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21. Daily Prayers for Orthodox Christians:
22. A Beginner's Guide to Spirituality,
23. The Blackwell Companion to Eastern
24. Personhood: Orthodox Christianity
25. Seeds of the Word: Orthodox Thinking
26. Divine Energy: The Orthodox Path
27. Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary
28. Orthodox Russia: Belief and Practice
29. Light from the Christian East:
30. Orthodox Christianity in 21st
31. Bread & Water, Wine &
32. Cambridge History of Christianity:
33. Praying With the Orthodox Tradition
34. One Flew Over the Onion Dome:
35. Christianity in the Land of the
36. Introducing the Orthodox Church:
37. A Manual of Eastern Orthodox Prayers
38. Eastern Orthodox Theology: A Contemporary
39. Christianity and Liberalism
40. The Hidden Man of the Heart (1

21. Daily Prayers for Orthodox Christians: The Synekdemos (English and Greek Edition)
 Paperback: 202 Pages (1986-05)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$79.44
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Asin: 0917651219
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22. A Beginner's Guide to Spirituality, The Orthodox Path to a Deeper Relationship with God
by Michael Keiser
Paperback: 112 Pages (2007-05-17)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$6.55
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Asin: 1888212888
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Spirituality is in! Monks go platinum with recordings of chant, and books onself-help spirituality overflow supermarket book racks.But what is the meaning of true spirituality? Aren't we all a little confused? Genuine spirituality keeps us in balance with God, our neighbor, and the material world.Fr. Michael Keiser walks us through the Orthodox Church s timeless teachingsand practices on the ancient understanding of Christian spirituality with humor and keen insight. He outlines how ascetic practices, personal and corporate worship, confession and repentance, overcoming the passions, and opening ourselves up to God s grace can lead us to transformation, and to our ultimate destiny Jerusalem, the heavenly city. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Truly Love This One ! !
I have several books by this author and enjoy his style thoroughly.His use of humor aids in the dose of solid Orthodox doctrine applied.

5-0 out of 5 stars An accessible and enlightening guide.
Written by Orthodox priest Father Michael Keiser, A Beginner's Guide to Spirituality: The Orthodox Path to a Deeper Relationship with God is a simple guide to spirituality, defined as keeping in balance with God, our fellow man, and the material world. Chapters discuss different types of prayer from adoration and thanksgiving to penitence and petition, the purpose of confession, aspects of asceticism, and much more. "If you have sinned in a major, soul-destroying way, don't wait until your next scheduled confession to deal with it. Don't defer confession of major sins, for they build up quickly and darken our soul, helping the passions to take root. Follow this simple rule: when in doubt, spill your guts." An accessible and enlightening guide.
... Read more

23. The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity (Blackwell Companions to Religion)
Paperback: 528 Pages (2010-05-17)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$34.97
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Asin: 1444333615
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Now available in paperback, this Companion offers an unparalleled survey of the history, theology, doctrine, worship, art, culture and politics that make up the churches of Eastern Christianity.

  • Covers both Byzantine traditions (such as the Greek, Russian and Georgian churches) and Oriental traditions (such as the Armenian, Coptic and Syrian churches)
  • Brings together an international team of experts to offer the first book of its kind on the subject of Eastern Christianity
  • Contributes to our understanding of recent political events in the Middle East and Eastern Europe by providing much needed background information
  • May be used alongside The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity (1999) for a complete student resource
... Read more

24. Personhood: Orthodox Christianity and the Connection Between Body, Mind, and Soul
Hardcover: 216 Pages (1996-06-30)
list price: US$87.95 -- used & new: US$87.95
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Asin: 0897894634
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Psychologists, theologians, medical doctors, and Christian clergy discuss the significance of spiritual direction and identify the problems that inhibit one's ability to reach spiritual goals in modern life. They show how the process of being "in Christ" in truth, life, and light results in personal freedom. The commitment to growth in these qualities provides the foundation for the critical subjects addressed in this book: spiritual discernment and differential diagnosis, identity formation, sexuality, intimacy and relationships, addictions, holistic health, and education. Melding Greek Orthodox Christianity in America with spirituality and more conventional psychotherapy and medical practice, this book makes an uncommon contribution to the religiously diverse spectrum of our ever-expanding multicultural consciousness. ... Read more

25. Seeds of the Word: Orthodox Thinking on Other Religions (Foundations)
by John Garvey
Paperback: 130 Pages (2006-04-05)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$12.79
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Asin: 0881413003
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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How should Orthodox Christians regard non-Christian religions? To treat this question, John Garvey provides a concise introduction to great religious traditions, East and West, and goes on to explore how seeds of truth may be found in them, while upholding the Orthodox Church s claim as the unique repository of the Christian tradition and the ark of salvation. "This book offers a solid introduction to interfaith relations, in which encounters among diverse faiths offer both challenges to peaceful coexistence and opportunities for fruitful exchange." -Dr Antonios Kireopoulos, Associate General Secretary for International Affairs and Peace, NCCC ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Few Words
Seeds of the Word, Orthodox Thinking on the Other religions, is a brief introduction to non-Christian religions. It has an interesting historical chapter (chapter 3), but the best parts are near the end where is summarizes differences that exist with other religions and Eastern Orthodoxy in particular (chapter 5). That made reading it worth the time.

The book is a very brief overview, with little depth and only a few footnotes. I does give a firm introduction, and useful for starting interfaith dialogue. It is a quick read, and never stuffy or overly scholarly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wisdom and humility.
I read this book as a library book and then decided I wanted my own copy.Since I have not read much on other religions, I appreciated the first half of the book which described them.However, I agree with another post which mentioned that the best portion of the book is a history or summary of the varied styles in which Christians have responded to those of different faiths.I've had exposure to several styles, some of which make me cringe.I fully appreciate the Orthodox perspective.How wonderful to consider that God does want to speak to all people and that some Truth, however clouded by human falsehood, is whispered into all of our hearts!(That is what I understood, anyway.)May we Christians reveal/reflect Him and His Ways more and more.May we walk and speak with greater wisdom and humility.May our lives and words cause a greater number of people to be brought to the fullness of Truth and may His Name be glorified forever and ever.Amen!

3-0 out of 5 stars not what i was hoping for
Having read and loved Prematurely Saved and Other Varieties of the Religions Experience, I was very interested in what John Garvey would have to say about Eastern Orthodox perspectives on various religious traditions. I cannot say that I was disappointed, only not terribly impressed. The thin book is handy for a brief overview of the major world religions, which takes up about well over half the book. I felt, however, that this was something that I could have used the internet for. The title didn't indicate anything about those chapters and I felt the book could have done without them altogether. So the heart of the book for me began on page 79 (out of 126 pages of text, excluding bibliography and further reading). Honestly the first 2/3rds felt like filler now that I think about it. He could have just given the list of suggested readings and left it at that. (I know this is just a matter of taste and expectations and not a flaw in the book per se).

So chapter 3 onwards does a very fine job of outlining the various ways that EO has thought about and presented itself to the outside world, beginning with the Greeks and moving on to Islam, which was often very uninterested in any dialogue with Eastern Christians. Of course exceptions can be found in all camps (like St Gregory Palamas and St John of Damascus), but on the whole a militaristic offense/defense mentality prevailed.

Not much else is really offered in the terms of history. Garvey then conclude with a general "how to approach others" piece that is useful to the extent that it soundly rejects relativism, as is so often proposed by others (not Orthodox, of course). He correctly asserts that we are all actually closer to each other when we hold fast to our deepest convictions, rather than trying to have a least-common-denominator approach, since at that point we are seeking truth, not compromise, and God is of truth.

Although I would certainly not purchase this book again, that is owing to my misconception of what it would contain rather than any error or fault on the author's part.

I would add that Orthodoxy has the luxury of not painting itself into a theological corner by declaring everyone else damned either by some predestination of God or by a "you never called upon the name" theory. For Orthodox, salvation is not a game or magic, but the grace of God in the hearts of men, many of whom do not "claim the Name" in this lifetime, but are much holier than some who do. God loves all and calls all, and, as St Paul says in Romans, each will be judged according to their ability to know. Of course we believe that the EO is the fullness of God's revelation in Christ and the Spirit, but we are limited by the holy mysteries, God is not.

