Author Topic: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?  (Read 1707 times)

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Offline byhisgrace

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Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« on: August 18, 2015, 09:56:00 PM »
"The Mountain of Silence" by Kyriacos C. Markides?


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Offline IXOYE

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2015, 10:39:17 PM »
I believe there are many other books that are more suited to beginners.

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2015, 11:14:36 PM »
"The Mountain of Silence" by Kyriacos C. Markides?



I havent read it but according to rock star Orthodox writers like fr. Andrew Damick and Frederica Mathewes-Grene, this is NOT a good book because it does not preach Christ.  https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/roadsfromemmaus/2015/06/03/do-we-preach-orthodoxy-or-christ/

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2015, 11:25:40 PM »
"The Mountain of Silence" by Kyriacos C. Markides?

You're not going to get much in the way of Orthodox history, liturgical theology, explanations of the elements of the Creed, etc., so in that sense I wouldn't recommend it for new converts.  But if the new convert is warned not to take the author too seriously and instead to focus on the words and teaching of "Fr Maximos", I would absolutely recommend it as an accessible introduction to Orthodox spirituality. 

Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2015, 11:28:27 PM »
"The Mountain of Silence" by Kyriacos C. Markides?



I havent read it but according to rock star Orthodox writers like fr. Andrew Damick and Frederica Mathewes-Grene, this is NOT a good book because it does not preach Christ.  https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/roadsfromemmaus/2015/06/03/do-we-preach-orthodoxy-or-christ/

beat me to it that roads from emmaus article raises some good points. Everyone should read.

Offline byhisgrace

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2015, 11:36:11 PM »
I havent read it but according to rock star Orthodox writers like fr. Andrew Damick and Frederica Mathewes-Grene, this is NOT a good book because it does not preach Christ.  https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/roadsfromemmaus/2015/06/03/do-we-preach-orthodoxy-or-christ/
The article is a review of "Gifts of the Desert," not "The Mountain of Silence."
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Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2015, 11:39:19 PM »
I havent read it but according to rock star Orthodox writers like fr. Andrew Damick and Frederica Mathewes-Grene, this is NOT a good book because it does not preach Christ.  https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/roadsfromemmaus/2015/06/03/do-we-preach-orthodoxy-or-christ/
The article is a review of "Gifts of the Desert," not "The Mountain of Silence."

hmm I thought he did a review on mountain of silence basically saying it was like a Orthodoxy without Christ type of book. Let me surf the web for the article.

Offline byhisgrace

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2015, 11:42:24 PM »
"The Mountain of Silence" by Kyriacos C. Markides?

You're not going to get much in the way of Orthodox history, liturgical theology, explanations of the elements of the Creed, etc., so in that sense I wouldn't recommend it for new converts.  But if the new convert is warned not to take the author too seriously and instead to focus on the words and teaching of "Fr Maximos", I would absolutely recommend it as an accessible introduction to Orthodox spirituality.

Thanks, Mor!
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2015, 12:06:30 AM »
"The Mountain of Silence" by Kyriacos C. Markides?

You're not going to get much in the way of Orthodox history, liturgical theology, explanations of the elements of the Creed, etc., so in that sense I wouldn't recommend it for new converts.  But if the new convert is warned not to take the author too seriously and instead to focus on the words and teaching of "Fr Maximos", I would absolutely recommend it as an accessible introduction to Orthodox spirituality.

Pretty much everything from the author's perspective is very irritating.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2015, 01:37:53 PM »
"The Mountain of Silence" by Kyriacos C. Markides?

You're not going to get much in the way of Orthodox history, liturgical theology, explanations of the elements of the Creed, etc., so in that sense I wouldn't recommend it for new converts.  But if the new convert is warned not to take the author too seriously and instead to focus on the words and teaching of "Fr Maximos", I would absolutely recommend it as an accessible introduction to Orthodox spirituality.

Pretty much everything from the author's perspective is very irritating.

Yeah, he's kind of a froot loop.  I did enjoy his writing for the most part, but some of the conclusions he would draw or comparisons he would make were odd. 

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2015, 02:21:45 PM »
"The Mountain of Silence" by Kyriacos C. Markides?

