Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Rapture

There was a movie that was done in the 1970's that gives the typical Evangelical Protestant conception of the Rapture:

For those wondering what the Orthodox view of the Rapture is, I would recommend this two part article by Sister Anastasia (now Mother Agapia) (Stephanopoulos) on the subject:

Will you meet the Lord in the "Rapture", Part I

Will you meet the Lord in the "Rapture", Part II

Many Protestants take this doctrine as a given, and are unaware that prior to the 1850's, no one had ever conceived of such a thing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

They should have listened.

The Presbyterian Church USA (the largest, but also most liberal branch of the Presbyterians in this country) ratified a change that had been proposed at their general assembly in 2010 to approve the ordination of practicing homosexuals. The change had been passed by previous general assemblies, but failed to gain the approval of a majority of the Presbyteries around the country (which are roughly equivalent to a diocese). This time, a majority has approved the change.

This is just the latest example of the ongoing slide of Protestantism as a whole towards theological and moral liberalism. It is sad to watch, because these denominations, while obviously heterodox, nevertheless did stand for basic morality, and as such had some positive influence on the culture. On the other hand, this slide has the effect of forcing those who are sincere in those denominations to reassess their theology, and in many cases it has led them into the Orthodox Church... as it did in my case.

At the general assembly last year, there was an "ecumenical" representative of the Byelorussian Orthodox Church. In this case, it was an admirable example of how we should "dialogue" with the heterodox. He thanks them for the charitable help they have provided to Byelorussia, and comes across in a kind and loving way, but nevertheless schools them on the nature of Christian morality, and why their discussion about changing their moral standards brings them further away from authentic Christianity:

This clip from the opening ceremony of their general assembly shows that they are well on the path to a paganized and truly lame version of Christianity that has lost almost all contact with real Christianity:

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

New Psalter from Jordanville

I have just gotten my hands on a copy of the new Psalter published by Holy Trinity Monastery: "A Psalter for Prayer", edited by David James. The translation is based on the Coverdale Psalter, which is what you would find in an older (traditional) edition of the Book of Common Prayer, but is corrected with the Septuagint. It also contains a great deal of instructional material and additional prayers found in Slavonic editions of the Psalter, but not in the Boston Psalter or most other editions published in English to date. For example, it has prayers at the end of each kathisma, and it has instructions on how to read the Psalter over the dead, with the prayers that are said according to Slavic practice in conjunction with that. The quality of the printing is very high... the paper and binding are of similar quality to the Boston Psalter, but the cover looks better, the size is a bit larger, and it has two marker ribbons sewn into the binding. The translation is well done and beautiful, and I would say that it is worth having just for the additional material that it contains, and for those who have wanted an alternative to the Boston Psalter, here it is.