If you have any suggestions for books along these lines, please let me know. One that I have found to be useful, although brief, is "Face to Face: A guide for Orthodox Christians Encountering Muslims" by Fr. Ted Pulcini.Of course, the perennial philosophy books have much to say as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars Valuable and Timely
I liked that the book was not too long. It gave me just the information I needed to begin to understand how Orthodox Christians can relate to other religions. This is very timely given our country's increasing concerns about Islam. The book included a brief summary of the various major non-Christian religions which was helpful. Overall I found it very stimulating and challenging. It helped me appreciate in a deeper way the place of Christianity in the world. And it had quite a good zinger in the last paragraph. Well done, Fr. Garvey! ... Read more

26. Divine Energy: The Orthodox Path to Christian Victory
by Jon E. Braun
Paperback: 162 Pages (1995-07)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$5.81
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Asin: 0962271314
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Campus Crusade for Christ leader turned Orthodox priest, Jon Braun, describes his journey into Orthodoxy and holds out to disenchanted Protestant evangelicals an invitation to rediscover an ancient, apostolic, authoritative Christianity. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Really good for inquirers in the Orthodox faith
A good concise help to finding 'what' living the life of Christ is all about from an 'Eastern' perspective for 'Western Christians.'
A very good read [and quick] for an inquirer into the Orthodox faith. Our reading group/inquirer's class found it to be very informative and enjoyable. After reading this tackle "On The Incarnation" by St. Athanasius...Orthodoxy alive is best read from the source...alternately read the 'moderns' with the ancients, it is very rewarding.
Braun's "Divine Energy" really helps 'Western Christians' learn about theosis, the heart of Orthodoxy...check out his illustration of our life in Christ like a sword in the fire.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very good introduction to Orthodox Spirituality
Fr. Jon Braun's book is best explained by its subtitle, "The Orthodox Path to Christian Victory".Rather than simply asking Jesus into our hearts and expecting a prosperous life simply because we are Christian, theauthor urges us to fight the good fight (cf. 2 Tim. 4:7) and to wageall-out war with sin.In the preface of the book, he writes:

"Ithas been my experience that there are millions of committed Christians inProtestant Churches who sincerely love God with all their hearts but whoalso have discovered that the Christian life is often...a battle againstsin.They...are frustrated because they aren't winning what they believeshould be their share of those spiritual wars.It is my conviction that inthe depth of Orthodox theology and spirituality, new--actually,old--answers may be found." (page xi)

Beginning with an assessmentof the battle all Christians have been called to fight, Fr. Jon then turnsto basic Orthodox theology regarding the Trinity, the Incarnation, etc. asthe foundation for our struggle in this battle.Finally, he explains thetools, or weapons, we may use to fight the good fight such as prayer,fasting, almsgiving, and living a virtuous life.These tools have beenused in and encouraged by the Church for 2000 years.They are"time-tested".Fr. Jon writes:"We don't have toexperiment.The Church now has two thousand years of battle knowledgebehind her.We can trust what she's learned..." (p. 146)

I highlyrecommend this book as a good, solid introduction to basic Orthodoxspirituality.It is well-written in a common language which anyone canunderstand.After one has read this book, I would also recommend ORTHODOXSPIRITUALITY: A BRIEF INTRODUCTION by Bishop of Nafpaktos Hierotheos(published by Birth of the Theotokos Monastery).

The below review of thisbook is very misleading. DIVINE ENERGIES has nothing to do with cruelty toanimals.

2-0 out of 5 stars A Flawed Book
The easy acceptance and apparent approval of cruelty to animals ruin an adequate book.The Orthodox Church does not teach or approve of cruelty to anything.It is humanity's role to bring everything closer to God, not tospread pain and suffering.I find this acceptance especially disturbing inlight of current research which shows cruelty to animals in childhood is aprecursor to cruelty to humans in adulthood.
Also, the Orthodox Churchdoes not say animals "have no soul".The Church Fathers say theyhave a soul but it is not the same as the enhanced human soul.
Inquiries can be better served by such standards as "The OrthodoxChurch" by Timothy Ware, and "The Spiritual Life and How to beAttuned to It" by St. Theophan the Recluse. ... Read more

27. Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Europe (Eastern Christian Studies)
 Paperback: 570 Pages (2003-06-01)
list price: US$87.00 -- used & new: US$104.40
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Asin: 9042912669
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This volume contains selected papers presented at a conference on Orthodox Christianity and its contemporary European setting. The conference was held in England, at the University of Leeds, in June 2001 and drew together historians, theologians, philosophers, specialists in theological education and political scientists. Countries with an Orthodox Christian history were well represented, as well as Orthodoxy in the diaspora and other Christian confessions by representatives from Western Europe and the United States and Canada. its coherence formed one main strand for reflection, but discussion also broadened out to consider the nature of religious tradition as such. Part I of the collection brings together papers on such matters as identity, nationalism, globalization, human rights discourse, ecumenical dialogue and competing interpretations of what it means to be European. Part II focuses on Orthodox Christianity in Russia and Part III on the traditionally Orthodox countries of Armenia, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. reflection on Orthodox identity, and relationship between Christianity and culture in Europe at the beginning of the twenty-first century (Peeters 2003) ... Read more

28. Orthodox Russia: Belief and Practice Under the Tsars
Paperback: 304 Pages (2003-08-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$20.00
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Asin: 0271023503
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Orthodox Christianity came to Russia from Byzantium in 988, and in the ensuing centuries it has become such a fixture of the Russian cultural landscape that any discussion of Russian character or history inevitably must take its influence into account. Orthodox Russia is a timely volume that brings together some of the best contemporary scholarship on Russian Orthodox beliefs and practices covering a broad historical period-from the Muscovite era through the immediate aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Studies of Russian Orthodoxy have typically focused on doctrinal contro-versies or institutional developments. Orthodox Russia concentrates on lived religious experience-how Orthodoxy touched the lives of a wide variety of subjects of the Russian state, from clerics awaiting the Apocalypse in the fifteenth century and nuns adapting to the attacks on organized religion under the Soviets to unlettered military servitors at the court of Ivan the Terrible and workers, peasants, and soldiers in the last years of the imperial regime. Melding traditionally distinct approaches, the volume allows us to see Orthodoxy not as a static set of rigidly applied rules and dictates but as a lived, adaptive, and flexible system. Orthodox Russia offers a much-needed, up-to-date general survey of the subject, one made possible by the opening of archives in Russia after 1991. Contributors include Laura Engelstein, Michael S. Flier, Daniel H. Kaiser, Nadieszda Kizenko, Eve Levin, Gary Marker, Daniel Rowland, Vera Shevzov, Thomas N. Tentler, Isolde Thyret, William G. Wagner, and Paul W. Werth. ... Read more

29. Light from the Christian East: An Introduction to the Orthodox Tradition
by James R. PaytonJr. Jr.
Paperback: 240 Pages (2007-07-26)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$13.48
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Asin: 0830825940
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The Word Guild 2008 Canadian Christian Writing Awards winner!"Do they really pray to icons?" "Why do they use incense?" "What do they believe?"To many people, the Orthodox Christian tradition (or Eastern Orthodoxy) seems unfamiliar and mysterious. Yet this tradition is arguably the most faithful representative of early Christianity in existence today and numbers roughly 250 million adherents worldwide. What's more, a steady stream of evangelical Christians has been entering the Orthodox Church in recent decades. Isn't it time we gained a deeper understanding of Orthodoxy?In Light from the Christian East, James Payton gives us just that. With a sympathetic eye and even hand, he ushers readers into the world of Orthodox Christianity--its history, theology and religious practices. In doing so, he clears away the confusion and misunderstandings that often prevent non-Orthodox Christians from fully appreciating the riches of this ancient tradition. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in Orthodox Christianity. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars A very understand-able book for those considering Orthodoxy
I just recently read this book and I found it very helpful. It is well written without being overly scholarly. It is a good book for the average person who is looking into Orthodox Christianity.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Thoughtful and Charitable Look to the East
This is a very irenic treatment of Eastern Orthodoxy from a Reformed theologian who paints a helpful and accurate picture of this mysterious and often misunderstood Christian tradition. As stated in the epilogue, his main purpose in writing was "to consider some distinctive emphases and approaches of Eastern Orthodoxy that Western Christians may receive benefit and stimulation." I think he has accomplished his objective.

1-0 out of 5 stars Christian?
How can something so unbiblical be termed Christian? It would've been okay to title this book as a study on Eastern Orthodox traditions. But to call it Christian is far fetched.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Worthy and Necessary Presentation
In explaining the differences between the Christian East and West, different people take different approaches.One may begin by explaining doctrinal differences between the Roman Catholics and the Orthodox (the filioque, Papal Supremacy and Infallibility, the Orthodox theology of Uncreated Grace, etc...) or one may take an historical approach.For the common faithful, however, the answer often given is simply that Western denominations and Orthodoxy have a "different feel."The mindset, or phronema, of Orthodoxy is just different and therefore hard for a non-Orthodox to understand.One priest put it to me this way:Some say that the difference between Protestants and Catholics lies in the fact that they ask the same questions but get different answers.They go on to say that the difference between the Orthodox and the West, then, is that they simply ask different questions.However - this priest went on to say - it gets even more confusing.In some cases, the Orthodox ask the same questions, but their words mean completely different things...

In trying to get to this difference, that "different feel" so often noticed but rarely given definition, James Payton, Jr. has written an excellent - I would say even astoundingly good - book in an attempt to explain Orthodoxy to the Western Christian.This explanation is often so difficult, both because it is simply hard to put into words and because, once put into words, the different mindsets of East and West make conveying the meaning of those words like speaking a different language, that the success with which Payton accomplished this task makes this book not only a good read but, I would say, a necessary companion to Metropolitan Kallistos Ware's "The Orthodox Church."This is true of both the Western convert to Orthodoxy and Orthodox individuals in general as, in explaining Eastern theology, Payton clarifies much of what the West believes, as well.

While reading the text, I was pleasantly surprised by how thorough Payton was.No less than 5 times (and I think more), I was reading and began to think, "This is all good, but I really think he needs to include something about..." and literally the next sentence or section would address my very concern.Clearly, Payton understands Orthodoxy about as best a non-Orthodox individual could...In fact, I found certain explanations of his - for instance, his explanation of the Orthodox theology of icons - to far surpass many similar such attempts made by Orthodox authors.With a few minor exceptions, I found Payton's explanation of Orthodox theology to be spot on.