You're not going to get much in the way of Orthodox history, liturgical theology, explanations of the elements of the Creed, etc., so in that sense I wouldn't recommend it for new converts.  But if the new convert is warned not to take the author too seriously and instead to focus on the words and teaching of "Fr Maximos", I would absolutely recommend it as an accessible introduction to Orthodox spirituality.

If the would be convert isn't terribly sophisticated, Fr. Thom Hopko's rainbow series would fulfill just that role.
January 23, 2016, 03:47:17 PM   Ad Hominem - "mere foil"   +45

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foil_(literature)

Offline wynd

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2015, 02:27:43 PM »
Contrary to what others posted, I loved this book when I first read it as a Catholic and it inspired me to look more into the life of the Church. The author is an academically trained sociologist and (I think) former atheist and has a few funky ideas, but it was always pretty clear to me when he is giving his own interpretation of things and when he is communicating "orthodox" Orthodoxy.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2015, 02:30:15 PM »
"The Mountain of Silence" by Kyriacos C. Markides?

You're not going to get much in the way of Orthodox history, liturgical theology, explanations of the elements of the Creed, etc., so in that sense I wouldn't recommend it for new converts.  But if the new convert is warned not to take the author too seriously and instead to focus on the words and teaching of "Fr Maximos", I would absolutely recommend it as an accessible introduction to Orthodox spirituality.

If the would be convert isn't terribly sophisticated, Fr. Thom Hopko's rainbow series would fulfill just that role.

Yes, that's a very good series.  I was never a fan of the shape of the books, but the material within them is solid. 

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2015, 02:30:37 PM »
Contrary to what others posted, I loved this book when I first read it as a Catholic and it inspired me to look more into the life of the Church. The author is an academically trained sociologist and (I think) former atheist and has a few funky ideas, but it was always pretty clear to me when he is giving his own interpretation of things and when he is communicating "orthodox" Orthodoxy.

+1

Offline William T

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2015, 02:45:05 PM »
looking at the book that seems like just the kind of book that should not be read by new people or inquirers. 

Read a lot of psalms and the Gospels of Mark and Luke over and over before you ever approach a book about spirtuality practices, elders, long beards, theosis, a lot of abstract theological and "mystical" terms and all that other stuff.  I would be very skeptical about such books.  Either way, they are almost certainly of no use to inquirers.

my suggestion:

1) gospel and Psalms
2) attend liturgy and do what you're supposed to do
3) Bishop Kallistos Wares "The Orthodox Church"
4) Fr. Schmemmann "For the Life of the World"
5) CS Lewis: screw tape letters





"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2015, 04:31:01 PM »
"The Mountain of Silence" by Kyriacos C. Markides?

You're not going to get much in the way of Orthodox history, liturgical theology, explanations of the elements of the Creed, etc., so in that sense I wouldn't recommend it for new converts.  But if the new convert is warned not to take the author too seriously and instead to focus on the words and teaching of "Fr Maximos", I would absolutely recommend it as an accessible introduction to Orthodox spirituality.

If the would be convert isn't terribly sophisticated, Fr. Thom Hopko's rainbow series would fulfill just that role.

Yes, that's a very good series.  I was never a fan of the shape of the books, but the material within them is solid.

New editions need to be published with a less clip arty looks. While I liked the format of the texts, the binding is garbage.

And overall the entire design looks rather dated.

Their strong point, IMO, is how much Scripture is used to back up nearly every claim.

They are also a little pricey for how poorly they hold up.

The group of adults receiving catechesis I observed, thought they were too basic, which meant they didn't really want to learn much about Odoxy but opine about their journeys to the one true faith. And the Jesus prayer.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2015, 04:32:00 PM by orthonorm »
January 23, 2016, 03:47:17 PM   Ad Hominem - "mere foil"   +45

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foil_(literature)

Offline Timon

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2015, 05:10:18 PM »
This was the 1st or 2nd book that a priest recommended to me when I showed up at his office one day right as I was beginning inquiring.

Personally, I thought it was a great book for beginners because it reads for like an interesting story rather than a educational textbook. Sure, you will probably learn a little more from a textbook, but often times they are less engaging. (Unless youre SUPER into history...)

