Reddit mentions: The best christian orthodoxy books

We found 296 Reddit comments discussing the best christian orthodoxy books. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 89 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

1. The Orthodox Way

SPCK
The Orthodox Way
Sentiment score: 20
Number of mentions: 53
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4. Everyday Saints and Other Stories

Everyday Saints and Other Stories
Sentiment score: 5
Number of mentions: 18
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15. On the Apostolic Preaching

On the Apostolic Preaching
Sentiment score: 2
Number of mentions: 2
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Top Reddit comments about Christian Orthodoxy:

u/unsubinator · 8 pointsr/DebateAChristian

First, look up evangelical counsels (also here).

>Christ in the Gospels laid down certain rules of life and conduct which must be practiced by every one of His followers as the necessary condition for attaining to everlasting life. These precepts of the Gospel practically consist of the Decalogue, or Ten Commandments, of the Old Law, interpreted in the sense of the New. Besides these precepts which must be observed by all under pain of eternal damnation, He also taught certain principles which He expressly stated were not to be considered as binding upon all, or as necessary conditions without which heaven could not be attained, but rather as counsels for those who desired to do more than the minimum and to aim at Christian perfection, so far as that can be obtained here upon earth.

Going back a few verses from the verse you referenced, we read that Jesus said to the crowd:

>Take heed, and beware of all covetousness; for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.

Elsewhere, we read that Jesus tells us:

>Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Obviously a Christian's duty is always to those in greater need than he. And if what you own stands between yourself and helping with food, or clothing, or shelter, than what you own is an obstacle...not just to Christian perfection, but to charity--which is the greatest (and most fundamental) of the virtues.

But of all the people we read about who Jesus interacted with, the only person he explicitly told to "sell all you own" was the Rich Young Man, to whom he said, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."

>When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.

Though this man says he had "kept the commandments from his youth", his heart was not where it ought to have been. His heart was where his treasure was--with his possessions.

But that Jesus never intended all of his disciples to sell all of their possessions is proved from the fact that so many of his disciples had homes of their own (including Peter; he had a wife or at least a mother-in-law to look after) and Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. The Gospel of Luke mentions several other women who, "helped Jesus and his disciples out of their own means.

In Acts we read that the disciples "had everything in common, but we read in Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians (11:22) that the Corinthians had homes to eat and drink in. And taking up a collection from the Corinthians for the relief of the poor in other churches, a thing that they themselves had desired to do, Paul writes:

>I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of equality your abundance at the present time should supply their want, so that their abundance may supply your want, that there may be equality. As it is written, “He who gathered much had nothing over, and he who gathered little had no lack.”

Indeed, in presenting a dishonest sum, the profit made from the sale of their possessions, Ananias and Sapphira were told by Peter:

>Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.

All this is to show that it was never understood, either during Jesus' earthly ministry, or in the earliest days of the Church, that in order to be a Christian and to inherit eternal life one had to sell all of his possessions.

But Paul, writing to the Philippians, wrote:

>Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Secondly, if you've never seen an example of Christians selling all they have than you must be ignorant of monasticism. In fact, all consecrated religious have taken vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

There are examples really too numerous to list. The whole 2,000 year history of the Church is
replete with examples of men and women giving up everything for the aid of the poor, to ease and comfort them in their distress, to sit with them, mourn with them, laugh with them, to share in their struggles, their joys, and their sufferings. To feed them, clothe them, and most importantly to pray with them and to pray for them. To suffer for them...

I was just reading today a story about a Russian Orthodox monk who was approached by a gypsy who asked him for some money. The monk happened to be a priest and the gypsy had heard, incorrectly, that priests always had money. The priest's companion, also a monk and a priest, tried to explain to the old man that they really hadn't any money at all, but the elder priest, taking in the old man and, as the Gospel says, "looking at him, he loved him", took off his new leather shoes which a friend had given him, gave them to the old gypsy, and walked away barefoot.

It's said that St. Francis, if he saw someone in the cold without a cloak, would excuse himself from his company saying, "Excuse me, but I've borrowed my brother coat, and I have to give it back to him," and he would go over and give the poor person his own habit.

St. Teresa of Calcutta took poverty so seriously that she literally suffered through and for the poor she loved so much. The order of religious sisters she founded, the Missionaries of Charity, possess as little as possible to fulfill their mission of caring for the poorest of the poor and dying.

This is the book from which the Russian monk's story comes:

Everyday Saints and Other Stories

I absolutely agree that most Christians could do more. We're most of us lazy, greedy, jealous, petty, proud, when we should be industrious, caring, prudent, and humble. And above all, we
all* have room to grow in the direction of charity.

But also bear in mind that the poor also includes our families, our wives, our husbands, and especially our children. And a mother or a father's duty to his or her children is paramount. We truly feed and clothe the poor when we care for our children. And most of us (parents) have it easy. My wife, who grew up in communist Poland, can tell stories of extreme poverty and want--when parents would go without food just so their children could have their fill.

u/Malphayden · 6 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

First off, Welcome! You are a special snowflake, and don't let anyone tell you different! Also, I love cream cheese brownies and wine. Something in common already :). Secondly, I'm a catechumen (officially in the process of joining the Church) so take anything I say with a grain of salt as I'm definitely still learning. Other more experience Ortho folks will chime in I'm sure.


Having already attended some services with the intention of continuing I'd say you've got the right idea. Others here, like myself, experienced Orthodoxy first in books. It can be easy to read and read while never going to see and experience for yourself. So, good on ya.


If you're interested in supplementing what you're learning in the services and conversations with the priest, there are lots of good books and web resources. A couple books I’d recommend would be “The Orthodox Way” by bishop Kallistos Ware and “The Orthodox Church” by the same author. The first book deals more with Orthodox spirituality and the second starts off with some history in the first half and teaching/doctrine in the second half. Search through this sub-forum and you’ll find a lot of great questions/answers and links to some great articles.


I’m also a big fan of this blog by Fr. Stephen Freeman.
Feel free to ask any questions you have, there are some really great people in the sub-reddit that will be glad to help you out.


ps...My wife's interest in Orthodoxy isn't at the same place as mine. In my opinion it's best not to rush them or try to crame Orthodoxy down their throats in our new found enthusiasm. Pray for them, be patient and trust God to work on her heart is His own timing :)

u/PhilthePenguin · 7 pointsr/Christianity

>Where do you draw the line between religion and superstitious nonsense? Frankly, I'm having a difficult time separating them at all. Too many people say, "I don't understand how that works, therefore God."

There are principles for reasonable belief. The three I can think of are:

  1. Faith must not conflict with what you know. Faith exceeds knowledge, but it cannot bypass it.
  2. Make sure your beliefs are internally consistent (you'd be surprised how many Christians ignore this principle)
  3. Your faith must be living: transforming you into a better person. A faith that makes you into a worse person is a bad faith.

    >Assuming that Christianity is correct, how can one know with a little more certainty? I'm willing to make a leap of faith, but without some credible evidence, it's like trying to ford the Mississippi river. Can we bring it a little closer to "caulk the wagon and float it across?"

