The Year of the Spoon

by Father John Cox

Orthodoxy is no stranger to theological disagreement. Our most fundamental doctrinal affirmations emerge from the forge of heated debates about the person and nature(s) of Christ and the hypostasis (or lack thereof) of the Holy Spirit. Among the many larger than life figures that belong to the story of these events Ss. Athanasius and Maximus the Confessor loom particularly large, not only for the theological acumen of their contributions, but also because of the pathos of their lonely struggle for Orthodoxy in the face of overwhelming opposition. But for every critical doctrinal dispute, Read More

Is Black Lives Matter Iconoclastic?

by Matthew Cooper

One of the common charges against the participants in the protests which began in Minneapolis[1] and spread virally around the country, and which frequently included the defacing and toppling of public statuary, is that the protesters are engaged in a new wave of iconoclasm[2]. Coming from political and cultural conservatives, these arguments claim that the protests are imbued with a new and dangerous religious impulse[3]. Now for Orthodox Christians, who follow the canons of the Seventh Ecumenical Council and venerate the great Orthodox iconophile, Saint John of Damascus, this charge of iconoclasm is grave, and should be investigated in earnest.
Read More

Descending to Ascend: Prayer as Initiation Into Divine Judgment in the Apophthegmata Patrum

The Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee has ever been a cornerstone of Orthodox spirituality. But as the Desert Fathers remind us, it has eschatological significance as well.

by Father Joseph Lucas

In Late Antique Christian monasticism, there existed an interplay between scriptural exegesis and the mystagogy of prayer. Reading the Bible through the lens of asceticism, the monks looked for keys to understanding their spiritual practices. There are numerous biblical passages that deal directly with prayer, such as Jesus’ directive to ‘go into your closet to pray,’ which is generally interpreted in ascetical literature as entering into the heart when praying. But other passages are more subtle, such as Luke 18: ‘The Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee.’ And yet this parable greatly influenced the way in which monks have understood prayer. Read More

Jerome and Ezra as Instaurator: A Study in Tradition

A mistranslation of Jerome has had far-reaching consequences. It is high time to put paid to this error.

by Father Stephen De Young

In the field of biblical criticism, few figures of the early Christian centuries carry greater weight of authority than Jerome.[1] The enlistment of Jerome in the service of arguments against the traditional Mosaic dating of the Torah, at least at its earliest redactional layers, may, therefore, serve as a locus classicus of this form of argumentation. Jerome is presently named as an early proponent of late[2] dating of the composition of the Torah by scholars across the hermeneutical spectrum. An investigation of Jerome’s comments in this regard in their original context reveals the weakness of this modern approach Read More

Rule of Faith Begins

It is given to our Orthodox Church through the Holy Spirit to fathom the mysteries of God. And she is strong in the holiness of her thought and her patience.
St. Silouan the Athonite

by The Editors

Welcome to Rule of Faith. Let us tell you about ourselves and our mission.

We are a diverse group of scholars — clergy, monastics, and laity — who nurture an abiding love for the Church and her Holy Tradition. We are eastern and western, “cradle” and convert, and represent various Orthodox jurisdictions. We are united in affirming the theanthropic life that the Church makes available to each of us through the Holy Spirit, by means of, and within, her Tradition. This life is Read More