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Author Topic: Any influential priests/bishops/theologians/etc. that helped convince you...  (Read 953 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 03, 2012, 10:17:57 PM »

Looking back when I first started investigating into Orthodoxy, I can't help but owe alot of debt to Fr. Hopko, who I listened to his podcast "Speaking the Truth In Love" religiously. He was/is so crystal clear about a lot of things and was so down to earth. I haven't listened to him in awhile, but I think I will go back and see what's new with him. Sure there are things he has said, theologically, which raises my eyebrows but on the whole I really can't thank him enough for how much he has helped me. Without him I am not sure if I would have ever become Orthodox. Almost everything he said just made me nod my head in agreement and that rarely happens much.

Fr. Stephen has a blog that I have gone back to over the years and was also instrumental in certain aspects. Fr. Andrew Damick had some great intro to Orthodoxy podcasts and also helped me understand how one comes to approach God and to understand him.

Some of the priests on this forum have been wonderful as well. Fr. Giryus, Fr. HLL, etc.

I admire His All Holiness and greatly respect him.

Outside of the Orthodox Church, NT Wright has played a role and I am shocked he isn't Orthodox yet. Never been a CS Lewis guy, I liked where he went with the Abolition of Man but I was not impressed with Mere Christianity.

I believe arguments matter and I just felt he didn't have strong ones.

Trying to think who else, would probably give the nod to Chesterton. I remember reading his book Orthodoxy and laughing all the time because he made perfect sense. Here and there I'll disagree, but Lewis tries way too hard to emulate him with his apologetics.

William Lane Craig was surprisingly important when I used to watch a bunch of atheist vs theist videos all the time before I even heard about Orthodoxy. In my eyes, at the time, he was an excellent debater and planted a seed that God really must exist. Then I read his website and was pretty impressed. I credit him with opening the door for me to finding the Orthodox faith.

Trying to think about any other Orthodoxy clergy. When I was at a Greek parish, His Grace Isaiah was magnanimous towards me and so was this assitant priest that was at the Cathedral. I have never seen that kind of meekness before in my life, I couldn't believe it existed.
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2012, 12:09:45 PM »

Of course the priest who catechized me was influential in my conversion. But I can't really say that there were any theologians or books or ideas that played major roles in convincing me of the truth of Orthodoxy. It was the Liturgy that convinced me, and it only took it about five minutes.
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2012, 12:25:32 PM »

SAINT Athanasious' Paschal Letters compiled by the Rev Jack Sparks of blessed memory led me out of Mormonism and into the Holy Orthodox Church.
 
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2012, 12:51:12 PM »

Haile Selassie - my first hearing about Orthodoxy was from his book, My Life and Ethiopia's Progress

Bob Marley - his funeral, a video I saw of the procession... Not to mention his lyrics, which inevitably lead to more seeking, long before I learned of his conversion.

Kyriakos Markides - I know now that the book is not highly acclaimed and probably less useful than his other ones but Riding with the Lion was instrumental for me. I think because I was looking at how to connect metaphysical explanations with Christian experience.

Met. Kallistos Ware - The Orthodox Church, for inspiring historical research and making it readable at my level.

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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2012, 01:38:52 PM »

Saint Silouan of Mount Athos
Elder Sophrony
Saint Nikolaj Velimirovich
Philokalia
Conversion stories (Klaus Kenneth: born to hate, reborn to love)

Nicolás Gómez Dávila
Pavel Florensky (just some thoughts of his theology, philosophy)

Monks who I met in monasteries. Monks with a deep humility and meekness.

The Liturgy and vigil in Vatopedi, Athos!!!

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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2012, 03:15:09 PM »

I watched discussions in another forum (catholic one) and become more and more curious. Read, watched online clips of the liturgy and by the works of God things started to happen.
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2012, 03:47:26 PM »

St. Ignatius of Antioch
St. Cyril of Jerusalem
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2012, 04:14:35 PM »

"Convinced" as in intellectually? After three years I don't remember anymore. I'm not sure whether I care either.

More influential things  have been short glimpses and realizations that there is something more to Christianity that I've yet seen, thought or experienced. While reading Apostolic Fathers for the first time I recall thinking something like "So these are not part of the Bible yet they feel exactly like the Bible. More so that any other non-Biblical book I've ever read". Also, while reading some lives of the Saints I recall implicitly realizing that this is what Christianity is or should be all about. Thirdly, while reading biography of Fr. Seraphim Rose for the first time I recall explicitly thinking that "so it is really possible to live by the all these crazy outdated rules."
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2012, 05:53:27 PM »

Thirdly, while reading biography of Fr. Seraphim Rose for the first time I recall explicitly thinking that "so it is really possible to live by the all these crazy outdated rules."

