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Jan 2020

5:51 - I struggle with how much of a difference there is between the level of wealth and comfort we have in our world, and Christ’s command to give away our possessions to help the poor and the way the early Church seems to behave in Acts. How do you handle this? What are your views on charity in relation to Christ’s example?

8:17 - I just finished listening to “Le Morte d’Arthur”. What is the connection between Lancelot’s skill in arms and his devotion to Guenever? I assumed it was something like something of spirit manifesting purity of combat prowess, however his love for her has adulterous undertones. Also, video on Gawain and the Green Knight?

10:35 - What’s the significance of early Christians using the sign of a fish to identify themselves?

14:09 - Hi Jonathan, can you explain why John the Baptist’s father Zechariah couldn’t speak until his son’s birth? It is said it was because he was skeptical of the pregnancy. What does that have to do with an inability to speak?

16:39 - When God is refining Gideon’s army, He has Gideon send away the men that cup water in their hands to drink rather than kneeling to drink. Is there a significant symbolic difference between bringing water to your mouth to drink it out of your hands as opposed to kneeling to drink it directly from the source?

19:27 - You talk a lot about the masculine and feminine, so does Jordan Peterson. What would be your definition of “masculine” and “feminine”? How do those terms relate to “male” and “female” and how are they different?

22:49 - Hi Jonathan, what’s the significance behind the Bible’s prohibition against divination? Is it seen as an intrusion on God’s realm or is there more to it?

26:51 - Jonathan, I’ve been thinking about the particular phrase in the Lord’s Prayer that mentions earth and heaven. In light of the vastness of the symbolism of heaven and earth, I’m wondering what are your thoughts on that part of the prayer: “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

30:12 - Hi Jonathan, what do you think Christianity has to say about erotic love? I feel like Christianity does not have a coherent narrative to encompass it, although I will admit this might just be a Catholic stereotype.

34:49 - Hi Jonathan, you’ve mentioned postmodernism many times on this channel. What is it that Christians and traditionalists can take from postmodernism without destroying hierarchies and categories?

36:48 - I’m currently reading through Exodus and I’m wondering about the symbolism of the staff that Aaron uses in Exodus 7:10. Can it be seen as an example of how God flips things around so that the bad becomes a symbol for good, etc.? And is it connected to the snake in the garden, or am I reading too much in it?

40:25 - Is it common among Orthodox Christians and Catholics to share the symbolic understanding and worldview that people like you and your brother have? I know the symbolic worldview is totally foreign to Evangelicals.

43:39 - Hey Jonathan, could you elaborate on the symbolic idea of business? There seems to be a great difference between being a master of a particular trade and running a business that is trying to oversee other processes. Are there any dangers in the idea of business?

46:40 - Hey Jonathan, do you think the Orthodox Church lets in enough of the new?

49:31 - Hey Jonathan, in your conversation with Benjamin Boyce you said “Your frame with which you interpret the world is lacking, you need something which is more connective and connects the different layers of reality together.” What are the different layers of reality and do they connect through a unity/multiplicity dichotomy?

51:44 - How can we navigate the ideas of eschatology from both within the Church (end time prophecies, second advent) and from the secular world (environmental collapse) without falling prey to alarmist fearmongers, nihilistic defeatism or all-encompassing systems?

54:55 - Hi Jonathan, can you explain the symbolism of the snake in Orthodox art, especially in regards to the bishop’s crozier and to the icons that depict Christ crucified as having snake-like qualities? I know that healing by snake has precedent in the story of Moses but this imagery still makes me quite uncomfortable.

56:00 - Can you explain the symbolism of tongues? I’m Catholic and there’s a Charismatic movement in my parish that troubles me but I don’t know enough about it to decide if it’s completely heretical. I watched a doc about a monk on Mount Athos that could speak to people that didn’t speak the same language. That seems correct to me; gibberish, not so much.

1:02:16 - Some people say that we need to act as if God exists, that we need to take the wisdom of religion, but that we can lose the belief in God. I find this presumptuous, much like how science tries to account for the margins, as God is first and foremost a mystery. What do you think about the idea that belief in God is itself an allowing for the margins?

1:04:44 - I always have too may questions to narrow down to what I want to ask, how about this instead: What new thoughts are you having or what new theory or concept have you been wrestling with of late?

1:06:11 - Can you elaborate on the role of free thinking and imagination in Christianity? As someone raised secular it took a bit of rebelling against the material worldview to find the mysticism of Christianity. Now that I find a center in the Church, I am practicing letting my free thinking mind die in order to acquire the mind of Christ. But the use of my radical intellect seems necessary for the escape from the modern material Egypt, and it’s not something that’s easy to let go of. I havee found that my imagination is much better at seeing the patterns of Christianity inside the symbols and rituals of the modern world, and this seems like a healthy synthesis of obedience and imagination. Thanks for all you do.

1:08:47 - Hi Jonathan, in your November Q&A you mentioned William of Ockham in the 14th century as a reason for the disintegration of the sacramental Christian worldview. Do you trace his radical nomalism onto the Reformers, especially Luther, Calvin and Cranmner, and if so do any of the Protestant traditions have the capacity of recovering that sacramental view of reality today? Thank you for your work.

1:11:04 - I find it hard to interpret the biblical text without providing reasons for events from other narratives within the text. I do this a lot when thinking of Cain and Abel because of the little information given. Did Abel in some way steal Cain’s birthright like Jacob with Esau (Abel’s blood crying out from the ground, Joseph calling out to his father from Egypt)? Is this thought process wrong?

1:14:46 - In Romans 13 Paul says that we should submit to our rulers and pay our taxes because all authority comes from God. One of my friends interprets that passage as being against democracy and pro-monarchy. Democratically elected leaders are being put in position of power by the plebs, contrary to monarchs that derive their right to rule from God. In that interpretation democracy could be seen as an ongoing revolt against God’s will. Symbolically it could be said that the body refuses to submit to the head. Would you agree with that reading? If not, why?

1:17:36 - Why do the cherubim have so many wings and faces and why is one guarding the garden of Eden?

1:21:28 - The Limbourg Brothers depict the snake in the garden as feminine, I’ve seen this in other Western artists as well. What does this symbolic presentation reveal, and is it symbolically small-o orthodox?

1:23:57 - Can you break down the symbolism of gold, frankincese and myrrh?

1:25:48 - Hey Jonathan, I love your stuff! Would you say that you are worried or hopeful regarding the future of our societies around the world?

1:27:18 - Many Christians don’t think there is an issues if they do yoga, this is hard to square for me. I wonder if yoga could be made Christian? Any thoughts?

1:28:45 - How do we edify the church? I try talking about metaphysics with people but nobody seems to care, it sucks because if I make it political, it would be personal, but it’s too divisive.

1:30:28 - What is the symbolism of centers of world power moving west? Greece to Rome to European colonial powers such as the UK etc.