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Introducing the Orthodox Church: Its Faith and Life

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Here is a genuinely different and practical book for the inquirer and potential convert to Orthodox Christianity. It is different in a number of ways, all of which commend this volume to wide use by pastors whose task it is to introduce the members of their inquirers classes to an Orthodox way of life which will touch their lives in a full and complete way (Fr. Stanley Har Here is a genuinely different and practical book for the inquirer and potential convert to Orthodox Christianity. It is different in a number of ways, all of which commend this volume to wide use by pastors whose task it is to introduce the members of their inquirers classes to an Orthodox way of life which will touch their lives in a full and complete way (Fr. Stanley Harakas). Chapters include: What We Believe About the One Apostolic Church, the Nicene Creed, Jesus, the Holy Trinity, the Divine Liturgy, Salvation, the Church Fathers, the Church Year, Symbols, the Sacraments, the Saints and the Theotokos, Life After Death, the Bible, Icons, Prayers for the Dead, and Prayer. Recently translated in Korean and Romanian.


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Here is a genuinely different and practical book for the inquirer and potential convert to Orthodox Christianity. It is different in a number of ways, all of which commend this volume to wide use by pastors whose task it is to introduce the members of their inquirers classes to an Orthodox way of life which will touch their lives in a full and complete way (Fr. Stanley Har Here is a genuinely different and practical book for the inquirer and potential convert to Orthodox Christianity. It is different in a number of ways, all of which commend this volume to wide use by pastors whose task it is to introduce the members of their inquirers classes to an Orthodox way of life which will touch their lives in a full and complete way (Fr. Stanley Harakas). Chapters include: What We Believe About the One Apostolic Church, the Nicene Creed, Jesus, the Holy Trinity, the Divine Liturgy, Salvation, the Church Fathers, the Church Year, Symbols, the Sacraments, the Saints and the Theotokos, Life After Death, the Bible, Icons, Prayers for the Dead, and Prayer. Recently translated in Korean and Romanian.

30 review for Introducing the Orthodox Church: Its Faith and Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    A fairly straightforward introduction to the doctrine and thought of the Orthodox Church. As someone who is currently learning about this tradition from a Protestant background, I found it helpful to read. Many topics are addressed, with just enough information provided for each. The author makes an effort to summarize his main points at the end of each chapter. It contains many useful illustrations, as well as several quotations from early Christian writers, which are definitely worth reading f A fairly straightforward introduction to the doctrine and thought of the Orthodox Church. As someone who is currently learning about this tradition from a Protestant background, I found it helpful to read. Many topics are addressed, with just enough information provided for each. The author makes an effort to summarize his main points at the end of each chapter. It contains many useful illustrations, as well as several quotations from early Christian writers, which are definitely worth reading for their own sake. My chief complaint is the awkward, and at some points, outright incorrect grammar or spelling mistakes (which is nothing too major, by the way).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Raquel Iacob

    I learned a lot about orthodoxy, and I really enjoyed the book. Some of it was dense, like the details of how a church is physically set up. But the author wrote it very well—in an inspiring way that I want to learn more, not saying “this is what you should do blah blah”. I’m sure I’ll come back to it in the future.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dustin Lovell

    Anthony Coniaris's Introducing the Orthodox Church was recommended by my local Orthodox church as a way to, of course, learn more about Orthodoxy. Coniaris covers all the initial aspects of the Church that I wanted to know (coming from a generally Protestant milieu) in articulate and easy-to-understand ways. He addresses many misconceptions of Orthodoxy, such as how the Church views icons, the veneration of saints and of Mary, the role of sacraments in one's personal faith, and the differences b Anthony Coniaris's Introducing the Orthodox Church was recommended by my local Orthodox church as a way to, of course, learn more about Orthodoxy. Coniaris covers all the initial aspects of the Church that I wanted to know (coming from a generally Protestant milieu) in articulate and easy-to-understand ways. He addresses many misconceptions of Orthodoxy, such as how the Church views icons, the veneration of saints and of Mary, the role of sacraments in one's personal faith, and the differences between Orthodoxy from Catholicism. Most important, Coniaris writes not as a theologian but as a participant in the heart of Orthodoxy; his purpose seems not so much to convey a system (though he often does that) but an attitude of approach to God. Primary throughout the book is one's individual relationship with and love for Christ--which all of the structures of Orthodoxy were given us to support. All of this being said, there are some stylistic aspects that made the reading harder for me (though others may like them). The main one was how Coniaris often uses "It was once said..." or "A ceo of a popular company once said..." without references. Of course, it's not the book's purpose to give such references, and the phrasing is the same one might hear in a sermon, but it happened often enough that I started to skim such moments. Beyond that minor gripe--which does convey a consistently casual and welcoming tone--the book is excellent and lives up to its name. Coniaris shows the attitude of Orthodoxy while laying out the scriptural and traditional foundations for the Church, and he gives several implicit and explicit recommendations for further reading. I'll definitely reference this book in future conversations with friends who don't know much about Orthodoxy.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Offers a lot of good & basic information on the meaning and symbolism of the Orthodox Church. I was raised in the Eastern Orthodox faith, but surprisingly I did not know a lot of the information in this book. I knew the motion of the rituals, but did not understand the full symbolism behind them. Helpful.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Callie Stockman

