About

Why Eclectic Orthodoxy? Simply because I find it is impossible for me to be anything but an eclectic Christian believer. This may be a tragic flaw in my character. All I know is that I have been on a spiritual journey–from Anglicanism to Catholicism and finally to Eastern Orthodoxy. To my surprise I found myself called into Western Rite Orthodoxy. I thought this was where God wanted me to exercise my priesthood. But life (God?) has for all intents and purposes retired me from parochial ministry. My wife has been afflicted with a painful medical condition for over six years. She is my ministry.

Perhaps one day I will share my journey at a deeper, more personal level. It is a journey filled with blunders, sins, wounds, regrets, tragedy, profound suffering, and spiritual darkness. I cannot say that I have gained any special wisdom. I certainly have not acquired greater knowledge. I used to read theology ravenously. I had even reached a point where I thought I was fairly fluent in the language of faith. For a few years I wrote a now defunct blog, Pontifications. Through the culpable negligence of those who hosted it, the original Pontifications has been lost; but some of the constructive pieces that I wrote for it have been archived at a resurrected Pontifications. But God has broken me. The Pontificator is dead. Much of what I thought I once knew has been, quite literally, stripped from me. Five years ago I became incapable of reading theology of any sort. When I tried to read a theological article or book, the words did not make sense. I almost lost my faith.  Six months ago this began to change. Suddenly I had a desire to read theology again. It was as if a cloud slowly lifted from my mind and I could finally make sense, at least a bit, of the theological reflections and arguments of others. My brain has not returned to its previous level of functioning, but I am finally enjoying theology again.

Why have I begun this blog? To share with others my theological ruminations on the Eastern Orthodox faith. I have learned one thing since becoming Orthodox: Orthodoxy is theologically more diverse than most Orthodox want to admit. The boundaries established by the Ecumenical Councils are clear and well-defined, but when it comes to other theological issues and questions, Orthodox theologians often disagree, sometimes quite contentiously. I quickly learned that when an Orthodox Christian prefaces his remarks with “The Fathers teach …” what you will probably end up hearing is not what the Fathers really did teach or what the Holy Orthodox Church authoritatively and irreformably teaches but rather one person’s very fallible, and occasionally ignorant, opinion, cloaked in the rhetoric of infallible dogma. “The Fathers teach” is the Orthodox equivalent to the evangelical pronouncement “The Bible teaches” and the Catholic pronouncement “The Church teaches.” These appeals to authority in order to preemptively close debate can be quite frustrating. The Catholic Church has the Pope to resolve doctrinal controversies, though anyone acquainted with Catholic theology knows that Catholic theologians have no compunction about disagreeing with the Pope on just about anything and everything. But who authoritatively speaks for the Orthodox Church? Like any other Orthodox priest, I have my favorite Eastern theologians—Alexander Schmemann, John Zizioulas, John Meyendorff, Hilarion Alfeyev, Kallistos Ware, John Breck, John Behr, Paul Evdokimov—but I have been bluntly told by more than one Orthodox priest that they are unreliable, progressive, heterodox, modernist, ecumenical. Oh my.

One thing for sure. I do not speak for the Orthodox Church. Hence the title of my blog, “Eclectic Orthodoxy.” Not only has my comprehension of the Orthodox faith been strongly influenced by Eastern theologians regarded as suspect by traditional Orthodox, but it continues to be influenced by the Western theologians who decisively formed my theological understanding of the catholic faith over the past thirty-five years—Thomas F. Torrance, Robert W. Jenson, E. L. Mascall, Robert Wilberforce, Martin Luther, Karl Barth, Joseph Ratzinger, Stanley Hauerwas, George Lindbeck, Herbert McCabe, and perhaps most importantly of all, C. S. Lewis.

