church bell from below

No Other Foundation

Reflections from Fr. Lawrence Farley

Fr. Lawrence Farley

About Fr. Lawrence Farley

Fr. Lawrence serves as pastor of St. Herman's Orthodox Church in Langley, BC. He is also author of the Orthodox Bible Companion Series along with a number of other publications.

What’s Wrong with Suicide?

Eventually every pastor will be faced with the question of what to do about the theological issue of suicide, either because he will be asked to preside at the funeral of someone who has taken his or her own life, or because he will be...
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Stand Aright!

Our society is not accustomed to hear a word from God; we are unfamiliar with oracles.  Instead, we are awash with the words of men—usually fairly worthless words—coming at us from all sides, like incoming missiles in a war zone:  texts...
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Abraham, a Wandering Visionary

There is a decided dearth of Biblical material on the early life of Abraham (or “Abram” as he was first known).  We know that he was with his father Terah when Terah left Ur of the Chaldeans, and that his wife Sarai, and his nephew Lot...
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The Ragings of the Pagans

The Orthodox liturgical tradition is very, very old, and still retains vestiges that reflect much older circumstances.  For example, immediately prior to the Eucharist proper the deacon cries out to the doorkeeper, “The doors!  The...
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The Essence of Orthodoxy

What is the essence of Orthodoxy?For some it is doctrinal rigour and its partisans are keen to sniff out any hint or whiff of possible heresy.  Like modern Byzantine heirs of the Spanish Inquisition (now sadly expected by everyone...
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A Learning Opportunity

I am happy to pass along a new online learning opportunity offered by St. Athanasius College.  They have asked me to teach several courses on the historical books of the Old Testament, as well as the wisdom literature, and the prophets,...
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Debating Baptism with Baptists

The differences separating Orthodoxy from the many Baptist churches are too numerous to address in a blog post—or perhaps even in a large door-stopper of a book.  Here I would like to examine but one of those differences—viz. the Baptist...
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Children, it is the last hour

It is sometimes imagined that the Resurrection of Christ finds its full significance as the last happy chapter in the story of His life, so that after a gruelling chapter about His betrayal, arrest, crucifixion, and burial, the tale can...
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The Sparkle Creed

Recently I came across a video of a woman minister reciting what she called “the Sparkle Creed”.  When I informed my wife of this in a spirit of jollification, she suggested that it might have originated in the Babylon Bee—i.e. that it...
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No Other Stream

Among the many things that Christians say that annoy people is their assertion that Christianity is the only true religion.  Given the tremendous number of alternatives to Christianity on the religious market today, the assertion savours...
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The Gift of Gender

Popular theology is a little bit whacked.  Or, in more elegant and precise terms, many people’s understanding of God is fatally limited and flawed.  It posits that God (beard or no beard) sits up there somewhere, and having made the...
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The Antiphons: Songs of Allegiance

In the days of St. John Chrysostom, the Liturgy began with the entry into church of the bishop and the people.  The bishop would ascend to his episcopal chair at the back of the altar facing the people, greet them by saying, “Peace be...
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Evaluating Judaism

The world is filled with wonders:  it is apparently a controversial thing to affirm that Judaism was a true religion worshipping the one true God.  A sentence affirming this in the recent online OCA Essential Orthodox Christian Beliefs: ...
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Speaking in Tongues

As the pastor of a church community where many of our members are converts from Protestant Evangelicalism, I am sometimes asked about my view of the current Pentecostal practice of speaking in tongues.  What follows is a part of my...
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