Can anyone help?

henacynflin

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I am posting this message here in the hope that I may be able to obtain some clarification. I hope that this is not intrusive. I am an agnostic but one who has found that in debate, or discussion on moral issues, finds himself tending to agree with and be impressed by Christian commentators. Recently I have been reading a lot by Paul Kingsnorth which I have found very interesting and valuable. His approach seems different to other authors and I am aware that he recently returned to Christianity and more specifically to the Orthodox Church. As I do not have the help of a background in religious life or education (I was brought up an atheist) I am quite ignorant of the differences between some branches of Christianity and I wondered if anyone here could (in a simple and clear way) explain to be how orthodox christianity differs in its essence from other groups. I feel if this has been attractive to one great thinker then it is worthy of my attentions. I know that I may be asking the impossible and this issue might not be one which can be broken down so easily. If this is the case then any pointers to start my reading list would be very much welcomes.

Thank you in advance.
 

Pavel Mosko

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Haven't heard of him before. But I do follow occasionally Jonathan Pageau and it looks like he appeared on his show. He also has been on Ancient Faith radio before too.



And on this place too.

 
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ArmyMatt

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I am posting this message here in the hope that I may be able to obtain some clarification. I hope that this is not intrusive. I am an agnostic but one who has found that in debate, or discussion on moral issues, finds himself tending to agree with and be impressed by Christian commentators. Recently I have been reading a lot by Paul Kingsnorth which I have found very interesting and valuable. His approach seems different to other authors and I am aware that he recently returned to Christianity and more specifically to the Orthodox Church. As I do not have the help of a background in religious life or education (I was brought up an atheist) I am quite ignorant of the differences between some branches of Christianity and I wondered if anyone here could (in a simple and clear way) explain to be how orthodox christianity differs in its essence from other groups. I feel if this has been attractive to one great thinker then it is worthy of my attentions. I know that I may be asking the impossible and this issue might not be one which can be broken down so easily. If this is the case then any pointers to start my reading list would be very much welcomes.

Thank you in advance.

that depends on the other Christian group. some, like the Methodists, traditional Anglicans or Lutherans, or non-Chalcedonians are very close (especially the latter).

I can say that both the Orthodox and the non-Chalcedonians have kept the mystical, experiential focus of the Church we see in Acts.
 
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HTacianas

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I am posting this message here in the hope that I may be able to obtain some clarification. I hope that this is not intrusive. I am an agnostic but one who has found that in debate, or discussion on moral issues, finds himself tending to agree with and be impressed by Christian commentators. Recently I have been reading a lot by Paul Kingsnorth which I have found very interesting and valuable. His approach seems different to other authors and I am aware that he recently returned to Christianity and more specifically to the Orthodox Church. As I do not have the help of a background in religious life or education (I was brought up an atheist) I am quite ignorant of the differences between some branches of Christianity and I wondered if anyone here could (in a simple and clear way) explain to be how orthodox christianity differs in its essence from other groups. I feel if this has been attractive to one great thinker then it is worthy of my attentions. I know that I may be asking the impossible and this issue might not be one which can be broken down so easily. If this is the case then any pointers to start my reading list would be very much welcomes.

Thank you in advance.

In short, when you look at the Orthodox Church you are seeing Christianity itself. All the fullness of the gospel and of Christianity is found in the Orthodox Church. When you trace the history of the Orthodox Church you find the Churches of the new testament. The letters of the new testament were written to the Orthodox Church - The Ephesians, the Corinthians, the Colossians, the Churches of the Revelation.

Father Thomas Hopko wrote a short series called The Orthodox Faith. It will help a lot. You can read it here:

The Orthodox Faith
 
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Petros2015

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I wondered if anyone here could (in a simple and clear way) explain to be how orthodox christianity differs in its essence from other groups.

I would suggest reading the Orthodox Way (some quotes below)

The Orthodox Way Quotes by Kallistos Ware

I also liked this secular vid; it is on a specific tradition within Orthodoxy, but he covers a good deal leading up to it

 
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rusmeister

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I am posting this message here in the hope that I may be able to obtain some clarification. I hope that this is not intrusive. I am an agnostic but one who has found that in debate, or discussion on moral issues, finds himself tending to agree with and be impressed by Christian commentators. Recently I have been reading a lot by Paul Kingsnorth which I have found very interesting and valuable. His approach seems different to other authors and I am aware that he recently returned to Christianity and more specifically to the Orthodox Church. As I do not have the help of a background in religious life or education (I was brought up an atheist) I am quite ignorant of the differences between some branches of Christianity and I wondered if anyone here could (in a simple and clear way) explain to be how orthodox christianity differs in its essence from other groups. I feel if this has been attractive to one great thinker then it is worthy of my attentions. I know that I may be asking the impossible and this issue might not be one which can be broken down so easily. If this is the case then any pointers to start my reading list would be very much welcomes.

Thank you in advance.

