Eastern Orthodox Christian Perspective on the “End Times”

Some time in 2007, I happened to be tuned in to a radio station and heard a discussion that struck me as highly relevant to this blog. Unfortunately, I wrote a draft but never got to the point of publishing it. So, 6 years later, here it is!

>> I was listening to the radio today and was amazed at how many of the apocalyptic points he hit on that overlapped with the site’s content. Although I’m not sure what to make of some of his theology, I do want to say that his knowledge of world affairs and evaluation of the direction the world is headed in is expansive and realistic, and stems from a strongly biblical perspective. Some major points he touches on are the compatibility of faith and reason, anthropologically-driven apocalypse, the unsustainability of modern civilization, and a few doctrinal issues.

Original link, now broken: http://www.wbez.org/Program_WV_Segment.aspx?segmentID=13012

Chicago Public Radio program description: Many in the United States are unfamiliar with the Eastern Orthodox Church. Many believe it’s just a Greek or Russian version of the Roman Catholic Church. Closer examination reveals that this ancient branch of Christianity differs from Roman Catholicism and also Protestantism in significant ways.

One commonly known belief of the Orthodox is its rejection of the Roman Pope’s supremacy. Some are familiar with what many call the “mysticism” of its liturgical practices. The Orthodox Church prefers the term “mystery” to “mysticism”. Orthodox teaching also rejects the Protestant Fundamentalist Dogma of literal interpretation of the Bible and the Eschatological doctrine known as “The Rapture”. Even less is known about the Eastern Orthodox view of the end times, also known as Eschatology.

As in most Christian sects, Orthodox Christians do believe in a “Final Judgment”, but the Orthodox differ in their belief in that people – ultimately – judge themselves…One Orthodox prayer says that God is “…everywhere present and fills all things.” Therefore, Hell, to the Orthodox Church, is only a metaphor. Hell isn’t a place of eternal punishment inflicted by God, but a human soul’s inability to participate in God’s infinite love, which is given freely and abundantly – to everyone – for all time.

His Eminence Archbishop Lazar Puhalo is a retired Hierarch of the Orthodox Church in America. He’s author of the book The Soul, the Body and Death, published by his own publishing company, Synaxis Press. He’s Abbott of the New-Ostrog Monastery in British Columbia, Canada.

Archbishop Lazar has written numerous books and articles on Orthodox theology and Christian history for over 40 years.

Archbishop Lazar Puhalo told Jerome how the Orthodox Church compares to other Christian faiths.

working MP3 link!

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