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St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology

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November 2012 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

A Protestant friend steps into an Orthodox Church and carefully comments: “Quite beautiful, he said, but doesn't the Bible warn against graven images?"

His concern was sincere as his Old Testament law warns, "You shall have no graven images" (Ex. 20:4). So, do the icons portraying Jesus the Christ, His Mother, the saints, and biblical events, represent graven images? First, icons were not inventions of the apostate medieval Church. Instead, from the earliest, they proved a good tool for piety and instruction, with images of the cherubim being integral to the Jewish Temple.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

October 2012 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

"Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." – Luke 23:43

A good and dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy, Fr. Deacon Howard Shannon recently departed to the Lord. He was best of friends with the recently departed Fr. Richard Ballew, Fr. Jack Sparks, and Fr. Peter Gillquist. Together as a team, they were in constant pursuit of the Lord’s Grace and Truth. Dn. Howard will be remembered as a man with the spirit of true charity, opening his heart to the many in need of the Lord and His gentle-kindness.

+ UNIQUE AMONG MEN, MAY HIS MEMORY BE ETERNAL.

Deacon Howard loved the Academy, especially our prison ministry program. He appreciated our careful attentiveness to the special needs of people with troubled lives, living difficult, almost hopeless lives. He will be dearly missed as a good friend to our prisoner-students, yet we joy in his being in Paradise.

In remembrance of his caring love of people, we offer the following letter from a prisoner-student....

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

September 2012 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

A question from the OCPM convocation in Minneapolis with our response.

Q: WHY DOES EACH HUMAN PERSON, EVEN THE MOTHER OF GOD, SIN AND MISS THE MARK?

First, let us establish and contrast the name “Jesus” and the term “the Christ”. Matt 16: 13-16 points to Jesus being the Divine Person and Son of the living God the Father. And through His Incarnation, we also know Jesus as “...the Christ”, being fully God AND fully man in His two distinct natures.

Even more, through Mary and in the Holy Spirit, Jesus is also known as Son of Man and Son of God. Thus, Jesus being the divine person while yet the Christ, via His two natures – He is the Lawgiver and Perfect One. He is the One Who sets the mark to which all compare, for His being Jesus our Christ, born of a woman – cannot sin, nor miss His own mark, for only He is in all things and knows all things.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

August 2012 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

The Academy offers the following:

Jesus, being the Christ, is the Truth by His Divine nature, the “I AM” of Ex. 3:14 and Jn 8:58. Said another way, I, Jesus, AM the Christ, Who is the Truth. And being our expression of Truth, through His Incarnation, He set us free from the fear of death, sins, and empty delusions of Satan. (Gal 5:1, 1 Jn 3:8.)

In summary: 1) Jesus is the Who and a unique Person, 2) Christ is “the What” or two natures of Jesus – human and divine, 3) the Quality of His two natures is being fully God, fully man; Son of Man and Son of God, and 4) by these essential Qualities – He, being the I AM, is our Way, Truth, and the Life (Jn 14:6). And only through Him being the Way, Truth, and Life, can we come to know our Father.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

July 2012 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

St. Athanasius was called great for having no flaws in his doctrinal teachings, being key to defeating the Arian heresy at the First Ecumenical Council, with his teachings setting the tone for the next Six.

His ability to distinguish Jesus as the promised One, the enhypostatic Christ – fully God, full man; Son of God, Son of Man, is excellent. His detailed discussion of the Cross, and refutation of both Jews and Gentiles, proved his understanding the Old Testament Septuagint and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.