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Author Topic: Side-by-Side comparison of Churches  (Read 1307 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 06, 2010, 05:53:39 PM »

See this side-by-side comparison of religions. Select "Eastern Orthodoxy", "Oriental Orthodoxy", and "Roman Catholicism" and see what comes up. Shocked Roll Eyes
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2010, 07:09:31 PM »

MUCH MORE INTERESTING!



                Orthodox Christianity                  Christianity
Origin             Roman-Byzantine Empire                 Palestine

Beginnings      originated in the                              originated in the life and teachings of Jesus of
                      Greek-speaking churches of             Nazareth, who was born in a Jewish province of
                      the Byzantine Empire.                      the Roman Empire.
                      
Origins:
Orthodox Christianity: Influences include beliefs and practices of the first Christian churches, and the language and culture of ancient Greece.

Christianity: The Jewish, Greek, and Roman cultures of the formative first two centuries AD


Eastern Orthodoxy's foundations lie in the apostolic churches, the ecumenical councils, and the monasteries.

Christianity is founded in the life and teachings of Jesus, and was established in Jerusalem and propagated throughout the Roman Empire by enthusiastic evangelists.


Orthodoxy: The 3rd to 5th centuries in the Christian East were rich in theological and mystical thought, and witnessed the growth and spread of monasticism.

Christianity: In the 2nd - 4th centuries of the Common Era, Christianity endured periods of intense persecution while working to define its identity and beliefs.


Orthodoxy: During the 8th to the 14th centuries, mysticism grew in importance in Orthodox belief and practice. [Is this true, that mysticism is significantly more important for us since the 8th century than it was in the first 700 years??]

Christianity: From the 5th-13th centuries, Christianity spread dynamically


Modern Age:
Christianity: dissatisfaction among American evangelicals produced new movements. [like what?]


Beliefs:
Eastern Orthodox Christianity places special emphasis on the Trinity [More than others?]

Christians are monotheists who believe that the one God has an internal relationship of three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


Eastern Orthodox Christians pray at regular intervals throughout the day in the monasteries and cathedrals, and additional prayers are offered in the home

Christians seek to sanctify their daily lives with prayer and scripture reading. These activities, performed in solitude or in groups, help Christians cultivate a close personal relationship with God. [I thought this was supposed to be side by side? Why use different wording for the same thing?]



Orthodoxy: Clerical leadership in Eastern Orthodoxy is hierarchical, using the same system of deacons, priests, and bishops that developed in the early church.

Christianity: The early Church, influenced by the Roman Empire, developed a hierarchical form of leadership. Contemporary Christian churches have a number of different leadership styles.






OBSERVATIONS?
« Last Edit: July 06, 2010, 07:10:34 PM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2010, 08:02:20 PM »

OBSERVATIONS?
First of all, let me be clear that I think you and I are very much on the same page.

The concept of the side-by-side comparison is really a good and clever one. However, this effort certainly leaves a lot to be desired. Like you, I noticed many inconsistencies right away. Couldn't quite figure out what the author meant by "Christianity" since he tries to describe so many very different Christian groups. Many errors there as well. For example, my former denomination self-describes as "holiness", but most definitely not "pentecostal".

I can handle simplistic explanations in this sort of effort, but it seems that this is the work of a committee. Each member of the committee was responsible for one church and the results were simply posted together with little or no editing. I would be embarrassed to be part of the group that put it together.
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2010, 08:04:53 PM »

Good answer.

I have 2 questions: Is mysticism is significantly more important for us since the 8th century than it was in the first 700 years??

And what kind of new movements did dissatisfaction among American evangelicals produce?
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2010, 08:34:37 PM »

The 33 AD vs. 451 AD bit is rather irritating.

They even deigned to give the Romanists 33 AD as well, which makes it all the more absurd.
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2010, 08:40:48 PM »

The 33 AD vs. 451 AD bit is rather irritating.

