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23 Responses

  1. London says:

    Good for the Ukrainians!

  2. Em says:

    Would those for whom Eugene Peterson’s ministry impacted their lives say that it was his sermons, his writings or his life that had the greatest impact?

  3. Xenia says:

    I suppose I should say something about the big news in Ortholandia, since it directly affects our little Russian parish. Since there is so much fake news coming from both sides, I’m just going to give some bullet pints about things I’m fairly sure of without connecting the dots.

    1. The title of the linked article in wrong. There have always been several different Orthodox jurisdictions in Ukraine. What happened recently was the Patriarch of Constantinople decided to recognize the non-Moscow group that was in schism with the rest of the Orthodox world.

    2a. The secular articles I have read are all about politics. The Orthodox articles I have read are all about the Patriarch of Constantinople acting like a Pope.

    2b. This has nothing to do with theology. It’s about: (a) Ukrainians wanting to govern their own church [who blames them] and (b) the Patriarch of Constantinople exceeding his authority. In a way, this breech is similar to the one in 1054 when the bishop of Rome began to exceed his authority.

    3. I don’t blame the Ukrainians for wanting to get out from under Moscow’s thumb. I am inclined to be on their side. Kiev was Orthodox back when Moscow was a trading outpost in the wilderness. One bone of contention is the future of some big historic Ukrainian monasteries that are currently under Moscow. What’s going to happen with them.

    4. But the P. of C. is not a Pope and did not have the authority to interfere in another bishop’s territory.

    5. The P. of C. has been problematic for many years, long before the USSR broke up. This was the last straw. I could give a list of transgressions but it would all seem arcane to everyone here.

    6. So I am in the uncomfortable position siding with the Ukrainians but somewhat glad someone finally stood up to the P. of C. Many of the problems in Orthodoxy today stem from the actions of that Patriarchate over the decades.

    7. I do not like Putin AT ALL.

    8. So now the members of the Greek parish in town cannot receive communion at our parish and vice versa. 🙁

    9. I am not at all interested in joining the Greeks, who are under the P. of C. Any liberalizing tendencies found in Orthodoxy come from that group, although the local Greek parish is very traditional.

    10. No one knows what the other jurisdictions will do. Most of them have condemned the actions of the P. of C. but are not anxious to hop in bed with Moscow.

    11. I do not believe one word that is coming from Russian media on this topic.

    12. My dear friend Fr. Irenei, now Bishop Irenei, wrote a very calming letter to the laity, suggesting prayer, patience, and love. That’s the advice I am going to follow.

    13. All schism is sin.

  4. Michael says:


    Peterson’s books were all epiphanies for me…I might have left the faith without them.
    His book “The Pastor” defined my vocation and is a classic that will be read for generations to come.

  5. Michael says:


    Thank you.
    I had some people inquire about what this all meant and I was utterly unqualified to speak to it…

  6. Xenia says:

    You’re welcome, Michael.

    A non-Orthodox person might wonder if the Patriarch of Constantinople was being heroic in taking the bold action of liberating the Ukrainian Church from Moscow. (*Which* Ukrainian Church, by the way? ) This should have been taken up in a universal (international) council of bishops and decided in the traditional Orthodox conciliar way. All he did was create chaos. I think there will be bloodshed in Ukraine over this.

    No one involved is really acting in a particularly Christ-like way, IMO. The whole story is very complex and…. byzantine.

    Folks, this is where nationalism will lead you.

    Yesterday, Trump announced he was a nationalist.

    Patriotism is good; nationalism is dangerous.

  7. Tim says:

    Xenia –
    I’m sorry for the effects that the newest schism has upon you. In a weird way, I can relate a bit, with the fracturing of CCA & CGN. A lot of politics and bickering, and nothing but a black eye for those down the line who have to deal with the aftermath.

    I haven’t yet spoken with my brother about it (he is part of an Antiochian parish), but I’m curious to hear his thoughts as well.

  8. Xenia says:

    Hi Tim! So good to see you!

  9. Xenia says:

    Tim, I think most people who aren’t nationalists for one side or the other will say that Ukraine really deserves to rule itself but the P. of C. was way out of line.

  10. Owen says:

    I hope you’ll forgive this comment (I know, not a great preface). I’ve spent the last few days trying to seek out and get into Peterson’s writings. Also have watched videos made of him.
    Maybe I just need to be stretched, but I am having a hard time with some of the things I’ve read/heard from him. My first impressions are that a lot of it seems watered down.
    But I also have to admit, I have yet to find a negative review. So I shall keep searching, to find out what it is that you and many others found in him.

  11. Jean says:

    Love the article.”Believer or Disciple?”

    Please forward a copy to John MacArthur.

  12. Em says:

    Thank you, Michael… I hope books never go out of style – they give us time to process what is being expressed much better

  13. Duane Arnold says:


    I’m sad about the disruption on Mount Athos…

  14. Michael says:

    “Maybe I just need to be stretched, but I am having a hard time with some of the things I’ve read/heard from him.””My first impressions are that a lot of it seems watered down”


    If you’re looking for clarity on doctrinal issues Peterson probably isn’t going to be a satisfying read.
    I was choking to death on dry doctrine and smothering in certainty.
    Peterson came to the text as a whole person with emotion and imagination, seeking relationship.

    He brought life back into faith for me…and though he was a Presbyterian, he paved the way for me to become an Anglican.

    Having said all that, there are authors that are widely acclaimed who don’t move me at all…Dallas Willard was one.

    He may have been brilliant for someone, but not for me.

    I rejoice whenever anyone finds warmth, light, and a decent meal. 🙂

  15. Em says:

    “Hate has no home in Christianity because love is not a sentiment.” … Last sentence of link just posted (4:28)…

    Food for thought … A ponder…

  16. Owen says:

    “Peterson came to the text as a whole person with emotion and imagination, seeking relationship.”

    Now THAT I understand, thanks for the clarity. That explains a lot of what I’ve read.

    That helps me get into his head. Now I’ll work on stretching my own imagination some.

  17. Tk says:

    Best Eugene Peterson hooks to start with?

  18. Tk says:


  19. Michael says:

    Everyone should read “The Pastor”…either to be a better one or to find one…

  20. Owen says:

    These are great reads, Brian, thanks for sharing.

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