Why People Convert to Orthodoxy

  by Robert Arakaki On 30 December 2013, W. Bradford Littlejohn published “The Search for Authority and the Fear of Difference” in The Sword and the Ploughshare. He began by noting how he learned second hand (??) about a longtime Reformed Christian who decided to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy because “he needed someone to submit to” (quotation marks in the original text). It struck me that among the many evangelicals and Reformed folks converting to Rome or Orthodoxy, this was a common story. “We Protestants, we’re so divided, we’re so individualistic, we have no sense of authority, we have to make up our own minds about everything … [Read more...]

Why People Convert To Orthodoxy

by Robert Arakaki On 30 December 2013, W. Bradford Littlejohn published “The Search for Authority and the Fear of Difference” in The Sword and the Ploughshare.   He began by noting how he learned second hand (??) about a longtime Reformed Christian who decided to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy because “he needed someone to submit to” (quotation marks in the original text). It struck me that among the many evangelicals and Reformed folks converting to Rome or Orthodoxy, this was a common story.  ”We Protestants, we’re so divided, we’re so individualistic, we have no sense of authority, we have to make up our own minds about everything rather … [Read more...]

Crossing the Bosphorus

by Robert Arakaki With its many denominations Protestantism is no stranger to people changing churches, but there is something deeply unsettling about a Protestant family deciding to move over to a nearby Orthodox parish.  The phrase “swimming the Tiber” or “crossing the Bosphorus” alludes to the deep chasm separating Protestantism from the two ancient traditions of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.  Constantinople, the site of Orthodoxy’s leading patriarchal see, is located next to the Bosphorus, a narrow strait that separates Europe from Asia.  Thus, there is a certain aptness to the Bosphorus as a symbol of the divide between … [Read more...]

Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy

by Robert Arakaki In 2007, Christianity Today published an article, “Will the Twenty First Century be the Orthodox Century?“  In it Bradley Nassif argued that Orthodoxy will indeed grow and expand in this coming century.  But in an Again Magazine article, “The Orthodox Christian Opportunity,” Nassif noted although many people are converting to Orthodoxy, significant numbers of these converts are also leaving through the backdoor discouraged and disenchanted.  Much of the reasons for their disenchantment lie not with the Orthodox Faith per se, but with the realities of Orthodox parishes.  Nassif refers to this problem as Orthodoxy’s … [Read more...]