This being said, there certainly is some room for improvement.First, though Payton says in the Epilogue that he knows he did not cover every topic and never intended to, a couple chapters could have been included.For instance, I would have liked to see something concerning the Orthodox theology of Heaven and Hell (explaining that Hell is the love of God experienced as pain and suffering for those who did not purify themselves of the passions...) or, connected to this, the Orthodox focus on God as love rather than the preoccupation of some in the West to focus on a God of judgment.Second, some examples of what he wrote about, such as scenes from the Lives of the Saints, would have been helpful in making something very abstract - such as the theology of the Uncreated Light - more tangible.And third (and this is a larger issue), Payton's stance as an "outsider" to Orthodoxy, while helpful in his ability to express things in a way clear to the Western mind, also hindered him from reaching the essence of the difference between East and West.Payton understandably wanted to create a "fair" presentation, neither elevating Orthodoxy too high nor denigrating the West.In all fairness to him, even if he were Orthodox, trying to explain these things without unintentionally offending a non-Orthodox reader with something that appeared to be bitter triumphalism would be difficult.

And yet, looking at Orthodox as just another - albeit very well done - version of Christianity with its own particular vision and character is to miss the heart or Orthodoxy's self understanding: it is the unerring, undivided, perfect Body of Christ.This Body of Christ, while imperfectly ministered to by man, is nonetheless the Vessel of the Holy Spirit, the Pillar of Truth, and the most perfect Hospital for ill man.When Christ Ascended, He yet remained with us in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, undivided and unconquerable.When one does not view the Church as such, Orthodoxy becomes just another "tradition" of Christianity which can simply be "tried out" or from which one can simply implement the desirable aspects into his own tradition.This misses the basis for Orthodoxy's self-understanding.If one does not recognize this about how Orthodox views itself, it is akin to training for months or years for a marathon and then staying home the day of the race: you may have made yourself look like a runner, you may have a great understanding of what runners go through, but you gave yourself no chance to win the prize.

Again, I understand Payton's unwillingness to venture into such theology, first because he is not Orthodox himself and second because, without great delicacy, this could turn many off to the riches of Orthodoxy.However, I recommend that, if one wants to go deeper than Payton and get more to the essence of the differences, you can read these two articles, both available online:Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky's "Way Apart: What is the Difference Between Orthodox and Western Confessions?" and Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos' "The Difference Between Orthodox Spirituality and Other Traditions."Type either into Google to find them.

Despite these shortcomings, however, I still cannot but call this a necessary text, and I thank God that Payton has written it.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Very Best Compare/Contrast East-West Christiantiy
During my life, I have had my Orthodox faith repeatedly, and often insultingly, challenged by well-meaning Protestant friends and family.I've avoided confrontation for the most part, but really wished I could find -- or write -- the perfect book that would both help them realize the commonalities and differences between East and West.I think Robert Payne's book comes very close to the goal of acknowledging the Roman/European development of Christian thought and practice, and comparing and contrasting it with the older, historical roots of Eastern Christianity.Payne's attitude is balanced, accurate, and strives for conciliatory understanding between the two main streams of Christian development.

Not only does Payne focus on the most obvious points of divergence between East and West, he effectively explains how it can be that we use the same words, but have different understandings of what they mean -- BUT AT THE SAME TIME -- we have instances where we mean the same thing, but use different words. What I liked best was that Payne was never condescending,or patronizing nor outright insulting to Eastern Christianity -- unlike some Protestant authors.

I think this is a really good book for someone whose family members are exploring Eastern Orthodox Christianity, because I think it will help them learn about it in a respectful context.I think for someone from a Protestant background who is curious about Eastern Orthodox Christianity that this book will tell you clearly what the major differences are.And, for Orthodox Christians trying to find out what the differences in Protestant Christianity is from Orthodoxy, this is a good book that will help you understand what Protestant Christian thought is.

Good follow up reading would be "Common Ground" by Jordan Bajis, which is easy reading and goes into more specifics about the differences between East and West in a factual but non-confrontational manner. \Common Ground: An Introduction to Eastern Christianity for the American Christian

Another is The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa and Asia -- and How It Died by Philip Jenkins.The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia--and How It Died which is an eye opener for people who think the church in Rome and the Reformation is all of Christian history.

And finally, the classic: The Orthodox Church by Timothy Ware.The Orthodox Church: New Edition ... Read more

30. Orthodox Christianity in 21st Century Greece
by Victor Roudometof, Vasilios N. Makrides
Hardcover: 258 Pages (2010-01-02)
list price: US$99.95 -- used & new: US$95.08
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Asin: 0754666964
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One of the predominantly Orthodox countries that has never experienced communism is Greece, a country uniquely situated to offer insights about contemporary trends and developments in Orthodox Christianity. This volume offers a comprehensive treatment of the role Orthodox Christianity plays at the dawn of the twenty-first century Greece from social scientific and cultural-historical perspectives. This book breaks new ground by examining in depth the multifaceted changes that took place in the relationship between Orthodox Christianity and politics, ethnicity, gender, and popular culture. Its intention is two-fold: on the one hand, it aims at revisiting some earlier stereotypes, widespread both in academic and others circles, about the Greek Orthodox Church, its cultural specificity and its social presence, such as its alleged intrinsic non-pluralistic attitude toward non-Orthodox Others. On the other hand, it attempts to show how this fairly traditional religious system underwent significant changes in recent years affecting its public role and image, particularly as it became more and more exposed to the challenges of globalization and multiculturalism. ... Read more

31. Bread & Water, Wine & Oil: An Orthodox Christian Experience of God
by Meletios Webber
Paperback: 200 Pages (2007-10-09)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$15.95
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Asin: 1888212918
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Worry, despair, insecurity, fear of death . . . these are our daily companions, and even though we attempt to ignore them or try to crowd them out, they are there, waiting for us in our quieter moments. It is precisely where we hurt most that the experience of the Orthodox Church has much to offer. The remedy is not a pep talk, or any simple admonitions to fight the good fight, cheer up, or think positively. Rather, the Orthodox method is to change the way we look at the human person (starting with ourselves). According to two thousand years of experience, Orthodoxy shows us how tobe transformed by the renewing of our mind-- a process that is aided by participation in the traditional ascetic practices and Mysteries of the Church.In this unique and accessible book, Archimandrite Meletios Webber first explores the role of mystery in the Christian life, then walks the reader through the seven major Mysteries of the Orthodox Church, showing the way to a richer, fuller life in Christ. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

3-0 out of 5 stars Best for Last
In the very first pages Archimandrite Webber sets what he calls the foundation for the rest of the book to come. This foundation is one of the various paradigms, hierarchies, or anatomies of the soul's powers or faculties. He chose an anatomy which I have only heard of a few times and only by very few scholars. Of the various paradigms he chose, what I believe to be the most problematic - yet, if this was going to be the foundation, he needed to choose a working model. Yet, he could have utilized one of the more common and less problematic ones from the Philokalia or one of a few variants put forth by St. Theophan the Recluse. Nevertheless, it is the hierarchy he was most comfortable with. The point of my discomfort was the way he put this paradigm forward: very authoritatively and exclusively - as if there were no other ways that have been recognized by the Church Fathers.If he would have done what Fredericka did in one of small books, I would have been fine. She stipulated that the working model she chose was "not" the only one and offered references for those who wished to study the issue later on.After my initial discomfort with what could possibly be mislead others to think there is only one view held by Orthodox Christians, I moved forward.

The format of the book itself was not very user-friendly. The lack of connecting sentences required going back to chapter, heading and subheading title to remind oneself what the context of the topic was. Several times I read what did not sound to correct, only to go back and remind myself of the specific context - then I found it in line with the Church's teachings and dogmatics. Nevertheless, I continued reading and I am very glad I did.

The 2nd part of the book dealing with the major Mysteries/Sacraments of the Church was fantastic! In fact, the pace of my reading progress slowed almost to a standstill on some pages, so that I could copy very profound quotes from the book. If, for no other reason - this section makes the book worth reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good foundation book
I really liked the simplicity of this book.Archimandrite Meletios Webber takes you through many of the foundational beliefs of the Orthodox system.It doesn't get too watered down on some of the more complex topics nor too complicated.Just a good overall look at what entails one as a believer.

He also gives some insight into how the Orthodox faith approaches some of today's questions that spiritual seekers have.If you want a nice read and some basics of faith this book will work.Regardless of your denomination, this book can bring about some insight with its overall message.

4-0 out of 5 stars The new introductory text for Orthodoxy?
This book is a very good introduction to the Orthodox Christian experience of God. It is divided into two parts: the first is entitled, "Life as Mystery," while the second is called "The Mysteries of the Church."In my opinion, the first part makes this read worth your time, and chapters one and two alone are worth the purchase price of the book!The author's psychological training is very evident during his discussion of "The Mind, the Heart & Mystery," and his elaboration upon the difference between the functions of the mind and the heart opened my eyes on the topic like no other theological text. The portion of the book dealing with the mysteries of the Church is, quite frankly, less distinctive than the author's treatment of "Life as Mystery," given that the material is covered elsewhere in classic texts by Bishop Ware (The Orthodox Church) and Protopresbyter Schmemann (For the Life of the World). The virtue of this work is that it combines a prolegomena to Orthodox theology with a tour of what western Christians would call the sacraments of the Church, which would be particularly useful for a catechumen or someone looking at Orthodoxy from the outside. If you are new to Orthodoxy (or on the outside looking in, as I am) and have not read Ware or Schmemann, I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Get out of your head and into your heart.
After the first couple chapters of Bread & Water, Wine & Oil by Archimandrite Meletios Webber--Fr. Melto those he pastors--you are not quite sure if you are in an Esalen yoga retreat class or a Marin County spirituality workshop in the 70s.Yes, this is definitely a "get out of your head and into your heart" kind of book.At the same time it makes for classical eastern Orthodox scholarship.Though a down to earth book, those I feel will be attracted to this work are the rather heady, bookish sort.If so, this volume will serve as good medicine for the right folk.

