Every year, around the time of the first Sunday of Great Lent, Fr. Tom Hopko offers a variation of his meditation on the Temptation of Jesus as interpretted by Fyodor Dostoevsky. (I suspect some of the non-Orthodox may be a bit surprised by this, assuming that Dostoevsky is merely a long-winded Russian novelist. But he was also a highly respected churchman and his “story within a story” of the Grand Inquisitor in The Brothers Karamozov is considered one of the great Christian exegeses of the meaning of temptation.)
Well, this year Fr. Tom has absolutely outdone himself. I propose that his mediation be required listening for all Christians. It can be found here.
A word about Fr. Tom and his podcast are in order. His assumed podcast audience is Orthodox Christians and he frequently speaks about issues internal to Orthodoxy that would hold little interest to non-Orthodox Christians. (There are many other podcasts at Ancient Faith Radio which are aimed at a wider audience.) For instance, he has an ongoing series on church polity, bishops, and the canons of the Ecumenical Councils (currently at the 29th episode — and we aren’t done yet!) which is quite specific to Orthodox polity which would probably sound pretty darn esoteric to the non-enlightened. He also has a stream-of-consciousness style of talking that requires patience to get the hang of. But if one can put up with his quirks, he is an amazing teacher. His series on Charles Darwin that he did last year (17 episodes! That may be longer than the Origin of Species) is marvelous, but so meandering that it could boggle the unprepared mind.
But in this particular explication of the temptation of Jesus he is focused, avoids becoming parochial, and gets to the heart of the matter, even though the truth may offend some. Again, this one is a must-listen for everyone!