    Short answer: yes. Long answer: yes, but it's going to require some research on your part, and by research I don't mean a few google searches. Books can be a good friend. Some others here may be able to recommend good books about the historicity of Jesus and the church, but I tend to favor the philosophical and metaphysical.

    >Assuming there exists some evidence sufficient to convince me of Christianity's veracity, which version is correct and how can one know? Or does it really matter, since every Christian church agrees on the most important points?

    It's incredible unlikely that any given church is correct on every single point of doctrine. The best you can do is take up the protestant ethic by studying for yourself to see which doctrines appear to be the most reasonable. Looking for the "correct" church is a red herring, in my opinion.

    Examining your faith can be a very rewarding experience, even if you end up becoming atheist/agnostic. Just don't take in more than you think you are ready for.
u/chamomiledreamer · 0 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

I orbited Catholicism for a few years but was never compelled to make the leap. When I encountered Orthodoxy, I fell in love and the decision was easy. I was baptized in 10 months.

For me, American Orthodox worship is much more powerful and alive than the Catholic. I highly suggest that you "taste and see" if the fruit is good. Also, I love the Orthodox sense of mysticism (which you can find in the writings of Father Sophrony or the speaking of Fr. Seraphim Aldea)

YMMV. I have a lot of respect for the Catholic church and a lot of friends who are Catholic. But please have an encounter with both before you leap in. If one is a much better for your spiritual growth than the other, then your very soul may be at stake.

On the technical side, I posted these 7 days ago, but these are my favorite podcasts on Orthodox/Catholic theological and ecclesiological issues.

​

A very good podcast discussion on Catholic/Orthodox differences:

https://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/orthodoxyheterodoxy/rome_part_1a

https://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/orthodoxyheterodoxy/rome_part_1b

https://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/orthodoxyheterodoxy/rome_part_2a

https://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/orthodoxyheterodoxy/rome_part_2b

​

And another very good podcast on Papal claims to being the leader of the church:

https://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/ourlife/rome_peter_orthodoxy

u/mmyyyy · 7 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

There are a few underlying issues for your questions. I'll try to address these first and then answer your 3 questions. Didn't expect this to be that long but please bear with me.

  1. Why do the early Christians (including NT writers) seem to "twist" OT prophecies?

    The popular understanding of the whole prophecy thing is this:

  • the OT contained some prophecies
  • Jews had a quasi-checklist of what the Messiah should do when he comes
  • Jesus fit the criteria that people had in mind
  • Therefore Jesus is the Messiah

    Of course that's not how it happened at all...

    The first two points are correct though... Jews did have a pre-conceived notion of what the messiah would do. But if you take a look at this notion, it actually does not fit Jesus!

    They never thought the Messiah would be crucified (and obviously thought the Messiah would not raised from the dead). They thought the Messiah will rid them of their Roman oppressors and will "restore the kingdom to Isreal" (Acts 1:6) as Israel's new ruler and king. The list goes on...

    What happened with the early Christians though is that what happened to Christ (his death and resurrection) was for them a completely unexpected turn of events. Through the events of ministry, death, resurrection, ascension, pentecost, etc.. the early Christians believed that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, despite him not fitting their pre-conceived notions of him. They allowed their starting points to be challenged. Their starting points were their OT scripture, but it became Christ himself. He was their starting point not their pre-conceived notions of what he might look like or what he might do.

    After that Christians (out of their belief that Christ was the Messiah) started to re-interpret the OT in a new light.

    For example you see John 3:14 talking about the snake that was lifted up by Moses to be a type of Christ. Was that a prophecy? No. It was simply something that happened a long time ago, but it is now understood in a new light: the light of Christ.

    All the NT writers do this, and all this is portrayed very beautifully in Luke 24:

    >Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

    >And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”

    >Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”

    >And He said to them, “What things?”

    >So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

    They're talking to the risen Christ! They know about the empty tomb! But they still don't get it and they still don't know him! Their pre-conceived notions are stopping them from seeing the real Christ.

    >Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

    Scripture is not vague prophecies where we can draw a checklist of things we think the Messiah would do. Scripture talks about Christ.

    >Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.

    >Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

    Scripture was opened. The bread was broken. Now they see him! Opening the scripture and breaking the bread is what is done in the liturgy... That's how we get to know and see Christ.

  1. What is meant by divinely-inspired?

    Does not mean infallible. Does not mean dictated by the voice of God or some inner voice.

    It means it was both God and man working together to produce such work. And that's not unique to the Bible. Some fathers (I can get you references later if you wish, just let me know) said some books were inspired even though these books never made it to the NT canon for example.

    Inspiration is the continuous work of the Holy Spirit in the Church. There are still books written today that are inspired. Inspiration is not limited to the Bible.


    For references to the above do yourself a favour and check out The Mystery of Christ - John Behr and Reading Backwards -
    Richard Hays
    . both are absolutely brilliant.

    >1) Matthew misunderstood Zechariah 9:9

    Maybe he did. After all how does a man ride two donkeys? Maybe he meant something like first half of the journey Jesus rode one donkey, and the second half of the journey Jesus rode another? Maybe. Either way, why would it matter?

    >2) Matthew misatributes a prophecy to Jeremiah, but the "thirty pieces of silver" prophecy is from Zechariah.

    Maybe he does. But this one is interesting actually because there is a manuscript in the Coptic language that attests to this prophecy being in Jeremiah. Find more info and the full text here.

    >3) Hebrews 10:5 "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:"


    Not sure about this one. It is very likely though that the author of Hebrews knew Hebrew, he (or she?) seems to be very well versed in Judaic law and custom.

u/aletheia · 3 pointsr/Catacombs

First, go to a parish. We really do what the books say, but you can't learn the faith from books. The faith must be experienced and lived or you are missing 90% of Orthodoxy. If you do determine to go, go for a month before you make any decisions. Stand in the back and just absorb and listen without critical thought, but feel free to ask questions and participate as far as you are comfortable to. After that month, dig for every fault and fracture you can find. Ask questions about what you object to, demand explanations for what causes dissonance for you. Then start the process of making decisions. I might also suggest trying out the sign of the cross, a prayer book, and a little fasting, but that's up to you and any discussion you may have with a priest.

As for what got me started. Honestly, the thing that got me was the people here on reddit, particularly /u/silouan. There is a sizable contingent of us here here.

As far as the Church itself, I was struck by the sense of what's holy. There are parts of the building (the altar), our lives (daily prayers, fasting), our population (the clergy) that are intentionally set apart to service of God. This seems like a good and right reaction to God. I had never seen such reverence, awe, beauty, and worship as in an Orthodox church. 2 years in I'm used to things and my mind wanders as much as it did any place else, but the services still feel like worship and prayer, never a performance. As my mom once said (slightly paraphrased) "You actually deify Jesus."