Webber starts out letting us know that the West got lost pretty much at the trailhead in matters of the head and heart. He translates nous as heart and not mind.He points us to a Philokalia directive of St. Markariosthat the nous is indeed the "eye of the heart"; and of St. Diadochos (5th Cent.) that it is this nous business which is a key anchor point of our lives if our spirituality is to work--"innermost aspect of the heart".Here we plug into and stay connected to our true selves and into each other, how we best commune and communicate with self, our fellows and with God.Webber addresses well the disintegration, fragmentation and estrangement that plagues us and our often limping religiosity.

His call for us to return to the heart and to experience and to mystery is accompanied by a parallel warning.Danger ahead is the bodiless mind embracing and theologically fatal path of dualism (body bad; spirit good) endemic in the West.The tone of Webber'sbook is refreshing, like the way he suggests that perhaps calling our bishop "your eminence" might be a bit dated.

If you are an academic, you might be offended at his style as Webber works to keep things simple.He tells fun stories yet he is far from an Erma Bombeck protégé.Those under the author's tutelage will tell you he's a man of letters.He retired (in a ceremony hosted by Kallistos Ware, his mentor) in recent years as a parish priest to write.Yet God yanked him back into the pastorate to serve as head of a dozen or so monks at St. John's Monastery near Redding where he leads a group of rather bookish monks previously lead by the new Metropolitan of the OCA.Hopefully Achmandrite Webber'scontemplative digs of late will yield many more such helpful books. Fr. Melitos has a Greek background yet as a Celtic redhead convert to the Eastern church he has a British humor and an Oxford head on his shoulders which brings a good mix that comes together well in his writing.

I liked this book better than the one on sobriety and the 12 steps.In both Webber is at the same time simple and complex.This book on the Sacraments soulfully explores the mystical theology of the Eastern church.Not surprising as I'm told the predecessor and founder of the monastery Fr. Meletios now shepherds came to the East through Lossky 's book by that same title.This is good.I look for many other helpful titles from this Orthodox author.

5-0 out of 5 stars A significant volume, getting to the heart of the faith!
Bread & Water, Wine &, Oil: An Orthodox Christian Experience of God, by Archimandrite Meletios Webber

This is a significant book, one that could only be written by someone who has not only studied, but lived the Orthodox Christian faith for more than 35 years. I purchased my copy of "Bread & Water, Wine & Oil" in 2008 at the monastery in northern California where, less than a year later, Archimandrite Meletios would be installed as abbot. This says something about the respect that the Orthodox Church has for the ministry of this monk, priest, psychologist and author, who replaced the founding abbot after his elevation as Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church in America.

I first encountered the work of Archimandrite Meletios when I read his excellent examination of the Twelve Steps (Alcoholics Anonymous, etc.) entitled "Steps of Transformation." Shortly after reading that book several years ago, I had the opportunity to hear him speak at a local retreat.

What makes this book significant is that the author shows how God can use very ordinary, but essential, elements such as bread, water, wine and oil, not to mention fallible human beings, in order to draw us into his presence in a profound way. This book is all about getting out of the head and into the heart, which is what the great mystical writers have been pointing to throughout Christian history.

It is not surprising that this volume was published by Conciliar Press, well known for producing materials by, about and for converts to the Orthodox Christian faith. Many of us converts studied our way into the faith, examining things like Church history, theology and the Scriptures to find our way "home." What sets this volume apart is that the author moves us from the head knowledge into the heart.

The book is divided into two parts. The first, "Life is a Mystery," discusses the mind, heart, mystery, our relationship with God, distraction and prayer, making a sanctified effort, the sanctification of time, sacred places, and icons and the incarnation. The second part, "The Mysteries of the Church," discusses the Mysteries (often called "the sacraments") including birth and baptism, chrismation, Holy Communion, confession and forgiveness, anointing of the sick, marriage and ordination.

The first section alone is worth the purchase price of the book, and shows clearly how an Orthodox Christian mindset (or rather "heart") is different in many ways from what we may have learned in Western Christianity. At first I had trouble seeing how the second part of the book connected to the first, but in the end it works together beautifully.

I highly recommend this book to my fellow converts to the Orthodox Christian faith, as well as to inquirers, catechumens and others who would be interested in looking past the outward trappings of Orthodoxy to see how a relationship with God in this context can transform the heart.

I'll close with a quote from the last paragraph of the book, which more or less summarizes what it's all about:

"It is worth remembering that it is the act of seeking the place of the heart which is our goal, our highest aspiration, not the actual finding of it. It is the journey, not the destination, which is of utmost importance." ... Read more

32. Cambridge History of Christianity: Volume 5, Eastern Christianity
Hardcover: 742 Pages (2006-09-04)
list price: US$225.99 -- used & new: US$187.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521811139
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This volume brings together in one compass the Orthodox Churches - the ecumenical patriarchate of Constantinople and the Russian, Armenian, Ethiopian, Egyptian and Syrian Churches. It follows their fortunes from the late Middle Ages until modern times - exactly the period when their history has been most neglected. Inevitably, this emphasises differences in teachings and experience, but it also brings out common threads, most notably the resilience displayed in the face of alien and often hostile political regimes. The central theme is the survival against the odds of Orthodoxy in its many forms into the modern era. The last phase of Byzantium proves to have been surprisingly important in this survival. It provided Orthodoxy with the intellectual, artistic and spiritual reserves to meet later challenges. The continuing vitality of the Orthodox Churches is evident for example in the Sunday School Movement in Egypt and the Zoe brotherhood in Greece.Cambridge Histories Online ... Read more

33. Praying With the Orthodox Tradition
by Kallistos Ware
Paperback: 101 Pages (2002-03)
list price: US$10.00 -- used & new: US$10.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0881411566
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for the Orthodox Novice
This is a easy and well written work outlining the Hours.I would recommend this for anyone who is interested in praying the Hours.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Useful
This book is useful for daily prayers. The prayers are arranged in the order of prayer used by Orthodox Christians. It begins with Vespers which is at 6pm and goes through of the hours of prayer. The prayers are to the point and relate to each time period. I usually use the morning prayers. There are also extra pages which I have filled up with other prayers. The forward is very informative especially for a beginner.

5-0 out of 5 stars we all have time to pray, or else we shouldn't breathe
Prayer is the breath of the Christian life, as it unites the heart and mind to God an reminds us that we are our brother's and sister's keeper. This very slim volume is a handy book to have in the glove box, desk drawer, purse or backpack. Broken down by time (sunset, midnight, 9 am, noon etc), the prayers come right out of the Orthodox Christian monastic prayer cycle that all Christians can use for profit. Some sections are longer than others, but usually you can pray any given section in about five minutes, or, if you need a shorter prayer, you can do it in 30 seconds. God knows what we need and can do.

And the introduction by Bishop Kallistos Ware is very much worth reading over a few times a year, showing how prayer is something we do with the body and mind and heart, a recognition of God's holiness and mystery, a rejoicing in His love and intimacy, how it is Trinitarian and, since we ar emade in teh image of the Trinity, how our prayer is never individualistic- we belong to each other.


4-0 out of 5 stars Worth the price for the introduction alone
Kallistos Ware wrote the foreward for this little gem; in it he defines man as a praying animal - an absolutely brilliant paragraph.

The prayers in the book are taken from an ancient Greek liturgical document - lateeighth century i.e. before the Catholic-Orthodox split.Parenti hasselected from this document prayers for the liturgical hours (DivineOffice, Breviary).The prayers are clearly saturated with a Scripturalorientation - phrases and images consistently taken from the Bible.Theprayers are chosen to clearly illustrate the orientation of each hour - 3rdhours to Pentecost, 9th hour to nailing Christ to the cross etc.

Thesetraits are useful - but the beauty and doctrinal soundness of the prayersthemselves make the book one to be treasured.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
This is the most beautiful collection of prayers I've ever seen! ... Read more

34. One Flew Over the Onion Dome: American Orthodox Converts, Retreads & Reverts
by Joseph Huneycutt
Paperback: 144 Pages (2007-01-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$6.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1928653278
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Converts to the Orthodox Church are sometimes stunned by the ethnic ghetto they seem to have landed in. Cradle Orthodox are no less amazed by these zealous, sometimes apparently nutty, converts. And priests seem to not have a clue as to how to deal the the mixed blessing of new comers. How on earth can we all understand each other? This book answers these quandries. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
It is a wonderful book, I recommend it for Orthodox as well as non-orthodox to read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another help along the path to God
I firmly believe that all of us who are converts to Orthodoxy have a story to tell that will help others who are seeking to come closer to God.Fr. Huneycutt is one of the few former Episcopalians who in my opinion plainly states that he left that once great church because it had become apostate.In some ways his decision to convert is similar to theexperience of Paul who on the road to Damascus was made blind then whose eyes were opened.

What I believe is the central theme in this book is that it clearly states that the path to Orthodoxy is not an easy one.The journey of the convert leads to people and experiences one does not have a ready frame of reference for based on ones former church life.Huneycutt does his best to give the convert insight on how to deal with the twists, turns as well as the ups and downs of conversion.

If there is a co-star theme, then it is that while the Eastern Church is still very ethnic in parts of America; Orthodoxy in America will one day and perhaps not to long from now will develop its own American cultural identity, thanks to the number of converts who are seeking a more deeper relationship with God.

