Author Topic: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism  (Read 2461 times)

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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« on: July 08, 2013, 11:55:37 AM »
A lifelong Protestant who was once a preacher is now considering RC.  He's been attending Mass and watching EWTN.  It's true that to study history is to cease being being Protestant, but I'm praying he'll give give Eastern Orthodoxy equal consideration.  What books do you suppose might pique his curiosity?  He's a retired University president and is fairly well read.  Also, it probably wouldn't hurt to pray for him and my step mom.  Thanks a million y'all!
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2013, 11:58:05 AM »
I forgot to mention I've suggested AFR.  I'm not sure if he's listened to any of it so I'll need to remind him about it.
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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2013, 12:01:42 PM »
He might benefit from Clark Carlton's complete book series. The Way is very popular as an Orthodox pitch to the Evangelical crew (and arguably the best of the series), The Truth does the same targeting Catholics (arguably the weakest link), while The Faith and The Life focus on Orthodoxy in itself. All put together, there's a lot to consider.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2013, 12:08:09 PM »
Ask him why he is interested in Catholicism instead of Orthodoxy and tell your own perspective on the issue.
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Offline Elisha

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2013, 12:08:27 PM »
Try the Matthew Gallatin book:  Thirsting for God in a Land of Shallow Wells or something similar to that title.

Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2013, 12:18:37 PM »
Ask him why he is interested in Catholicism instead of Orthodoxy and tell your own perspective on the issue.

+1
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2013, 01:00:27 PM »
Great suggestions!
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Offline William

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2013, 01:02:33 PM »
What does he know about your religious experiences?
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2013, 02:05:00 PM »
Do you live anyhow near him? You could invite him to come to your parish with you. And in case he is fascinated by Western Christianity, you might want to find out whether there are any WRO parishes/monasteries where he lives.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2013, 02:05:35 PM by Alpo »
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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2013, 06:28:07 PM »
He's a retired University president and is fairly well read. 

In my own experience, Henry Chadwick's The Early Church is what tipped the balance in favour of Orthodoxy at a time in my life when I was considering converting to Roman Catholicism.  I used to listen to EWTN's shortwave radio station and read a lot of Catholic books, and was pretty much sold on their version of the papacy.  Then I read Chadwick for an undergrad history course and realised that, contrary to what my Catholic sources were telling me, the administration of the early Church was not as clear cut and Petrine as they made it seem...it was the Orthodox model I was seeing modeled early on, and the "Catholic" model developed much later and under certain conditions.  Since that was, to me, the major difference between Orthodoxy and RCism, my "Catholic phase" was basically over--every other difference leaned in Orthodoxy's favour anyway. 

Perhaps he's already read this, but if not, I'd give it a try.  I recommend it to just about everyone whenever an opportunity arises. 
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2013, 09:09:14 AM »
He lives in Palm Springs, CA.  He says there's a beautiful Greek Orthodox Church there that they've visited for the Greek Fest.  I don't know exactly what got him started on this journey, or what books he's read. I might order and send him some of the suggested reading.  I'll find out more when we talk next.
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Offline tuesdayschild

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2013, 10:39:52 AM »
Send him Jaroslav Pelikan's The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine series (5 volumes). Remember to point out that Pelikan converted from Lutheran to Orthodox (OCA) in 1998.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 10:40:43 AM by tuesdayschild »

Offline #1Sinner

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2013, 12:05:15 PM »
A lifelong Protestant who was once a preacher is now considering RC.  He's been attending Mass and watching EWTN.  It's true that to study history is to cease being being Protestant, but I'm praying he'll give give Eastern Orthodoxy equal consideration.  What books do you suppose might pique his curiosity?  He's a retired University president and is fairly well read.  Also, it probably wouldn't hurt to pray for him and my step mom.  Thanks a million y'all!

For me, The Vatican Dogma and  The Papacy--Its Historic Origin and Primitive Relations with the Eastern Churches by Abbe Guettee destroyed the Roman doctrine on the Petrine Ministry as dogmatized at Vatican I. These can both be linked from orthodoxinfo.com

As I discovered, to be deep in history is to be Orthodox.
I hereby recant of defending "orthodoxy" and trying to persuade fellow Catholics of embracing schism. I adhere to the Catholic Faith as preserved by the Church of Rome and Her Pontiffs.