Beyond that, I buy the historical arguments the Church can make regarding its connection to and constancy in adherence to the faith of the Apostles. There is a wealth of information regarding this in the form of both primary sources (Bible, Didache, Church Fathers, and so on), and in the form of modern summaries such as Bishop Kallistos Ware's The Orthodox Church and The Orthodox Way.

It might also be interesting to note for a long time I didn't want to be Orthodox. Some of the stuff we do looks weird from the outside. Fasting it not easy. In the Americas choosing to live an Orthodox life goes against the stream of much of our thought, even the general Christian stream of thought. Choosing to truly live the faith to the fullest we can manage will make us counter-cultural anywhere. The Orthodox claims on truth are also very exclusive. The exclusive claims were also disturbing to my democratic, denominational tendences. I knew that by accepting this I was stepping out onto the last bastion of religion, or at least Christianity, for me. There is no place else for me to back up to. No surer foundation for me to search back in history for.

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

Sorry for the late reply :)

Be the Bee is aimed at a younger audience, but good nonetheless; https://www.youtube.com/user/y2am

Father Barnabas puts a lot of stuff online, and I would say I am a fan; https://www.youtube.com/user/evanorth1

St. Vassa is popular, but I never really watched her stuff; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH-FBwgf93rU-g8BH3xiuUQ

The Orthodox Church is said to be a good book for beginners to read, but I only have experience with The Orthodox Way (second link);

https://www.amazon.com/Orthodox-Church-New-Timothy-Ware/dp/0140146563

https://www.amazon.com/Orthodox-Way-Kallistos-Ware/dp/0913836583/ref=pd_sim_14_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=41NsOK%2BN-1L&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR103%2C160_&psc=1&refRID=Q586C5F1SZ5NXSYWQANR

The Orthodox Study Bible is also a great tool; https://www.amazon.com/Orthodox-Study-Bible-Hardcover-Christianity/dp/0718003594


Adoption is a great and selfless thing to do. Absolutely nothing wrong with it.


Good luck, and I hope your journey goes well.

u/MetaphoricallyHitler · 3 pointsr/Christianity

It's an excellent choice. Like others have said, reading more than one book with different viewpoints on Christian fundamentals is a good idea, which is why I love threads like this, so thanks for posting.

Here are some suggestions from my own explorations in the last few years.

---

Mere Christianity

What Christians Believe by the venerable Bishop Ken Myers (im_just_throwing_this_out_there)

Essential Truths of the Christian Faith by R.C. Sproul, for more of a basic Reformed theology perspective

Dogmatics in Outline by Karl Barth, for a Reformed-ish (emphasis on the "ish") perspective sometimes called "neo orthodoxy". It's a summary of a much (much) larger work, and it's probably the toughest read out of the other books I'm recommending, because it encapsulates quite a bit of his very complex thought in a pretty short space.

The Orthodox Way by Bishop Kallistos Ware for an eye-opening perspective and well-written about a tradition I knew nothing about from my American, Baptist/evangelical upbringing.

The Catholic Religion by Vernon Staley, which is actually about the Anglican church. This was recommended to me by an Anglican redditor.

Someone already recommended Simply Christian by N.T. Wright. I'm about halfway through this right now. Being a regular on this sub, where his theology is pretty popular, I wouldn't say it's mind-blowing to me, but your mileage may vary. It's certainly a good read so far; his writing style is clear and easy to read (I think even easier than Lewis), and it seems like a good jumping off point for further exploration (he has other books I want to read, and I figured I'd start with his introductory book first).

u/pseudokapi · 2 pointsr/Christianity

I think Pope Francis is sincere, but I also think that it is more complicated than merely "doing what is needed to heal the breach." The Schism is as much about people as it is about theology. Human beings and the relationships between them are complicated at the best of times. The self-understanding of these two communities has been distinct for so long that it is easier to argue than to find common ground. There are currently "Byzantine" Churches in communion with Rome and it hasn't worked out terribly well for a lot of them (though there have been bright spots).

If I might be so bold, the "liberal" people (I don't like that word, but I don't have another one) in both camps can hardly see the point in being separate, though they would like to change things in both their Churches in other ways that would make them unrecognizable. The challenge is to have the "conservative" people satisfied with the process and expected result of re-approachment, enough to establish common cause between them. A traditional Catholic has to see that the Orthodox showing up won't force them to budge on things that they are fighting with progressives in their own Church about. The same with the Orthodox. The famous resistor of "false union" Bishop Mark of Ephesus doesn't just appeal to those seeking to preserve the Orthodox faith, but also traditionally committed Catholics.

And what happens if the Catholics are willing to compromise on a great many things, but the Orthodox get difficult on some point? Would not the Catholics feel abused? "We've come all this way and it hurts us and you still won't give up on point 9?" This has been the problem with the Miaphysites. It looks like all the theological issues have been resolved, but we seem to be left with Saints and Anathemas on both sides that have rooted the problem beyond reconciliation. We seem to be "right there" except we have beloved saints on both sides that effectively said, "you can never go there." What do we do with these saints? How do we understand them?

As for something to read. There are several books depending on your interest in using big words. :)

Lossky would be the heavy weight: http://www.amazon.com/The-Mystical-Theology-Eastern-Church/dp/0913836311/

Though I much prefer Zizioulas, more approachable and puts apophatic theology in balance: http://www.amazon.com/Being-Communion-Personhood-Contemporary-Theologians/dp/0881410292/

Of course Bishop Timothy Ware's book is the usual "internet standard recommendation: http://www.amazon.com/The-Orthodox-Way-Kallistos-Ware/dp/0913836583/

If you want something very approachable (almost no technical terms) and a little more "what does this mean" you might try an introduction to sacramental theology in general: http://www.amazon.com/For-Life-World-Sacraments-Orthodoxy/dp/0913836087/

And probably the least "theological" but I think this is both my wife and my favorite: http://www.amazon.com/Bread-Water-Wine-Oil-Experience/dp/1888212918/

u/B0BtheDestroyer · 1 pointr/Christianity

That's fair. I can't say I believe in the Christianity I was raised in either. I was raised in a more fundamentalist atmosphere and have become more of an academic Christian.

I'm not sure if I think morality is relative, but I am pretty sure our understanding of it is relative. Maybe there is some morality that exists outside of context, but once we start applying it wholesale everything gets hazier. Nothing can be applied wholesale; we can only understand things in context because we only exist in context. But this may be my love for postmodern philosophy talking.

If you are still interested in studying the Bible, I would encourage looking at modern academic commentaries/articles (getting suggestions from a professor or pastor that you trust might be helpful) as well as exploring other more foreign Christian theologies, such as Eastern Orthodoxy. Some places to start might be a basic book on exegesis such as The Bible Doesn't Have to Be Hard to Read and good article on the JEDP theory. On the subject of Eastern Orthodoxy, some good accessible books are The Orthodox Way and For the Life of the World.

u/ENovi · 4 pointsr/Christianity

I would be happy to! Christ the Conqueror of Hell does a fantastic job of explaining the Orthodox view on Hell. This book does a fantastic job of introducing Orthodoxy to Protestant and Catholic Christians. In fact, it was written by a Protestant. Because of that, he does a great job of explaining some unfamiliar terms or practices to his audience since he is coming from the same place. It's essentially a very well educated Western Christian explaining the Eastern Church to other Western Christians.