One Flew Over the Onion Dome should be on every converts or seekers reading list as they look for the day when they will be welcomed home.

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent Contribution
I find this book aiming at addressing an important topic in the life of the American Church; yet, the writing style was often irritating, and there was a general lack of internal structure and consensus.The information in the many chapters was informative, but the incessant "ain't" usage as well as the jumping from topic to topic detracted from the overall writing.In the end, worth reading for the information.I just wish the writing and structure had been better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Every convert should be required to read this book!
I really wish I had read this book before I became Orthodox. Converts to the faith in the U.S. have such a challenge in finding a well grounded, sane church where one can learn about the faith without adding to their own baggage. Fr. Joseph concisely maps out the red flags within American Orthodoxy to provide a sound plan of action for those who are faced with the confusing task of finding the true faith. As a seminarian at St. Herman's in Kodiak, Alaska I saw first hand the challenges one must endure in finding the conduit of sound Orthodox doctrine and practice. The concerns Fr. Joseph outlines in his book would serve as a most useful tool to anyone thinking about becoming Orthodox. It would even be a great resource for those who have already converted to the faith by comparing Fr. Joseph's advice with their own journey to Orthodoxy. Finally, this book will serve as a source of direction for those who have been Orthodox all their lives and might not understand the struggle their convert brethren endure to meet the true faith.I highly advise anyone, particularly pastors, to read this book and learn well, in an effort to help those who struggle, the oddities which those who come to the faith are faced.

5-0 out of 5 stars One Flew over the Onion Dome: American Orthodox Converts, Retreads & Reverts
A really true and complete explanation of what happens to people who convert to Orthodox Christianity.Fr. Huneycutt explains how his own faith journey goes from Baptist to Anglican (Episcopalian) to Orthodox and the problems and rewards he experienced and witnesses about others' experience in going from "mainline Christianity" to an ancient and mystical faith.I'm certain that these experiences are similar in going to AA, NA, (as I myself have done) and other 12 step programs where a change of life, open-mindedness, humility and acceptance of others are required.He also shows how Orthodoxy is not, and never has been, the opposite sides of the same coin that Catholicism and Protestantism share. ... Read more

35. Christianity in the Land of the Pharaohs: The Coptic Orthodox Church
by Jill Kamil
Hardcover: 336 Pages (2002-10-27)
list price: US$99.95 -- used & new: US$69.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415242533
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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An engaging survey of Coptic Christianity in Egypt since Pharaonic times, through its development under Rome, Byzantium, Islam and beyond. Ideal reading for students of Egyptian history and Christianity. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars A flawed book on a sadly obscure topic
"Christianity in the Land of the Pharaohs" is an unnecessarily complicated book, it contains fascinating details that are hard to find elsewhere but it is also badly organized, scatter shot and often littered with facts that are not exactly correct.

Written by an Anglo-Kenyan woman who married an Egyptian Copt in the 1950s, it is rather chatty and very much an apologetic for the Coptic faith.The book focuses on the continuity of religious experience from Pharonic times till today, with a special focus on the origins of the Coptic church.Filled with stories of various Saints and Holy Men along with sketches of various monasteries, it is certainly enthusiastic.

The author has many ideas, but they are badly organized, for example discussions of various gnostic gospels are sandwiched into stories of various Coptic religious figures who were in all likelihood not nearly so unorthodox.At other points, there are serious errors of fact, such as when Patriarch Gregory I of Antioch is confused with the French bishop, Gregory of Tours. Kamil's grasp of the history of the non Copt church is shaky at best, and very colored by her prejudices.

The biggest problem though, since this is basically a volume of church history, is that the author has a very weak grasp of theology, that of the Orthodox Chalcedonian churches and of her own Coptic Orthodox Church.Because of this her, frequent, theological discussions are mostly incoherent and definitely confusing.

This is unfortunate because there really is almost nothing on this topic in English, that is readily available.Most works on Egyptian Christianity are really about Christian art, and tend to be both uninterested and dismissive of the Coptic church itself, focusing on the "naive" art of the Copts. If you are interested in the subject I recommend this book, but don't be surprised if you find it as frustrating as I did.

I was tempted to give this three stars, but the uniqueness of the book led me to give it a fourth.

5-0 out of 5 stars An insider's vivid Coptic Christianity
Egyptian Christianity:
The Christians of Egypt, called the Copts, a corrupted Greek word for Egyptians, used by the nomadic Arab invaders, have a tragic but very fascinating history. Their significance to Western culture and Christian faith has gained momentum, in the last decades after the discovery of the Coptic Gnostic Library of Chenoboskion, near today's city of Nag Hammadi, in upper Egypt.

Author with a challenge:
Jill Kamil, is an outstanding writer and columnist for Al Ahram Weekly, the elite Middle East English cultural bulletin, where she edits the travel and archeology section. Jill, living in Egypt since 1956, when she adopted her husband's Coptic heritage, weaved in a unique style, by her observing eyes and analytical mind, supported with historical research, and endorsed with absorbing stories, a lively mosaic of history, tragedy, faith and mysticism. Jill anticipates and answers her Children and grandchildren queries, and yourself if you will, supported with over a hundred photo
-How has Egyptian Christianity influenced the wider church?
-What led the Copts to initiate and promote monasticism?
-Why were so many Christian martyred in late antiquity Egypt?
-When and Why did the Egyptian church break away from Chaledonian main stream Christianity, after the sixth century? Who called it the Coptic Church, and when?

Coptic tradition and Culture:
"A beaming bearded priest led me towards the baptismal font in the cathedral of St. Mark the Evangelist in the Ezbekieh district of Cairo. I was seven month pregnant and about to become a member of the Coptic orthodox church. My husband Nabeeh Kamil, sociologist and artist whom I met when he was studying in the UK, was by my side." This is how Jill started her book with her natural introduction but fascinating encounter with ancient Christianity, still alive in the hearts of the Copts.
Christianity in Kemet, the land of the Pharaohs is an engaging survey of Coptic Christianity, through late pharaonic times, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Memluk, and Ottoman periods and beyond Mohammed Aly modern Egypt.
She based her book, the sixteenth in a category, on her own insider experience of half a century of living and loving, extensive travel around the Coptic sites, conversing with a colorful spectrum of various experts, monks, archeologists, evaluating and summing up the Coptic experience, and impact in space and time, on tradition and culture in Egypt, the region, and the world.

Stories from the Past:
Jill recounts Coptic folklore fables, they keep telling their sons and daughters from generation to generation, and stories held dear to their hearts, that centuries away created those marvelous legends in the Gnostic Gospel of the Childhood, and according to the Egyptians. In her introduction she defended very articulately the case for setting the record straight about the same deficiency-bias ,'associated with Europe's view of Europe itself at the time...{and} the colonial attitude led to a resistance against providing Egyptians with information on their own past'

' Ancient Egyptian theology, despite its apparent diversity and growing complexity with the passage of time, remained remarkably uniform throughout the 3,000 years of ancient history. It was closely connected with the Egyptian's conception of his world -- the universe was essentially static; the social order was part of the cosmic order, and the central figure was the king, whose acts were those of a god not a human being.'Amazing! ... Read more

36. Introducing the Orthodox Church: Its Faith and Life
by Anthony M. Coniaris
 Paperback: 282 Pages (2007-08)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$125.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1933654082
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
I really like how this book takes all the parts of orthodoxy and puts them in quick reference, segments. It's easy to see what they believe on different topics this way. I also like the beliefs being explained. It's encouraging.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Evangelical Investigating Christian Roots
Introducing the Orthodox Church is a fast but comprehensive read of contemporary orthodoxy.As an Evangelical, I find myself many times in a Christian quandry as to the state of the current church.Evangelicals have a pot pouiree of choices from which to choose to experience their faith.I grew up in the United Church of Christ, became a Missouri Synod Lutheran after marriage, went to an Evangelical Free Church, but I am Charismatic (EV Free is not)so I went looking elsewhere, attending 5-10 differnt churches over the last 20-25 years.Seeker sensitive, Emerging church, nondenominational, mainline denominations, charismatic, fundmentalist, dispensational, reformed, as an evangelical maybe I detect a problem here?

The question needs to be "what is Gods will?"I have read through the entire Catholic Catechism but in many points it just did not "ring true" even though I was praying to seek if this is where the Lord may lead me.

In contrast Coniaris has written a book which is designed to acquaint people with Orthodoxy and was written for use in an adult membership or converts class.

He breaks the book down into chapters which cover What We Believe aboutthe Nicene Creed, Jesus, The Holy Trinity, Salvation, The Divine Liturgy. Other chapters cover Who were the Church Fathers, What We Believe about Saints and Theotokos, Life After Death,The Bible, Icons, Praying for the Dead and a chapter on the Sacraments and what they are and their purpose.

It is a very simple but comprehensive book.It will probably answer most questions that one might have concerning Orthodox Christianity.

One chapter describing the icons and the physical layout of an Orthodox church was very insightful to me.I have been to only 2 or 3 Orthodox churches over the past 10 years but now I realize all the meaning behind what I saw.

Explaining the liturgy and the role of the preists put an entirely different spin on church hierarchy as opposed to Roman Cahtolic.

Frankly put, I agreed with about 90-95% of what I read.I still have many questions such as the deification process. Is this different than Evangelical sanctification? They have a more accurate view of Mary in my opinion than the Catholics.

I found that the Orthodox and Evangelicals are much closer than say Evangelicals and Catholics or even Orthodox and Catholics.

