In a post-modern, neo-gnostic technocratic age of globalism, a world that H.T. Engelhardt calls “after God,” Christians find themselves in a perilous situation that is hostile to tradition. Their faith is being threatened and attacked both externally and internally from “principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world,” from “spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph 6:12). The problem originates in the fundamental shift in thinking and orientation that occurred in modernity. Modern man began to view himself, the world, the cosmos, the polis, and his proper place in relation to them all in a radically different way from the ancients. In his Promethean rebellion, man severed the transcendent ground of being from the intelligible world, mechanized nature, and gave himself a pretended autonomy whereby he thought he could now exercise full dominion over being. In his Nietzschean deicide, modern man created speculative gnostic systems, and like Adam and Eve, he attempted to hide his sin by having his system conceal the truth. The abolition of both the transcendent God and nature resulted in a loss of objectivity, something that would have served as a helpful restraint on the morals, thoughts, and actions of man. Consequently, the libido dominandi (the will to power) became the only guiding principle, a sheer will to power where man could use (or misuse) technology to control, dominate and exploit nature all in the name of “science” and progress. For the modern man, “the speculative system in which the gnostic unfolds his will to make himself master of being” is insisted on being called “science.” (Eric Voeglin) However, in order to commit such deeds, science had to become absolutized, and with it, the entire scientivization of the world. This became the very essence of Scientism. It “is, literally, a resolution of the will: the resolution to accept as real only what can be verified empirically by everyone.” (Augusto Del Noce) Nevertheless, to carry out a complete scientivization of the world, Scientism had to relate to the socio-political sphere. Hence, the atheistic gnostic speculators created what is known as technocracy. Within our current technocratic totalitarian system, we have found another gnostic ideology that is dehumanizing, anti-scientific, atheistic, and completely at odds with Christianity.
It is now more apparent than ever there are two worlds: a city of man and a city of God, and we are reminded of the Gospel passage that warns us “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” (Matthew 6:24) As Engelhardt states, “We do not share common ground. Christianity has ancient roots that are immune from the consequence of the collapse of the Western moral-philosophic project.” Therefore, we find two paradigms, the Christian and the modern secularist, two world-views that are simply incompatible with one another. Within society, law, government, education, ethics, science, and medicine we find ideological conflicts, as well as conflicting prescriptions on how to conduct one’s life in the aforementioned areas. The neo-gnostic movements of cancel culture, secularism, anti-traditionalism, political-correctness, progressivism, scientism, critical-race theory, et. al. are at war with traditional Christianity and seek to destroy our Orthodox ethos. Indeed traditional Christians find themselves in perilous times.
However, amidst such dark times traditional Orthodox laymen and clergy have risen up to face the challenges of modernity and destructive ideologies with boldness and courage. Many appropriated the technology being used for evil and used it for good, spreading the gospel for the Kingdom of God. With the blessing of their priests and Bishops, these courageous Orthodox content providers helped disseminate traditional Orthodox teachings in accordance with the Fathers. Unlike most of the watered-down, superficial, and politically-correct Christian content being provided on the web, these traditional Orthodox were producing educational content on various topics in Orthodoxy in a way that reached a hurting world thirsting for a profound and real Christian experience. Their work boldly declared the gospel and the timeless truths of the Orthodox Church that was leading to many inquirers not only to discover and learn about Orthodoxy, but led to a large number of them converting to Eastern Orthodoxy.
At this point, I began to realize the potential of an evangelizing ministry in accordance with the Great Commission of Christ that would not only expose nonOrthodox to the Faith but provide continuing education for the Orthodox Faithful through published Orthodox articles and media that would serve to edify, educate, and teach the Faithful how to live a Christian life in the Orthodox Church. I came to believe, as well as the other Orthodox content providers, that if I were to unify these talented individuals, the goals of such a mission could be actualized and would prove to be an enormously successful evangelizing and educational ministry for the Orthodox Church. In light of such perilous times, we agreed there was a need for an evangelizing and educational ministry that could equip the faithful with the necessary tools to live out the faith. It was here that I created the idea of Patristic Faith, a web platform and ministry that will serve to host valuable Orthodox content such as video, podcasts, a PDF bank (free PDFs of essential Orthodox writings), and articles written by Orthodox scholars and clergy. These materials will aim at promoting an Orthodox ascetical life of prayer and participation in Liturgical services, instructing people on the spiritual virtues, commemorating the lives of the saints, faithfully teaching the traditions of the Fathers and defending the faith (apologetics). Patristic Faith will equip people with the tools necessary to better understand and properly respond to the various challenges of the modern world.
Blessings in Jesus Christ,
Fr. Deacon Ananias
About the author
Fr. Deacon Ananias Sorem, PhD is CEO, Founder, and President of Patristic Faith. Father is an Orthodox apologist and Professor of Philosophy at Fullerton College and Carroll College. He has a BA in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College, together with an MA (Honors) and PhD in Philosophy (Epistemology; Philosophy of Science; Philosophy of Mind) from University College Dublin. His current academic work focuses on philosophical theology, epistemology, and the philosophy of science. Father is the author of several articles and peer-reviewed papers, including: “Searle, Materialism, and the Mind-Body Problem,” “Gnostic Scientism and Technocratic Totalitarianism,” “An Orthodox Approach to the Dangers of Modernity and Technology,” and “An Orthodox Theory of Knowledge: The Epistemological and Apologetic Methods of the Church Fathers.” He is also known for his YouTube channel, the Norwegian Nous, where he provides content on theology, apologetics, logic, and philosophy.