I can't recommend this book enough. It's an anonymous story describing the journey of a Russian Christian and his journey through the faith. It's really uplifting and surprisingly entertaining for a book written in 18th century Russia.

Finally, if you're looking for something deep, I would recommend this one. Vladimir Lossky was a brilliant Orthodox theologian who focused on the "mystical" side of Christianity vs. the more "scholastic" approach of the West. Really, anything by him is worth your time.

Let me know if these are what you're working for. If not, I may have a few more books I can recommend. I personally think these are a great place to start.

u/river_of_peace · 1 pointr/OrthodoxChristianity

There is no single book that is approved as "the official dogma" by all Orthodox Churches, or even by any of the Orthodox Churches, but there are certainly a large number of books that do their best to try to explain official dogma as best as they can.

One of my favorites is by Met Hilarion (Alfeyev) which you can find volume 1 here. I don't agree 100% with everything he says, but I think it's a pretty darn good book nonetheless.

u/jw101 · 1 pointr/OrthodoxChristianity

>I think part of me doesn't want to freak her out about something that I'm worried could just end up being a phase....

Yes, I'm not sure how familiar you are with Orthodoxy, but there are some rather freaky and disturbing things to it when you are coming to it for the first time.

For example, venerating the tombs where saints are buried and being anointed with holy salves that are springing forth from the bones of these men. I'm speaking literally here. Being called to participate in present day miracles and mysteries is no easy task. I don't mean to scare you off, along with the mysteries there is unmistakable beauty and richness which can be found no where else.

Although, idealistically, it doesn't matter where you go, I think practically speaking though you both would be served well by going to a more modern minded parish.

I know you're being recommended lots of books at this time, but if I could reocmmend one more for you Introduction to Liturgical Theology by Alexander Schmemann will help you to understand the roots of the early Church, why the Sabbath is important to them, where vespers and matins came from, why the Passover and Pentecost continued to be celebrated and much much more. All presented from a liturgical and Orthodoxy perspective.

I know that you went to seminary, but understanding the roots of the Liturgical worship from an Orthodox perspective is not always easy to understand, especially in explaining this to your wife I think this could be very helpful.

u/Ibrey · 6 pointsr/Christianity

You often hear a number quoted from the World Christian Encyclopedia that there are some thirty thousand denominations, but when you look into how that number was counted, you find it's an exaggeration; they're counting each liturgical rite of the Catholic Church as a separate denomination to come up with hundreds of denominations of Catholicism alone, each autocephalous Orthodox Church is its own denomination even though they're all in communion, every church in the Anglican Communion is its own denomination, and so on.

The major Christian divisions are Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Protestantism. All these groups share belief in the doctrine of the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Atonement, summarised in the Nicene Creed. Groups that have historical connections to Christianity but reject these fundamental tenets, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and Muslims, are often thought of as not being part of Christianity at all.

Catholicism is the largest Christian denomination, accounting for just more than half of the world's Christians. The Catholic Church bases its claim to authority on historical continuity with the Church founded by Jesus in the persons of the apostles, with St Peter as their head. The head of the Catholic Church is the Bishop of Rome, or the Pope, who stands in the same relation to other bishops that Catholics believe St Peter did to the other apostles. The main dogmatic authorities accepted by Catholics are the Bible, the canons of the twenty-one ecumenical councils, and certain papal documents, which have defined the faith with increasing precision as questions have arisen over the centuries. The Credo of the People of God, issued by Pope Paul VI in 1968 and now known to have been drafted by the philosopher Jacques Maritain, summarises these teachings. A good book on Catholicism is The Catholic Catechism by Fr John Hardon.

Orthodoxy is the dominant Christian tradition in Slavic countries and what was once the Eastern Roman Empire. Like the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church bases its claim to authority on historical continuity with the Church founded by Jesus, but it is more decentralised, with no bishop having any real enforceable authority over other bishops. The major division in Orthodoxy is between the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox. The Oriental Orthodox recognise the first three ecumenical councils as authoritative, but split from the Church over the Council of Chalcedon's definitions of the dual nature of Christ. The Eastern Orthodox recognise only the first seven ecumenical councils (the same accepted by Catholics), with anything those councils did not define being a matter of private theological opinion; they are often thought of as having parted ways with the Catholics in 1054, but this is an oversimplification. The division developed more gradually. A good book on Orthodoxy is The Orthodox Way by Bishop Kallistos Ware.

Protestantism is the dominant Christian tradition in parts of Western Europe and countries once colonised by the United Kingdom. It is the most diverse branch of Christianity. Protestants reject Catholic and Orthodox tradition, claiming to have restored the beliefs of the Church established by Jesus on the basis of the Bible alone. Most Protestants respect the first four ecumenical councils as having upheld biblical teaching, but reject the doctrine of later councils as unsupported by or contrary to Scripture. Within Protestantism, four major streams of tradition can be distinguished: Anglican, Lutheran, Reformed, and Anabaptist. Anglicanism was founded when the Catholic Church in England split from Rome, originally for political reasons related to King Henry VIII's concerns about succession, and later became influenced by Lutheran and Reformed ideas. It has historically been defined by a confession of faith known as the Thirty-Nine Articles, but nowadays the Church of England's own clergy are only expected to affirm that they appreciate or respect this historic creed. Lutheranism derives from the ideas of Martin Luther, who rejected the authority of the pope and councils after concluding they had rejected the teaching of the Bible and the Church Fathers about justification. The primary Lutheran creed is the Augsburg Confession. The Reformed tradition derives from the work of John Calvin, a French theologian who was active at roughly the same time as Luther. It has historically been defined by the Westminster Confession of Faith. Anabaptists—not to be confused with Baptists, who descend from the Anglican tradition—are named for their practice of delaying baptism until the person is old enough to understand the faith and choose it for themselves. They are represented today by the Amish, Mennonites, and Hutterites.

u/TheMetropolia · 3 pointsr/Christianity

The Cosmic Mystery of Christ is a text by st. Maximus the Confessor. In it he says a lot against the idea that we once were in perfect onion with God before the Fall.

This is one of the primary theological problems with theology drawing too much on neoplstonism, as this type of New Age thought does.

If we existed in perfect union with God before the Fall, then God is not the summa bonum that all creation has a natural will pulling and enticing it into communion with God as it's theological and eschatological end. Instead the satisfaction that God brings is ultimately as unsatisfying and fickle as the world.

Also the notion of monism is a neoplatonist idea that contradicts Christian thought and is from the Neoplatonist monad. We believe God is both distinct from and personal with creation.

The early Church Fathers taught that God became man so man could become God and that by grace we become everything Christ is by nature; so we so we do teach what is called deification (theosis) of the mind, but importantly also the body and all of the cosmos. Not just the mind, nor does it become a monist model nor was this the original state for reasons listed above.