The Church I attend right now is a Vineyard and the Lord is present in the Holy spirit.I wonder what it would be like if the Holy Spirit of the Charismatic/Evangelical chruch was united with the forms and the vast history of the Orthodox Church?

Perhaps this is something in the future to fulfill the Lords prayer "That they may be one as I and the Father are on."

This book is recommended to anyone but especially Evangelicals and Protestants.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good primer for those interested in Orthodoxy
A very short, but succinct overview of the faith and life of the Orthodox Church for inquirers looking for an initial understanding.Fr. Coniaris is concise and to-the-point, and explains deep nuances of Orthodox Christian theology in a simple, easy-to-understand matter.He has a great talent for "humanizing" the Church; and he accomplishes this through a myriad of anecdotes and poetry selections.My fiancée at the time, however, found this a little annoying.

I hate to criticize this delightful book (which is an excellent work overall, and it's really not my place), but I did find one major error in the chapter on Scripture, viz. -- that we only accept the seven "deuterocanonical books" (the so-called "Apocrypha") as reading for spiritual edification, and not as doctrinally accurate, or, per sé, directly inspired by the Holy Ghost.This isn't quite true.These books are on par with the rest of Scripture (per the Council of Carthage and earlier councils), unless, perhaps, he is referring to other books proper to many manuscripts of the God-inspired Septuagint and the Jewish tradition (e.g., Bel and the Snake, Susanna, et al).

I also always understood many of the popular analogies of the Trinity he employs (for example, "solid-liquid-gas," and the like) to be insufficient according to Orthodox theology, as the "prosopoi" [Divine Persons] are not mere "masks" or faces, inasmuch as the mystery of three distinct Personages subsistent in one consubstantial God is essentially incomprehensible.

In summary, it's a good book, but leaves just a little to be desired.I would, however, recommend it to anyone wishing to learn about the Orthodox Church, preferably supplemented with more in-depth texts under the guidance of a good priest.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Interesting and Clear Presentation of Orthodox Theology
Coniaris has written what is perhaps the best primer on Orthodoxy. As an Anglican, I have often considered becoming Orthodox as our communion becomes beset with problems. Whenever I have a theological question, particularly a sacramental one, I usually consult this book first. It is highly detailed, yet simple and easily understood. A caption in the front of the book suggests it is for those curious about the Orthodox faith, and for confirmation classes, and I think it is excellent for both.

Some of the topics include The Church, Jesus, the Nicene Creed, Icons, Sacraments (i.e. mysteries), Prayer, and the Bible. Coniaris' tone is non-polemical, and he does not condemn others as he lauds the Orthodox faith. This is in contrast to Frank Schaeffer's writings, which are also intended for those discovering Orthodoxy. In some ways all 215 pages of this book read like a historical Christian commentary on major themes, because the writings and wisdom of the ancient Church are generously quoted. However, Coniaris does keep the discussion current as well. He uses many jokes and modern illustrations to explain key theological points. For instance, when describing the mystery (and difficulty) of the Trinity he tells of a boy singing in the choir of a Church that uses the Athanasian creed. When the little boy sang the 8th verse, the boy would sing under his breath, "The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, the Holy Spirit incomprehensible, ...the whole thing incomprehensible!"

Overall, this is a fine book for those exploring the Orthodox Church, those in it, and those who just want a taste of ancient Eastern Christian theology. Often in the Western churches the wisdom of Chrysostom, Gregory Palamas, Symeon, and other great theologians are largely ignored. Thus, this book has many purposes, and even if you don't read it all the way through, keep it as a reference book; there is a lot of great theology contained within.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Good Intro to Orthodoxy
This is the catechism for us average folk. Fr. Coniaris takes us into the Orthodox Church and makes all those confusing theological terms make sense. He relates the teachings of the Church to everyday life and is well-known for his edifying and sometimes amusing anecdotes. This is recommended as a good general catechism. ... Read more

37. A Manual of Eastern Orthodox Prayers
by Orthodox Eastern Church
Hardcover: 113 Pages (1997-03)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$167.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0881410128
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Morning and evening prayers, communion prayers, selected troparia and prayers for various occasions.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Book of Common Prayer for the Eastern Orthodox
Being a recent convert to Orthodox Christianity from Anglican church, I missed the daily routine of the reading the daily offices, especially morning prayer.

A Manual of Eastern Orthodox Prayers with its beautiful language has filled that void in my daily devotions.It is similar to the 1928 Book of Common Prayer in that it has a service of morning and evening prayer to include a pause in the prayer service for the reading of scripture.Further like the 1928 Prayer Book there are prayers for other occassions along with a section of anthems and hymns for the greater feasts and saints' days.

As a new convert to Orthodox Christianity I have found the calendar of the Eastern Orthodox Church very helpful in learning about the saints and feast days.Coming from the Anglican and earlier Southern Baptist background, I did not realize that there were any other saints beyond those of the Western Church.The suffering and example of the saints of the Eastern Church offer great examples of how to live and moreover the suffering the Eastern Church has suffered from its very beginnings all the way through the 20th century.

Protestants and most Anglicans do not practice confession.There is a section of this prayer manual on the order of confession.We in the Western Church may want to rethink confession.For confession of sin is part of repentance.Something we tend not to discuss in the West.

A daily routine of correct prayer is important in the development of one's spiritual life.This prayer manual guides one correctly on a path of prayer needed to sustain one in a temporal world so full of sin.

I realize that I need a copy of this to carry in my briefcase, so that during my lunch break, I can reconnect with what is important.

My wholehearted recommendation to recent converts and to all Orthodox Christians living in America.

5-0 out of 5 stars I hold this treasure close to heart.
This little book of prayers has changed my life. Coming from a non-liturgical background, this book introduced a foriegn structure into my normally spontenous prayer life. Over the years, it has opened a new world of spiritual formation in my life. Along the way, these simple prayers have stirred me to a greater vision of the awesomeness of our Creator. "Holy God. Holy and Mighty. Holy Immortal. Have mercy on us."

4-0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to Orthodox prayer, esp for inquirers
As other reviewers have noted, this book has many prayers used by Orthodox Christians in personal devotions. It also has some materials used for public worship, such as scripture lessons for the Twelve Great Feasts and for the Sundays of Great Lent, as well as certain Sunday and weekday troparia (theme-hymns).

Originally published in 1945, its language does predate today's interest in "Modern English for worship". Also, having first been published by an Anglican-Orthodox fellowship, rather than by an Orthodox jurisdiction, the book itself might not necessarily be used by large numbers of Orthodox Christians in English-speaking lands (they might use other collections of these prayers prepared by their own Churches).

However, those other collections might be less accessible to people outside Orthodoxy than this one, which can be ordered so easily through Amazon. It can therefore introduce inquirers to a portion of the rich treasury of Orthodox prayer.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Light from the East
This small purple book (originally published in Great Britain in 1945) contains prayers of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, prayers from which any reader can derive joy and benefit and fitting words to praise the one God in three Persons, God who is Light and Life, Transcendence and Immanence, Majesty and Mercy.

There are morning prayers, evening prayers, prayers for different occasions, anthems and hymns for saints and holy feasts (troparia and kontakia), the Orders of Confession according to Greek and Slavonic uses (in English), prayers for use before and after the reception of Holy Communion, and a calendar of the saints who are honoured in holy Orthodoxy.

The "O Heavenly King" can be found on page 2, prayers to the Theotokos on page 8, a prayer of St John Chrysostom "according to the hours of the day and night" on pp. 14-15 (this prayer, or series of short prayers, quite lovely); Metropolian Philaret's prayer where he dares not ask for either cross or consolation, on p. 24; a lengthy and lovely prayer in verse by St Symeon the New Theologian, beginning on page 71, and a penitential pre-Communion prayer of surpassing beauty ("Thou hast smitten me, O Christ, with yearning; and with thy divine love hast thou changed me") on page 77.

The language is reminiscent of earlier days in the life of the Church (thees and thous), and when psalms are quoted, it is the 1662 Book of Common Prayer version that is used.This comparatively young, Western, Roman Catholic reader values this small purple book, A Manual of Eastern Orthodox Prayers, for its loveliness of language, its acute awareness of -- and profound humility before -- Divine Beauty, and its recognition (often absent in the language of modern Western Christianity) that God is Majesty, and that as we approach him, a feeling of awe is not malapert.

4-0 out of 5 stars Best Compilation of Orthodox Prayers
This little book includes most of the prayers that Orthodox laity would be apt to use in their daily life, along with the liturgy and preparation for confession.

Clergy of other denominations interested in Orthodox ritual will probably find this book of use as well, since it points out differences in Russian and Greek usage and also gives the most complete church calendar I have ever seen in English. Anglican readers will find a perhaps unpleasant surprise - Lancelot Andrewes' "preces privatae", rather than being his own inventions, are in fact prayers from the Orthodox preparation for communion, as you will find if you compare them with the versions in this book. ... Read more

38. Eastern Orthodox Theology: A Contemporary Reader
Paperback: 288 Pages (2003-10-01)
list price: US$28.00 -- used & new: US$9.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0801026512
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Eastern Orthodox Church leaders celebrate and explain the nuances of their faith in Eastern Orthodox Theology, a collection of readings for those who wish to better understand key aspects of the Orthodox faith, such as liturgy and sacraments, tradition, the mystical encounter between person and God, and relations with other branches of the church. In this new edition, two new articles have been added to update the section on Orthodoxy's relationship with the West. Articles from Timothy Weber (the only non-Orthodox contribution) and Bradley Nassif address the growing interface between the evangelical and Orthodox traditions. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Orthodox Theology - as Worship, as Tradition, as Encounters, and as Mission
Excellent companion to Daniel B. Clendenin's other book about Orthodoxy - "Eastern Orthodox Christianity: A Western Perspective."