Ive recommended it to others for that very reason. Its easier, for me at least, to read a story about a mans journey than a history book. And I thought it actually covered a lot of information about Orthodox theology in the authors conversations with the monk he spends his time with. (Forgot his name at the moment...)
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2015, 05:18:31 PM »
Their strong point, IMO, is how much Scripture is used to back up nearly every claim.

Yes, I wish more intro-level Orthodox literature was like this.  There's not enough Scripture being used in catechetical works, which is ironic because "catechesis" back in "the old days" was basically a thorough reading and study of Scripture as interpreted by the Church.  Nowadays, many converts seem more familiar with the Philokalia than with Philippians.       

Quote
The group of adults receiving catechesis I observed, thought they were too basic, which meant they didn't really want to learn much about Odoxy but opine about their journeys to the one true faith. And the Jesus prayer.

:)

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2015, 05:30:07 PM »
Personally, I thought it was a great book for beginners because it reads for like an interesting story rather than a educational textbook. Sure, you will probably learn a little more from a textbook, but often times they are less engaging. (Unless youre SUPER into history...)

Good point. 

Quote
Ive recommended it to others for that very reason. Its easier, for me at least, to read a story about a mans journey than a history book. And I thought it actually covered a lot of information about Orthodox theology in the authors conversations with the monk he spends his time with. (Forgot his name at the moment...)

Yes.  The characterisation earlier in this thread that the book is about "spirtuality practices, elders, long beards, theosis, a lot of abstract theological and 'mystical' terms and all that other stuff" isn't quite true, though it's a stereotype often repeated when it comes to things even sort of "monastic".  I read the book while I was in college, and reading it didn't make me want to grow a beard (already had one because the ladies and I loved it), swear obedience to a geronda (I didn't confess much in those days), or pray the Jesus prayer while sitting on a low stool and gazing at my navel (if I prayed at all, it was out of a prayer book for a few minutes or gazing at an icon while quickly throwing clothes on to avoid being exceptionally late to class).  What it did do for me was give me an understanding of the depth of Orthodox spirituality: that there was much more to it than simply attending services, reading prayers out of books, and some nominal fasting to add a little piety to an otherwise lackluster existence.       

Offline truthseeker32

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2015, 09:45:24 PM »
I am surprised that so many people think this is a bad book for beginners to read. I think it is wonderful, and I know several priests who recommend it to inquirers. If we disregarded all Orthodox-related books that had questionable items in them, we wouldn't have many left to choose from.

Offline biro

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2015, 10:57:54 PM »
I thought the book was okay. Wasn't the first thing I read as an inquirer, but I liked it.

Offline Opus118

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2015, 12:04:28 AM »
Also look at this:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,27467.0.html

Only two posters, but good ones.

Perhaps others can contribute their lists.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2015, 12:09:55 AM »
they didn't really want to learn much about Odoxy but opine about their journeys to the one true faith. And the Jesus prayer.

Which is what happened at the Inquirer/Catechumen/Book Club meetings when we went over this book several months ago.
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Offline byhisgrace

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2015, 12:11:02 AM »
What do you all think of these quotes from the book:

"This is what the holy elders have taught throughout the ages, that God speaks to human beings only through the heart, the optical organ through which one can experience the vision of God. Therefore, those who yearn to see God cannot possibly do so through other means such as by reading Plato and Aristotle or by doing science. Great as their philosophy might be, it is not the way to God. It is only the cleanliness and purity of the heart that can lead to the contemplation and vision of God. This is the meaning, Father Maximos argued, of Christ's Beatitude, 'Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God.' " (Page 43-44)

"Do you understand what that means? Those who wish to investigate whether God exists must employ the appropriate methodology which is none other than the purification of the heart from egotistical passions and impurities."
(Page 44)

Personally, I find these quotes very inspiring. Having been disillusioned by the logical "holes" of most (if not all) of the philosophical arguments for God's existence, I'm compelled to think that maybe mysticism may be the only true way to find God. Orthodox brethren, please correct me if I'm wrong.   
« Last Edit: August 21, 2015, 12:11:44 AM by byhisgrace »
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Offline LBK

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2015, 12:15:10 AM »
I'm compelled to think that maybe mysticism may be the only true way to find God. Orthodox brethren, please correct me if I'm wrong.   