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2013, 02:47:18 PM »
Or, just let him find his own way instead of encouraging him to read  and be engulfed in a lot of anti-Catholic invectives and polemics.  RC is a big step up from the vast majority of Protestants, though many RC congregations are involved with the same Sunday morning fluff that you see at Protestant churches (i.e. praise bands, no theological depth in hymns, lectures, entertainment venues).
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Online Justin Kissel

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2013, 03:01:01 PM »
I'd avoid history definitely, stick with theology or Biblical interpretation. Maximus the Confessor, Philocalia or Origen, etc.

Offline Alpo

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2013, 03:03:05 PM »
I'd avoid history definitely, stick with theology or Biblical interpretation. Maximus the Confessor, Philocalia or Origen, etc.

Care to elaborate? Why to avoid history?
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Offline IoanC

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2013, 03:10:19 PM »
I don't know, but it requires of lot of our patience and understanding. God will open his eyes, but until then it can be a long process. I can only remember about myself and my own phases (there was no way you could've really done much for me unless you performed a miracle :))

Yet, the problem is very simple even though the most well read people don't usually get to the bottom of it. The history of Christianity simply shows Orthodoxy to be the original and continuing Church that Christ established. Once you know this, yet choose to overlook it then you are immersed in presuppositions and wanting to see religion your own way (and we all are like that to whatever extent).

Online Justin Kissel

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2013, 03:23:18 PM »
I'd avoid history definitely, stick with theology or Biblical interpretation. Maximus the Confessor, Philocalia or Origen, etc.

Care to elaborate? Why to avoid history?

I dunno, I just question how helpful it is. History seems like a rather muddy business to me, or leastwise muddier than the Bible or dogmatic theology. I mean, I found history helpful at first in convincing me that Protestantism (or at least the version I was in) wasn't where I thought I should be; it was a major factor in setting me in motion towards something more traditional/historically rooted. However, I think it can also make things more difficult than they need to be. Sometimes the right answer is the more vague one, not the more precise one, but is that helpful in a situation like this?

Jaroslav Pelikan was mentioned, yet I found his work, especially the sections dealing with east vs. west stuff, to make things less clear. All I heard before I read it was "he converted to Orthodoxy, you have to read this, he was a Lutheran scholar, but look what he wrote!" Yet when I actually did read it I felt like it slightly favored Catholic take on things, especially the second volume. It wasn't a slam dunk for Catholicism of course, but I definitely felt like some people were, while sincere, perhaps overstating it's Orthodox tone or views.

I also cringe when I hear the whole Newmanesque "To be deep in history..." stuff. Really guys? When some people go deep in history they become Catholic. Others Oriental Orthodox, in knowing rejection of Chalcedonian Orthodoxy. I became a non-believer partly through my going deeper in history. Orthodoxy at it's best can be seen, IMO, in it's theology and it's handling of the Gospel and other texts. I think this is doubly true for people who are described as well-read.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 03:25:32 PM by Asteriktos »

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2013, 03:25:02 PM »
I'd avoid history definitely, stick with theology or Biblical interpretation. Maximus the Confessor, Philocalia or Origen, etc.

Care to elaborate? Why to avoid history?
I agree with Asteriktos. I personally see history as a good thing to understand the importance of one Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church.  Trying to understand figure out through history which of the Churches that claim that are correct is a bit more difficult as it is largely a matter of perception.  I believe that once you recognize that you need to be a part of one Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church, it is theology that guides you to the truth of Orthodoxy.
Guys! They're not intercoursing. It's just an unfortunate angle.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2013, 03:26:40 PM »
I also cringe when I hear the whole Newmanesque "To be deep in history..." stuff. Really guys? When some people go deep in history they become Catholic. Others Oriental Orthodox, in knowing rejection of Chalcedonian Orthodoxy. I became a non-believer partly through my going deeper in history. Orthodoxy at it's best can be seen, IMO, in it's theology and it's handling of the Gospel and other texts. I think this is doubly true for people who are described as well-read.

