I have only a small flickering light to guide me in the darkness of a thick forest. Up comes a theologian and blows it out." So complained 18th-century French philosopher Denis Diderot. It is true that much that passes for theology fails to illumine the path, and it does not help to claim that nontheological reasoning is often equally opaque. Thankfully, a few lights shine brightly.
Evidence is mounting that some Russian Orthodox clergy have been aiding the efforts of pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine. One pro-Ukrainian editor charged that priests at an Orthodox church in Slovyansk, Ukraine, blessed the rebel fighters and let the rebels store ammunition on church property. Patriarch Kirill I, head of the Orthodox Church based in Moscow, suggested that the Ukrainian military actions against the Russian-backed rebels is an attempt to “overpower the canonical Orthodox Church.” The rebels temporarily took over a large Protestant church and murdered four evangelicals who belonged to another church in town (New York Times, September 6).