13 May 2016

A Place to Call Home

The cold sidewalk barely gives way before the resounding thud of polished black shoes that plough a course through yet another mile of city streets where they have no place to rest. Overhead the blue skies melt into dark grey clouds and little splashes of colour where the sunset has begun to announce its arrival. Closer by, the crusty brown arms of sleeping trees wave cheerlessly over the empty sidewalk where they have learned to

3
09 Nov 2015

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi

Luther and Lutherans have the market cornered on justification, sola fide.  Calvin and Reformed thinkers spend all their time trying to elaborate on the notion of election (I wish I had a nice Latin word for it, but I digress).  Baptists, well I guess it would be sola Scriptura, at the very least something about the individual conscience of the believer and reading Scripture.  These are all traditions that I have been shaped by in

4
09 Sep 2015

Why God Allows Spiritual Dryness in the Christian Life

I must confess that I did not begin studying the Scriptures personally on a daily basis until almost two years ago.  I grew up having family Bible reading in the mornings and often in the evenings.  But, about two years ago, I came to a point when I realized that it was something I really should do faithfully on my own.  I readily admit that when I first made the decision to become faithful in

5
19 Aug 2015

How To Be orthodox With A Small “o” – Part 1

About six months ago I took part in a conversation with a dear Protestant friend and mentor of mine, who likes to give me a hard time about being Orthodox – as she does with believers from any tradition – for the sake of light-hearted controversy.  She was saying that, when it comes to beliefs and doctrine, what is important is that one be orthodox – with a small ‘o.’ I completely agree with her

22
17 Aug 2015

Denomination Discombobulation: The Disorienting Effect of Protestantism and Conciliar Post

Sitting in my cushy Sunday morning chair, immediately following a fairly lengthy sermon, my Presbyterian church’s suit-clad pastor prepares the congregation for the weekly partaking of the Lord’s Supper. I think to myself, Isn’t it interesting, other congregations from other traditions on this very morning are probably kneeling or chanting or something at this point in their liturgy. And how come the pastor isn’t wearing some special clothing or collar or something? Other traditions do

26
02 Jul 2015

My Journey into Symphonic Christianity

No Christian walks a different path, but each walks in a different manner on this one narrow path. I love the “Journey” stories here at Conciliar Post. Every testimony recounts how someone effectively turned away from this world by embracing a Christian community and tradition which has stood the test of time. Typically these journey stories tell how someone moved from one historic Christian tradition to another, thereby enabling him or her to cast off

14
12 Jun 2015

My Journey to Catholicism: Part III

If I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth (1 Tim 3:15).1 After an extended hiatus, we return for the third installment! This final chapter is a reflection about the past four years of my family’s religious life. I’ll attempt not to get bogged down in theological minutiae (featured prominently in Parts

5
27 May 2015

Scripted: The “What Is God’s Will For My Life?” Frustration

How does one know if they are following God’s will for their life? How can one discern his will for them? Is there a planned route for each individual that God really hopes they will follow – and we had better be careful that we don’t accidentally miss it – or is everything in life already pre-rigged by him and no matter what we do in life we are still in “God’s will” since it

3
12 May 2015

A Dead Hand Grasping at God

About this time of year a decade ago, on a moonlit highway that snakes south of Santa Fe through hills of juniper and cholla and dirt, a troubled young man drove an old Jeep Cherokee with flaking red paint and a whining A/C. Night had fallen and his headlights, their luminance obscured by a coating of dead insects, cast a faint light on the road ahead. I don’t know if that young man fit the

4
04 May 2015

There’s a Saint for That (A Brief Reflection)

One critique that some groups of non-Catholics rail against Catholicism that there are saints for very obscure or mundane purposes. Think of Saint Ambrose of Milan, the brilliant 4th century theologian who is the patron saint of beekeepers, or Saint Isidore of Seville, who anachronistically became the patron saint of the Internet in 2003. Why have saints for such small things, or designate saints to technologies they did not even use? There’s quite literally a