So I have decided to begin reading the Church Fathers, beginning with St Gregory the Theologian. Why St Gregory? Because if he ain’t Orthodox, nobody is. In the Orthodox Church he is regarded as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs, along with St Basil the Great and St John Chrysostom. He has also been given the privileged title “Theologian,” a title that he shares only with the Apostle John and St Symeon. In the Latin Church St Gregory is acknowledged as one of the four Great Doctors of the Eastern Church. His writings decisively and formatively shaped the Church’s teachings on the doctrine of the Trinity, the divinity of the Holy Spirit, the hypostatic unity of the person of Christ, and theosis. Who better to learn the Orthodox faith from than St Gregory the Theologian?

There is one other reason I have decided to begin blogging again—for the sake of my sanity. On 15 June 2012 my second son Aaron died by suicide. His death has shattered my life and the lives of my wife and children. On June 22nd I preached his funeral homily and prayed the committal over his casket. Aaron’s death has changed and traumatized me at the core of my being, in ways that I have not yet begun to fathom. On most days I am overwhelmed by sorrow and grief. Curiously, only two things seem to provide some measure of respite—walking my dog, Tiriel, and theological reading. And so I continue to read St Gregory, for my sake and for the sake of my beloved son, Aaron Edward Kimel. Memory eternal.

And so for what it is worth, I will begin sharing with you my ruminations on the Church Fathers and other theologians. I can only offer my fallible, provisional opinions. I am neither a patristic scholar nor systematic theologian. I welcome discussion, analysis, criticism, scholarly documentation. I only ask one thing from you—civility. I have no interest in violently rehashing the polemical debates of past and present. If apologetics is your burning interest, then there are many internet forums and blogs you can visit. And I certainly have no desire to defend my orthodoxy against self-appointed guardians of doctrinal purity who deem me a heretic. My primary purpose here is to understand and learn from the men and women whose writings I will be discussing on this blog. Perhaps you would like to join in this conversation.

Fr Aidan (Alvin) Kimel

(email: tigana99 {at} hotmail.com)

86 Responses to About

  1. bob leggo says:

    May our Lord and saviour, give you the Grace to follow His holy will. Along with the prayers for Aaron and his ‘eternal memory’!

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  2. Fr. Al: Love the blog. Look forward to keeping up with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Charles Twombly says:

    Remember a very stimulating dinner conversation with you and an RC prof of history at Roberto in the Bronx. We were attending the “Orthodox Readings of Augustine” conference at Fordham in 2007. Blessings, Aidan/Al. Charles

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  4. sabrjet says:

    Al – I am so sorry about Aaron’s death, especially that it was suicide. That must have been a very difficult homily to give. I pray that you and the rest of your family will be put back together from the shattering. There will be bits missing and glue protecting some areas thoroughly, but you will be OK.

    I’m not sure you and I ever actually met back in the MD days – I worked at the bish’s office in Bmore, and one of my co-workers, Denise, went to your church. I was glad to see you as one of the original Bmore Declaration writers; I was sorry that you were one of the authors who kicked the dust off their shoes and headed elsewhere, though I understood why. I worked at that office from late 84 to late 86, leaving shortly before the mess w/ the assisting bishop. It seems like ancient history now.

    I hope I’ll be able to get to this blog! I’ve liked what I’ve read so far.

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  5. Ephraim Radner says:

    Glad to know you are engaged in holy conversations again. With prayers and affection, Ephraim

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  6. Cameron L. says:

    Fr. Al, as a recent convert to the Orthodox faith–it took me almost six years to get here–I’ve been loath to abandon my western heritage and concerns, though it would seem that some people in the church would love for us all to live as 18th century Russian peasants. Like you, I’ve also noted the fundamentalist tendencies, especially among some converts, to Protestantize the Orthodox faith into a closed system, rather than allowing it to be what it is: a path into deepening mystery, into the experience of union with Christ.

    Some years ago, it was explained to me that moving to Orthodoxy would be like swimming from the river’s mouth into the great sea beyond. I see this new blog of yours as a current flowing in that direction and look forward to reading along. Isn’t this the beauty of our faith–unity in diversity, a creative tension between the gift of Tradition and the mystery of existence, together with the blessing to work out our salvation with fear and trembling?

