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Author Topic: "Becoming Orthodox" by Peter E. Gillquist  (Read 767 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 01, 2012, 02:30:43 AM »

Discussing a particular book probably fits into more than one sub-forum here, but as I'm reading these books in order to help me with conversion to Orthodoxy, I'm hoping it's okay in the Convert Issue forum. 

Has anyone read this book?

Has anyone who has read this book who also has qualified knowledge of the topics covered noticed anything in this book that is not in keeping with Orthodox doctrine?

And finally, wow.  I have to get most of my reading done on the bus heading into work.  It's a two and a quarter hour trip (an hour of that spent on three different buses) but I can still get through a book pretty fast.  I am only up to page 99--better than halfway through it--but already, it's knocked the wind out of me several times. 

Anyone out there have useful feedback or impressions on this book?
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2012, 02:43:29 AM »

I read it a number of years ago, as I suspect did many of the converts on this forum as its one of the basic English recommendations. I don't recall anything doctrinally questionable, nor do I recall ever seeing any serious criticism of the book on that front. When people are critical of it, it's generally for what it is not (i.e., particularly deep or scholarly) rather than that there is anything actually wrong with it. For what it's meant to be--an easily readable narrative of one group's journey into Orthodoxy/introduction to that journey meant for others--it's relatively successful.
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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2012, 10:25:56 AM »

I read that book for the first time back in the early 90s when I was researching church history for an adult Sunday School class I was teaching. It sounded interesting, but I put it out of my mind at the time because I wasn't interested in converting and there were no English language parishes anywhere near me. Over a decade later, in September 2003, there was a small notice in my local paper that Fr Peter Gillquist would be speaking at (time, location). An Antiochian mission was in its earliest stages at that time. I recognized the name and went to that session. I was very impressed with Fr Peter (and the few other Orthodox who were there). I still wasn't ready to convert - or even leave my own church to attend an Orthodox service, but in December when the mission changed their meeting place and time to Sunday afternoon, I decided to check it out. I've hardly missed a Sunday since!
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2012, 10:34:37 AM »

When people are critical of it, it's generally for what it is not (i.e., particularly deep or scholarly) rather than that there is anything actually wrong with it.

Indeed.  Coming from a Catholic background and a good knowledge of theology and ecclesial history, nothing about this book took me by surprise.  I only forced myself to read it because I paid money for it.

However, I took a step backwards and realized that for the uninitiated, it does it's job and it does it well.  It may not necessarily convince you about Orthodoxy, but I think it plants the seed that will continue to grow regardless of any subsequent decision.
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2012, 11:13:47 AM »

Actually, I'm learning quite a bit from this one.  From the comments, it's apparent this is a somewhat beginners' book--which is perfect for me.  It does seem basic, and that's what I need.  It's full of stuff I didn't know, and there's a lot in here about the differences between my old church and my new church.  So far, it's fabulous.  Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2012, 11:28:27 AM »

Actually, I'm learning quite a bit from this one.  From the comments, it's apparent this is a somewhat beginners' book--which is perfect for me.  It does seem basic, and that's what I need.  It's full of stuff I didn't know, and there's a lot in here about the differences between my old church and my new church.  So far, it's fabulous.  Smiley

I haven't read the book yet, but I have heard it's pretty good. I listened to some online lectures he gave on the topic. I really enjoyed his story of the transition from his first church to the Orthodox.
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2012, 02:52:53 PM »

I've not read it personally, but many folks in my parish (a mission parish with I think 98% converts) have read it. They all loved it because Fr. Peter does not do what a good number of folks do with this sort of story. He never craps on his patrimony, or make fun of it in disparaging ways.

PP
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2012, 03:48:11 PM »

I read it because it was "required reading" for people who were interested in Orthodoxy but clueless. Grin

I didn't dislike it but it didn't particularly impress me one way or another. It didn't really resonate with me like several other books did.

Fr. Peter, OTOH, is very impressive in person!
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2012, 04:18:11 PM »

I read it because it was "required reading" for people who were interested in Orthodoxy but clueless. Grin

I didn't dislike it but it didn't particularly impress me one way or another. It didn't really resonate with me like several other books did.



 This was my impression.  However, I felt he could've left out the Ecumenical Patriarchs' rudeness/squabbling out of the text.  Just makes us look weirder than we already do.
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2012, 01:45:54 AM »

Either way, it sounds like a real good text to be starting out with.  Thanx everybody!
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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2012, 01:55:01 AM »

imo it was ok.
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« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2012, 01:57:04 AM »

I read it because it was "required reading" for people who were interested in Orthodoxy but clueless. Grin

I didn't dislike it but it didn't particularly impress me one way or another. It didn't really resonate with me like several other books did.



 This was my impression.  However, I felt he could've left out the Ecumenical Patriarchs' rudeness/squabbling out of the text.  Just makes us look weirder than we already do.

i know, right? i didn't think that came across very well at all Sad
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