FWIW, I was raised Baptist, spent twenty years as an adult agnostic, until that simply couldn’t work for me anymore. What pulled me in and keeps me in is the Christian apologists, CS Lewis and GK Chesterton.
If you become Christian, you’ll gradually find that many people are messed up even in the Church. It’s a hospital for people who (are supposed to) know they are sick, not a club of holier-than-thous.
To be a Christian is to be hypocrite. It is to know that you ought to be better than you are. The good hypocrites work on changing their hearts and minds to conform to how we ought to be, the not-so-good ones justify to themselves why they don’t.
Whenever the hypocrisy makes me want to walk away, those apologists gently remind me why I ever came to the Church in the first place.
 
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prodromos

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I am posting this message here in the hope that I may be able to obtain some clarification. I hope that this is not intrusive. I am an agnostic but one who has found that in debate, or discussion on moral issues, finds himself tending to agree with and be impressed by Christian commentators. Recently I have been reading a lot by Paul Kingsnorth which I have found very interesting and valuable. His approach seems different to other authors and I am aware that he recently returned to Christianity and more specifically to the Orthodox Church. As I do not have the help of a background in religious life or education (I was brought up an atheist) I am quite ignorant of the differences between some branches of Christianity and I wondered if anyone here could (in a simple and clear way) explain to be how orthodox christianity differs in its essence from other groups. I feel if this has been attractive to one great thinker then it is worthy of my attentions. I know that I may be asking the impossible and this issue might not be one which can be broken down so easily. If this is the case then any pointers to start my reading list would be very much welcomes.

Thank you in advance.
There is a podcast series by Fr Andrew Stephen Damick called Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy which you might find helpful. I'd also recommend listening to debates by Mathematician and Philosopher, John Lennox with some of the better known atheists.
 
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ArmyMatt

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I'd also recommend listening to debates by Mathematician and Philosopher, John Lennox with some of the better known atheists.

of all of the Protestant apologists, Lennox is the best in my opinion.
 
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Mark Quayle

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I am posting this message here in the hope that I may be able to obtain some clarification. I hope that this is not intrusive. I am an agnostic but one who has found that in debate, or discussion on moral issues, finds himself tending to agree with and be impressed by Christian commentators. Recently I have been reading a lot by Paul Kingsnorth which I have found very interesting and valuable. His approach seems different to other authors and I am aware that he recently returned to Christianity and more specifically to the Orthodox Church. As I do not have the help of a background in religious life or education (I was brought up an atheist) I am quite ignorant of the differences between some branches of Christianity and I wondered if anyone here could (in a simple and clear way) explain to be how orthodox christianity differs in its essence from other groups. I feel if this has been attractive to one great thinker then it is worthy of my attentions. I know that I may be asking the impossible and this issue might not be one which can be broken down so easily. If this is the case then any pointers to start my reading list would be very much welcomes.

Thank you in advance.
To one who is not Eastern Orthodox, nor even in any way liturgical protestant, the biggest obvious difference is liturgy. There are huge differences also in doctrine, but the basics are the same. Salvation by grace through faith, through Christ alone; Sovereignty of God; and so on.

In my mind, non-liturgical Reformed Theology is the simplest and most logical. But it is easy for me to see that Eastern Orthodox may consider theirs the simplest. Also note, when reading mine or anyone else's answers, that many so-called "denominations" are really not denominations —Reformed Theology isn't a denomination as such. There are several Denominations that differ within according to whether they are Reformed (or Calvinistic) vs. Arminian leaning (or Wesleyan). "Bible Church", or "Dispensational Church" is not a denomination as such.

Also, when looking around, don't consider any one denomination necessarily Conservative nor Liberal, though most tend towards one or the other.
 
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Lukaris

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Petros2015

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Interestingly, C.S. Lewis is much respected in Orthodoxy.

One of the more unique Orthodox perspectives on Heaven and Hell could be summed up as "it's the same thing but all relative to the soul experiencing it". Lewis captures that somewhat in The Great Divorce.
 
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ArmyMatt

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One of the more unique Orthodox perspectives on Heaven and Hell could be summed up as "it's the same thing but all relative to the soul experiencing it". Lewis captures that somewhat in The Great Divorce.

in The Last Battle as well.
 
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Leaf473

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FWIW, I was raised Baptist, spent twenty years as an adult agnostic, until that simply couldn’t work for me anymore. What pulled me in and keeps me in is the Christian apologists, CS Lewis and GK Chesterton.
If you become Christian, you’ll gradually find that many people are messed up even in the Church. It’s a hospital for people who (are supposed to) know they are sick, not a club of holier-than-thous.
To be a Christian is to be hypocrite. It is to know that you ought to be better than you are. The good hypocrites work on changing their hearts and minds to conform to how we ought to be, the not-so-good ones justify to themselves why they don’t.
Whenever the hypocrisy makes me want to walk away, those apologists gently remind me why I ever came to the Church in the first place.
That reminds me of something a Lutheran pastor said he wanted to put on his church sign (I don't know if he ever actually did it or not):

Only sinners welcome.
 
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ArmyMatt

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Mark Quayle

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henacynflin

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. What pulled me in and keeps me in is the Christian apologists, CS Lewis and GK Chesterton..

Thank you, I have started to read more of these two authors and am finding their works extremely clear and persuasive.
 
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