You need to walk before you can run, Grasshopper.  :D
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2015, 12:21:39 AM »
looking at the book that seems like just the kind of book that should not be read by new people or inquirers. 

Read a lot of psalms and the Gospels of Mark and Luke over and over before you ever approach a book about spirtuality practices, elders, long beards, theosis, a lot of abstract theological and "mystical" terms and all that other stuff.  I would be very skeptical about such books.  Either way, they are almost certainly of no use to inquirers.

my suggestion:

1) gospel and Psalms
2) attend liturgy and do what you're supposed to do
3) Bishop Kallistos Wares "The Orthodox Church"
4) Fr. Schmemmann "For the Life of the World"
5) CS Lewis: screw tape letters

Done.
January 23, 2016, 03:47:17 PM   Ad Hominem - "mere foil"   +45

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foil_(literature)

Offline byhisgrace

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2015, 12:30:28 AM »
You need to walk before you can run, Grasshopper.  :D

I know, but I want to know what you and other Orthodox think of the quotes and my take on it. It's not like I already aspire to become a monk. 
« Last Edit: August 21, 2015, 12:31:16 AM by byhisgrace »
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Offline Hinterlander

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2015, 01:02:11 AM »
Markides work simply has a different intention then most works that inquirers might read. I enjoyed the series. They give you a nice sense of Cyprus too.

Definitely read Met. Kallistos' The Orhhodox Church and The Orthodox Way.

I think Dr. Payton's Light from the Christian East is a great work for those from a Protestant background. I would also recommend Met Hilarion Alfeyev 's The Mystery of Faith. For a more in depth work Fr. John McGuckin's The Orthodox Church.

All the above works overlap in many ways which is good review.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2015, 01:02:34 AM by Hinterlander »

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2015, 01:05:02 AM »
The sayings of the Desert Fathers was one of the first books I was encouraged to read as a catechumen.

The profound depth of these hermits and early monastics, their simplicity in thought and word, and their humility inspired me, and still does.   
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Offline Velsigne

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2015, 02:15:52 AM »
What do you all think of these quotes from the book:

"This is what the holy elders have taught throughout the ages, that God speaks to human beings only through the heart, the optical organ through which one can experience the vision of God. Therefore, those who yearn to see God cannot possibly do so through other means such as by reading Plato and Aristotle or by doing science. Great as their philosophy might be, it is not the way to God. It is only the cleanliness and purity of the heart that can lead to the contemplation and vision of God. This is the meaning, Father Maximos argued, of Christ's Beatitude, 'Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God.' " (Page 43-44)

"Do you understand what that means? Those who wish to investigate whether God exists must employ the appropriate methodology which is none other than the purification of the heart from egotistical passions and impurities."
(Page 44)

Personally, I find these quotes very inspiring. Having been disillusioned by the logical "holes" of most (if not all) of the philosophical arguments for God's existence, I'm compelled to think that maybe mysticism may be the only true way to find God. Orthodox brethren, please correct me if I'm wrong.   

You are still wondering if God exists?  Forgive me, I thought you believe in God but are looking for the best church to draw closer to God?

I think there is something to what he is saying.  Spiritual experiences are the only way I believe in God.  Not with intellectual proofs based on false premises that hardly anyone dares acknowledge.  It's called the madness of unbridled rationality.   :) 

I might be a minority on that though.  And I'm not pure of heart, but I do love God.

St. Symeon the New Theologian had mystical experiences while he lived a worldly life and he didn't much care for philosophy. 

Most of the time the Saints make more sense to me than anyone else, and this after having reading and searching many thousands of books on divers topics over a lifetime.

We don't have to be perfect for God to answer our heartfelt prayers with tangible presence, because God is merciful and wants us to become what He created us to be.  But maybe not everyone is able to deal with tangible presence and He never forces Himself on anyone.  He absolutely knows each of our limits.