    May Aaron’s memory be eternal, and may you (and all of us) know with ever-increasing sureness the mercy and goodness of God.

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  7. Fr Aidan Kimel says:

    Cameron, thank you for your kind words. And thank you to everyone above who have commented. Thank you especially for your prayers for my son Aaron.

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  8. Fr. Kimel, we have never corresponded in any way, but I used to read your “Pontifications” blog. (I am a former Protestant and a Catholic convert and “revert.”)

    Today, I have read your words here with great interest– and, at the end, learning about the death of your beloved son, I read with tears. I am so very sorry for your loss, Father. So deeply, deeply sorry. I will praying for the peace of your son’s soul and for the comfort of you and your family members.

    I know, too well, the pain of the suicide of a close family member. I am not married and do not have children, but at nine years old, I lost my mother to suicide. There are still times of real pain and sadness for me, even now, thirty years later– but they have lessened, both in intensity and in occurrence. God has brought comfort and the will to continue. Please take care of yourself. You and your family will be in my fervent prayers.

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  9. J.S. Bangs says:

    Fr. Kimel, as an old reader of Pontifications, I’m happy to see you blogging again, though I’m deeply grieved to hear about your son. Memory eternal for your son. May the Mother of God keep you and your family. I’ll be reading.

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  10. Michael Patrick says:

    Father, bless. Aaron Edward memory eternal!

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  11. Father Aidan: Welcome back to the blogosphere! I am sorry to hear about your son Aaron. May light perpetual shine upon him.

    Bill
    (formerly An Anxious Anglican)

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  12. mgalliher555 says:

    Father Kimel — Asking your blessing, and offering my prayers. I was part of your Pontifications audience in 2003/2004 when I was being drawn from the Episcopal church to the Orthodox Church (after spending my 20’s in Peter Gilquist’s Evangelical Orthodox Church). Although I could not see myself becoming Catholic, I felt a duty to consider the Catholic Church’s claims. After months of intellectualizing and raking over church history, I finally concluded that both East and West make compelling claims that cannot be disproved on their own terms, and that my decision had to be based on my own sense of what the “right church” should look like — a sense that was no doubt already influenced by 10 years in the Orthodox orbit. And I suppose it should be like that. Our hearts are made to be taught and then to act on what they have learned. My wife has been Catholic her whole life, and for her that church is so deeply “home” that she cannot imagine being orthodox.

    Anyway, I am so sorry for your losses in life, Father, but I am glad to encounter again someone who in the past provided me a stady lamp-post.

    Wishing you well.

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  13. marshmk says:

    Thank you Fr. Kimel. Your words resonate deeply within me. I am searching not for the dogma and doctrine of right answers but the life to which that dogma and doctrine point. Our son died about three years ago. May his soul, the soul of your son, and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Death has, for me, made theology and life more real and beautiful than the often simplistic quoting of the Fathers, the Church, the Bible, or the Tradition can answer.

    God’s peace be with you and your family.
    Mike+

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  14. Anglican Peggy says:

    Father, you break my heart. But I mean that in a good way. It is surely by the grace of God that you have survived what you have been through to not only still believe but to also venture into blogging again. I have followed your journey since the final years of Pontifications. I remember trying to argue you out of leaving Anglicanism, obviously to no avail. I am still an Anglican, who is both restive as to our leadership but also truly at home within that tradition particularly with the liturgy. But I will always have an ear for what you have to say, especially now that you have gone through such a fire to emerge on the other side. As always, I pray for the best for you and your family. May God bless you and your new blog. Welcome back.

    PS. You may know me as StayinAnglican, a long time member of Stand Firm. But that handle was chosen to express my defiant pride in the Anglican Tradition. Its fine for over there, but not so much over here where I am a guest. So I will go with one a little less contrary for when I am visiting your new internet home.