They even deigned to give the Romanists 33 AD as well, which makes it all the more absurd.

I could see your irritation. If the Roman Church developed a new idea of the trinity and split off in 1054, then 1054 would appear to be the date.

If as the Roman Church claims the filioque is not a different understanding, but just means that the Spirit proceeds through the Son, then perhaps the 33 AD date could be justificable for them.

Meanwhile, if the Oriental Orthodox developed a new concept of Christ's nature and split off, it appears the date of 451 would be justifiable. If however, there is no difference between the Orientals' myaphytism and earlier views (or if they are consistent), then there is no basis for giving Catholicism one date and the Orientals another.
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2010, 09:00:01 PM »

The 33 AD vs. 451 AD bit is rather irritating.

They even deigned to give the Romanists 33 AD as well, which makes it all the more absurd.

I could see your irritation. If the Roman Church developed a new idea of the trinity and split off in 1054, then 1054 would appear to be the date.

If as the Roman Church claims the filioque is not a different understanding, but just means that the Spirit proceeds through the Son, then perhaps the 33 AD date could be justificable for them.

Meanwhile, if the Oriental Orthodox developed a new concept of Christ's nature and split off, it appears the date of 451 would be justifiable. If however, there is no difference between the Orientals' myaphytism and earlier views (or if they are consistent), then there is no basis for giving Catholicism one date and the Orientals another.

I don't see a major school of thought which defends the Romans and Byzantines but, if so, not also the Orientals.
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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2010, 09:23:42 PM »

I don't see a major school of thought which defends the Romans and Byzantines but, if so, not also the Orientals.

The school of thought of the seven councils? Chalcedonianism?

If one accepts that the Orientals' version myaphisitism is an early heresy like Nestorianism or Arianism (and I don't have such a strong view), then it's possible that Catholicism and Orthodoxy shares a more common foundation than the Oriental Orthodox, because they share the seven councils and the councils (when confirmed byt he church) are the only thing we consider "infallible."

According to such a school of thought, Catholicism added extra things, but it did so on a foundation that it shares with Orthodoxy, which includes the seven councils. Orientals reject the full seven councils and may have a view of Christ that is an early heresy like Nestorianism, Monophysitism, etc.

Personally, I don't feel very strongly on this, and wish we had a simpler understanding of the myaphisitism problem (you saw my post on this with the poll, I think).
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2010, 09:34:41 PM »

I don't see a major school of thought which defends the Romans and Byzantines but, if so, not also the Orientals.

The school of thought of the seven councils? Chalcedonianism?

If one accepts that the Orientals' version myaphisitism is an early heresy like Nestorianism or Arianism (and I don't have such a strong view), then it's possible that Catholicism and Orthodoxy shares a more common foundation than the Oriental Orthodox, because they share the seven councils and the councils (when confirmed byt he church) are the only thing we consider "infallible."

According to such a school of thought, Catholicism added extra things, but it did so on a foundation that it shares with Orthodoxy, which includes the seven councils. Orientals reject the full seven councils and may have a view of Christ that is an early heresy like Nestorianism, Monophysitism, etc.

Personally, I don't feel very strongly on this, and wish we had a simpler understanding of the myaphisitism problem (you saw my post on this with the poll, I think).

It's Miaphysitism.

That opinion would be largely untenable due to the fact that Cyril of Alexandria himself advocated a form of Miaphysitism and Constantinople II condemned a form of Miaphysitism in such a way that the implication is that it actually understood there to be an orthodox form of Miaphysitism. To boil the issue down to Miaphysitism vs. Chalcedonianism, thus, is not reasonable.