I honestly don't know how people have faith that exists only as an intellectual process because faith transcends apparent material reality.

Maybe someone else can explain how different people experience God or just simply make a mental affirmation of God, or you could talk with a priest, or keep reading the Saints and Elders and what the good people here have suggested.

But most of all, pray to God with all your heart and don't quit, even when it seems all dry and empty and stagnant, because it takes a lot to get to the area he is pointing toward.   Read the Gospels and the Epistles.  And keep praying.   There isn't anything of value apart from God-sine qua non.  God gives us all the good things we take for granted.







Offline byhisgrace

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2015, 08:39:59 AM »
To clarify, I have faith in God's existence and everything Orthodox. I believe in Jesus with all my heart. It's just that if I try to make an argument for God's existence from a purely philosophical standpoint, I'm not sure if I'll even convince myself, let alone an agnostic/atheist. It's possible that that's just because I'm a bad apologist; I don't know.

Thanks for the feedback, Velsigne.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2015, 08:40:26 AM by byhisgrace »
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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2015, 08:45:29 AM »
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Corinthians 1:25)

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2015, 12:42:57 PM »
What do you all think of these quotes from the book:

"This is what the holy elders have taught throughout the ages, that God speaks to human beings only through the heart, the optical organ through which one can experience the vision of God. Therefore, those who yearn to see God cannot possibly do so through other means such as by reading Plato and Aristotle or by doing science. Great as their philosophy might be, it is not the way to God. It is only the cleanliness and purity of the heart that can lead to the contemplation and vision of God. This is the meaning, Father Maximos argued, of Christ's Beatitude, 'Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God.' " (Page 43-44)

"Do you understand what that means? Those who wish to investigate whether God exists must employ the appropriate methodology which is none other than the purification of the heart from egotistical passions and impurities."
(Page 44)

Personally, I find these quotes very inspiring. Having been disillusioned by the logical "holes" of most (if not all) of the philosophical arguments for God's existence, I'm compelled to think that maybe mysticism may be the only true way to find God. Orthodox brethren, please correct me if I'm wrong.   

What do you mean by "mysticism"?  I think I know what you mean, but sometimes other people use it in a different way and this causes a knee-jerk reaction in still others. 

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2015, 01:08:15 PM »
The sayings of the Desert Fathers was one of the first books I was encouraged to read as a catechumen.

The profound depth of these hermits and early monastics, their simplicity in thought and word, and their humility inspired me, and still does.

Agreed.  The Paradise of the Fathers is a rather good definitive collection of that material, plus The Life of St. Anthony, and related information.

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2015, 05:45:11 PM »
A good prayerbook is helpful. There are some small ones that cost about $8-$10. You may find them even cheaper for resale on eBay or something.

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2015, 12:15:19 PM »
To clarify, I have faith in God's existence and everything Orthodox. I believe in Jesus with all my heart. It's just that if I try to make an argument for God's existence from a purely philosophical standpoint, I'm not sure if I'll even convince myself, let alone an agnostic/atheist. It's possible that that's just because I'm a bad apologist; I don't know.

Thanks for the feedback, Velsigne.

Oh good, thank God! 

Yes, I understand.  I don't see the intellectual philosophical proof approach as being very convincing, and for those who have no life experience of anything spiritual, talking about mysticism won't be convincing either. 

And then there is the problem that many people today are thoroughly repelled by any hint of Christianity as expressed by those who profess to be Christians.  They want all God's goodness without Christ. 

It's really up to each person to search for themselves and God will help them if they truly ask. 

I don't hide that I am a practicing Orthodox Christian, but don't argue or do a hard sell of it to people and risk alienating them completely.  Well, rarely I will argue when someone is attacking me for being Orthodox and they won't let up.

God will make a way.  After years visiting with my Buddhist neighbour lady in the park nearby, (she speaks Cambodian only and I don't, so she talks and I listen and smile and give her hugs and sometimes we briefly hold hands)  one day recently she asked to come into my home.  So of course I invited her in.  She went around to each icon and looked very very closely at everyone, especially the icon of "Kyrie eleison me" with Christ Jesus walking on water and pulling Peter from the water. 

