Talking about “The Search for Truth on the Path of Reason” by Alexey Osipov... Professor Osipov uploaded this and his other books to his website: http://www.alexey-osipov.ru/books-and-publications/
The uploaded books are mainly in Russian. However, some of them are in English, German, Spanish, Finnish, and even Chinese.
Here is an excerpt from professor Alexei Osipov's book "The Search for Truth on the Path of Reason"
There are several different points of view about the derivation of the word “religion” (from the Latin word religio, meaning conscientiousness, piety, reverence, religion, holiness, service to God). Thus, Cicero, the famous Roman orator, writer, and political activist of the first century B.C. considered that this word came from the Latin verb relegere (meaning, to gather again, to re-consider, to set aside for a particular use), with a connotative meaning of “showing reverence” or “relating to something with particular attention or respect.” Proceeding from this, Cicero sees the very existence of religion as reverence before the higher powers, before the Divinity. This thought of Cicero’s assuredly shows that piety is one of the most important elements of religion, without which religiosity becomes sanctimoniousness, hypocrisy, and empty ritual; and belief in God becomes no more than cold, lifeless doctrine. At the same time, we cannot agree with the statement that reverence toward something mysterious, even toward God, comprises the essence of religion. No matter how great and necessary piety is to religion, it is nevertheless only one of the feelings present in man’s religious relationship to God, and does not express its essence.
The famous Western Christian writer and orator Lactantious (†330) considered that the term “religion” comes from the Latin verb “religare,” which means “to bind, to join.” Therefore he defines religion as a union of piety between man and God. “With this condition,” he writes, “we are born in order to show a just and dutiful submission to the Lord Who has given us being; to know only Him, to follow only Him. Being bound by this union of piety, we find ourselves in union with God, from which religion has received its name. ‘Religion’ comes from the union of piety by which God has bound man with Himself….”
Lactantious’ definition reveals the very essence of religion—a living union of man’s spirit with God, which takes place within the secret chambers of the human heart.
Blessed Augustine (†430) similarly understood the essence of religion, although he considered that the word “religion” comes from the verb “religare” meaning “to come together,” and that religion itself indicates a coming together, the renewal of a once lost union between man and God. “Seeking this,” he writes, “or rather, seeking out again (from which apparently it has received the name ‘religion’), we yearn towards Him with love, so that once we attain it, we will be at peace.”
Thus, the etymology of the world “religion” points to its two basic meanings: unity and reverence, which explain religion as a mystical spiritual union: a living, reverent unification of man with God."
Sergei Bulgakov (†1944), the great Russian thinker and later theologian, expressed this thought in the following words:"Religion is [a process of] acquiring the knowledge of God, and the experience of a connection with God."The book in PDFhttp://www.alexey-osipov.ru/web-files/books/Bog/God_(by_Osipov_A).pdfThe book in MS Wordhttp://www.alexey-osipov.ru/web-files/books/Put_razuma_v_poiskakh_istiny/Pyt_razuma_english_(A_I_Osipov).doc
Prof. Alexei Osipov on contradictions in Gospels (it’s an excerpt from his other book, "God"):Are there are contradictions in Gospels?
This objection comes from unawareness that Gospel has two sides. One is where external circumstances of the earthly life of Jesus Christ are described. This is where the authors of the New Testament report about what they saw themselves or heard about from others. It is possible to find here some inaccuracy in the presentation of facts and contradictions in the narration of one and the same event by different authors (e.g. one or two possessed with devils who met Jesus Christ – Mt. 8:28 and Mk.5:1; or how many times cock crew when Apostle Peter denied knowing Christ – Mt.26:75 and Mk 14:72). Such discrepancy is usual when different people describe one event. Moreover, the existence of this kind of discrepancies confirm the authenticity of the witness of the authors of the Gospels and show the respectful attitude of all who copied these texts. It would have not been difficult to correlate the texts or even remove these contradictions.
The other side of the of the Gospel provides for the basis of the Christian confession and is its primary source. It comprises the teaching about God, about Christ, about commandments and about other truths of faith and life. This teaching contains no contradictions. For Christianity, this is Divine Revelation. The Gospel’s teaching cannot be looked upon as yet another religious philosophic system that can be discussed from the point of view of our logic and frame of mind. Our logic and assumptions are not applicable to that sphere of life. Christianity has a number of objective arguments witnessing to its Divine origin...http://goo.gl/GI4hCJ http://www.alexey-osipov.ru/web-files/books/Bog/God_(by_Osipov_A).pdf
PS Osipov is a well known Russian Orthodox theologian, professor and lecturer from Moscow Orthodox Theological Seminary.