The notion that it's just the mind and not the body as well is another neoplatonist view that disagrees with Christanity. In part, this is why Orthodox will pray standing up, bowing, kissing things, lighting candles. It's all ways for the liturgical worship to teach and to structure the proper practice of treating prayer as both a spiritual/noetic/intellect thing and a material physical thing involving your body and what is materially beyond your body.

Humans aren't spiritual beings. Humans are human beings and we are both spiritual and material.

u/seeing_the_light · 1 pointr/DebateAChristian

>Is Christianity monotheistic?

Yes, without question. This is a very complicated subject, but an important point to be made here is that the Orthodox approach to God is apophatic, in that we define God only by what He is not, since it is assumed that any concepts that can be thought of automatically fall short of describing God in a positive matter just by the fact that we can think of them. We don't try to rationalize everything, but if you want the most concise Orthodox exposition on the Trinity, I'd recommend this book, it is extremely well written and a great introduction to Orthodox theology - which is very different from Western Christianity.

>My question is, if you are arguing for the positive benefits of religion, why do you need to bring metaphysics and supernatural phenomena into the pitch instead of just convincing people to be more moral?

Because, again, it's not about morality. It's not a question of good or bad, it's a question of what is healthy for you and what will make you sick. It's about consequences of actions. It's the West that has turned what at one time was a cure for religion (speaking of Christianity here), into an autocratic, hierarchal "religion" based on fear and power. When Christianity first started, it was seen as more of a hospital than a Church, Churches were places where the sick were healed, which is where I was going at first with my post here.

>Why was God so personal, nosy, and showy back in the day, but he is conspicuously missing today?

Is he? The Orthodox mindset states that God is quite immanent, but that we must first make ourselves receptive to Him. This is what the strict regiment of fasting and prayer is for. I am a vegan basically for half of the year. This isn't a casual abstract belief system, it's a way of life.

u/mpaganr34 · 2 pointsr/Reformed

This isn't an answer to your question, but I wanted to offer my experience since I'm right where you are, or maybe a year or two past you.

You really do learn how to read this stuff in the process of going through seminary. I've been in since 2017 and am about to graduate in December, and I've seen my reading ability skyrocket. For example, I've gone from 1.5 hours for a journal article to 20/30 minutes, depending on how comfortable I am with the topic, and my comprehension has gone up. I can actually track authors' arguments now.

It's also a muscle. I worked through W. Norris Clarke's The One and the Many, and the result of struggling my way through it is both my baseline reading ability and my understanding of metaphysics has grown quite a bit. Likewise, after reading On the Apostolic Preaching, I'm legitimately more comfortable reading early church fathers, but also better at reading in general.

Sure, I still have a long way to go, but my point is as you work the muscle and force yourself to read hard stuff, your baseline really will improve. So be encouraged in that. Your struggling through the hard stuff is legitimately making you a better reader and thinker.

u/edric_o · 23 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

Welcome! We believe that the Orthodox Church is the original Church founded by Jesus Christ, yes. The best way to get a good idea of what Orthodoxy is about is to visit a local parish near you, but here are some books that I would recommend:

The Orthodox Church

The Orthodox Way

Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy

Know the Faith

On the topic of visiting a local parish - do you live in the US? If so, there is a great online search engine to help you locate nearby Orthodox churches.

u/NotADialogist · 2 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

I don't know whether a catechism is the best kind of resource to provide. He should contact the priest nearest to him and establish a relationship - let the priest guide him. One way or another, he will need a spiritual father.

Depending on your friend's disposition, I might be more inclined to recommend Elder Cleopas' The Truth of Our Faith. Personally, I would definitely not recommend any of Clark Carleton's books. They are not inaccurate - I just think they are too polemical.

I would also strongly recommend Everyday Saints. The book is not any kind of catechism, but it gives a very strong sense of what an Orthodox life feels like, even though it is written from a Russian monastic perspective. The same holds true for Mountain of Silence, which is from the perspective of a Greek layperson.

u/frodwith · 11 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

You've asked some pretty big questions. It'd be hard to answer them in a reddit comment. My primary recommendation would be to talk to your priest.

On the other hand, if you're not comfortable with that for some reason, maybe you could try to ask some more specific questions. If you just don't know what to ask, I recommend reading The Orthodox Way.

You can also try listening to some podcasts at Ancient Faith Radio.

If you'll indulge my curiosity - I am a convert, and it seems somewhat astonishing to me that you are asking this question :) How old are you, roughly? How is it that you are here with us (thank God!) and do not have more of an understanding of your faith? Please don't take offense at my question - the parish I attend is about half converts and has a wonderful Sunday School program for the youth. I understand this isn't the norm, but would just like to hear more about your circumstance. Thank you :)

u/kosmastheaetolian · 2 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

I have heard a number of atheist/agnostic types who have come to love the book "Everyday Saints." I don't know why this is (although it's a marvelous book).

https://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Saints-Stories-Archimandrite-Shevkunov-ebook/dp/B00AZM6MM8

Although again, as others have noted there sometimes is no "magic book."

Another book that someone else already recommended is "Wounded by Love." Funny enough, in either that book or another book by him called "Christ is Fullness of Life," St. Porphyrios seems to speak against trying to coerce/force children (I am assuming older ones) even into coming to church and instead advises parents to simply pray for their children and respect their free will. I am in no way evaluating this position, it's just an interesting perspective.

u/Celsius1014 · 8 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

You might find the book Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy helpful. It has a section devoted to Roman Catholicism and the differences from an Orthodox perspective. I also am personally a huge fan of Alexander Schmemann and would recommend several of his, but a good starting point would be For The Life of the World. Like I said in the other thread, figuring out if you believe in some of the core dogmas that are different is going to be the biggest thing that determines where you belong in the end. The shine will fade from every church, so attractiveness can't be the criteria. God bless you!

u/greatjasoni · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

The Orthodox church features heavily in the Brothers Karmazov and there are a lot of great books about it.

The Orthodox Way by Kallistos Ware is an overview of their practices and beliefs and how they affect life as a whole. It references the Brothers K a lot, especially the life of Father Zosima. The themes of Dostoyevsky are fundamentally rooted in Orthodox tradition. This book takes those same ideas and goes much deeper into them. The same author has another book on the history of the church that is pretty good too.

Everyday Saints was a recent nonfiction bestseller in Russia about monastics living under soviet occupation. It's beautifully written. It reminded me a lot of Brothers K. It's a sprawl of Russians balancing drama with weighty religious themes.

But neither of those are in the literary cannon. For classic literature with similar themes I'd highly reccomend Moby Dick. The book is so famous that people forget how good it is. It's one of the greatest works of American Literature ever. The prose is a massive step up from translations of Dostoevsky while covering the same themes as Brothers K just as deeply.