Is that your current status?
Guys! They're not intercoursing. It's just an unfortunate angle.

Online Justin Kissel

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2013, 03:33:38 PM »
I also cringe when I hear the whole Newmanesque "To be deep in history..." stuff. Really guys? When some people go deep in history they become Catholic. Others Oriental Orthodox, in knowing rejection of Chalcedonian Orthodoxy. I became a non-believer partly through my going deeper in history. Orthodoxy at it's best can be seen, IMO, in it's theology and it's handling of the Gospel and other texts. I think this is doubly true for people who are described as well-read.

Is that your current status?

People got ticked at me changing my faith status often and/or talking about such things, so I sort of stopped talking about it (as best I could). I made a decision not to say specifically where I was ecclesiastically until I was a communing, confessing, regularly-attending member of a parish for a significant chunk of time. I haven't achieved that, so I don't claim to be Christian. The best way to put it is that I'm trying to be a Christian, with very little success.

Offline Papist

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2013, 03:35:16 PM »
[The best way to put it is that I'm trying to be a Christian, with very little success.
Sounds like the rest of us.
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2013, 03:37:54 PM »
I also cringe when I hear the whole Newmanesque "To be deep in history..." stuff. Really guys? When some people go deep in history they become Catholic. Others Oriental Orthodox, in knowing rejection of Chalcedonian Orthodoxy. I became a non-believer partly through my going deeper in history. Orthodoxy at it's best can be seen, IMO, in it's theology and it's handling of the Gospel and other texts. I think this is doubly true for people who are described as well-read.

Is that your current status?

People got ticked at me changing my faith status often and/or talking about such things, so I sort of stopped talking about it (as best I could). I made a decision not to say specifically where I was ecclesiastically until I was a communing, confessing, regularly-attending member of a parish for a significant chunk of time. I haven't achieved that, so I don't claim to be Christian. The best way to put it is that I'm trying to be a Christian, with very little success.
I'm sorry to hear that people would be upset by that.  If we can't talk about where we are at spiritually on an Orthodox Christian forum, what is the point of this board?  Best wishes on your journey.
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Offline IoanC

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2013, 03:38:37 PM »
I also cringe when I hear the whole Newmanesque "To be deep in history..." stuff. Really guys? When some people go deep in history they become Catholic. Others Oriental Orthodox, in knowing rejection of Chalcedonian Orthodoxy. I became a non-believer partly through my going deeper in history. Orthodoxy at it's best can be seen, IMO, in it's theology and it's handling of the Gospel and other texts. I think this is doubly true for people who are described as well-read.

Is that your current status?

People got ticked at me changing my faith status often and/or talking about such things, so I sort of stopped talking about it (as best I could). I made a decision not to say specifically where I was ecclesiastically until I was a communing, confessing, regularly-attending member of a parish for a significant chunk of time. I haven't achieved that, so I don't claim to be Christian. The best way to put it is that I'm trying to be a Christian, with very little success.

Sounds like you have problems with the outward problems of Christianity which are very real, including on the surface of history and even within Orthodoxy (which can be a jungle on the surface of things). As TheTrisagion said in a previous post, it's both an inner battle (deciding to be part of Christ's one Holy and Apostolic Church) and question of history. Without Christ being a historical figure and one that continues throughout human history Christianity won't work (not that fallen human history is something of itself, but is necessary for life to make sense). In your case, maybe try to get over the surface problems and don't let yourself be affected by them when they come from without and focus on your inner life and relationship with God first. Just a suggestion.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 03:39:49 PM by IoanC »

Online Justin Kissel

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2013, 03:41:16 PM »
Thanks, though I don't want the thread to be off topic. Ok, well threads go off topic all the time, but this would be a strange and unhelpful direction to go in... so back to GabrieltheCelt's dad? :)

Offline Alpo

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2013, 03:41:42 PM »
I also cringe when I hear the whole Newmanesque "To be deep in history..." stuff. Really guys? When some people go deep in history they become Catholic. Others Oriental Orthodox, in knowing rejection of Chalcedonian Orthodoxy. I became a non-believer partly through my going deeper in history. Orthodoxy at it's best can be seen, IMO, in it's theology and it's handling of the Gospel and other texts. I think this is doubly true for people who are described as well-read.

