Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Lamb of the Apocalypse and the Divinity of Christ

By Proptopresbyter Antonios G. Alevizopoulos

The Godhead of Christ is also proclaimed in the last Book of the Holy Scripture: The Revelation of John. 

When Christ's disciple saw the sealed book, which no-one could open, neither in heaven, nor on the earth, he began to lament inconsolably for the misery of the human race, which would remain in the darkness of ignorance. Then, one of the elders proceeded to speak, and says to him: "Do not weep, because the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the book and to loosen its seven seals" (Revelation 5:5). 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Concerning the Resurrection of the Dead (St. John of Damascus)

By St. John of Damascus

We believe also in the resurrection of the dead. For there will be in truth, there will be, a resurrection of the dead, and by resurrection we mean resurrection of bodies.1 For resurrection is the second state of that which has fallen. For the souls are immortal, and hence how can they rise again? For if they define death as the separation of soul and body, resurrection surely is the reunion of soul and body, and the second state of the living creature that has suffered dissolution and downfall. It is, then, this very body, which is corruptible and liable to dissolution, that will rise again incorruptible. For He, who made it in the beginning of the sand of the earth, does not lack the power to raise it up again after it has been dissolved again and returned to the earth from which it was taken, in accordance with the reversal of the Creator's judgment.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Concerning the Antichrist (St. John of Damascus)

By St. John of Damascus

It should be known that the Antichrist is bound to come. Everyone, therefore, who confesses not that the Son of God came in the flesh and is perfect God and became perfect man, after being God, is Antichrist.1 But in a peculiar and special sense he who comes at the consummation of the age is called Antichrist. First then, it is required that the Gospel should be preached among all nations, as the Lord said,2 and then he will come to refute the impious Jews. For the Lord said to them: “I am come in My Father’s name and you received Me not; if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive.”3 And the Apostle says, “Because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved, for this cause God shall send them a strong delusion that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”4 The Jews accordingly did not receive the Lord Jesus Christ Who was the Son of God and God, but will receive the imposter who calls himself God. For, that he will assume the name of God, the angel teaches Daniel, saying these words: “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers.”5 And the Apostle says: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day of the Lord shall not come except there come the apostasy first and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits in the temple of God,6 showing himself that he is God;” in the temple of God he said, not our temple, but the old Jewish temple. For he will come not to us but to the Jews, not for Christ or the things of Christ: wherefore he is called Antichrist.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Liturgy and Eschatology (Fr. Alexander Schmemann)

By Fr. Alexander Schmemann

It is a great honour and also a joy to be giving this first memorial lecture. Dr Nicolas Zernov, in whose memory this lecture has been established, played a tremendous role in my life and in the life of many of my contemporaries, Russian Orthodox boys growing up in exile — a role of encouragement and inspiration in demanding from us, and showing us an example of, committed and unbroken service to the Orthodox Church. It was so easy for Russians in exile in the 20s and 30s to forget the past and to settle down happily by the waters of Babylon. It is men like Nicolas Zernov who encouraged and inspired us with their own example in maintaining faithfulness to the realities which he himself had served all his life: the Church and Russia, Christian Russia. So it is with real gratitude that I have accepted this invitation. I have been walking round Oxford for two days now and all the time remembering my first meeting with Dr Zernov. I was sixteen years old, and it was at a conference of the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius. I didn't speak English, I didn't understand what was discussed, I didn't even attend many of the sessions — I was more interested in playing tennis. But the fact remains that it was there, not in Paris but at that Fellowship conference in Britain, that I discovered the direction which my life was to take. For that I shall always be indebted to Nicolas Zernov.