2
01 May 2015

Life, Dreams, and Everything

When I was eighteen years old I purchased the film Waking Life, by director Richard Linklater. Its premise, plot, and production epitomize our postmodern moment. Linklater develops a story about dreams within dreams, in which a character travels seamlessly through surreal worlds while witnessing a plethora of philosophical conversations about life and death. The tagline reads, “Are we sleepwalking through our waking state, or wake-walking through our dreams?” Utilizing stunning visual effects,1 a haunting score,

1
20 Mar 2015

My Journey to Catholicism: Part II

Hello again! Thanks for joining in on this second installment (Part I is here). I hope that my story encourages you—regardless of how you trace your Christian lineage—to delve deeper into the stories that shape our common past, while sharing your passion for truth in loving service to your own faith community. Last time, we chronicled my slow departure from childlike trust in the doctrines of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), and witnessed the

16
06 Mar 2015

My Journey to Catholicism: Part I

Although this is a very personal story, it is my prayer that anyone reading it will find something that speaks to the human experience of God, and of life itself.1 Let us begin this and every endeavor with thankfulness to the Lord, and a firm desire to advance in love toward others. Regardless of where you find yourself on the journey through life, this journey is invariably and inevitably spiritual. Humanity was made by and

16
18 Feb 2015

A Change in Perspective: One woman’s journey into Eastern Orthodoxy

When I was in 3rd grade, my parents discovered I needed glasses. We went to the eye doctors and I happily chose a pair with whimsical polka dots and a plastic lady bug glued to one side. Sadly, those glasses did not last long because every year I returned to the eye doctor for a stronger prescription (this probably had to do with the many hours I dedicated to reading text and musical notation). I wore

16
25 Aug 2014

My Spiritual Guide, Tolkien

I was a fan of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit years before I discovered the beautiful example of faith in the life and writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. I first read the Lord of the Rings as a middle schooler and frequently watched Peter Jackson’s screen interpretations, but I did not learn about Tolkien’s Catholic faith, his Eucharistic devotion, and the Christian truth driving the myth of his sub-creation of Middle Earth until my

1
22 Aug 2014

Start Walking

An Ancient Remedy for Modern Ills. Some years ago, while visiting my grandparents in the central Pennsylvania mountains, my sisters and I went out for a long walk. It was a brown winter afternoon in a depressed area. We walked along the empty, curving road, remarking on the things we passed: a repair shop with misspelled words on the sign; some goats in a frozen barnyard. Then came the moment that has made me remember

1
04 Aug 2014

The Idol of Truth

I always had this odd thought in the back of my mind that ran something like, “If the smartest people in the world thought and thought and read and read for a while, they more than likely would turn out atheists. Atheism, though I don’t believe it to be true, is probably what intelligent thoughts lead to.” And so I typed “Atheism vs. Christianity” into YouTube at age sixteen, intent on discovering whether Christianity had

6
31 Jul 2014

A New Beginning: My First Month at a Greek Orthodox Church

Life is strange indeed. The way in which God works through different people guiding their lives in various ways is truly amazing. For a little over a month now, my family and I have been attending Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Winston-Salem, NC. This is especially remarkable considering my attitude towards religion and Christianity only a few years ago. Five years ago this week, I gave up my career as an aircraft mechanic to attend

10
25 Jul 2014

Imagine

At times, I feel within me a burning conviction of the truth of something that is at once more difficult to put into words than the doctrines of my Christian faith yet as clear as crystal to my soul and my seat of “knowing.” When I feel this way, it is time to sit down in front of pen and paper and muddle through until I can capture a solid thought from the elusive world

9
09 Jul 2014

Conflict Management

Seven years ago, some of my friends got into a bit of a dispute with the powers-that-be at my college. (I have been told I have a gift for understatement). The nature of the dispute was incredibly personal, of the sort that is impossible to bring to anyone’s attention without making oneself intensely vulnerable. Talking to the dean of student life meant opening up to her judgment and allowing her to see things that were

3