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  15. james says:

    Hello, I just stumbled across your site. I really like all the articles on St. Isaac. I am a recent catechumen (Bulgarian Orthodox diocese). I live in Roanoke VA, & go to church at St. Innocent in Salem VA. Are you still in the Roanoke area? just curious…

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  16. Dwight Penas says:

    Fr. Aidan,
    I was an avid follower of Pontifications. We exchanged messages on a couple of occassions. And I remember all that fondly. I look forward to following this. I resonate with much of what you write here; you even name most of my theological guides! perhaps you can attend the CCET CONFERENCE and we could actually meet face-to-face. Salaam.
    Dwight

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  17. mary benton says:

    Hi Fr. Aiden,
    I’ve been behind on my blog reading lately and hope to go back and read some of the posts I missed. I saw today that you are reading Lament for a Son for Holy Week. It is on my bookshelf – I read it a couple of years ago. I will re-read it with you this week (Lectio Divina style), with prayers for you, your wife and family.

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  18. Marc says:

    Father, I just want you to know that I really love your love for your reposed Son. When I consider the terrible loss I had upon holding my three beautiful still born grandchildren and having to let them go, and having to deal with my oldest sons seizures at 15 and my youngest son’s going in harms way twice with the Army in Iraq, I truly feel for your loss. May our Lord give you the strength to carry on as His servant and Father in the Faith to those who seek to grow in the grace and knowledge of what our wonderful Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ wants us to share together.
    .

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  19. Thomas says:

    Fr Kimel, I appreciate your blogging. Grace be with you

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  20. Robert C Singler Jr says:

    I saw your collection on Scribd and loved it. Then a friend had mentioned how great this blog was but today I connected the two after seeing some posted comments with your name! I thought, man I need to know this A. Kimel guy. Piss em’ off, heterodox or not! Your approach is great and I say that as someone who enjoys abrogation as a close second to love (to my shame, yes). Thank you.

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  21. Scholiast says:

    Given TF Torrance’s friendship with John Zizioulas and the giant icon of St. Athanasius the man kept in his study and the fact that the Orthodox priests of Edinburgh (one of whom is a Greek with a PhD in Patristic theology) hold his memory in high regard — I think he’s among the western theologians ‘safe’ for Orthodox reading!

    I’m interested to dig into your visions of Eclectic Orthodoxy, Fr Aidan! 🙂

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    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      I corresponded with TFT for over twenty years. He always replied to every letter I sent him. I also had the opportunity to meet with him privately on two occasions up at Princeton. He was a exceptionally gracious, as well as brilliant, man, and he loved the Lord. His Trinitarian Faith remains one of my favorite books. Did you know that he was made an honorary protopresbyter by Archbishop Methodios Fouyas of the Greek Orthodox Church?

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      • Scholiast says:

        I didn’t know that he was made an honorary protopresbyter! That’s very cool.

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      • I am so interested in this regard for Torrance. It’s been more than ten years ago, before I converted to Orthodoxy, that I heard about him on the Mars Hill Audio Journal, and at that time his theology seemed in line with what I was learning about Orthodoxy. I had put his books on my wish list, but never got around to them. It’s wonderful to hear that he had this very personal and honored connection to the eastern Church.

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  22. James Lung says:

    I have attempted to find you a number of times since Pontifications went down. I can’t believe I stumbled on to the blog (I googled “conscious non being.”

    I look forward to catching up. I am saddened to hear of your loss. I cannot imagine the crucible you live in after the loss of your son. You and your family and your ministry will be in my prayers every day.

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  23. Father, I find your about section itself to be an inspiration. I wanted to share some quotes from a blog of mine, but ill just share the blog. I think you’ll find it as refreshing as I did and may God help us to be auch Christians:

    http://orthodoxruminations.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/things-i-love-to-hear-from-intellectually-honest-humble-christians/

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    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      Thank you, Jonathan, for your kind words and for the link to your article. Like you, I have strong religious convictions, but the challenge facing me is how to speak of them and argue about them without (a) being rude and obnoxious and (2) falling into ideology. Ideology is easy. All one has to do is adopt a “system” and argue it to the death. I remember one professor of mine in college remarking about me, “Al, one thing about you–you will argue your position till the cows come home, no matter how strong the counter-evidence” (rough paraphrase). I think that goes back to my debate days in high school. Not only have I often appeared foolish, ignorant, and closed-minded; but I have also hurt people by my incivility and lack of pastoral concern.