Also, if you like Brothers K you'll like all his other works. Notes from Underground is my favorite and very short. But they're all good. Tolstoy is great too and has much better prose if you're down to read another giant book. War and Peace and Anna Karenina are both solid members of the cannon.

Shakespeare's plays might be too short to count but all his works cover the same themes too.

u/wishitwasepic · 1 pointr/Christianity

I would like to mention that the Catholic Church divided from the true church in 1054. Pointless argument by the Catholic church since they are the first "Protestants." I do think that the TRUE church exists but it is neither in Catholicism or in Protestantism. A good comparison of Christian Doctrine, with great explanation is this book Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy

This is also available as a free podcast. Highlights theological differences and why they matter.
Edit: Wanted to add something

u/RWeGreatYet · 3 pointsr/Christianity

Modern:

u/superherowithnopower · 8 pointsr/Christianity

For Orthodoxy, you could read Fr. Thomas Hopko's The Orthodox Faith (also called the "Rainbow Series" because the 4 books are published in differently-colored covers). You can buy them, but the text is also on the OCA website here: The Orthodox Faith

It's a general overview of the doctrine and life of the Orthodox Church.

There's also The Orthodox Church and The Orthodox Way by Metropolitan Kallistos (Timothy) Ware. These are pretty commonly suggested to a person interested in learning about the Church.

In addition, though, to reading, I would suggest actually attending services at the various churches you're considering. Between the time I left the Southern Baptists and the time I joined the Eastern Orthodox Church, I visited around a number of places and did a good bit of reading and discussing.

In the end, though, I think experiencing Orthodox worship was at least as important to my decision to become Orthodox as my reading was. For me, Orthodoxy just seemed real; there was just something there in the Orthodox services that I didn't sense anywhere else.

u/vandelsand · 5 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

There is a good one that helped my family:

Ask for the Ancient Paths

https://www.amazon.com/Ask-Ancient-Paths-Discovering-Church/dp/1936270633

It's directed at Protestants and is very informative. It is a small book and a VERY easy read!

Good luck my friend.

u/fili-not-okay · 5 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

Met. Kallistos's The Orthodox Church is a good start, but I recommend the older version if you can find a copy. I also cannot recommend Clark Carlton too highly. He is a philosophy professor, did a superb podcast entitled "Faith and Philosophy," and has written several books about Orthodoxy; check out hisintroduction to Orthodoxy for Roman Catholics.

u/HitchensNippleJuice · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Orthodoxwiki.org is a pretty good go-to site for specific topics from an Orthodox perspective. Wikipedia for that matter is excellent if you want a more secular perspective.

Also, this is a great pair of books (by the same author, incidentally) on both the history and practices of the Orthodox Church. Though keep in mind they're written by an Orthodox bishop, not a secular historian.

The Orthodox Church (this one's the history book)

The Orthodox Way

I was able to find a copy of The Orthodox Church at a local library.

Also, this is a great podcast about Byzantine history. It isn't really about the Church specifically, rather the Byzantine Empire, which was intimately tied to the Eastern Orthodox Church for many many years (history's kind of a side interest of mine).

u/Germanic_Yeoman · 2 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

I just found a fantastic book at a local used bookstore titled "Eastern Orthodox Theology: A Contemporary Reader." It contains a dozen or so short essays on things like the Sacraments, the meaning of icons, the function of tradition, Early Church Fathers, etc. It's also written so that even someone without an extensive theological vocabulary can read it pretty comfortably. I've never seen the book mentioned anywhere online, but it is a fantastic introduction to Orthodox theology. The essays are all relatively brief, so everything is in easily digestible chunks.

Here is a link: https://www.amazon.com/Eastern-Orthodox-Theology-Contemporary-Reader/dp/0801026512/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=eastern+orthodox+theology+a+contemporary+reader&qid=1549993674&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

u/tchernychevski · 3 pointsr/CasualUK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pillar-Ground-Truth-Orthodox-Theodicy-x/dp/0691117675/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1492855206&sr=1-1&keywords=pavel+florensky

I wrote my MA thesis on this book years ago but I've never actually been able to afford it, just borrow it from the uni library when I was a student.

It's basically a brilliant mathematician, scientist & Russian Orthodox priest's defence of (a very strange variation of) Christianity. It's simultaneously academically brilliant and completely insane, incorporating everything from set theory, linguistics, occultism, same-sex relationships, art history, psychoanalysis, a whole range of philosophical and religious tradition, and I'd love to be able to read it again without the pressure of having to write thousands and thousands of words on it.

u/nevergonnareddit · 5 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

I've had a powerful encounter with Christ through the mystics of the Orthodox church. There's a rich emotional approach to how they speak and write, rather than a mental or scholastic one. I've never before heard men talk with words that lit my heart on fire like this.

I recommend this book. It's short, and it just might be what you are looking for. It's not a theology book. Rather, it's like the personal journal or diary of someone meeting Christ. I did not know before that Christianity could be such a living thing. It is just about 100 pages and it changed my life.

If you can, visit a monastery. These are not men that are not just studying Christ, but that are in pursuit of a direct experience of him. Fr. Seraphim Aldea is my favorite living mystic, and he is a monk. He has some advice for how to find Christ in the talk I linked.

u/silouan · 3 pointsr/Christianity

The Orthodox Church by Oxford professor Timothy Ware (a.k.a. Orthodox Bishop Kallistos) is a good overview of history and belief.

In the west, if we're not careful, we fall into this narrative of "Rome fell, then it was the dark ages, then in 1520: Luther!" We tend to forget that outside of western Europe Rome was alive and well into the 16th century, never forgot the world was round, and never lost touch with its roots in Semitic culture and Christian readings of classical philosophy. Until the Islamic jihad, there were more Christians east of the Euphrates than west of it, in Christian cultures reaching across the 'Stans to Tibet and parts of China.

For a less history-and-doctrines view, The Orthodox Way is a good look at how OrthoFolks pray and live.

u/jawabait · 9 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

I was raised in a conservative Baptist church. The book "Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy" by Fr. Damick was one of my introductions to the ancient faith. It covers Orthodox understanding of a multitude of other denominations and religions -- although it does not get super in depth. It is a friendly, easy to read tome.

There's a 20 episode companion podcast that is pretty great, too.

u/SomeVidsHaHa · 3 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

Book 1

Book 2

Book 3

​

Also download the app called "Catena" on your phone. It's free and it's the bible with patristic commentary for pretty much every verse.

​

EDIT: my best advice would be to ask for book recommendations from your spiritual father; i.e. the priest you confess to. They would have a better idea of what you should be reading. When I first started meeting with my priest regularly I told him I had been reading some of the ascetic fathers and he told me to stop. He was right, I wasn't ready for that and am still not ready for that. Let the Church guide you.

u/Theophorus2 · 2 pointsr/Anglicanism

Ah, I see. I think I was misunderstanding you. I certainly agree that because Christ is incarnate, whole and undivided and one with the Father, the Church ought to be one as well (see, for example, John 17:20-24). And the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics would agree, too. The question is whether that "one" Church is the Eastern Orthodox Church, and this is where the Eastern Orthodox material I've come across (mostly blogs, but also in books and in conversation) turn to the other kinds of claims I was mentioning.