Thank you for the answer. I understand your point of view but I slightly disagree as for general historical outlines seem more understandable than endless patristic quote war.
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Offline IoanC

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2013, 03:42:03 PM »
Thanks, though I don't want the thread to be off topic. Ok, well threads go off topic all the time, but this would be a strange and unhelpful direction to go in... so back to GabrieltheCelt's dad? :)

Just used the opportunity to try to do something good...and it's not that off-topic.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 03:42:23 PM by IoanC »

Online Justin Kissel

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2013, 03:43:21 PM »
Thanks, though I don't want the thread to be off topic. Ok, well threads go off topic all the time, but this would be a strange and unhelpful direction to go in... so back to GabrieltheCelt's dad? :)

Just used the opportunity to try to do something good...and it's not that off-topic.

I meant no offense, I just don't want this to become the 37th discussion about my struggles on this board. 37 isn't a verified number, but it's close.

Offline IoanC

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2013, 03:45:18 PM »
Thanks, though I don't want the thread to be off topic. Ok, well threads go off topic all the time, but this would be a strange and unhelpful direction to go in... so back to GabrieltheCelt's dad? :)

Just used the opportunity to try to do something good...and it's not that off-topic.

I meant no offense, I just don't want this to become the 37th discussion about my struggles on this board. 37 isn't a verified number, but it's close.

No offense taken! Only explaining myself. 37 is not that impressive to me; I hold better records regarding similar issues.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 03:45:37 PM by IoanC »

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2013, 03:48:32 PM »
I'd avoid history definitely, stick with theology

In that case (well, in any case) I would suggest Met. Kallistos' The Orthodox Way. One of the best introductory works there is, I think.

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2013, 04:12:26 PM »
I never could like The Orthodox Way, no matter how hard I tried. 
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #31 on: July 10, 2013, 04:12:49 PM »
I'd avoid all kinds of bookish suggestions if the person in question doesn't  express any interest in Orthodoxy. Otherwise suggestions may sound unnecessarily argumentative.
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #32 on: July 10, 2013, 04:18:03 PM »
Really, the best way to handle this situation is to to grab him by the lapels, shake him and scream "Why are you trodding the path to heresy!?!"  If the response is not favorable, knock the dust off your sandals and leave the house indignantly sprinkling holy water in front of you as you leave to purify your exit route.

Witnessing Orthodox style.  8)
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Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #33 on: July 10, 2013, 04:53:42 PM »
I never could like The Orthodox Way, no matter how hard I tried. 

I found the Orthodox Church very dry and uninspiring, but the Way was concise, readable and got more to the heart of things. The only thing I didn't particularly like were the collection of non-Christian quotes. What were your objections to it?

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #34 on: July 10, 2013, 05:42:37 PM »
I found the Orthodox Church very dry and uninspiring, but the Way was concise, readable and got more to the heart of things. The only thing I didn't particularly like were the collection of non-Christian quotes. What were your objections to it?

It seemed too esoteric to me at the time I tried to read it, I thought it would be a better read with weed.  The quotes were my favourite part.  :P

The Orthodox Church is rather dry and uninspiring by comparison, but I read it before trying Way and I enjoyed its straightforward presentation of the faith and church history.   
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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #35 on: July 10, 2013, 07:17:16 PM »
Really, the best way to handle this situation is to to grab him by the lapels, shake him and scream "Why are you trodding the path to heresy!?!"  If the response is not favorable, knock the dust off your sandals and leave the house indignantly sprinkling holy water in front of you as you leave to purify your exit route.