I could see one, from a Seven Councils perspective, possibly having a more forgiving view of the Romans than the Orientals and thus seeing a greater connection with them. The problem is, this being what I was trying to point to, I don't see many people actually taking that approach. The Romans by and large have a conciliating attitude toward all three Eastern Christian churches, and thus would give them all their dates of schism from Rome or all 33 AD. The Byzantine either have a non-conciliatory attitude with all others, or they have a conciliatory attitude with the Orientals only, or they have a conciliatory attitude with all 3 of the other 4. Orientals just the vice versa of the Byzantines. I don't see a major school of thought that would even come close to recognizing the Roman church as starting at 33 AD while the Oriental tradition only 451.
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2010, 09:59:10 PM »

I don't see a major school of thought which defends the Romans and Byzantines but, if so, not also the Orientals.

The school of thought of the seven councils? Chalcedonianism?

If one accepts that the Orientals' version myaphisitism is an early heresy like Nestorianism or Arianism (and I don't have such a strong view), then it's possible that Catholicism and Orthodoxy shares a more common foundation than the Oriental Orthodox, because they share the seven councils and the councils (when confirmed byt he church) are the only thing we consider "infallible."

According to such a school of thought, Catholicism added extra things, but it did so on a foundation that it shares with Orthodoxy, which includes the seven councils. Orientals reject the full seven councils and may have a view of Christ that is an early heresy like Nestorianism, Monophysitism, etc.

Personally, I don't feel very strongly on this, and wish we had a simpler understanding of the myaphisitism problem (you saw my post on this with the poll, I think).

It's Miaphysitism.

That opinion would be largely untenable due to the fact that Cyril of Alexandria himself advocated a form of Miaphysitism and Constantinople II condemned a form of Miaphysitism in such a way that the implication is that it actually understood there to be an orthodox form of Miaphysitism. To boil the issue down to Miaphysitism vs. Chalcedonianism, thus, is not reasonable.
Correct. However, my understanding is that the Orientals may not have the same orthodox understanding of Miaphysitism as what Constantinople allowed. If they don't have the same understanding, then it seems more likely that their version of Miaphysitism could be one of the early heresies.


Quote
I could see one, from a Seven Councils perspective, possibly having a more forgiving view of the Romans than the Orientals and thus seeing a greater connection with them. The problem is, this being what I was trying to point to, I don't see many people actually taking that approach. The Romans by and large have a conciliating attitude toward all three Eastern Christian churches,

Correct, they have a conciliatory approach, but that does not mean they would not see the churches accepting all 7 councils as sharing the same foundation, while other churches as farther away. I think that would be the case from a Catholic perspective.

Quote
and thus would give them all their dates of schism from Rome or all 33 AD. The Byzantine either have a non-conciliatory attitude with all others, or they have a conciliatory attitude with the Orientals only, or they have a conciliatory attitude with all 3 of the other 4. Orientals just the vice versa of the Byzantines.

When you say vice verse, I dont think you mean that while Orthodox have a more conciliatory attitude to Orientals, Orientals have a more conciliatory attitude to Catholics? For example, I don't think you mean that Armenians or some Orientals in India have gone under the Catholic Pope?


Quote
I don't see a major school of thought that would even come close to recognizing the Roman church as starting at 33 AD while the Oriental tradition only 451.
Sure, the school of thought that recognizes the seven councils and sees the Orientals' version of Miaphysitism as a later development than 33 AD and which became the basis for their separation in 451. Perhaps Beliefnet would explain it this way- Note that they also give Anglicanism a "late date" for formation, and Anglicans also have an apostolic system of succession like Orientals, despite breaking from the main church.

Regards.
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2010, 10:13:20 PM »

Correct. However, my understanding is that the Orientals may not have the same orthodox understanding of Miaphysitism as what Constantinople allowed. If they don't have the same understanding, then it seems more likely that their version of Miaphysitism could be one of the early heresies.