This book in comparison to its companion, is a compilation of contemporary Orthodox theologians' writings on such topics as:
* liturgy and sacraments,
* tradition,
* the mystical encounter between person and God, and
* relations with the other branches of the church.

One will be pleasantly surprised to read biographical information on theologians such as Kallistos Ware, Vladimir Lossky, Alexander Schmemann and others and also read their thoughts on Orthodox living theology.

This book is written for all Christians, but primarily for Protestants and Eastern Orthodox believers.Enjoy!

4-0 out of 5 stars Orthodoxy as Tradition, Worship, and Apophatic Theology,

Wide Spectrum Reader:
The 'Contemporary Reader' of Eastern Orthodox theology, is a thoughtfully selected group of essays. This book is intended as a companion reader to the author's apologia; looking into Orthodox traditions, of Liturgy and theology. The concise essays provide enough information to get the reader briefed on various topics, authored by eminent Eastern Orthodox, where the Evangelical editor comment on the theological message of the essay itself.
No lesser an Orthodox than the Editor, I would recommend this collection of essays as a broad spectrum introductory readership to Eastern Orthodox Doctrine: teaching (Doctrine: from Doctor i.e. Teacher of the church), in spite of being a monotonic essays rather than Chatechetical dialogue (in the Alexandrine sense it should be Q & A dialogue)

Orthodox Essays Roaster:
Daniel Clendenin, an Evangelical student of Eastern Orthodoxy, who critically examined and proved aware of Orthodox practices to the amazement of most Easterners and Orientals, is on InterVarsity staff at Stanford University. The knowledgeable book editor, who once wrote; Why I'm not Orthodox, 'Christianity today, Jan. 6, 1997', made his case based on some petrified Orthodox practices.
Clendenin has included a balanced selection of topics from some outstanding Eastern (Byzantine) theologians, who happened to be mostly Russian: Florovsky, Lossky, Meyendroff, and Schmemann. His selection from Greek theologians was short of Zizioulis, Staniloae, and others. He may have never heard of eminent Orintals like Metropolitan G. Khedr, or Fr. Matthew the poor, Abbot of St. Makarius.
The issues are very well selected and the chapters cover a full integral roaster of topics. Since the editor is Evangelical he skillfully included most of the issues of particular concern to Protestants, covering everything from the importance of the liturgy to the role of sacraments and Orthodox stances on the nature of God and such issues on salvation as Theosis (deification), the Eucharist, intercession of saints, praying with icons, and hesitant ecumenical relations with the Romans, and at least upper Church Protestantism.

Orthodox Theology:
As a lay theologian interested in learning what the neo-Orthodox are to say, I came to know, specially Fr. Lev Gilet of St. Serge, in Paris who was very influential in the revival of Orthodox Youth movement in the Middle east. Although I am reservedly fascinated with 'Byzantine' ontological theology yet this is remote from authentic Orthodoxy, the spirit of the desert fathers and their mysticism. Prof. Thomas Torrance expresses it well: the knowledge of God comes through the remarriage of Ontology with Epistemology. Surprisingly, they have never been divorced in the ultimate Alexandro-Antiochian Orthodoxy. Some of these articles may look somewhat controversial; that is because Oriental and Eastern Orthodoxy has a minimum of dogmatics, leaving more space for personal views, united by the long patristic tradition, since there is no strict doctrinal control in the traditional archaic sense.
Orthodox theology rooted in Alexandria cataphatic based allegory, biblical mysticism garnished with Skete's practical Christianity of partaking in divine nature (Theosis), through ego mortification to self forgiveness, and being in continuing presence of the Lord, in praying unceasingly the arrow prayer of Macarius (adopted as the Jesus prayer): this is the only authentic Orthodox Mystical theology of sharing our being in Christ Victor.

Controversial Orthodoxy?
An Amazon.com reviewer guessed "whether this book is fair representation of Orthodox thinking. I happen to know that some of the authors and opinions are controversial in Orthodox circles." While, "studentofislamichistory" adds that, "Perhaps it is hard to avoid controversy in modern theology." Whether this book represents a full spectrum of contemporary Orthodox theological thought? Although few of the authors are out of the main stream conservatives, their opinions are not controversial but complementary. Saying so, I could be no less critical of some of the marginally expressed views.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good collection of essays on orthodox thought
This book was my first-ever purchase from Amazon.com 4 years ago.Although not a member of the Orthodox church, I pay some attention to theology and was interested in learning what the Orthodox had to say.I found this an excellent introduction to Orthodox doctrines, covering everything from the importance of the liturgy to the role of sacraments and Orthodox stances on the nature of God and ecumenicism.The anonymous reader from Northern California states that some of these articles are controversial; regrettably, I don't have information on that.Perhaps it is hard to avoid controversy in modern theology.In any case, if you're interested in the title subject, this is a good starting point.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Selection, Eminently Readable
First I must note that I am not Orthodox, and neither is the book's editor. So I can't begin to guess whether this book is fair representation of Orthodox thinking. I happen to know that some of the authors andopinions are controversial in Orthodox circles. But I think the book isgreat. The selections are very well written and cover a broad variety oftopics, including most of those of particular concern to Protestants, suchas icons, saints, deification, and ecumenical relations. The introductionsto each essay provide just enough information to get the reader orientedwithout intruding on the content. I have rarely enjoyed a thelogical bookso much. The essays by Lossky alone are worth the price. ... Read more

39. Christianity and Liberalism
by J. Gresham Machen
Paperback: 158 Pages (2009-05-15)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802864996
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars As recommended on the Glen Beck show
This was recommended by a learned professor on the Glenn Beck show, so it must be the truth. I think it also gets the George Washington seal of approval.

5-0 out of 5 stars Could Have Been Written Last Week
Today, when most Americans consider the word "liberalism", we think of a political philosophy or party. In the late 19th and into the early 20th century, however, there was a movement within the Protestant church known as Liberalism. While this religious movement does have some commonalities with political liberalism (a basic belief in man's goodness and a strong humanitarian ethic, for instance), in their particulars they are really two very different things. It is religious Liberalism which Machen addresses in this book, which was written in 1923.

The main thrust of the Protestant Liberalism movement was a supposed focus on the work and teaching of Jesus, without holding to any dogmatic theological distinctions. In other words, liberals believed that Jesus was the highest moral example for men to follow, and that we should do what he did: Care for the poor, promote peace, and preach a message of love. Doing these things, says the liberal, promotes the betterment of society, but does not require any belief in the supernatural. The Bible is treated as a moral guidebook, but is not the inerrant Word of God. The Biblical claims of Jesus' virgin birth, substitutionary atonement, and bodily resurrection from the dead are regarded with skepticism, but are ultimately seen as unimportant relative to the practical application of Jesus' teachings.

Machen's main premise is that Liberalism is completely antithetical to Christianity. He then proceeds to lay out an incredible defense of orthodox Protestantism, comparing it at each point with the Liberalism that had gained so much popularity in the churches of that time.

He begins the discussion with an overview of why doctrine is so important, and why inerrancy is non-negotiable to anyone who claims to be a Christian. After all, if the Bible is not true, we have no basis for believing anything about Jesus. If it is true, then we must believe everything it says about Him. Furthermore, the liberal's claim to hold only to Jesus' words and deeds is inconsistent with their denial of the supernatural, because Jesus made several indisputable claims to deity (as well as to the authority of Scripture). Essentially, Machen is making C.S. Lewis' trilemma argument ("Liar, Lunatic, or Lord") twenty years before the publication of Mere Christianity.

Machen then contrasts Christianity and Liberalism in the areas of several doctrines critical to Christian belief:

* Our understanding of who God is
* Man's relationship with God and standing before Him
* The person and work of Christ
* What salvation is and the means by which man may attain it
* The role of the Church

Because the liberal teaching in these areas is mutually exclusive with the traditional, orthodox positions held by the Church for nearly 2,000 years (and, more importantly, given to us in God's Word), Machen proposes that, for the sake of intellectual honesty, liberals ought to stop referring to themselves as "Christians", and instead join or create a different religious sect that more closely aligns with their beliefs. The Christian Church was founded on certain principles, and it is dishonest to represent the Church when one does not hold to those principles.

The reasons liberals are unwilling to make such a break from the Christian Church are many, but one of the primary motivations is a desire to gain control of the considerable resources of evangelical churches and use them for the advancement of liberal aims. Machen issues a call for conservative Christians to uphold the Truth of the real Gospel and to stand up against the advancement of Liberalism in the Church. This is done in four ways: (1) Encouraging those evangelists and apologists who are engaged in the intellectual and spiritual struggle; (2) set a higher standard of qualifications of candidates for ministry; (3) preach the Cross of Christ at all times, to all people, in all situations; and (4) bring about a renewal of Christian education, beginning in the home.

