Here is the third installment of my video rants – check it out:
Here’s the second installment of my video rants, where I talk about all my academic and theological pet peeves.
Was there a time before orthodoxy (correct and authoritative doctrine) existed?
Hi Folks, I’ve just uploaded the first edition of a new series of video blogs… or as I call them, Video Rants – check it out – here’s where I will talk about all my academic and theological pet peeves.
Do you feel your life is fragmented, disorganized, chaotic? That your mind is always racing, that the pace of life is overtaking you? Author and lecturer James L. Papandrea helps you simplify your life, reduce stress, and understand your higher purpose by taking inventory and rebuilding the five homes of your life:
Body–a peaceful haven for your soul
Hands–meaningful work that fosters dignity and doesn’t create anxiety
Heart–a welcoming place that nurtures loved ones and a community of friends
Mind–a reflective outlet for creativity
Spirit–a tranquil place of Christian grace
If even one of the homes is unbalanced, harmony and peace can elude you. Contentment and meaning come only with order and structure in all five homes. An integrated workbook walks you through the steps to identifying your strengths and weaknesses. If you’re seriously interested in spiritual growth, changing negatives to positives, and reclaiming your higher purpose, Spiritual Blueprint is for you.
Spiritual Blueprint: The Blog is now available as an eBook on Amazon. If you want to have the entire two years of my blog in one place (especially if you missed a few) here it is at this link:
Thanks for reading, and remember: my new blog, Romesick: The Pilgrimage is coming at the beginning of December, so stay tuned…
Did you know that today is Milvian Bridge Day? October 28th is the day we commemorate the battle at the Milvian Bridge, and the victory that took place exactly 1,700 years ago today.
In the year 312, a general named Maxentius occupied the city of Rome and terrorized its citizens. Coming down from the north, the legions of Constantine approached. Maxentius had the bridges destroyed so Constantine’s army could not enter the city – so Constantine and his men camped outside the city and waited.
Maxentius consulted the pagan soothsayers, who told him that if he went out to meet Constantine in battle, the enemy of Rome would perish. Of course, Maxentius didn’t bother to ask who they meant by “the enemy of Rome.” He did march out to meet Constantine, by constructing a makeshift bridge out of a row of boats tied together.
Meanwhile, Constantine had a dream. In his vision, he saw the monogram of Christ emblazoned on the sky, and heard the voice of God saying, IN THIS SIGN, YOU WILL CONQUER! He put that symbol on the standards of his legions and marched into battle under the banner of Christ. Maxentius was defeated, and drowned in the river. Rome welcomed Constantine as a liberator, and the following year he was able to issue the Edict of Milan, which legalized Christianity, and in fact granted freedom of worship to all religions for the first time in history.
The point is not to glorify Constantine – there are many reasons why he should not be held up as a model Christian, not least of which is the fact that he postponed his baptism until the end of his life, so that he could be free to exercise the emperor’s right of capital punishment – even when the accused was a member of his own family. But in a time when religious freedom is becoming increasingly rare around the world, it’s worth remembering that for “one brief shining moment” (to quote the musical Camelot), there was an empire that gave religious freedom a shot. It didn’t last long because Constantine’s sons got too involved in the battles over heresy within the church, and then the emperor Julian tried to bring back paganism. All this led a later emperor named Theodosius to declare Christianity the only legal religion in the empire and the tables were irreversibly turned.
I know you’ve probably heard all kinds of myths about the emperor Constantine. Some of the worst stories about him are actually true. But he did not invent the doctrine of the Trinity*, he did not decide what books would be in the Bible, he did not write the Nicene Creed, and he did not create a marriage of church and state that made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Theodosius was the one who made Christianity the official religion of the empire, but not until almost 70 years later. So before you think Constantine was the worst thing to happen to the church and the world, think again. Granted, he was no saint (well, I guess he is a saint in the eastern Orthodox tradition), but he was no demon, either.
Milvian Bridge Day also marks the two year anniversary of the Spiritual Blueprint blog, and with that, this blog comes to an end. But a new blog will be launched in about a month, at the beginning of Advent. This new blog will continue the themes of living intentionally, and making life a journey, but will take this to the next level. If life is a journey, why not make it a pilgrimage?
My new blog will be called, Romesick: The Pilgrimage, and will include bite sized bits of spirituality for the daily walk. It will be found at www.Romesick.net (but not yet). I hope you will continue reading…
* If you want to find out how the doctrine of the Trinity really did get clarified, check out my newest book, Trinity 101.
This week’s blog is really just an announcement. My new book, Trinity 101 is out, and available on Amazon.
Trinity 101 is a short, very accessible book that traces the biblical background of the doctrine of the Trinity, as well as the historical development of the doctrine up through the Nicene Creed. It includes a line by line explanation of the Nicene Creed, including (for all the Catholics), the definition of the word, consubstantial.
The book’s website is www.Trinity101.org.
And as usual, there’s a short (1 min.) video teaser. Feel free to spread this around!