Witnessing Orthodox style.  8)

Axios!  8)
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Offline Kerdy

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #36 on: July 10, 2013, 08:34:39 PM »
I also cringe when I hear the whole Newmanesque "To be deep in history..." stuff. Really guys? When some people go deep in history they become Catholic. Others Oriental Orthodox, in knowing rejection of Chalcedonian Orthodoxy. I became a non-believer partly through my going deeper in history. Orthodoxy at it's best can be seen, IMO, in it's theology and it's handling of the Gospel and other texts. I think this is doubly true for people who are described as well-read.

Thank you for the answer. I understand your point of view but I slightly disagree as for general historical outlines seem more understandable than endless patristic quote war.
A good balance is required.  For me, historical accuracy is what helped me accept the theology.

Offline Kerdy

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #37 on: July 10, 2013, 08:40:06 PM »
My advice...be supportive.  Let him search and be there for him.  Don't push Orhodoxy unless he brings it up or he may push back.  Encourage him to go deep into his study.  Even if he becomes Roman Catholic, it's tons better than being Protestant and he is that much closer to Orthodoxy.  On this forum there are dozens who found the Church by way of researching the Catholic Church.  Your encouragement will do far more good than anything else at this point, IMO.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 08:40:47 PM by Kerdy »

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #38 on: July 10, 2013, 08:59:37 PM »
I also cringe when I hear the whole Newmanesque "To be deep in history..." stuff. Really guys? When some people go deep in history they become Catholic. Others Oriental Orthodox, in knowing rejection of Chalcedonian Orthodoxy. I became a non-believer partly through my going deeper in history. Orthodoxy at it's best can be seen, IMO, in it's theology and it's handling of the Gospel and other texts. I think this is doubly true for people who are described as well-read.

I don't want to put you on the spot or derail this thread, but I would be very interested in learning more about how your study of history led you to non-belief or at least struggles with your belief system.  I haven't seen any of the 37 explanations so far.  Would you mind making a thread sometime to explain your journey and what conclusions your studies led you to?  I don't want to judge or try to persuade, I just like understanding where people are coming from and the journeys they have taken philosophically. Or perhaps point to one of the previous convos you have had so I could read it.

Guys! They're not intercoursing. It's just an unfortunate angle.

Offline tuesdayschild

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #39 on: July 10, 2013, 09:55:25 PM »
I'd avoid history definitely, stick with theology or Biblical interpretation. Maximus the Confessor, Philocalia or Origen, etc.

Care to elaborate? Why to avoid history?

I dunno, I just question how helpful it is. History seems like a rather muddy business to me, or leastwise muddier than the Bible or dogmatic theology. I mean, I found history helpful at first in convincing me that Protestantism (or at least the version I was in) wasn't where I thought I should be; it was a major factor in setting me in motion towards something more traditional/historically rooted. However, I think it can also make things more difficult than they need to be. Sometimes the right answer is the more vague one, not the more precise one, but is that helpful in a situation like this?

Jaroslav Pelikan was mentioned, yet I found his work, especially the sections dealing with east vs. west stuff, to make things less clear. All I heard before I read it was "he converted to Orthodoxy, you have to read this, he was a Lutheran scholar, but look what he wrote!" Yet when I actually did read it I felt like it slightly favored Catholic take on things, especially the second volume. It wasn't a slam dunk for Catholicism of course, but I definitely felt like some people were, while sincere, perhaps overstating it's Orthodox tone or views.

I also cringe when I hear the whole Newmanesque "To be deep in history..." stuff. Really guys? When some people go deep in history they become Catholic. Others Oriental Orthodox, in knowing rejection of Chalcedonian Orthodoxy. I became a non-believer partly through my going deeper in history. Orthodoxy at it's best can be seen, IMO, in it's theology and it's handling of the Gospel and other texts. I think this is doubly true for people who are described as well-read.

Concern noted, but I would like to think that a "a retired University president [who] is fairly well read" would be unlikely to be confused by Pelikan or Newman or, for that matter, by history, generally.