So who knows how God will use that image to help her.  What we can do is pray.

I did post her on picture of the day here, and Minas sent a prayer up for her and blessed her, and who knows how that might have helped her.  And all without words to convince her of anything.

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2015, 02:35:37 PM »
What do you mean by "mysticism"?  I think I know what you mean, but sometimes other people use it in a different way and this causes a knee-jerk reaction in still others.

I think what mysticism means is pursuing Theosis and unity with God by seeking to become pure in heart. This is pursued through prayer, fasting, confession, repentance, love, charity, and partaking in the Sacraments.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2015, 02:35:45 PM by byhisgrace »
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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2015, 02:42:34 PM »
What do you mean by "mysticism"?  I think I know what you mean, but sometimes other people use it in a different way and this causes a knee-jerk reaction in still others.

I think what mysticism means is pursuing Theosis and unity with God by seeking to become pure in heart. This is pursued through prayer, fasting, confession, repentance, love, charity, and partaking in the Sacraments.

Yeah, I figured that's what you meant.  :)

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #38 on: August 22, 2015, 02:50:57 PM »
What do you mean by "mysticism"?  I think I know what you mean, but sometimes other people use it in a different way and this causes a knee-jerk reaction in still others.

I think what mysticism means is pursuing Theosis and unity with God by seeking to become pure in heart. This is pursued through prayer, fasting, confession, repentance, love, charity, and partaking in the Sacraments.

The mystical life involves undergoing purification, illumination, and theosis with the Grace of God, which is initiated with the Holy Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation, and Holy Communion.

However, we must cooperate with all the graces that God sends us through prayer, fasting, confession, repentance, a spirit of kindness and forgiveness, love, acts of charity, and partaking of the Holy Mysteries. Wasn't it St. Irenaeus who wrote that God who saves us without ourselves will not save us without ourselves?
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #39 on: August 23, 2015, 11:06:26 PM »
New editions need to be published with a less clip arty looks. While I liked the format of the texts, the binding is garbage.

And overall the entire design looks rather dated.

Their strong point, IMO, is how much Scripture is used to back up nearly every claim.
The same is true for his booklet "If We Confess Our Sins."
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 11:06:39 PM by NicholasMyra »
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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #40 on: August 24, 2015, 01:23:29 PM »
New editions need to be published with a less clip arty looks. While I liked the format of the texts, the binding is garbage.

And overall the entire design looks rather dated.

Their strong point, IMO, is how much Scripture is used to back up nearly every claim.
The same is true for his booklet "If We Confess Our Sins."

Very good book.
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #41 on: August 24, 2015, 03:17:50 PM »
New editions need to be published with a less clip arty looks. While I liked the format of the texts, the binding is garbage.

And overall the entire design looks rather dated.

Their strong point, IMO, is how much Scripture is used to back up nearly every claim.
The same is true for his booklet "If We Confess Our Sins."

Very good book.

 
I believe all the texts Nick and I mentioned are in pdf format on the web.

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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #42 on: August 31, 2015, 02:15:03 PM »
I havent read it but according to rock star Orthodox writers like fr. Andrew Damick and Frederica Mathewes-Grene, this is NOT a good book because it does not preach Christ.  https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/roadsfromemmaus/2015/06/03/do-we-preach-orthodoxy-or-christ/

Please do me a kind favor and never refer to me that way again.  Thanks!
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Re: Is this a Good Book for New Converts?
« Reply #43 on: August 31, 2015, 02:18:36 PM »
I havent read it but according to rock star Orthodox writers like fr. Andrew Damick and Frederica Mathewes-Grene, this is NOT a good book because it does not preach Christ.  https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/roadsfromemmaus/2015/06/03/do-we-preach-orthodoxy-or-christ/

Please do me a kind favor and never refer to me that way again.  Thanks!
Maybe he was referring to your predeliction to air-guitar during liturgies. That's the rumor anyways.  :laugh:
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If one wants to confess a pure doctrine of Orthodoxy, they should be careful not to refer to the earth as a planet, unlike the current Pope as well as Patriarch Kirill and Patriarch Bartholomew, who regularly speak in error when they refer to our planet earth.