This week’s broadcast Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson clarifies and expounds on some of the points made in previous broadcasts on theology. week. These are some of the most fundamental issues man can face, so dealing with them is a delicate project. Rarely are these basic issues dealt with properly and rationally.
The thesis of this lecture-broadcast is that Christ was culturally a Greek. He abandoned the profoundly corrupt Jewish ruling class and broke with their legal provisions. He followed in the footsteps of the prophets in siding with those who would destroy this hegemony, the Romans.
Christians have proven time and time again that we will always have the readiness to bleed, suffer and die for our faith. Let us then go forth and participate as athletes in the contest for Christ, proving true the adage that the blood of the martyrs is closer to God than the ink of the theologians and the prayers of the faithful.
The 1st to 3rd centuries AD were a time of religious resurgence and upheaval in the ancient Near East. In Rome, the cults of Mithras, Isis and Serapis, once considered to be mere exoticisms, were becoming more widely accepted among the Roman middle and upper classes. Second Temple Judaism had suffered a rift with the crucifixion of Christ and the missionary work of Paul and the Apostles had turned Christianity, a once obscure group of Jewish schismatics, into a messianic force that would eventually become the state religion of the Roman Empire. Among the various mystery cults and apocalyptic movements (of which there were many) that had emerged in this climate, a curious religious movement whose adherents called themselves gnostikoi or “Gnostics” began to emerge around the time of the early 1st century and whose ideas would arguably survive up until the end of the 4th century.
Hildegard of Bingen was a twelfth-century seeress from Germany known for her ecstatic visions in which she would hear a voice from heaven that she described as the un-created “Living Light.” Hildegard had a deep impact on Western spirituality and mysticism, not only in her own day, but in recent years as interest in her has been rekindled in the contemporary era.
While incorrect on the nature of the Confederate secession, he was right on southern virtues and the results of the Civil War. His primary concern was natural law, not specific political agendas. While opposed to slavery with great vehemence, he loathed the notion of immediate slave emancipation without land or education.
Through our reciting of the Trisagion we are imitating the angels who perpetually glorify God in His majesty. This is further advanced by the act of ritually rising and falling during it’s recitation, always oriented towards the holy altar. We should aim to always incorporate the Trisagion into our personal prayers because in doing so we implore the mercies of the Holy Trinity into our lives. I would especially recommend the praying of the Trisagion especially during fast days.