Offline JoeS2

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #40 on: July 10, 2013, 10:37:18 PM »
A lifelong Protestant who was once a preacher is now considering RC.  He's been attending Mass and watching EWTN.  It's true that to study history is to cease being being Protestant, but I'm praying he'll give give Eastern Orthodoxy equal consideration.  What books do you suppose might pique his curiosity?  He's a retired University president and is fairly well read.  Also, it probably wouldn't hurt to pray for him and my step mom.  Thanks a million y'all!

Im not sure if this has been asked, but what enamored your dad to RC'sm in the first place?  What swayed him away from Protestantism?

Offline JoeS2

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #41 on: July 10, 2013, 10:38:43 PM »
My advice...be supportive.  Let him search and be there for him.  Don't push Orhodoxy unless he brings it up or he may push back.  Encourage him to go deep into his study.  Even if he becomes Roman Catholic, it's tons better than being Protestant and he is that much closer to Orthodoxy.  On this forum there are dozens who found the Church by way of researching the Catholic Church.  Your encouragement will do far more good than anything else at this point, IMO.

encourage him to read the Church Fathers.  There is much Orthodoxy in these readings. 

Offline lovesupreme

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #42 on: July 10, 2013, 10:52:52 PM »
Echoing the hands off approach that other posts have advocated. I don't know exactly what your relationship with your father is like, but I, personally, would not feel comfortable proselytizing to either of my folks. Respect his decision, offer your thoughts when solicited, pray, and be a living witness. I think those are the most "Christian" things you can do in a situation like this.

I, for one, would be overjoyed if my protestant father were considering Roman Catholicism. As it is, neither of my parents are religious and may never be, at least in the outward sense. Not all paths lead to Christ, but that doesn't stop Him from walking on them to find us. That said, I definitely believe that the Roman Catholic Church leads people to Christ, and I would dare venture to say that there is a "fullness" in Rome that is lacking in Protestant groups. Of course, the ultimate fullness, I believe, comes from our Holy Orthodox Church. But I'm certain that no amount of reading or arguments will convince someone of that.

Offline converted viking

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #43 on: July 10, 2013, 11:41:35 PM »
I'd avoid history definitely, stick with theology or Biblical interpretation. Maximus the Confessor, Philocalia or Origen, etc.

It was the history that made me see the light and convert.  Was a Catholic for 30+ years.

Viking

Online Justin Kissel

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2013, 02:36:23 AM »
8) ]
« Last Edit: July 11, 2013, 02:42:55 AM by Asteriktos »

Offline #1Sinner

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #45 on: July 11, 2013, 06:07:58 AM »
Echoing the hands off approach that other posts have advocated. I don't know exactly what your relationship with your father is like, but I, personally, would not feel comfortable proselytizing to either of my folks. Respect his decision, offer your thoughts when solicited, pray, and be a living witness. I think those are the most "Christian" things you can do in a situation like this.

I, for one, would be overjoyed if my protestant father were considering Roman Catholicism. As it is, neither of my parents are religious and may never be, at least in the outward sense. Not all paths lead to Christ, but that doesn't stop Him from walking on them to find us. That said, I definitely believe that the Roman Catholic Church leads people to Christ, and I would dare venture to say that there is a "fullness" in Rome that is lacking in Protestant groups. Of course, the ultimate fullness, I believe, comes from our Holy Orthodox Church. But I'm certain that no amount of reading or arguments will convince someone of that.

I'm quite certain that you are completely wrong. I was a cradle Catholic. I'm in my mid-30's and came to Orthodoxy only after researching the history of the Church, primarily Vatican I and the early Church to see how the Roman church could have gone so off the rails. Reading and research made it obvious that the Orthodox Church is the ancient Faith unaltered.

Reading is good.
I hereby recant of defending "orthodoxy" and trying to persuade fellow Catholics of embracing schism. I adhere to the Catholic Faith as preserved by the Church of Rome and Her Pontiffs.

Offline #1Sinner

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #46 on: July 11, 2013, 06:08:49 AM »
I'd avoid history definitely, stick with theology or Biblical interpretation. Maximus the Confessor, Philocalia or Origen, etc.

It was the history that made me see the light and convert.  Was a Catholic for 30+ years.