Here is the 8th Capitula of Constantinople II:

"If anyone uses the expression “of two natures,” confessing that a union was made of the Godhead and of the humanity, or the expression “the one nature made flesh of God the Word,” and shall not so understand those expressions as the holy Fathers have taught, to wit:  that of the divine and human nature there was made an hypostatic union, whereof is one Christ; but from these expressions shall try to introduce one nature or substance [made by a mixture] of the Godhead and manhood of Christ; let him be anathema.  For in teaching that the only-begotten Word was united hypostatically [to humanity] we do not mean to say that there was made a mutual confusion of natures, but rather each [nature] remaining what it was, we understand that the Word was united to the flesh.  Wherefore there is one Christ, both God and man, consubstantial with the Father as touching his Godhead, and consubstantial with us as touching his manhood.  Therefore they are equally condemned and anathematized by the Church of God, who divide or part the mystery of the divine dispensation of Christ, or who introduce confusion into that mystery."

I take only one issue to this, that being the assumption that everyone else uses the word nature in the same way. Because in the realm of Christology we understand nature to be synonymous with hypostasis, it wouldn't be entirely appropriate to say "each nature remaining what it was" as if there were two natures in the union. "One nature made flesh of God the Word" assumes nature to be synonymous with hypostasis, and thus to assume that those who use the phrase would recognize two natures in the union is unfair.

Otherwise, I agree to everything else said.

Correct, they have a conciliatory approach, but that does not mean they would not see the churches accepting all 7 councils as sharing the same foundation, while other churches as farther away. I think that would be the case from a Catholic perspective.

Sure. But proximity is not what I was discussing. I am still sure that a Romanist would either recognize all 4 as beginning as 33 AD as all orthodox and Apostolic churches, or they would recognize them all starting at their dates of schism.

When you say vice verse, I dont think you mean that while Orthodox have a more conciliatory attitude to Orientals, Orientals have a more conciliatory attitude to Catholics?

No, I meant that the Oriental schools of thought are the inverse of the Byzantines, i.e. they either are not conciliatory to any other church, they are conciliatory only to the Byzantines, or they are conciliatory to all the other 3.

For example, I don't think you mean that Armenians or some Orientals in India have gone under the Catholic Pope?

Not that this is relevant, but there are communities that have joined Rome from all the Eastern Christian traditions, not just the Byzantines.

Sure, the school of thought that recognizes the seven councils and sees the Orientals' version of Miaphysitism as a later development than 33 AD and which became the basis for their separation in 451. Perhaps Beliefnet would explain it this way- Note that they also give Anglicanism a "late date" for formation, and Anglicans also have an apostolic system of succession like Orientals, despite breaking from the main church.

Rakovsky, could you point out some Byzantines who do not recognize the Orientals but do recognize the Romans? I would assume that anyone who was conservative enough to not recognize the Orientals would likewise not recognize the Romans, seeing their schism and myriad of heresies.
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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2010, 10:38:29 PM »

I don't have a strong opinion, and I think it's arguable that Orientals are closer to us if the Miaphysitism debate is unreal. On the other hand, I think it's also arguable that Catholicism and Orthodoxy share a common foundation, that the essential theology of Orientals is an early heresy that developed later.

I would prefer if it's just a big misunderstanding and Orientals rejected any later inconsistent developments. Further, you could say that Catholicism might have a right understanding of the Trinity, but that some of their additions, like Papal infallibility are worse in some way than a wrong understanding of the Trinity. Like I said, I don't have a strong opinion.

Regards.
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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2010, 06:34:30 PM »

Rakovsky,

Yes, that could be said. But who really does? I haven't seen anyone who would go so far as to label Anti-Chalcedonianism a Christological heresy not also label Romanism at least Triadologically heretical if not also Theologically heretical. Again, I challenge you to find a significant amount of Byzantine individuals who label the Oriental tradition heretical but not the Roman tradition. Otherwise you're just arguing something entirely tangential to my original argument.

And, at that, if both the teachings of the Oriental and Roman traditions commonly labeled heretical truly are, then in that case, the Orientals are still closer to the Byzantine tradition. The Romanists have a deficient Triadology (the filioque) and a deficient Theology (their understanding of the beatific vision found in the Summa Theologica whereby the Godhead becomes perceivable). The Orientals, on the other hand, would have a sufficient Theology and Triadology leaving only a deficient Christology, which is further down the line of our salvation story.
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« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2010, 07:07:03 PM »

I am not sure it is worth arguing over this Deus!

