An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
I have often contended that simply saying that Dan Brown's book and now movie is a work of fiction was not going to prevent it from preaching "truth" to the masses. This poll seems to indicate that despite the "work of fiction" a good number of people are buying in to the most outrageous "truth" claims in the book. The poll apparently doesn't even address some of the more pressing points Brown tries to make about Christianity, for example: Christians didn't believe Jesus was divine until the council of Nicea, that same council chose the canon of scripture,and that the vote at that council on Jesus divinity was close. All of these things are demonstrably false, but presented as historical fact...so when people put the Da Bonchi Code down after reading it and suddenly believe that Jesus had kids, I am guessing these blatant historical lies about Church history are also easily ingested as absolute fact.
I'm tempted to have T-shirts made...so much so, that I did:
Click the image to see the FULL line of Paradosis wear....watch out Amberbonchie!
I might be underestimating basic human integrity, but I can't help thinking that anyone who takes The DaVinci Code seriously is already predisposed to reject Christianity. On the other hand, if the only Christianity I had been exposed to was non-Orthodoxy, with its almost exclusively juridical paradigm, with death and "inherited guilt" being legal sentences inflicted by the Judge's infinitely offended honor, then I would reject it, too. In fact, I tell non-Christians this all the time, and have thus gained a hearing now and then when nothing else would have worked.
I have an icon of the Elevation of the Cross on my office wall. During Lent, a colleague came into my office to discuss a project. This man is an outspoken and intelligent opponent of all religion, but for some reason, he talks to me about stuff anyway. He looked at the icon, and now listen to what he said (it blew me away): "I don't get you people. You say that the Trinity is one God and that God is love, and yet here we have God the Son being judicially executed by God the Father in order to appease the Father's wrath and undo a penalty created by God Himself."
I replied that I didn't blame him for being confused. How could he not be? I told him that I regretted having to put it this way, but the Augustine-Anselm-Aquinas story is one thing, and Orthodoxy is another. Roman Catholicism and all forms of at least fairly conservative Protestantism have more in common with each other than either is prepared to admit. Further, once you get past mere word use and investigate the meaning of those words, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Orthodoxy constitute utterly different religions. We're not doing anyone any favors by pretending otherwise. He was pleasantly surprised; he had never heard the Orthodox view of God, man, sin, and salvation. What this means (let's be candid here) is that he's never heard the Gospel, period.
We can't be out to crucify the non-Orthodox, but for Heaven's sake (I mean that literally), we have to acquire the holy boldness to give it to people straight, which means that we had better have it straight ourselves. The fact is that we're not in communion with anyone but the Orthodox, and there are absolutely clear and crucial reasons why that is so. Does being out of communion mean something, or does it not? Is it just church politics? Not hardly.
We also need to be careful not to confuse Protestantism in general with 19-20th century American fundamentalism. I think if Luther and Calvin saw what the Protestant church looks like in America today, they would shrug their shoulders and go to the local Roman Church.
Something I like to say to Protestants: The Reformation is over....and you won! The problem is, you didn't know when to stop protesting, and look what happened!
Hmmm. I'd like to know what it is that Protestantism won. Perhaps it would be the trophy for Most Overrated Dogmatic Position. (After all, the "traditionless" Sola Scriptura mantra is now a 500-year-old tradition, and it has notoriously FAILED to provide anything remotely approaching unity.)