      But God is too important, and too incomprehensible, to allow oneself to fall into ideology and a destructive dogmatism. IMHO. I am trying to retire from ideology … trying.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Orthodox Ruminations says:

        I agree, Father. I have come to see that life isn’t black and white. It is black, white, and gray. It is very paradoxical. I think we are all too often binary. Not that that is bad, but that we ignore the paradox. We become ideological as you said. I was like this, but thankfully I’m beginning to grow out of it with wise men like you and Father Stephen Freeman in my life. Elton Trueblood once said, “One of the best contributions which Christian thought can make to the thought of the world is the repetition that life is complex. It is part of the Christian understanding of reality that all simplistic answers to basic questions are bound to be false. Over and over, the answer is both-and rather than either-or. ”

        We must learn to wrestle. Those who don’t like to wrestle with the paradox (which should be no Orthodox since we are all about paradox) end up being ideological and binary. we must live in the in-between of the black and white. it is a very tough issue. thank you for your inspiration to not be like that Father. And for more on the binary stuff I refer you to my Anglican buddy’s fantastic blog from which I stole the Trueblood quote:

        http://carsontclark.com/uncategorized/24182/binary-categorization

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  24. Marianne Bacon says:

    I deeply relate to your sorrow. My eldest child may be killing herself with alcoholism. The anguish you have had and that I have is bitter, grey, dismal, saturating. May God bless our children, and us.
    Gratefully,
    Marianne Bacon

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  25. Dcn. Scott Bennion says:

    From the Western theologians you list above…What books in particular from each author did you find the most insightful?

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  26. Dcn. Scott Bennion says:

    Thanks Fr. Aidan for putting that list together so quick. What about significant titles by the Eastern theologians you mention?

    On another note, are you still part of ROCOR. I’m an Anglican deacon.

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  27. Mark Powell says:

    Fr. Kimel:
    Thank you for sharing the funeral homily for your son.

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  28. Ronald Neff says:

    1. So sorry to hear of Chris’s condition. Please assure her of my prayers for her.

    2. Are you familiar with Robert Capon’s book Exit 36?

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    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      Hi, Ronn. Good to hear from after all these years. Thank you for your prayers.

      I have not read Exit 36, though I did read a bunch of Capon way back when. He has some great stuff that is particularly useful for us who are preachers. I love how he always takes us back to the unconditional love of God.

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  29. Fr. David Terwilliger says:

    Fr. Aidan, So good to see your blog. You may not recall but the two of us conversed a number of times quite a few years ago. Thank you for sharing of your self in the way you have here and may the God of all Mercy and Love bless and keep you and yours.
    David Terwilliger+

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  30. What exactly is “Western Rite Orthodoxy” and how does it differ from the rest of Eastern Orthodoxy?

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  31. Fr. – I have great appreciation for your theme of borrowing from the “Most Interesting Man in the World” ad campaign. Theology should be done with a smile, and at least if we don’t begin that way, to let our ruminations and prayers end along those lines is well done. Tears are good, too, but tears that lead to gratitude – especially as born in dedication to bring love and laughter to others… even more. I see a parallel between these lines, the Dos Equis ads, and an Orthodox love for Augustine as an appreciation for the unwritten and unknown prayers of the heart that save us from the tracks we leave in the sands. Professor Albert Rossi (St. Vlads) has a wonderful line that applies not just as he uses it, but reflexively, retroactively, and beyond: “Be gentle with yourself”. May you find solace in your ruminations, prayers, and journey for you, your family and all of us.

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  32. Apologies. I’ve used the word “iconoclast” to describe icons in the past. Have now been corrected that this means to “destroy icons” whereas the proper term I was looking for was “iconodoulia”.

    I read the homily to your son. It is my opinion that if God is real, your son is now resting there with him waiting for his body. It seems fishy to me to think that one who spent his life searching found absolutely nothing in the end.

