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.

The Fundamental Fact

It is very easy for people, especially outsiders, to miss the fundamental fact about the Church.  It is easy to assume that the Church is fundamentally an organization or (worse yet) a collection of clergy.  That is perhaps because the...
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Sex in Context

Buried away in the midst of a long apostolic denunciation of the evils of a culture soaked in idolatry is the potent little phrase παρὰ φύσιν/ para physin, meaning that which is against φύσις, against nature, natural endowments, or the...
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Pascha: What’s in a Name?

I am reliably told that in some parts of the Protestant world the feast we Orthodox are now celebrating is called “Resurrection Sunday”.  Though it used to be universally known there as “Easter”, apparently some people in the Evangelical...
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Thinking about the Atonement: the New Testament

In my last blog piece I discussed the Old Testament view of the atonement.  Here I would examine the New Testament understanding of the atonement.As with the Old Testament, there is in the New Testament no clear and detailed elaboration...
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Thinking about the Atonement: the Old Testament

It is perhaps significant that there is no obvious and complete explanation of atonement and how it functioned in the Bible.  My guess is that this was because it was too obvious to the ancients to require stating.  People just knew...
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Patience and Reception

Recently I was asked a very important and perceptive question by a very smart catechumen, a man converting from Roman Catholicism.  He knew that at the Council of Nicea (325 A. D.) the assembled bishops voted for the homoousios teaching...
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Is Christianity on the Decline in the West?

This question is often asked by concerned Church people, especially those in the “mainline” churches here in Canada such as the United Church, the Anglican Church, and the Roman Catholic Church.  Church statisticians, usually with long...
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The Limits of Christian Obedience

Christians are law-abiding almost by definition.  At the very beginning we were told by Christ to “render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar”, without of course rendering to him what belongs not to him, but to God (Matthew 22:21). ...
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Icons…and Nationalism

Icons are an essential part of the Orthodox life, and so are found in all Orthodox Churches.  Some churches have just a few icons on the icon screen up front, while other churches have every inch of wall space covered with icons, but all...
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Angels in our Life

Having looked at the development of angelology in the Scriptures and the figure of the Angel of the Lord, we conclude this series by talking about the role of angels in the life of the Christian.  Their importance can be gauged by their...
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The Angel of the Lord

In our last post we looked at the long process whereby angelology developed in the Bible.  Now we will look at one particular aspect of this:  the mal’ak Yahweh, “Yahweh’s messenger”, usually translated “the Angel of the Lord”.We have...
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Angels: A Long Development

In order to fully understand angels in the Bible it helps to embrace a bit of temporary amnesia and forget most of what we know about angels.  That is because angelology has undergone a long development from its ancient Near Eastern...
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An Alternative Eros

A Greek note:  the English word “erotic” is derived from the Greek word ἔρως/ eros, defined by the Arndt-Gingrich lexicon as “passionate love”.  In Proverbs 7:18 LXX it is used for the adulteress’ forbidden “embrace in eros”; in Proverbs...
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The Autonomy of Women

At the recent March for Life in Washington, D.C. one person gave a speech.  In it he said, “We affirm the gift and sanctity of life—all life, born and unborn.  As Christians we confess that every human being is made in the image and...
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Zacchaeus Up a Tree

With the possible literary exception of Tarzan, real men do not climb trees.  At least they didn’t in the Middle East in the time of Jesus.  Neither did they run.  Running was for children, and professional messengers, and soldiers. ...
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