Author Topic: Need direction/advice/help  (Read 809 times)

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Offline ZealousZeal

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Need direction/advice/help
« on: June 08, 2011, 05:20:44 PM »
I'm hoping you all can help me and perhaps give me a little direction.

Background- I was raised non-denominational Protestant, and about 6 months ago I began a journey where- by the grace of God- I came to realize how alien Protestantism is to the Christianity of the early Church... and especially how illogical Sola Scriptura is. I have spent the last six months intensely studying Catholicism and until about a week ago, was ready to embrace it as Christ's true Church. It hit me the other day that it would not be "informed consent"- so to speak- to embrace Catholicism without at least looking into the claims of Orthodoxy- since both claim to be "the Church". I'm embarrassed to admit that Orthodoxy was not even a blip on my radar at the beginning of this journey, and I lament that it was not, because now I have half a year invested in studying and learning Catholicism... and I feel like I'm back to square one. However, it is important to me that I convert and be confident in whichever choice I make- so if I'm ever going to change my mind about Catholicism and Orthodoxy- I'd rather do it now... I hope that I'm making sense.

More than anything, I want to know God more, serve and love Him all the days of my life and receive the sacraments... I'm so afraid of making the wrong choice.  :(

Can you recommend some sources of info that would give me a little direction in understanding Orthodoxy better? I am overwhelmed. I had always assumed the Catholic assertion that Orthodoxy was pretty much Catholic to be true- but the more I look into it the more I don't see that as the case at all. Any advice- any direction- would be so appreciated.

Thank you all and God bless!
"For this God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide, even to the end." Psalm 48:14

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Need direction/advice/help
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2011, 06:03:58 PM »
Hi! Welcome, buddy!

If you want books:
That highlight the differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy in a semi-polemic but insightful way, check out the writings of Fr. John S. Romanides. Patristic Dogmatics might be good.

A general overview of Orthodoxy: The Orthodox Church and/or the Orthodox Way by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware.

For friendly, less theological convert stories and perspectives, check out works by Frederica Matthewes-Green like Facing East.

If you would like to experience "high theology" and "high ecclesiology" from an Orthodox perspective, you might want to read a bit from the new Greek theologians like John Zizoulas's Being as Communion.

If you're interested in the writings of recent Orthodox Elders, you might check out Wounded by Love: The Wisdom and Teaching of Elder Porphyrios, which is actually the current OC.net bookclub book.


If you want websites and podcasts, check out:
Ancient faith radio (www.ancientfaith.com) for American Orthodox podcasts, including lectures by former dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary Fr. Thomas Hopko.

Orthodox Info (http://orthodoxinfo.com/) for your conservative, oft-polemical and just as oft-insightful Orthodox perspectives.

Journey to Orthodoxy (http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/) for various convert stories.

Monachos.net (www.monachos.net): Forum, articles and discussion of Orthodox Patristics.


But more than anything, read the Scriptures and the Church Fathers. www.earlychristianwritings.com has a lot of... well... early Christian writings you might find interesting.

« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 06:07:10 PM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

Πάντα μὲν καθαρὰ τοῖς καθαροῖς
Τοῖς δὲ μεμιασμένοις καὶ ἀπίστοις οὐδὲν καθαρόν

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Need direction/advice/help
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2011, 06:08:50 PM »
Er... also, if you have any questions, feel free to post them here!  :laugh:
Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

Πάντα μὲν καθαρὰ τοῖς καθαροῖς
Τοῖς δὲ μεμιασμένοις καὶ ἀπίστοις οὐδὲν καθαρόν

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Need direction/advice/help
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2011, 06:15:42 PM »

Can you recommend some sources of info that would give me a little direction in understanding Orthodoxy better?


For online sources, you could try the following;
* www.orthodoxinfo.com
* http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/10/1.aspx
* http://orthodoxcatechism.org/
* http://www.myocn.net/
* http://ancientfaith.com/

If you'd rather have a book (or to supplement your online experience), you might like;
* Bread & Water, Wine & Oil by Fr. Meletios Webber
* Christ The Eternal Tao by Hieromonk Damascene
* The Way of a Pilgrim by an anonymous Eastern Orthodox Russian
* The Mountain of Silence: A Search For Orthodox Spirituality by Kyriacos Markides
* The Heart by Archimandrite SPYRIDON Logothetis
* The Orthodox Church by Archbishop KALLISTOS (Timothy) Ware

All of the sources above are from an Eastern Orthodox perspective.  If you are looking for Oriental Orthodox, there are many wonderful sources from that perspective as well.

 Good luck on your journey!
« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 06:20:19 PM by GabrieltheCelt »
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Need direction/advice/help
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2011, 07:06:07 PM »
By Orthodoxy do you mean Eastern Orthodoxy?
I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Need direction/advice/help
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2011, 07:44:42 PM »
If you would like to experience "high theology" and "high ecclesiology" from an Orthodox perspective, you might want to read a bit from the new Greek theologians like John Zizoulas's Being as Communion.



You've been on list of OC.net members to meet, this just sealed it.

Could go on and on about my thoughts on Zizioulas' work, but I won't.
If you have PMed me, the mods have taken my ability to PM away. Please see my email if you wish to contact me during my time of trial.

Offline ZealousZeal

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Re: Need direction/advice/help
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2011, 08:20:39 PM »
Thank you all for the resources! This should be a good start I hope.

And sorry I wasn't clear in my post- I mean Eastern Orthodoxy.
"For this God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide, even to the end." Psalm 48:14

Offline OnThePathForward

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Re: Need direction/advice/help
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2011, 09:21:21 PM »
Hi ZealousZeal,

My wife and I just recently converted to Eastern Orthodoxy about five months ago.  Our journey took well over a year, so please try not stress and feel overwhelmed.  Throughout my journey I read books, asked questions here, talked with my priest and prayed that God would guide me in the right direction...and when I was ready, I was ready :)

One book that my wife and I really found eye opening was a book called "The Truth" by Clark Carlton.  We also have "The Faith" by Carlton as well (but I'll admit I haven't read all of it yet--but what I read was great). 

Early Christian History Books if you're interested in learning more about the Church in the early years:
"Early Christian Fathers" edited by Cyril Richardson.
"Byzantium and the Roman Primacy" by Francis Dvornik (I'm actually in the middle of this right now).

Anyway, you've already received some great suggestions so I think you'll have plenty to start with.  I'm excited for you and pray that you will find your way.


Offline ZealousZeal

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Re: Need direction/advice/help
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2011, 01:34:04 AM »
Thank you! I appreciate the welcomes, information and prayers. :)
"For this God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide, even to the end." Psalm 48:14

Offline TheMathematician

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Re: Need direction/advice/help
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2011, 11:38:54 AM »
being what it is, www.orthodoxwiki.org has been rather helpful for me