+1

This had a big impact on my conversion, too. It was quite possibly the final catalyst (reading-wise).
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2012, 11:20:08 AM »

well, for me, it all started by reading the Confessions of Augustine of Hippo
(hope this does not start a debate about whether he is saint or not, i do not even know!)

That made me start thinking about God.

So I tried to find the original church by reading patristics and trying to figure out which church is following them and their apostolic traditions.

Protestants (I grew up as) did not seem to fit at all with the traditional church. So I looked at the Roman Catholic Church. I always found their monarchal type of hierarchy interesting and the role of the Pope fascinating as a kid. But then after much research I noticed that they are not at all keeping the traditions. So I looked to the Orthodox Church, and what do you know, they are keeping the traditions as I read them from the saints! (mostly) ((i only say mostly because nowadays there are leniency to abandon certain traditions)

What I read during all of this:

St. Basil On the Human Condition
St. John Chyrysostom On Wealth and Poverty
St. Basil On Social Justice
St. John Chrysostom The Cult of the Saints
St. John of Damascus Three Treaties on the Divine Images
St. Gregory Diologus The Book of Pastoral Rule
St. John Chrysostom Six Books on the Priesthood

then I was curious about Orthodoxy:

St. Gregory Palamas The Triads

(at this point I knew the Orthodox Church was the Apostolic Church. I also researched much into the teachings of the church in our time to see if they matched the fathers I read)

From there:

Elder Joseph the Hesychast Monastic Wisdom: The Letters of Elder Joseph the Hesychast
Elder Ana Smiljanic Our Thoughts Determine our Lives

I own a few books I have yet to read though...

St. Hippolytus On the Apostolic Tradition
Saint Barsanuphius and Saint John Letters from the Desert: A Selection of Questions and Responses

So, those are who I would say were influential for just by way of reading.

EDIT: By the way, I am always weary of the modern man and take his teachings with a grain of salt. I try to stick to teachings of those who are either saints, or to those who are saintly (though I sometimes read from others on rare occasions). I only do this in order to assure myself that it is correct teaching. This is because, for instance, there have been heresies in history that have taken the majority of the church, and if someone were to have lived in that time, they might assume that the church at their time is not in a battle of heresy because they were borne into that heresy. I do not want to fall into that trap, as many before have
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2012, 07:53:59 PM »

Quote
Elder Ana Smiljanic Our Thoughts Determine our Lives
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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2012, 08:02:42 PM »

Elder Ana Smiljanic Our Thoughts Determine our Lives
Wait, don't you mean Elder Thaddeus? Cheesy
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« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2012, 08:31:47 PM »

This thread makes me blush. You are all running laps around me, in terms of theological reading. I need to get back to that and put the novels down for maybe a minute.  Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2012, 09:05:41 PM »

A Franciscan brother did, by the way his sermons when he was filling in for my parish priest in the RCC did. He spoke about it with such love that I began to investiage Orthodoxy, and lead to me to choose not to enter seminary, and instead, become Orthodox.
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« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2012, 10:47:34 PM »

Elder Ana Smiljanic Our Thoughts Determine our Lives
Wait, don't you mean Elder Thaddeus? Cheesy

yes

sorry

i just copy pasted the author of the book, as it is in amazon

and the button to edit the post is not there...

well, how emberassing

i was never good with names... and it has been years since ive had the book! (oh whats the point of excuses)

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« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2012, 01:55:55 PM »

The guy that connects you to Europe.
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« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2012, 02:02:08 PM »

St. Justin Popovich maybe
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« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2012, 09:10:14 PM »

Fr. Stephen Freeman has been very influential in reshaping my understanding of the faith through his blog.  Then my chat time with Fr. Lawrence Farley helped a lot in guiding me towards Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2012, 07:34:02 AM »

Nobody particular, just general impression created by believers (including some converts), some priests and bishops, our Serbian patriarch Pavle and of course my Serbian family. And this Eastern mentality that is connected with all these people and in case of clergy, also humility and teaching. And certainly, generally the Fathers. Roman Catholic teaching and its believers' Western mentality couldn't stand the comparison with all these Orthodox people and things.

But I think that actually in my case more influential were purity of the faith, hymnography and liturgics and this general impression of ancient and true Spirit of the Christianity.

Everybody has his own path to Orthodoxy, I think in my case it was better than fascination by someone, because it's easier to be  disappointed after some period, because nobody is ideal
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« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2012, 09:32:25 AM »

Well..back in january (close to one year in these days) I did watch a clip by a Fr Anastasios Hudson (not sure if I spell it correctly), but I was already interested at the point. So I cannot say he was influensial, but just made me more interested.

What he did, was to want me to find out more and I did.
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