This book is possibly even more relevant now than it was in 1923. If it weren't for the language used, one wouldn't know this wasn't written last week. Liberalism is alive and well in the Church today, though it goes by many other names now. Modernism has given way to postmodernism, but the struggle is still the same. Satan has no need to introduce new lies when the old ones are working better than ever. Read it. You won't regret it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Releveant Then and Now
This work is fine example of the dichotomy that is Liberalism and Christianity. He boldly stands for truth and exposes "Liberal Christianity" for what it really is, a different religion. Machen exposes the divide as seen in six specific facets of faith: Doctrine, God and Man, The Bible, Christ, Salvation, and the Church. He keeps his word in writing "as sharply and clearly as possible" through every chapter, leaving the reader informed and able to differentiate between Orthodox Christianity and Liberalism. Machen's work should be read by anyone who considers themselves within the fold of God, especially those within the American Church. His words were relevant in his time, and they still ring true today. The Church is under attack, and the body must open its eyes and realize that the enemy is within.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Classic that Keeps on Giving
This book remains the standard for the presentation of post-Fundamental Evangelicalism and how it differs from the liberalism and now post-liberalism of the 20th and 21st centuries.Machen is equal parts scholar and prophet as his critiques not only address the concerns of 1923 but he anticipates and repudiates developments of subsequent iterations of liberalism.His writing is engaging and clear, his arguments are tight and lucid, and his conclusions have stood the test of time.At times he may paint with too broad a brush, missing the nuances of various liberal positions, but on the whole, nearly every word of every sentence is devoted to clearly articulating and defending his thesis.This books should be required reading for every pastor, seminarian, and interested lay person.Whether you agree with his conclusions or not, Machen's concise yet taut exploration of the divergences between Christianity and liberalism frame the debate in such a way as to alleviate much of the current confusion and contention.

The new foreword by Carl Trueman, while interesting, is really unnecessary.He gives a brief exposition of Machen's main thesis and the way in which he unpacks it through the book, but such an explanation is almost superfluous as Machen's argument is so clearly presented that it is almost impossible to misunderstand him.Overall, though, this book is a classic that should be read and reread by anyone engaged in ecumenical discussions.

5-0 out of 5 stars More relevant now than a century ago
The message of this famous classic of the Christian faith is more desperately needed in the 21st century than it was in the early 20th century. Since Machen wrote, the philosophical and theological trends that generated the issues he was addressing have become more firmly entrenched in the consciousness not only of the culture at large, but of evangelical Christianity in particular. The major thesis of this books is not that theological liberalism is bad, although Machen leaves little doubt of his opinion of it. Rather, the major thesis is that theologically liberal Christianity is not Christianity at all, and that toward every one of the most fundamental teachings of historic Christianity, theological liberalism takes an antithetical stance. These fundamental teachings are expounded in seven brief chapters, covering an introduction, doctrine in general, God & man, the Bible, the person of Jesus Christ, salvation, and the church.

The position of the liberal church toward doctrine is that Christianity should be an undogmatic religion, unconcerned with theological subtleties. Christianity should be a life, not a system of doctrine. Certainly at this point, liberalism could not possibly be more firmly allied with contemporary mainstream evangelicalism. Anti-doctrinalism goes hand in hand with the two most pervasive philosophical currents of our age, postmodernism with its radical relativism, and existentialism, with its radical subjectivism and distrust of objective systems in general. Machen shows that the religion of both the apostle Paul and Jesus Christ himself was as dogmatic as possible. For example, even in the Sermon on the Mount, a favorite passage among theological liberals, "Jesus represents Himself as seated on the judgment seat of all the earth . . . Could anything be further removed than such a Jesus from the humble teacher of righteousness appealed to by modern liberalism?"

Concerning God and Man, Machen emphasizes the liberal tendency to break down the separateness between God and Man and to take an optimistic view of human goodness. One of the most penetrating insights in the book is that "modern liberalism, even when it is not consistently pantheistic, is at any rate pantheizing." This is in opposition to the orthodox teaching of the absoluteness of the Creator-creature distinction, and also of the absolute moral gulf between God and Man as a result of sin, hopelessly unbridgeable apart from the work of Jesus Christ.

Related to the aversion of liberalism to doctrine, or an objective summary of truth, is a corresponding mistrust of the Bible, and the rejection of the Bible's authority as God's Word. Liberalism claims to replace the authority of the Bible with the authority of Jesus Himself, but having rejected the teachings of Jesus in the Bible and through the apostles, this authority amounts to nothing more than the authority of personally selected isolated instances of Jesus' words, interpreted to conform to the liberal religion.

In the person of Jesus Christ, liberalism sees an example for faith, but not an object of faith. This is because the driving principle of liberalism, anti-supernaturalism, cannot admit the historical teaching of who Jesus Christ really was. For liberalism "Jesus differs from the rest of men only in degree, and not in kind: He can be divine only if all men are divine."

Concerning salvation, liberalism sees the source of salvation in man; Christianity sees it in God. Machen also shows that what distinguished early Christianity from the pagan religions of the time was specifically its exclusiveness. Paganism, like modern liberalism, had no problem with many roads to God and many gods, but it has a very deep problem with the exclusivity of Christianity. Finally, the very concept of salvation in Christianity is concerned with heaven, or the future world and life, while modern liberalism is concerned only with this world. This is in my estimation the area in which the majority of Reformed Christians have in fact followed liberalism, specifically with the contemporary preoccupation with cultural transformation as the means to institute God's kingdom on this earth. This is precisely the idea that unambiguously characterizes unbelieving thought, from the rebellious nation of Israel, through the Pharisees, and into the Enlightenment and modern liberalism. Until the European Enlightenment, the true church had consistently affirmed that the world is not our home.

The final chapter on the church is where we have the best glimpse of Machen himself. What Machen could not understand was that if liberalism was so clearly another religion, why it insisted on calling itself Christianity. As far as he was concerned, this was just plain dishonesty. It is in this chapter that he says that he has no problem with liberalism establishing itself as a separate religion competing with Christianity. But calling itself Christianity when it was clearly not, spreading its non-Christian teachings to Christians, and with liberal ministers taking ordination vows to historic confessions of faith which could not possibly be sincere, this was the liberalism against which Machen fought for his whole life, a battle which in the mainline Presbyterian church he ultimately lost. This book clearly and powerfully sets forth what was at stake in the battle, which was and remains nothing other than Christianity itself. The book is well worth reading for all Christians who are committed to their faith. It is not a difficult book to read, and the fundamental issues have changed very little in one hundred years. ... Read more

40. The Hidden Man of the Heart (1 Peter 3:4): The Cultivation of the Heart in Orthodox Christian Anthropology
by Archimandrite Zacharias
Paperback: 203 Pages (2008-01-25)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0980020719
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Hidden Man of the Heart consists of a series of presentations on the place of the heart in the spiritual life of the Christian, with special reference to the writings of St. Silouan the Athonite (1866-1938) Elder Sophrony of Essex (1896-1993). Delivered in Wichita, Kansas at the 2007 Clergy Brotherhood Retreat of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, each lecture is published here in full together with its corresponding Questions & Answers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Profound Spirituality
"The Hidden Man of the Heart" goes even deeper into the heart than "The Enlargement of the Heart" (Father Zacharias's previous book).Father Zacharias, a disciple of Elder Sophrony (see other review), has read every book on spirituality, understood them profoundly and through the grace of the Holy Spirit has written a distilled, succinct and miraculously complete explanation of the path to salvation.Through the Holy Spirit he has been able to use words which will not require a dictionary and to assemble sentences that can be followed.While the spirituality is deep and needs time -a lifetime- to understand, it is accessible.The immediacy is so powerful, that you will feel as if you have been speaking with him.

He speaks of repentance that purifies our a soul and allows the Holy Spirit to begin filling it.This process brings joy and salvation.

If you want exegetical writing, then you should probably stay with others such as St. John Chrysostom.But if you have been studying The Philokalia, St. Isaac the Syrian or similar books on spirituality, then this book is a gift to you from God.

Please forgive me.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Go in and you will find rest"
Archimandrite Zacharias is a member of the monastery of Saint John the Baptist in Essex, founded by Elder Sophrony. In 2007, he led a retreat in Wichita, KS, and this volume offers the presentations delivered at this occasion. Every other chapter is followed by a series of Questions and Answers, as Father Zacharias dialogued with the priests attending the retreat. The whole series focuses on the place of the heart in the spiritual life of the Christian believer. It consists in a very rich inner nourishment, based on the teaching of the Scriptures, and on the spiritual and liturgical experience of the author. He also incorporates the Tradition he received, especially through his mentors Sophrony and Silouan. The book presents the journey of the deep heart (see Ps 64:6), from its awakening to its deification, through purification and transfiguration. In other words, this is a genuine phenomenology of the spiritual life. Coming from a disciple of Sophrony, it is not surprising to see that for Fr. Zacharias, the awakening of the heart comes through mindfulness of death, a true source of inner freedom. This in turns leads to awakening, through a healthy balance between fear of God and love of God. Vigilance, prayer, and repentance help then to build up the heart, or to "enlarge" it, to use a favorite expression of the author (see 2 Cor 6:13). This process has to go through crucifixion, by struggling against the passions. By the grace of God, the Christian will find hesychia, and the divine Word will be conceived in his heart, for his salvation and the salvation of the world. The author offers also many elements of wisdom founded on concrete ecclesial practices, such as the sacrament of confession, meditation on the Gospel, calling upon the name of Jesus and partaking of the sacrament of Holy Communion. This book is an excellent companion for whoever wants to reach a deeper spiritual life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Plumbing the Depths of the Heart
"The Hidden Man of the Heart" is not a light read, but for serious seekers of spiritual maturity, the time spent digesting this work is well worth the effort.Personally, I would recommend beginning by reading another book by the same author, "The Enlargement of the Heart," which lays groundwork that really is needed to properly understand "The Hidden Man of the Heart."This is a work to be read and re-read, studied and returned to for a lifetime. ... Read more

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