Almost There (And None Too Soon)

Well, I continue work on the presentation about the Orthodox Church that I’ll be giving in just a little over a week. I have greatly scaled back on the talk (trying to exercise rhetorical sensitivities to my audience as mostly first-timers in their exposure to Orthodoxy). So I pushed a lot into a “supplemental resources” packet (sorry, 89 pages in pdf–overkill?). The talk itself is going into PowerPoint format. I’m trying to nail down content, and then see what I can do about design. No lasers and dry-ice machines, but it needs to be more visually appealing.

This has been a good invitation/project for me. I’ve got to take the equivalent of five years (plus) of private research and learning, and put it into a format that is accessible to folks that I have to assume will have little to no exposure to the Orthodox Church. Further, this will be an audience who will likely have little to no exposure to some of the technical philsophical/theological terminology which I would otherwise be able to use as something of a shorthand. I am being forced to introduce concepts and histories for which I will have to find non-technical terminology and/or definitions. This is a good thing. But it is a hard thing. One advantage I have is that I was raised in this Christian milieu, so there are things about it that are very, very familiar to me. But this is also a disadvantage in a way: I will have to be very careful that my familiarity does not come off as a lack of deference. I owe a great deal to my heritage churches, and I want that to come off clearly–even though my reception into the Orthodox Church must no doubt be perceived as an implicit critique of my heritage churches.

I’m still somewhat flabbergasted at how all this sort of serendipitously worked itself out. It’s a unique opportunity I have never had before, and do not anticipate having again. May the Lord make this a blessing not only to my hearers but to me as well.

8 thoughts on “Almost There (And None Too Soon)

  1. Sounds like you’re on the right track. Slots often offered are sometimes no more than 20 minutes – including Q & A. Wonder whether you don’t find yourself pushed towards something akin to Fr. Sarducci’s “The three things you’ll need to know from college for cocktail parties” (SNL) as about all you can really hope to offer? Pretty big challenge.

    But my guess is that if they asked, they still love you there. So I’m sure you’ll do a fine job. Best of luck!

  2. Father, bless.

    Actually, the content is already on this blog. If you type “where is the church” in the search bar to this blog, you will pull up a series of posts I did a few years back. I’m pulling from the central posts on the four cardinal marks of the church. I would like to revise the posts a bit, some parts are a bit weak.

    that’s the first third or so of the talk. The other is on Orthodox history. And then they’ve asked me to give an account of my personal journey.

  3. Yeah, 2000 years of Church History, an overview of Orthodox theology, and a short summary of a 10 year journey… g’dluckwiththat, mate. 🙂 May it be blessed. Just look at it as “salt” rather than meat. Make ’em thirsty, don’t try to feed them a meal.

  4. If it would be at all helpful, my attempt at explaining the Authority of Scripture in the Orthodox Church to Lutherans can be found here:

    I experienced a similar ‘expansion’ of the text as it swelled with footnotes, bibliography, appendices, etc. in an attempt to say everything that needed to be said. Of course, I only presented two sections of it. In fact, I think the best part is simply the works and authors and saints referenced, i.e., primarily sources.

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