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.

Cain and Abel and a Bayonet

The story of Cain and Abel is the story of the human race.  It is tragically timeless, for it is tirelessly enacted over and over again in every generation.  As Larry Norman once queried (as aged historians may remember from his song...
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Wonder as the Beginning of Faith

The title of this blog piece is the title of a book written by Bishop Maxim Vasiljevic, bishop of Los Angeles and Western America of the Serbian Orthodox Church.  (I trust he will forgive not being capitalized.). The book is an...
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The Self-emptying of the Mother of God

In my Protestant days, I had no problem with anyone talking about Mary—so long as it was Christmas.  On Boxing Day, that was it.  Over.  No more talking about Mary.  What are we anyway, Catholics?  It was understood that when we packed...
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An Extraordinary Personal Appeal from Fr. Lawrence

This is an extraordinary personal appeal, one which I do not make lightly.St. Herman of Alaska Church in Langley, B.C., Canada (of which I have been pastor since 1987) is in the process of building a new church temple on our property,...
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Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

In 1956 an American game show debuted called “To Tell the Truth”.  Each round of the game introduced three people all claiming to be the same person, and a team of panelists would ask them questions.  Those pretending to be the real...
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Judge Not

I would like to share with you an easy technique for avoiding moral accountability.  Whenever you are caught and called to account for doing something wrong (that is, when you are “busted”), you simply invoke the figure of the Pharisee. ...
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Up It Comes Again—the Whack-a-Mole Heresy

Some heresies never seem to die, but have a disconcerting tendency to pop up in every generation, rather like the emerging heads of the whack-a-mole in the children’s game one sees in Chuck E. Cheese:  whack them down as hard and often...
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Call No Man “Father”

Like many Orthodox clergy, I have lost track of the number of times my Protestant brethren have objected to the priestly title (in my case, “Father Lawrence”), citing the Bible which commands that they “call no man ‘Father’”.  They are,...
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An Orthodox Magisterium?

Recently I listened to a podcast in which Larry Chapp (a universalist Roman Catholic) interviewed Dr. David Bentley Hart.  In the course of the interview Dr. Hart asserted that, unlike Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy does not have an...
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Reflections on an October Event

Halloween these days provides a time for the predictable annual debate about whether or not Christians should participate in Halloween, and many participants in the debate express themselves very strongly.  As we approach that time, I...
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Can I Get an Amen?

Those familiar with old-time Pentecostalist liturgy will identify the title of this piece as a part of that liturgy.  Not, of course, that tongue-speaking Pentecostalists of the old school would admit to having liturgy.  Liturgy, for...
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Sitting Lightly on Labels

I have just finished reading Diarmaid MacCulloch’s Christianity:  The First Three Thousand Years.  It is a thoroughly enjoyable read, comprehensive, and engagingly written.  It is also a great doorstopper of a book, so large a hardbound...
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Adoption to Sonship

In the baptismal prayer in which the priest blesses the baptismal water, there is a line that baptism will bestow upon the candidate the loosing of bonds, the remission of sins, the illumination of the soul and “the gift of adoption to...
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Prime Minister Trudeau and Q Spirit

In about 1968, Prime Minister Trudeau (not our current disaster, a previous one) famously declared that “the government has no business in the bedrooms of the nation”.  Even then it was a touch asinine when you really thought about it,...
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