Viking

Absolutely correct.
I hereby recant of defending "orthodoxy" and trying to persuade fellow Catholics of embracing schism. I adhere to the Catholic Faith as preserved by the Church of Rome and Her Pontiffs.

Offline Shiny

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #47 on: July 11, 2013, 09:39:27 AM »
I became a non-believer partly through my going deeper in history.
I hate to ask you to elaborate, but what did you see in history that made you a non-believer?
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Offline akimel

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #48 on: July 13, 2013, 10:38:22 PM »
G. K. Chesterton once wrote, "The Church is a house with a hundred gates; and no two men enter at exactly the same angle." 

Gabriel, not knowing your father, I do not know how it might be best to introduce him to Orthodoxy.  A few thoughts:

1)  Be supportive of his search.  Ask him, before he makes a decision, to give Orthodoxy serious consideration.  Don't argue with him.  Few fathers are going to listen to their sons in a matter like this. 

2)  I assume your father has been attending Sunday Mass.  Encourage him to attend the Divine Liturgy.  I hope that a convert-friendly OCA or Antiochian parish is available to him locally.  God help him if the only nearby Orthodox parishes are ethnic-centered where the liturgy is celebrated in Greek or Slavonic or whatever.  It takes a committed person to break through the cultural-linguistic barrier.   The Divine Liturgy and the beauty of holiness is the heart of Orthodoxy. 

3)  Given that your father is a university president, it would certainly be appropriate for you to recommend to him a couple of books.  These books need to be chosen wisely.  Avoid pop-Orthodox polemics.  Your Dad will see right through them.  I recommend the following:

a)  Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World.

I can't think of a better theologian to introduce one to Orthodox liturgical theology and the spirit of Orthodoxy worship than Schmemann. 

b)  Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way.

In my opinion, this is a thoughtful, well-written, and accessible introduction to Orthodoxy.

c)  John Anthony McGuckin, The Orthodox Church

This is a big, serious book.  It certainly is not the first book I would put into an inquirer's hands, but if your father begins to show strong interest in Orthodoxy, this is definitely a book to consider pointing him toward.

d)  St Nicholas Cabasilas, The Life in Christ

An Eastern Orthodox classic and the best introduction to the Byzantine understanding of theosis that I know.     

Others have mentioned history as a way into Orthodoxy.  Clearly history can be one of the gates of which Chesterton speaks; but I have to disagree with those who think that the testimony of history clearly and obviously points to the Orthodox Church as the exclusive successor of the apostolic Church.  John Henry Newman knew his history and patristics far better than any of us, and he became convinced that history pointed to the Catholic Church as the Church.  There are plenty of folks who have made similar judgments.  As the physicists have taught us, there is no uninterpreted data.  But perhaps your Dad is interested in Church history.  The Chadwick title, already cited in this thread, might be a good place to begin. 







Offline Kerdy

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #49 on: July 13, 2013, 10:40:52 PM »
Another good book may be The Historical Road of Eastern Orthodoxy by Fr. Alexander Schmemann
« Last Edit: July 13, 2013, 10:41:06 PM by Kerdy »

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #50 on: July 14, 2013, 01:11:59 AM »
[The best way to put it is that I'm trying to be a Christian, with very little success.
Sounds like the rest of us.
Maybe we can start a club.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #51 on: July 14, 2013, 01:17:20 AM »
I forgot to mention I've suggested AFR.  I'm not sure if he's listened to any of it so I'll need to remind him about it.
did you tell him that the ones running AFR used to run Moody Bible Institute Radio.  They originally learned about Orthodoxy with the idea of "saving" their daughter from getting involved in that "cult."  LOL.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline lovesupreme

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #52 on: July 18, 2013, 01:02:15 AM »
I'm quite certain that you are completely wrong. I was a cradle Catholic. I'm in my mid-30's and came to Orthodoxy only after researching the history of the Church, primarily Vatican I and the early Church to see how the Roman church could have gone so off the rails. Reading and research made it obvious that the Orthodox Church is the ancient Faith unaltered.

Reading is good.