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  33. Bill Beacom says:

    Fr. Kimel,

    My thoughts, sympathies and prayers are with you and your family and for your son Aaron. I am sorry for your loss. My oldest son is also named Aaron and due to some sinful choices on my part, we are now estranged. Even with the sorrow I experience at this earthly separation, I cannot fathom the depths of the loss you and your family endures. Please know that in faith I share also in the hope of God’s mercy, for me and my son, and you and yours.

    In Him,
    Bill

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  34. William B. says:

    Fr Aidan,

    My wife recently came across your blog post “Universalism: What are the odds.” Anyway, I became a Universalist/Universal Restorationist, etc, November 2012, my wife is not ready to make the leap. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the post and I have perused around a little and will continue to peruse, but I do not have a lot of time to comment. However, I would be remiss if I did not post a link to Waclaw Hryniewicz’s book The Challenge of Our Hope: Christian Faith in Dialogue at http://www.crvp.org/book/Series04/IVA-32/front.htm as it includes the two chapters that you have referenced on Soteriology of Universalism and St Isaac the Syrian. As you can see, he also has a chapter on Julian of Norwich/Thomas Merton.

    Much blessings to you,
    William

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  35. Loo says:

    Fr. Aidan,
    Thank you for sharing all of your insightful thoughts on this blog. I am in the process of converting to Eastern Orthodoxy, and one of the things I really love about the tradition is the room for real discussion and difference on many theological matters, especially things such as the possibility of universal salvation. I admit that deep in my heart I hope and have faith and trust that God, in His infinite wisdom and love, will redeem all to him (the whys and hows are beyond me, though I like to imagine at times what this would look like.)
    Having said these things, I am sometimes fall into the, “If we’re all going to be saved, what’s the point of doing all that stuff like going to church and all of the things that church asks of us?” conundrum. I have my own thoughts, but there must be people wiser than I who have touched on this. I know in my heart that there is something to be gained by drawing closer to God in this life, but I’m having difficulty expressing it. Do you know of any specific resources which speak to the necessity of Christianity and the Church in light of the potential salvation of all?

    Bless you,
    Loo

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    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      Welcome, Loo, both to EO and EO.

      The hope for the ultimate salvation of all is, as you no doubt know, a minority opinion within Orthodoxy. Some will tell you quite bluntly that it is a heretical opinion.

      You ask, if all will be ultimately saved, what’s the point of faith, Church, liturgy, and so on? St Paul addresses this question in his Epistle to the Romans, chapter 6. Meditate on that for a while and see if the answer comes to mind.

      May I also suggest that you read my series of postings on St Isaac the Syrian, beginning with “Preaching the Astonishing Love of God.”

      Like

      • Loo says:

        Thank you, Father!
        I will remain with a quiet and humble hope for the salvation of all, but I think I will be in good company. I will take some time to consider Romans 6, and read your series.

        Like

  36. D'Arcy Patrick Richardson says:

    Interesting and very moving. THANK YOU
    Sincerely

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  37. Chris Atwood says:

    Dear Fr. Kimel,
    I am happy to meet you again from another quondam blogger (“Three Hierarchies”). My deepest sympathies on your loss. Every body’s pain is different and knows its own medicine, but in a similar (but lesser) agony, I have found Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “The Minister’s Wooing” (based on also losing her son) to be both cathartic and comforting.

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  38. John K. says:

    I just wanted to say you have a great blog. Peace and blessings.

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  39. So glad I found your blog!

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  40. hi Alvin, thanks for you, for your words, for your ‘ministry’. Our life is our ministry. You are like Jesus. Jozsef

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  41. Pingback: An Eastern Orthodox priest says I know nothing of God « Why Evolution Is True

  42. Michael Ramey says:

    You’re a hero of mine, Fr. Aidan. Thank you for your ministry to Christ.

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  43. John f. Morariu jr. says:

    Fr. Aidan, thank you!!!!! John M.