So yes, the incarnation is very important to Eastern Orthodox ecclesiology (and to Roman Catholic and most Anglican ecclesiology), but it's when distinguishing between the different ecclesiologies that we have to turn elsewhere, if that makes sense.

Some resources can be found here: Introducing Eastern Orthodoxy
and here. Notice especially in the article I linked to that he discusses the Church's Incarnational significance but also discusses bishops, historical continuity, etc.

u/marvaden · 3 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

Some parishes have pews, others do not. Personally, I have a goatee only because I am a hairy guy and don't feel like shaving. Also, I am balding and shave my head and think that I look funny without any hair on my head. Read One Flew Over the Onion Dome for some perspective on what you might encounter when you attend an Orthodox parish.

Be aware, though, that there are also "Ultradox" parishes. My advice, talk to people at the parish. The more normal the people seem, the more I would encourage you to look into Orthodoxy at that parish. If all the people talk about is fasting and prostrations, take their conversations with a grain of salt.

God bless, whether you continue looking into Orthodoxy or not.

u/thechivster · 2 pointsr/Christianity

The podcast and book by Eastern Orthodox priest, Fr Andrew Stephen Damick's sheds a great deal of light on all heterodox beliefs (he takes the standpoint of the Eastern Orthodox Church). It's quite informational and engaging :)

http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/orthodoxyheterodoxy

http://www.amazon.com/Orthodoxy-Heterodoxy-Exploring-Systems-Christian/dp/1936270137?ie=UTF8&keywords=orthodoxy%20and%20heterodoxy&qid=1462615776&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

u/tbown · 5 pointsr/Christianity

Don't leave us!!!!!!

The Roman Catholic Catechism is a great tool to understand Catholic beliefs.

Return to Rome is a book about someone who came from being a Protestant to being a Catholic.

The Orthodox Way is a good intro to Orthodox understanding.

Becoming Orthodox is a book about a ton of Protestants converting to Orthodoxy.

u/bobo_brizinski · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Light From the Christian East by James R. Payton - written by a non-Orthodox scholar who is sensitive to accurately describing Orthodox theology while making them accessible to non-Orthodox.

The Orthodox Way by Kallistos Ware - not to be confused with his older classic, The Orthodox Church, which describes the historical development of the tradition. This work is more personal because of its focus on how Orthodox theology applies to the life of a Christian. Ware is an Orthodox bishop who has been famous for decades for his attempts to introduce Eastern Christianity to a popular audience.

Introducing Eastern Orthodox Theology by Andrew Louth - Louth is a gifted Russian Orthodox scholar and priest who writes ably on a number of topics.

The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church by Vladimir Lossky - Lossky is one of the most influential Russian Orthodox theologians of the 20th century. This book is a classic introduction published in the 50s, and also advocates for a certain understanding of Orthodoxy that emphasizes its distinctiveness (the "mystical" part) from Western theology.

u/not_irish_patrick · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Well, Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy: : Finding the Way to Christ in a Complicated Religious Landscape is a good book about different forms of Christianity. The author also presents some of the information in a podcast. The author is a really cool guy, and one of my favorite podcasters.

u/Why_are_potatoes_ · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Abc interesting video by a Jewish convert it Orthodoxy. His book, surprised by Christ, is excellent as well.

[Jewish Roots Of Orthodox Worship] (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7nd8vC9qdPQ).

[Surprised by Christ] (https://www.amazon.com/Surprised-Christ-Journey-Orthodox-Christianity/dp/1888212950).

u/snake_case-kebab-cas · 3 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

Divine Liturgy in Orthodoxy is going to closer resemble Jewish temple services (I don't know much about Judaism myself).

Here's an Orthodox book: https://www.amazon.com/Surprised-Christ-Journey-Orthodox-Christianity/dp/1888212950/

Here's a Catholic book: https://www.amazon.com/Crucified-Rabbi-Judaism-Catholic-Christianity/dp/057803834X/

Hope this random comment helps!

u/mistiklest · 8 pointsr/Christianity
u/kodokan_84 · 2 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

Introducing Eastern Orthodox Theology is a readable introduction based on a lecture series.

Light from the Christian East was written by someone in the Reformed tradition who nevertheless does a pretty good presentation of Orthodoxy.

Orthodox Christianity (3 vol.) is probably the most comprehensive overview by a contemporary Orthodox theologian and churchman.

u/Fuzzpufflez · 3 pointsr/Christianity

Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy explains Orthodox Christianity but also explains the differences between us and other churches through the lens of the Orthodox Church, explaining why we don't agree with them. It's a pretty good book.

u/SpydersWebbing · 3 pointsr/Catholicism

Heh, been a long time since someone on THIS sub told me I was kind :P

Anyway, if you have the artistic bug I highly recommend checking out an Iconography workshop or to read Three Treatises on the Divine Images by St. John of Damascus, to get an idea of how to use your gifts in service of the Church, if that is something you desire:

https://www.amazon.com/Treatises-Vladimirs-Seminary-Popular-Patristics/dp/0881412457/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=st+john+damascus+divine+images&qid=1563381487&s=gateway&sr=8-1

u/scchristoforou · 2 pointsr/Christianity

More recently, Panagiotis Nellas (Deification in Christ is incredible) and Fr John Behr (The Mystery of Christ is a great place to start).

Not so recently, St Dionysus the Areopagite and St Maximos the Confessor (though I've read less of him so far, unfortunately). With some St Nicholas Cabasilas thrown in for good measure.

u/derDrache · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy is one of the best taxonomies of Christianity that I've found. It goes through each major movement in Christianity, gives a short backstory for the cause of the movement, a description of each of the denominations that make up that movement, and does a compare/contrast with Eastern Orthodoxy. It's not exactly neutral, coming from the perspective of a 21st century American Eastern Orthodox priest, but I think it's remarkably good for getting one's bearings amidst all the different Christian groups out there. There's also a podcast version, upon which the book is an expansion.

u/Waksss · 1 pointr/Christianity

There's a book by Ted Campbell called Methodist Doctrine which is really just a simple intro to the Christian faith.

Orthodox Way is really good too. Maybe intermediate level reading, but good nonetheless.

u/z1011 · 3 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

Ex-catholic-baptist-orthodox-seeker here. I just started reading this today:
Clark Carlton The Truth: What Every Roman Catholic Should Know About the Orthodox Church (Faith Catechism) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0964914182/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_h-3UBbHR4GB2A


Hope it helps you on your journey.

u/deuteros · 1 pointr/Christianity

If you're interested, The Orthodox Way is a good introduction to the eastern Christian perspective of God.

u/questioningfaith1 · 4 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

Ignorant people exist everywhere.

