method of lizzy

preservations… for posterity

Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith

becomingThis is the story of an en masse conversion to Orthodox Christianity. The author and his Campus Crusade for Christ colleagues found that they had become disillusioned by the parachurch movement they were involved in. They wanted to rediscover the original church – the New Testament Church. Together they began a journey to find this church and in the end they found that she was there along as the Eastern Orthodox Church.

A week or two before picking up this book, I knew absolutely nothing about the Orthodox Church. If you had asked me, I would have guessed that it was some division of Catholicism. My ignorance was rather profound given my Christian upbringing. I learned that in the first few centuries after Christ, the division between the Eastern and the Roman (Western) church was at first geographical. The division became very real and permanent when the Roman church began to re-interpret the established church doctrine. The Orthodox church holds very strongly to the views and practices of the original New Testament church and the ecumenical councils. In my reading so far I have found that it truly is an unchanging church.

The author presents an eye-opening critique of one of Protestantism’s main tenets: sola scriptura. If you’ve ever wondered why there are so very many different Protestant sects, sola scriptura is your answer. Was the Bible really meant to stand alone? Writes the author, “Without the Church being there to interpret, to shed the light of holy tradition on those chapters and verses, you and are in a dead heat: his interpretation versus yours.” To Protestants with “Romaphobia,” the use of holy tradition seems very Catholic and thus concerns them.

This book is a great introduction to those unfamiliar with Orthodoxy. If you’re background is Protestant then you are really in for a wild ride, but you’ll find that it is hard to ignore the validity of the arguments.

September 7, 2009 Posted by | books, christianity, orthodox | | Comments Off on Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith

Hopefully heaven isn’t as lame as this book

A few months ago I picked up 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death & Life at the bargain section of Barnes & Noble. I don’t normally read books in this goofy genre, but I had heard about this book somewhere. At the time I thought that I had heard it mentioned on NPR, but I have since decided that this couldn’t possibly be the case.

My short introduction probably gives away my feelings toward this book. The author devoted very little time to recount his visit to heaven following a bad car accident. The book focused much more on the other parts of the story, devoting more pages to the author’s physical therapy than his recount of heaven. The story was mildly interesting, but nothing I would recommend, and not worth the $5 I spent. I didn’t learn much about heaven that I didn’t already know; namely that it is a nice place where your dead friends and family now reside. I sound flippant because I am. This wasn’t exactly a convincing recount of a near-death (or actual death) experience.

June 2, 2007 Posted by | books, christianity, religion | 2 Comments

Eloquence where you wouldn’t expect it

Awhile ago I stumbled upon a GQ article about a guy who travelled to a large Christian rock music festival to see what all the fuss was about. I’ve heard of these festivals before, they’re kind of a Christian version of Woodstock. Hoards of kids converge in a rural location to hang out and listen to music. Sounds like it could be fun, and an interesting enough phenomena that someone should cover it, right?

Enter John Jeremiah Sullivan. His article, cleverly entitled “Upon This Rock“, starts the way you’d expect. It’s self-deprecating and tongue in cheek as the author describes his experience road tripping by himself in a 29-foot RV. The first half of the article continues as a fun story with witty observations about a religious culture that many people are ignorant of. Continue reading

April 19, 2007 Posted by | christianity, culture, philosophy, religion, theology | Comments Off on Eloquence where you wouldn’t expect it