2016 FALL CLASSES
When it comes to understanding and learning about Orthodoxy – Orthodox Christianity – there is a narrative that must be understood from the beginning. If you eschew the narrative, you miss the point and you fail to see the light that Christ has provided to us. I say the foregoing because you – the reader or inquirer or Orthodox Christian – will rely on the present to understand the past; you will define the past in present terms; this would be a grave mistake because you will live a life of delusion. The Truth speaks for itself and will assist you in understanding the present.
There are two lungs to worldwide Christianity: West and East. Both lungs, while attempting to breathe the life of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, are doing so differently. The West, through the course of history, is highly fragmented. The religious West owes the entirety of its heritage and existence to the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Western Christianity exists because of Roman Catholicism or in reaction to Roman Catholicism. Either way, if Roman Catholicism were to instantaneously disappear, Western Christianity would have no basis on which to exist.
Eastern Christianity, also known as Orthodox Christianity, did not undergo the history, schisms, battles, and struggles that were experienced in the West. On the contrary, Orthodox Christianity had to face a dramatically different history – a history of oppression and conquests by the Persians, Islam, Mongols, and Communism wherein Orthodox Christianity's mere survival was a victory.
If there is anything that can be said about Orthodox Christianity it is this: there is no conflict between good history and good theology. Orthodox Christianity's existence today, in a small community like Manassas, Virginia, is a testament to the reality of history and truth – believing in the Truth and victory.