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  44. Although I have been reading your blog for several months, via a friend’s post on Facebook, I have only now read the “about” article. I grieve for your loss of Aaron; I had suspected the cause might be suicide, a compulsion my husband toys with that I have been combating with my prayers, sympathy and love, especially in the last year. I thank you for sharing your wisdom, faith and hope with us. Your spiritual voyage through Anglican, Catholic and finally Orthodox denominations has given you a broad spectrum insight into Christianity. Your suggestions for further reading are most appreciated, and, finally, C. S. Lewis has been my favorite author since I first discovered him in the early 1970s. God bless you and keep you.

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  45. Samuel Farrugia says:

    thank you so much for this blog. I am a Fundamentalist become Pentecostal become Baptist become Catholic. Yeah, “eclectic” seems to fit the bill 🙂 May our Lord strengthen you now and always.

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  46. I love that you say your wife is your ministry. I am sorry for the loss of your son. It has not been an easy journey for you. I pray from here on end, you will find life to be full of blessings and the road softer under your feet. I was raised by a Catholic mother and an Orthodox father neither of whom were religious but I have always found the differences in faiths to be interesting. Glad to have found you here on WordPress.

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  47. jared says:

    God bless holy, humble, and rational people, god bless you Aiden Kimel.

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  48. Cynthia Lease says:

    May God send you comfort dear one. Suffering can, if we let it, turn our energies toward our journey toward God.

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  49. Agnikan says:

    Fr Kimel, have you tried retrieving the old Pontifications documents using the Internet Archive WaybackMachine ( https://archive.org/web/ )?

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    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      Yes, but only with very partial success. Some company quickly bought up my URL addresses for the blog, with the result that Wayback will not make its archives available. At one point I even tried to buy the old address, but the company wanted an exorbitant price. Sigh.

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  50. +Aidan, what a wonderful website…thank you. It’s filled with rich things. God’s keeping as you care for your wife. May God grant you peace in the middle of it all.

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  51. Christiana says:

    Hullo! I’ve been reading what you’ve been writing without knowing who you were. (Though, I mean, how much do we really know the people around us? Or ourselves?) Anyway, I was reading the argument underneath your most recent Universalist post when I realized you were a priest. That made me really happy. Sometimes I think priests have their opinions and everything’s settled for them. I forget they’re human and they learn and learn and learn like I do. Very rarely have priests opened up their mind for me to peer into. I don’t usually get to see the wheels turn. Please keep writing. I hope you, your wife, your children and your dog have a nice Lent. 🙂 ❤

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  52. Sudduth Rea Cummings says:

    Dear Father, You may recall we knew each back in your Maryland days when I was Rector of Timothy’s, Catonsville, and I enjoyed and admired your courage and writings. I was vaguely aware of your spiritual journey but not your family travails and my heart and prayers are with you. From another priest, I recently found your blog. May the Lord continue to bless your writing.

    In Christ,
    Sudduth Rea Cummngs+

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  53. Ron Sr. says:

    Dear Fr, Aiden,

    Sorry for the lose of your son. First time visitor and came across some of your articles from a comment on a blog post at http://www.calledtocommunion.com.

    What a journey! In a sense, unique. I must admit that I love the Orthodox Church. I’m a cradle Catholic and plan to die Catholic. Do you have any incite or information on the upcoming Ecumenical Council called for in 2016, in Constantinople? Will unity with the Catholic Church be discussed?

    Just interested.

    In Christ,

    Ron

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  54. Ron Sr. says:

    Thanks Fr. Aiden,

    I hope they at least touch upon the unity question. It hurt to hear “except Rome.” I’ll keep my crossed. I’ve listened to several Fr, Thomas Hopko podcasts on this subject. Its going to take some chatestropic to bring about unity. It may be beginning now in the Middle East.

