St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology
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Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:
This month’s letter is from our study booklet on the Book of Romans, Chapter 8. It contains detailed Study Notes reflecting the teachings of St. John Chrysostom and St. Athanasius. Considering the significance of this Season – and the promise of salvation given to all by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – it seems worthy to seek out the deep richness of His gift. Below is a small taste of what is presented in this booklet (v. 1-3). Our hope is to inspire your interest in this booklet, as we contemplate Christ’s Baptism in the Jordan, developed further in the Orthodox Study Bible: Septuagint Old and New Testaments. It encourages faith and purpose for His Baptism.
8:1 Now therefore, there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ freed me from the law of sin and death.
1. Christ not only freed us from our former sins, as emphasized in previous chapters, but also He made us unconquerable in relation to future ones. For the words, Now therefore, established the transition to this future reality, which is explained in this chapter. Thus he says, There is no
condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. So in Baptism, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to assist us to walk in such a reality.
See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklet.
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Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:
As I write, we approach a day most familiar - CHRISTMAS. And yet, if we meditate upon the meaning of the wondrous joy welling up inside, we also find a sense of unanswered mystery. As we anticipate the coming celebration of the birth of our Lord God and Savior, it is hard not to wonder how we can adequately celebrate His birth.
It is strange and beyond comprehension. Yet, real and very physical. He, the Pantocrator, choose to be born to a family of little honor, unbeknown and no wealth, with an earthly step-father. Yet, it is the beginning of His Promised Incarnation - the anticipated age of the ages. This babe in the manger is the very power of the Promise of our renewed beginning – a redeeming of our lost relationship with Him and a reopening of Paradise to those made in His likeness and image.
See the attached PDF file for this month's full teaching.
Thirty four years ago, a group of evangelical Christians on the road to Orthodoxy founded St. Athanasius Academy with the vision of serving the Church through long distance study programs, theological studies, and research. From the start, they strategically focused on publishing materials for the laity, as well as producing audio and video tapes, and ultimately, the Orthodox Study Bible. Fifteen years ago, the Academy began to minister to prisoners who were discovering the Orthodox faith through their Prisoner Education Program, which provides study scholarships to qualifying students. Current Academy Director Paul Goetz says, "We have a steady prisoner-student list of 100 active prisoners. And we mean active. We grade and respond to nearly 120 lessons per month. Their enthusiasm is marvelous."
Adds Goetz, "Along with our Correspondence Division (its primary focus being the laity), and our Prisoner Education Project, we continue publishing our research. We are providing live classes – even webcam studies – on the Orthodox philosophy of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, Orthodox theology, studies the Book of Romans and the Gospel of John, and monastic principles for non-monastics. Even here, we provide detailed study notes based on the renowned Fathers of the Church."
Recently, antiochian.org interviewed Paul Goetz about the ongoing work of St. Athanasius Academy. Read the interview in full here.