a single species? Thus among non-sentient beings, a kind of love …

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Written on Sep, 12, 2017 by in | Leave a comment

Utopianism may be a species of optimism, but it is always born of discontent. Chris Jennings, Paradise Now: The Story of American Utopianism. Underestimating, or worse ignoring, the American tendency toward Utopianism of one kind or another is one of the central reasons that Orthodox evangelism is frequently unsuccessful in the long-term. Americans aren’t spiritually discontent, we are often not …

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Written on Sep, 04, 2017 by in | Leave a comment

…you are a Christian. This means you cannot go to college just to get a better job. These days, people talk about college as an investment because they think of education as a bank account: You deposit the knowledge and expertise you’ve earned, and when it comes time to get a job, you make a withdrawal, putting all that stuff …

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Written on Aug, 22, 2017 by in | Leave a comment

Thinking of all the divisions and disagreements we are currently experiencing in America puts me in mind of the prayer “Bless My Enemies O Lord,” written by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich a Serbian bishop who spoke out courageously against Nazism until he was arrested and taken to Dachau. Taking the bishop’s prayer to heart, I have to ask what lessons are …

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