Quote
Again, I challenge you to find a significant amount of Byzantine individuals who label the Oriental tradition heretical but not the Roman tradition. Otherwise you're just arguing something entirely tangential to my original argument.
Of course they won't. Since we reject the doctrines of Catholicism and the Oriental church(ie. the Orientals' rejection of the 7 councils), then we both consider their doctrines wrong, ie. heretical.

If Catholics' heresies though are mere secondary add-ons, while the Orientals' heresy is basic to the nature of Christ, then perhaps the basics of the Oriental church came at a later date, and hence so did the Oriental church


Let's just figure out whether Orientalism and Chalcedonianism are compatible rather than argue about this stuff, please!!



Rakovsky,

Yes, that could be said.
But who really does? I haven't seen anyone who would go so far as to label Anti-Chalcedonianism a Christological heresy not also label Romanism at least Triadologically heretical if not also Theologically heretical.

And, at that, if both the teachings of the Oriental and Roman traditions commonly labeled heretical truly are, then in that case, the Orientals are still closer to the Byzantine tradition. The Romanists have a deficient Triadology (the filioque) and a deficient Theology (their understanding of the beatific vision found in the Summa Theologica whereby the Godhead becomes perceivable). The Orientals, on the other hand, would have a sufficient Theology and Triadology leaving only a deficient Christology, which is further down the line of our salvation story.

A semi-official commission Catholics wrote a statement saying that the Catholic understanding of filioque was that the Holy Spirit only proceeds THROUGH the Son, from the father, and the canonical Orthodox party concluded that this was acceptable.

In their eyes, the Catholic church's faith, as expressed in the statement is NOT "Triadologically heretical." But the Orthodox party would still say that it's insertion was itself uncanonical and unnecessary.

Meanwhile, if
(A) the Orientals' teaching about the basic nature of Christ is so fundamentally wrong, and is in fact an early heresy, while
(B)the Catholics have a misunderstanding of the original origin of the Holy Spirit--- which apparently does technically "proceed from" Christ and the apostles as tongues of fire, etc, since the time of Christ's baptism and the Pentecost--- then:
(C) it appears that the Catholics and Orthodox share the same understanding of the nature of the Trinity, with confusion by Catholics about the Holy Spirit's source, while Oriental Orthodox created a wrong idea about who Christ IS, and is properly placed among many other heresies that developed in the early years of the church- Nestorianism, Arianism, Monophysitism, etc.

The common foundation of Orthodoxy and Catholicism is highlighted by obedience to the Seven Councils, which we consider infallible, while Orientals reject three of them.

Note:
(A) I believe the filioque is at best misleading, while the Orientals' Miaphysitism is at the best a misunderstanding of a new interpretation by the Orientals. Did you get to read my whole post? :
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28318.0.html


Rather than cut into wounds, why not try to understand what the problem is in the first place?

I hope you will post some basic ideas of Oriental Miaphysitism on the post I made about it:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28318.0.html
and compare it to the Miaphysitism that the Constantinople Council said was acceptable.


Regards,
Hal

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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2010, 10:28:00 PM »

Hi, I'm new here, and am studying up on Orthodoxy for many reasons (which aren't germane to my question, so I'll spare you the details in this post).

But, on that comparison site, I noticed this:

Principles of Moral Thought and Action     

Eastern Orthodoxy teaches that the Christian life will ultimately lead to the deification of humans and all of creation
.

Can someone expand on that? Admittedly, I'm at the beginning of my study of this faith, but I've never heard of this.

Thanks.
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« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2010, 12:46:01 AM »

Hi, I'm new here, and am studying up on Orthodoxy for many reasons (which aren't germane to my question, so I'll spare you the details in this post).

