To celebrate the fiftieth episode of the Hank Unplugged podcast, Hank is re-joined by his first guest, close friend and best-selling author Frederica Mathewes-Green. This wide-ranging conversation explores many of the most common misconceptions of Eastern Orthodox theology, how Orthodox theology actually works, and the true purpose of theology itself — experiencing God.

Topics discussed include: why Frederica calls abortion the most important justice issue of our time (2:40); comparing the shifting arguments of pro-choice advocates surrounding the concept of personhood to the perception of personhood found in the Three-Fifths Compromise and slavery (5:05); sex-selective abortion (7:45); how Orthodox theology works — how the concept of theology in the Christian East differs from that of the Christian West (11:00); the Atonement — Christus Victor (16:50); how the fall of Rome affected the separation between the Christian East and the Christian West (18:00); the role of tradition in biblical interpretation (22:35); finding comfort in submitting oneself to the continuation of the teachings and traditions of the historic Christian faith (26:15); truth is necessary, but it’s hardly sufficient when it comes to the authentic Christian life, because truly knowing God is more important than knowing about God (35:30); are we allowed to call anyone father? Apophatic theology and the fragile, futility of words (38:45); addressing the fragmentation and tribalism of the church and embracing the concept of mere Christianity while not compromising on the essentials of the historic Christian faith (41:15); addressing the theological unity amidst the ethnic distinctions within Orthodoxy (46:55); separation of church and state (49:40); the transformative power of The Jesus Prayer (53:00); discussing negative attitudes toward Mary and how Jesus would want us to feel about His mother (1:00:40); explaining the practice of venerating icons (1:07:00); exploring the biblical roots of liturgical practices of worship (1:10:50); why viewing the congregation as customers and marketing the consumeristic corruption of church is a tragedy (1:14:00); Nous and the false dichotomy between reason and emotion in theology (1:16:30); the danger in reducing theology to intellectual combat as opposed to a way to encounter and experience God (1:20:00); Romans 6:23 and contesting the common protestation that Orthodoxy is a crass system of works righteousness (1:23:00); and closing remarks (1:30:00).

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