The Downside of Freedom

Some time ago I read a sermon on an Orthodox parish website. Unfortunately, I don’t know which parish. The sermon was about liberty (as the French would say) or freedom (as we Americans would say), putting it in context of the larger scheme of salvation. The fourfold path of liberty is as follows:: From Slavery …

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How God’s Righteousness is Revealed

Reading St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain (also known as Nicodemos the Hagiorite, if you go looking for him), I was struck by the almost opposite manner that Nicodemos (d. 1809) and John Calvin (d. 1564)  define righteousness. In a word, for Calvin, God’s righteousness is revealed in what he does. For Nicodemos, it is …

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Liberty and Freedom

In Enlightenment political theory (this is the political theory that is foundational to the American Declaration of Independence and Constitution) the two primary natural "endowments" are life and liberty (and yes, the Declaration adds Happiness, but that's another story). Given the history of American jurisprudence, the most appropriate definition of liberty is "the right to …

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The Bondage of the Will & Christian Liberty

I’ve been reading parts of Luther’s Bondage of the Will again to make sure I’m not misremembering his argument. Luther’s argument is quite similar to Calvin’s later argument that gets filed under “predestination,” although there are differences. In both cases I have no doubt that the Reformers are trying to figure out things that are …

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