2016 in Review

The most popular articles for 2016 (excluding my Readings in Universalism page, which has been the most popular feature of the blog for the past three years):

1) “Apocatastasis: The Heresy that Never Was

This article was originally written in 2015. In it I question whether the anti-Origenist anathemas, popularly though perhaps inaccurately attributed to the Second Ecumenical Council, dogmatically excludes presentations of the universalist hope along the lines propounded by St Gregory of Nyssa and St Isaac of Nineveh.

2) “The Essence/Energies Distinction and the Myth of Byzantine Illogic

Written by guest contributor Fr Christiaan Kappes, this article challenges the myth that scholasticism was alien to the medieval Byzantine Church. In fact, Byzantine greats such as St Mark of Ephesus and St Gennadios Scholarios were well acquainted with the writings of Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus and were happy to utilize their reflections in their presentation of the Orthodox faith.

3) “Sometimes Eternal Isn’t Forever

Originally written in 2014 and then revised in 2016, this article challenges the translation of aionios as “eternal” in the hell texts of the New Testament. Matters are not as black and white as often presented. At the very least there’s an argument to be made.

4) “Theodicy, Hell, and David B. Hart

The insightful articles, meditations, and comments of Brian Moore are well known to readers of Eclectic Orthodoxy. In this article Brian criticizes the popular use of text-proofing in defense of eternal damnation, as if theological reflection and the experience of the love of God might not lead us into a deeper understanding of the biblical witness.

5) “What is Orthodox Hell

This has been a reader favorite since I published it back in 2013. Orthodox polemicists like to argue that the now popular “river of fire” construal of damnation represents the consensual opinion of the Church Fathers. Matters are more complicated than that. Here is a topic waiting for some eager PhD student to tackle.

6) “The Problem of Hell and Free Will

Theologian Chris Green challenges the thesis, advanced by Fr Nicholas Loudovikos, that human beings are capable of so closing themselves to divine mercy that not even God can break through their absolute narcissism and bring them to repentance. “If damnation cannot in the end be overcome,” concludes Green, “it must be because God wills such an end, and that very willing is what makes it so that the damned freely choose not to be saved.” But who among the Orthodox and Catholics want to say this?

It’s been a good year for Eclectic Orthodoxy, even though I’m a tad disappointed that none of my original articles for the year made it into the top six. I suppose I’ve already written my most interesting thoughts and am now on the backside of my intellectual life.  🙂  It’s also true that my reading over the past year has been in areas that are of limited interest to most folks. Fortunately, the blog has been enriched by the articles of several guest contributors. I thank them for their contributions, and I thank you, our readers, for your continued support of Eclectic Orthodoxy!

May our God bless you in the year to come.

Under the Omnipotence,
Fr Aidan+

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2 Responses to 2016 in Review

  1. To be fair, you didn’t write that much in 2016…
    So it may be that the readers find your writings most interesting?


  2. Mike H says:

    My favorite post of yours in 2016 was Herbert McCabe, Robert Farrar Capon, and the Mystery of Divine Love.

    Good, challenging stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

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