Christianity Today Interviews Eastern Orthodox leader and Theologian Kallistos Ware

Jaroslav Pelikan, an important historical theologian who became Orthodox late in life, once told me, “You evangelicals talk too much about Jesus and don’t spend enough time thinking about the Holy Trinity.” Can one talk too much about Jesus?

I would not want to contrast faith in Jesus with faith in the Holy Trinity. My faith in Jesus is precisely that I believe him to be not only truly human, but also to be the eternal Son of God. I cannot think of a faith in Jesus that does not also involve faith in God the Father.

How is Jesus present to us personally at this moment? How is it that he is not merely a figure from the distant past, but that he also lives in my own life? That is through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, I cannot understand a faith in Jesus Christ that would not also involve faith in the Holy Spirit.

I don’t think we can have too much faith in Jesus. But faith in Jesus, if it is to be truly such, is necessarily Trinitarian. If you look at the lives of the Orthodox saints, you will find a very vivid faith in Jesus. Their affirmation of the Trinity did not in any way diminish their sense of Jesus as their personal Savior.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Evangelicals, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Russia, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

6 comments on “Christianity Today Interviews Eastern Orthodox leader and Theologian Kallistos Ware

  1. MichaelA says:

    [blockquote] “[b]The implosion of Communism left a spiritual vacuum, and my fellow evangelical Protestants rushed into Russia. There have been tensions as they have tried to help people get to know the Bible better and to make their faith personal. Why has it been so difficult for Orthodox and evangelicals to work together in post-Communist countries? [/b]

    The Orthodox felt and still feel deep resentment at the way—as they see it—evangelicals have moved in on their territory. They feel we suffered persecution in Russia for 70 years, often very severe, and we struggled to keep the faith going under immense difficulties. Now that the persecution has stopped, people move in from the West who have not suffered in the same way for their faith, and they are stealing our people from us. We feel as if our Christian brethren are stabbing us in the back. I’m putting it in extreme form, but there is this deep feeling.” [/blockquote]
    This is highly disingenuous.

    Russian protestants existed throughout the Soviet period. There were probably millions of them by the early 1990s. They were persecuted at least as much as Orthodox christians. They did not “move in” at the end of the Soviet era.

    Nor did they “sheep steal”; they simply witnessed, in the face of persecution and sometimes torture and execution by the Soviet Regime. And yes, many of their converts were Orthodox by birth. They had to get Bibles smuggled into them, or create samizdat versions. They received little assistance from the Orthodox during the Soviet persecutions.

    The fact that Mr Ware does not even acknowledge their existence is troubling.

  2. Statmann says:

    MichaelA: Your dislike of the Orthodox is indeed intense. When you refer to Pope Benedict XVI, do you use Herr ratzinger? Statmann

  3. MichaelA says:


    You have no idea what you are talking about. I suggest you think carefully in future before asserting that you have some divine knowledge about someone else’s dislikes, intense or otherwise.

    If you wish to explain the reason behind your outburst, I am more than happy to respond.

  4. Statmann says:

    MichaelA: Lighten up and try decaf. I noted that you referred to Archbishop Ware as “Mr. Ware”. So my logical assumption was that you would refer to Pope Benedict XVI as “Herr Ratzinger”. What does that have to with divne knowledge? Statmann

  5. MichaelA says:

    Sorry Statmann – “your dislike of the Orthodox is indeed intense” rather got to me (especially since the opposite is the case). Remember that your tone doesn’t come through as you type!

    I wasn’t aware that ++Ware was an archbishop. I’ve heard the name somewhere. I knew that he was a monk (and I don’t know what the proper title for that is) but that was all.

    I do refer to Pope Benedict at times as “BXVI”, to Queen Elizabeth II as “Her Maj”, and St Paul the Apostle as “Paul”. No disrespect is intended to any of them.

  6. Statmann says:

    MichaelA: Thanks for your kind reply. God bless. Statmann