I did not mean to suggest that reading was bad. But you already had a desire for orthodoxy before you began to read. My point was that no argument, book, article, or letter is going to convince someone to leave their current faith for orthodoxy if they aren't already seeking. When you began researching orthodoxy, may I presume that you had some issues (even minor ones) with the Catholic Church? You surely weren't just going to daily mass, praying the rosary, and participating in parish life when all of a sudden you read something in a book that shook your foundation to its core, were you?

I don't know the OP's father, but he seems pretty set on pursuing Roman Catholicism. Trying to intervene by showing him Orthodox literature could result in a strained relationship with his son and an even greater resolve to go to Rome. Again, I don't know how "open" he is to other faiths. When I was exploring, there was a period when I held Orthodoxy and Catholicism on equal ground. It doesn't sound to me like that's the case, and the more the father is involved in his Roman Catholic pursuit, the less likely intervention will end up well.

Offline Nacho

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #53 on: July 18, 2013, 01:46:06 AM »
G. K. Chesterton once wrote, "The Church is a house with a hundred gates; and no two men enter at exactly the same angle." 

Gabriel, not knowing your father, I do not know how it might be best to introduce him to Orthodoxy.  A few thoughts:

1)  Be supportive of his search.  Ask him, before he makes a decision, to give Orthodoxy serious consideration.  Don't argue with him.  Few fathers are going to listen to their sons in a matter like this. 

2)  I assume your father has been attending Sunday Mass.  Encourage him to attend the Divine Liturgy.  I hope that a convert-friendly OCA or Antiochian parish is available to him locally.  God help him if the only nearby Orthodox parishes are ethnic-centered where the liturgy is celebrated in Greek or Slavonic or whatever.  It takes a committed person to break through the cultural-linguistic barrier.   The Divine Liturgy and the beauty of holiness is the heart of Orthodoxy. 

3)  Given that your father is a university president, it would certainly be appropriate for you to recommend to him a couple of books.  These books need to be chosen wisely.  Avoid pop-Orthodox polemics.  Your Dad will see right through them.  I recommend the following:

a)  Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World.

I can't think of a better theologian to introduce one to Orthodox liturgical theology and the spirit of Orthodoxy worship than Schmemann. 

b)  Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way.

In my opinion, this is a thoughtful, well-written, and accessible introduction to Orthodoxy.

c)  John Anthony McGuckin, The Orthodox Church

This is a big, serious book.  It certainly is not the first book I would put into an inquirer's hands, but if your father begins to show strong interest in Orthodoxy, this is definitely a book to consider pointing him toward.

d)  St Nicholas Cabasilas, The Life in Christ

An Eastern Orthodox classic and the best introduction to the Byzantine understanding of theosis that I know.     

Others have mentioned history as a way into Orthodoxy.  Clearly history can be one of the gates of which Chesterton speaks; but I have to disagree with those who think that the testimony of history clearly and obviously points to the Orthodox Church as the exclusive successor of the apostolic Church.  John Henry Newman knew his history and patristics far better than any of us, and he became convinced that history pointed to the Catholic Church as the Church.  There are plenty of folks who have made similar judgments.  As the physicists have taught us, there is no uninterpreted data.  But perhaps your Dad is interested in Church history.  The Chadwick title, already cited in this thread, might be a good place to begin. 



This

I second For the Life of the World by Schmemann. I remember reading this when I was still a Protestant and was blown away. It goes right to the heart of Orthodox spirituality and is a beautifully written work on the faith. Best advice I personally received before becoming Orthodox was by an Orthodox priest that told me to stop be a “typical western Christian” and to put down all my theological books in trying to discern what church was right. He told me to fast, pray, and come to liturgy for the next few months and God would reveal the truth to me. I think we sometimes forget that the faith needs to be experienced first; it’s hard enough trying to figure out what we think is right with the unlimited amount of information available at our fingertips.
"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."--Mere Christianity

Offline spyridon

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Re: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism
« Reply #54 on: July 18, 2013, 07:22:28 AM »
Pray for him. And pray for the guidance to help him in his search. Worth more than 1,000,000 books.