    These stars are not indicative of the theology of the book but of the ability of the author to explain Orthodox Christianity.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eric Ryniker

    Used this book as a text for a small group. A good text for an inquirers class or "Orthodoxy 101." Used this book as a text for a small group. A good text for an inquirers class or "Orthodoxy 101."

  7. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Good! Good read! Anybody untested in the orthodox church should read it. It is easy to understand and enjoyable to read

  8. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Smith

    Straight forward and well laid out. Helps non-orthodox understand often confusing parts of Orthodoxy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    James Standifer

    The most concise I have found. This is without a doubt the best introduction I’ve found. I wouldn’t end here but recommend a start here. Thanks

  10. 4 out of 5

    Josh Sheak

    I started reading this book upon recommendation of a member. I was curious to learn about the faith and to be informed of its key precepts. I thought this book did a good job giving a basic introduction to the faith. I found the devotion and strong beliefs of the faith to be beautiful. I thought the author was clear in his purpose of explaining foundations of faith for the Greek Orthodox Church. In his attempt to be candid and relatable, the author at times uses trivial modern examples of what se I started reading this book upon recommendation of a member. I was curious to learn about the faith and to be informed of its key precepts. I thought this book did a good job giving a basic introduction to the faith. I found the devotion and strong beliefs of the faith to be beautiful. I thought the author was clear in his purpose of explaining foundations of faith for the Greek Orthodox Church. In his attempt to be candid and relatable, the author at times uses trivial modern examples of what seem to be profound principles. These example do not flow well with the tone present in the rest of the text and may even serve to mitigate the feeling of reverence the author spends a large amount of time building. I liked the book and would recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about Greek Orthodox faith.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    This book is very elementary and non-technical, using many stories and illustrations to make its points. It would be perfect for someone with little to no theological background, but I was hoping for a little more depth in some areas. Still, it is a great introduction, which is the intention of the author. It begins to get a little dry towards the end, but it is difficult to introduce many aspects of liturgical tradition in any other fashion. The book accomplishes its aim, which is to introduce This book is very elementary and non-technical, using many stories and illustrations to make its points. It would be perfect for someone with little to no theological background, but I was hoping for a little more depth in some areas. Still, it is a great introduction, which is the intention of the author. It begins to get a little dry towards the end, but it is difficult to introduce many aspects of liturgical tradition in any other fashion. The book accomplishes its aim, which is to introduce the reader to the Orthodox faith.

  12. 5 out of 5

    D.P.

    Very good at explaining the tenets of the Christian Eastern Orthodox faith. Written in a simple style with numerous (sometimes too numerous) examples to illuminate concepts. An excellent resource for someone thinking about converting, or simply interested in arguably the most ancient Christian church.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Yanni

    A nice adult catechism for Orthodoxy - simplistic in places, but is designed to be fun, funny and accessible as is the American way. That said, it lacks the dreadful American habit of assuming your reader has an IQ <90 and an attention span and memory of 5 minutes, so isn't overly repetitive. A nice adult catechism for Orthodoxy - simplistic in places, but is designed to be fun, funny and accessible as is the American way. That said, it lacks the dreadful American habit of assuming your reader has an IQ <90 and an attention span and memory of 5 minutes, so isn't overly repetitive.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Andrianna

    I'd recommend this book to those who desire to understand the liturgical life of the Eastern Orthodox Christian or someone who wants to review their understanding of the Eastern Orthodox Church. I'd recommend this book to those who desire to understand the liturgical life of the Eastern Orthodox Christian or someone who wants to review their understanding of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Zaina

    There are many better catechetical books out there.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lydia

    Very good alternative to Ware's Orthodox Church . Very good alternative to Ware's Orthodox Church .

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Very easy to read and understand

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Wuertz

    Very dry, but covers all the basics.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Luiz Rens

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brandonleebowers

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jay

  22. 4 out of 5

    Fr. Thomas Sandberg

  23. 5 out of 5

    Meg

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sincerae

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Candy Mann

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dorotheos

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia

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