I'll Come Speak

    I write and speak on all sorts of topics: ancient Christian spirituality and the Eastern Orthodox faith, the Jesus Prayer, marriage and family, the pro-life cause, cultural issues, and more. You can contact Cynthia Damaskos of the Orthodox Speakers Bureau if you’d like to bring me to an event. This Calendar will let you know when I’m in your neighborhood.


Powered by Squarespace

Entries in Christian Apologetics (52)


Marketing Narnia

[Beliefnet, June 20, 2001] 

 Just hours after the New York Times hit doorsteps on the first Sunday of this month, my e‑mailbox began to fill with distraught messages. "Sit down before you read this, in case you start crying," wrote one friend, and another muttered "Poor Lewis must be turning over in his grave."

Click to read more ...


Monkey Can, Monkey Do?

[Beliefnet, May 29, 2001]

It's got the head of a monkey and the body of a monkey. But not the same monkey.

You probably don't want to hear any more details of this Mondo Bizarro medical news item. According to pioneering scientist Robert White, the mix-and-match creature he fabricated in a 1970's experiment survived for "many days." This experiment raised hopes, he told the BBC in an interview last month, because "People are dying today who, if they had body transplants, ...would remain alive."

Click to read more ...


Easter Changes Everything

[Beliefnet, April 14, 2001]

It’s that time of year again, when school children are coloring pictures of Jesus hanging from a cross, and shop-owners fill their windows with gaily colored cutouts of the Flogging at the Pillar. In the malls everyone’s humming along with seasonal hits on the sound system, like “O Sacred Head Sore Wounded” (did you hear the Chipmunks’ version?). Car dealers are promoting Great Big Empty-Tomb Size discounts on Toyotas.

Yes, it’s beginning to look a lot like Easter. Who hasn’t been invited to an “In His Steps” party, where players move plastic pieces around a board emblazoned with a map of Jesus’ last suffering day in Jerusalem?

Click to read more ...


The Hidden Gospels

[Los Angeles Times, April 14, 2001]

Imagine a convocation of New Testament scholars, circa 2100 AD, poring over a recently discovered cache of ancient scrolls. What a delightful, mystical figure Jesus cuts here! He’s hardly like the fire-and-brimstone version promoted in the establishment Gospels. Surely this is the *real* Jesus, the one suppressed for so long by a rigid hierarchy.

Sad, isn’t it, that all previous generations of scholars were too hidebound and fundamentalist to perceive the truth. Like those folks in the Jesus Seminar, a hundred years ago.

Click to read more ...


God Isn't Dead, I Talked With Him this Morning

[Beliefnet, March 27, 2001]

“God isn’t dead‚ I talked with Him this morning.”

There’s a sweet naivete in this bumper sticker from a few decades ago, as it blithely eludes the complexities of the old “God is Dead” debate. Though philosophers wrestle with Resurrection texts and idiosyncrasies, these believers find such angst irrelevant. They know God personally, and hand-wringing about whether he’s there or not is a waste of time.

Click to read more ...



[Beliefnet, March 19, 2001]

I’ve got an idea for a movie script guaranteed to win an Oscar. We’ll call it “Sizzle.” See, there’s a village in India where all the people think there’s something bad about eating beef. It’s part of their religion, which says they should repress their desires and hate pleasure.

Then this sexy young cowboy comes to town and opens up a grill. All day long it’s thick steaks frying, or maybe some tender filets, and sometimes he dishes up a few racks of barbecued ribs.

Click to read more ...


Jack Chick Tracts

[Beliefnet, July 2000]

What's 2 3/4 by 5 inches and can scare the hell out of you?

Gotta be one of these miniature comic books put out by Chick Publications. You've probably seen them before, maybe picked one up in a phone booth or fast-food joint. Each booklet is about twenty pages long, and makes a pitch for the Gospel through a dramatic story told in cartoon format.

Click to read more ...


How to Know Jesus?

[Beliefnet, June 20, 2000]

Of the many mysteries about Jesus, this may be the greatest: why we continue to care about him. Brave leaders and wise teachers by the score have passed through these 2,000 years, but none has continued to resonate like he does.

From the end of his earthly life Jesus has captured and commanded hearts in every century and every land. (Christianity isn't a "Western religion"; Western ignorance of the ancient Eastern church doesn't mean it doesn't exist.)

Jesus has no parallel in human history.

Click to read more ...


"The Book of Heaven"

[Los Angeles Times, May 13, 2000]

"The Book of Heaven," by Carol Zaleski and Philip Zaleski, Oxford University Press, 448 pages, $35.

Imagine there's a heaven. At the word, a pop-up tableau instantly unfolds and feathers from moulting wings drift into the air. Before a plywood set spray-painted gold, choir voices sing with determined cheer, like a power drill going through steel.

Click to read more ...


Trusting Tradition

[Touchstone, April 2000] 

My young nephew Thomas had been attending an Orthodox church with his dad for several months, and must have been impressed by an exclamation the priest makes at the turning point of the service. When the scripture readings and sermon are concluded, the priest says, "The doors! The doors! In wisdom, let us attend!"

Click to read more ...