    In Christ,

    Ron

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  55. Dear in Christ, Fr. Aidan–
    We have a particular prayer list on our Altar for suicides. I’ll be adding your son to it.
    Have to confess I didn’t get the “Hellfire Club” piece. I sense it was a very rarefied literary
    spoof that sailed right over my head.
    In any case, may the Lord hold you and your Matushka in the hollow of His Hand.
    Beannacht–

    Fr,. James Rosselli
    St. Joseph of Arimathea Orthodox Church
    and House of Prayer
    La Porte IN

    Like

    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      Fr James, you weren’t the only one to not get the Hellfire Club joke. I should have provided some context for it. Oh well. Sometimes the magic works and sometimes …

      Thank you for your prayers for my son Aaron. I miss him more than I can say. The anniversary of his death is next Monday, June 15th.

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  56. mary says:

    Hi Fr. Aidan,

    I just read your Lamentation. I wanted to let you know that I am still prayerfully mindful of the loss you and your family sustained – for it was then that I “met” you and began learning from Orthodoxy. (Strange how experiences intersect like the threads of a tapestry…)

    Thank you for having the courage to write of your experience. You may be helping to save a life. As a psychologist, I talk to many people who contemplate suicide and so often they are no idea how deep and lasting is the pain they leave behind. They can only think of the pain they want to escape. Perhaps someone will read what you have written and realize that they simply cannot do that to another person, no matter how much they are in pain themselves.

    Just a few days ago, someone asked me to pray for a friend who committed suicide. I had quite a deep spiritual experience with this. I will not write of it here – but only say that it led me to believe, as I told you I experienced with Aaron, that he is all right.

    May the love of the risen Christ be with you and your family now and always.

    Mary Benton

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  57. Dear Fr. Kimel: Not often do I leave a comment the first time I read someone’s blog information. But your’s offers authenticity and I identify on many levels, both with the impact of suicide on loving family members and its impact on one’s faith, but also the journey of spiritual understanding as you describe it, one that Ill-defined once one begins to wrestle with the layers of Christianity and finds that religion/belief cannot put God in a box nor do our beliefs contain so easily and comfortably. It seems to me that an observation tells us that an honest look with an innocent projection is where freedom of faith begins to blossom. I am an evangelical who has a great appreciation for Anglican, Catholic, and Orthodox traditions. I, as well, was stripped clean of my beliefs so that God could bring me to “God alone” for my sustaining nourishment. I was blocked by my short-sightedness. Your blog was shared with me today by my Orthodox cousin. Last September on my blog I posted a remembrance concerning my sister whom we lost to suicide. My cousin saw similarities in what we have both experienced, and she thought of me while reading yours. My sister was thirty-three when we lost her. Should you wish to read my tribute about her, you can find it on my blog as one of my most frequented posts at nlbrumbaugh.com. I am sorry for the loss of your son. Peace to you and your loved ones. Norma Brumbaugh

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  58. DM says:

    I can’t even begin to articulate how deeply your autobiographical comments have resonated with me; thank you for your honesty, and God bless you.

    Like

  59. cityhermit2015 says:

    Dearest Father, Your blessing! I have recently discovered you and have been following you closely since. I have been most moved by your personal story and cross. If it is not too painful for you, would you please on my last blog entry on a child’s loss? https://orthodoxcityhermit.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/heartbreaking-anatomies-of-loss-death-mourning-iexemption/
    Not necessarily in a public manner. Such an approach to mourning and loss is profoundly un-Christian as far as I am concerned, and adds further sorrow to those afflicted, but maybe I do not know what I am talking since I have never experienced such a profound loss. Thank you and God bless you.

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  60. Pingback: My Journey to the Orthodox Church | Practice Resurrection

  61. Just stumbled across this blog by ‘accident’ and feel so drawn to it, such resonance that I wonder if it may be one of those ‘accidents’ that are the hand of God.

    Like

  62. lcgeen says:

    I’ve been meaning to say for some time-I love your blog and very much appreciate your contributions. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  63. Mike says:

    Hi. You quote Opperwall’s dissertation on the Holy Spirit in the work of Nazianzus. How did you get hold of this? And how would one reference it?

    Like

  64. James Lung says:

    Been reading you off and on since you were Episcopalian. You are a remarkable gift to the church. God bless you, your wife, and the memory of your son.

    Like

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