But, on that comparison site, I noticed this:

Principles of Moral Thought and Action     

Eastern Orthodoxy teaches that the Christian life will ultimately lead to the deification of humans and all of creation
.

Can someone expand on that? Admittedly, I'm at the beginning of my study of this faith, but I've never heard of this.

Thanks.

Hi.

This could very well be a topic all on its own.

"Deification" is a common term used, but theosis is the most common.

It essentially means that through the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit that humanity gradually becomes more and more like God. For instance, immortality is essentially an attribute that humanity would not have in and of itself but is rather a likening to God that the Holy Spirit fashions unto us.
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« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2010, 12:56:44 AM »

Thank you.

So it doesn't mean people become God, in the sense than in Mormonism, for example, people become gods in the afterlife. You're saying it means to become more Christ-like?
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« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2010, 10:19:48 PM »

Yes, become like gods, become Gods', become gods, live with God, become one with God.

I think the concept should exist in western Christianity too, it is just not expressed in all of those terms much. In fact, I don't think Orthodox really talk about theosis on a common, regular basis, it seems to be an understanding that we have that is important in theology, but it's just not a philosophical teaching we really get into in sermons.

I think the idea can be made simple, and if you want me to explain, it fits with Lutheranism. The thing is that Lutheranism emphasizes the initial moment of attachment with Christ and faith, while Orthodox emphasizes that, PLUS, what follows- living together with God, doing what he says, etc.

I also think Paul wrote somewhere that he was making gods of us.

It is basically a Christian understanding that Orthodox emphasize more than other denomiations. Mormons on the other hand, see god as basically a human being on another planet, so I think that for them it just doesn't mean the same because their understanding of God is so different than a traditional Christian view.

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« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2010, 12:06:25 PM »

Orthodoxy makes a distinction between God's Essence and God's Energies -- and both Essence and Energies are equally God.  So, a human may become "one" (by Grace) with God's Energies, and, thus, become "God" -- but that human may never become "one" with God's Essence. That's because God's Essence is totally Transcendent, whereas God's Energies permeate the Cosmos completely -- and, thus, may permeate (by Grace) a human completely.

In the Mormon theological framework, there's a different set of starting assumptions. A human may become what God is, in both "essence" and "energies". But, the human and God always remain different "persons", though with one will or intention.
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« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2010, 12:48:48 PM »

Thank you.

So it doesn't mean people become God, in the sense than in Mormonism, for example, people become gods in the afterlife. You're saying it means to become more Christ-like?

Until you become familiar with all the distinctions of the metaphysical and mystical terms of essences, and energies, and all of that cool stuff, (which one needs a thesaurus to comprehend at the beginning)  I think phrasing Theosis as becoming more Christ-like is a very acceptable way of looking at it. We definitely do not mean anything like what Mormonism teaches, but we also mean something more than just following the good moral example of Jesus. Not sure if that makes sense or not. I think fr. Anthony Coniaris has a decent book on the subject of Theosis, though I can't remember the title at the moment. He's got a way of bringing Orthodox terms "out of the clouds" so to speak, and make it accessible to people totally unfamiliar to Eastern terminology. So I'd recommend searching for that book. Of course I'm not knocking the deeper more mystical ways of looking at it....in fact it is that mystical tradition which has saved my faith over the last year, but it can be way to much to follow for someone entirely new to the faith.

BTW, welcome to the forum! I hope it will be a good learning experience for you and for us as well. Smiley

NP
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NorthernPines
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« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2010, 12:53:15 PM »

Achieving your potential in Christ, Theosis is the book I was thinking of by Fr. Anthony Coniaris. It's pretty basic, but for someone brand new to the concept and Eastern Christianity thought, I think it's a good primer which I think is it's main purpose!
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DeeperFaith
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« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2010, 02:34:22 PM »

Thank you, Norhern Pines. That was very easy to understand!

My list of books about Orthodoxy is growing. A growing book list is never a bad thing!  Wink
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