Now, the stuff about the antichrist is complicated because the notion of a man who masquerades as the Messiah and fools the world IS part of Christianity. Obviously, fooling the world would include things like World Peace, and if he wants to win Israel over, he may build the Temple or something. But this is really all conjecture. All we know is that if Christ is the Godman (Theoanthropos) then the AntiChrist will be the perfect inverse of this, the Mangod (Anthropotheos). That's what we should all be on the look out for (keep your eye on the Transhumanists). Maybe he'll be Jewish, maybe he'll be Italian, who knows? I doubt it'll be so blatantly obvious.

Also, you may like this book, written by an Orthodox Jew who converted to Eastern Orthodoxy https://www.amazon.com/Surprised-Christ-Journey-Orthodox-Christianity/dp/1888212950

u/A_Wellesley · 2 pointsr/Christianity

There is an excellent book titled Surprised by Christ. It is the true story of a Jewish man discovering Christianity, written by the man himself!

As he comes to Orthodox Christianity after Protestantism, there is definitely a bias in the Eastern Orthodox Christian direction, but not terribly so, I think.

u/whole-hearted · 2 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

with this background, though I've never read it myself, I'd recommend The Guru, The Young Man, and Elder Paisios. My husband read it (he has a background in Christianity, with a semi-history of far-eastern philosophies and religions), a guy at my parish who was into occult stuff read it, and a Catholic convert (my now Godmother!) with a history of Yoga was the one who recommended it to my husband. It's just a memoir, not a theology book specifically.

Also, I really like Andrew Louth's Introducing Eastern Orthodox Theology. I can imagine it being easy to understand from a non-Christian background. You may need a dictionary for some bigger words, but nothing, that I can recall, that requires an understanding of other Christian doctrines/dogmas.

u/-vandelsand · 2 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

No, but this book - Ask for the Ancient Paths - was amazing for me.

u/dolphins3 · 1 pointr/Christianity

I'd recommend The Orthodox Way by Metropolitan Kallistos. It's a good, basic overview of Christian theology such as the nature of the Trinity, the Fall, the Sacraments, etc.

u/PM_ME_YOUR_ICONS · 1 pointr/OrthodoxChristianity

I got these:

The Orthodox Church by Kallistos Ware

The Orthodox Way by Kallistos Ware

The Mountain of Silence by Kyriacos C. Markides

The Sayings of the Desert Fathers

I'm still reading them but I hear that this selection will cover a lot of bases. Check eBay too, they can found pretty cheap.

u/Korburger · 7 pointsr/Catholicism

New Advent page: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10078b.htm

PDF of his Ambigua or Difficulties, on interpretation of difficult passages from Scripture and the Fathers: https://www.academia.edu/10390492/Introduction_to_Maximos_the_Confessor_The_Ambigua_Harvard_University_Press_2014_

A fantastic and slim volume from SVS Press in the Popular Patristics Series, general editor John Behr (I highly recommend these editions for all the Fathers): https://www.amazon.com/Cosmic-Mystery-Jesus-Christ/dp/088141249X/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?keywords=maximus+the+confessor&qid=1565741206&s=gateway&sprefix=maximus+the+co&sr=8-2

u/javiar123 · 2 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

Most bishops would not require rebaptism, assuming your baptism invoked the trinity and it is a plus if it was via immersion. In Australia , I don't believe any of those bishops would have you be baptised again.

I used to struggle with icons but the writings in defense of them by St. John of Damascus convinced me. I recommend you read his Three Treaties

https://www.amazon.com/Treatises-Vladimirs-Seminary-Popular-Patristics/dp/0881412457


https://www.amazon.com/Divine-Images-Apologies-Against-English/dp/0913836621/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?keywords=john+of+damascus+icons&qid=1573431276&sr=8-1

if you continue to have doubts about icons

u/Kanshan · 3 pointsr/TrueChristian

Hi, if you want to read some Church fathers try:

On Divine Images by St. John of Damascus.

https://www.amazon.com/Treatises-Vladimirs-Seminary-Popular-Patristics/dp/0881412457?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

u/IkonsR · 4 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

Surprised by Christ “Surprised by Christ.” Is a book by Fr. James Bernstein, a convert from Judaism and now an Orthodox Priest! I highly recommend!

u/Redemption888 · 0 pointsr/AskAChristian

https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Orthodox-Journey-Ancient-Christian/dp/1936270005

https://www.amazon.com/Mystical-Theology-Eastern-Church/dp/0913836311/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1522778316&sr=1-8&keywords=orthodox+eastern

Essentially the Orthodox don't believe that we can know for sure why and how we are saved, unlike the Catholics and Protestants. The Orthodox don't claim that certain actions are guaranteed to send us to hell, nor even that hell involves eternal fire. They emphasize more of an approach of constant prayer and empathy towards fellow man, as the best way to evangelize.

u/ps9gvy3 · 2 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

My introduction was, Ask for the Ancient Paths, by James Guirguis; it was an easy read and it was moving.

Ask for the Ancient Paths: Discovering What Church Is Meant to Be https://www.amazon.com/dp/1936270633/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_yWF1BbKJP3J83

u/BraveryDave · 4 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

The standard historical introduction is The Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware).

A good theological/spirituality introduction is The Orthodox Way, also by Met. Kallistos.

u/OrangeJuliusPage · 3 pointsr/european

If you're serious, check out The Orthodox Way by Kalistos Ware. He's a Limey who converted as an adult, after inquiring into other religions, and he rose to become a Bishop. Good read for converts or members looking to learn more about their religion.

u/brokenmess · 1 pointr/Christianity

If you're serious about our atheism, please read The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church Paperback by Vladimir Lossky.

https://www.amazon.com/Mystical-Theology-Eastern-Church/dp/0913836311

u/feeble_stirrings · 1 pointr/OrthodoxChristianity

This might be worth checking out if you’re looking for a book.

u/internetiseverywhere · 2 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

If you really want to wrap your head around what Fr. Behr means by this, you need to read his books, particularly this one: https://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Christ-Life-Death/dp/0881413062

(FWIW, giziti's answer is a succinct tldr, although I see you still have questions)

u/HEXAEMERON · 6 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

In addition to the other two books listed here, you may also want to look into Vladimir Lossky's The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church.

u/BitcoinBombay · 1 pointr/Christianity

Read the book Everyday Saints

That's all you have to do.

u/GregoryNonDiologist · -1 pointsr/Christianity

The Trinity doesn't relate to feminism.

You might check out The Orthodox Way, especially the first couple of chapters.

Also Orthodox Dogmatic Theology

u/MachiNami · 1 pointr/Christianity

>I really want to believe, but I can't.

Read: The Orthodox Way

It is a condensed version of the theology of the Church Fathers. Orthodox theology is what every Christian no matter what denomination should consistently believe. Revisit the church issue afterwards.

u/whisper-dan92 · 1 pointr/Christianity

If you want to find out whether God exists, you have to seek God. Seek and you shall find. If God is real, you will find Him. If not, you will have simply wasted your time, which will be meaningless anyway since we are all going to die someday.

I recommend reading Timothy Ware's The Orthodox Way.