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Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith Paperback – January 1, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1936270002 ISBN-10: 1936270005 Edition: 3rd

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter E. Gillquist is an archpriest and chairman of the Department of Missions and Evangelism for the Antiochian Orthodox Church of North America.He is a popular speaker and author, and is publisher of Conciliar Press. In the 1960's he was regional director for Campus Crusade for Christ. He has authored numerous books, including Love is Now and Coming Home.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Conciliar Press; 3 edition (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936270005
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936270002
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 4.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

So, I recommend this book for anyone who is longing for the Church the father's founded.
Michael Vaught
The book "Becoming Orthodox," written by Peter Gillquist, is a fascinating read of one man's reasons for converting to Eastern Orthodoxy.
Doug Erlandson
Nevertheless, I found the tone, style, and content of this book to be non-polemical, Christian, and informative.
Gabriel Emanuel Borlean

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Joe Hegyi 3rd on August 16, 2010
Verified Purchase
I originally bought this book 13 years ago. It was sitting all by itself on a bookshelf in a Protestant bookstore. How it got there I'll never know but it has had a huge impact on my life. I don't even remember if I really knew what the book was about when I bought it. I had recently had all the underpinnings of my faith yanked out and I was searching the wider Christian world for something to restore my faith.

I remember being really impressed with the journey Father Gillquist and the others had taken to follow what they discovered to be the Truth. At the time I wasn't sure I was ready for something so radical and so I settled in to an Evangelical Church for several years. Several of the question Father Gillquist raised stayed with me and made me question such basic Protestant doctrines as sola scriptura.

Eventually the questions came to be too much. I began researching Orthodoxy and learning all I could. I knew, however, that my wife would never go for Orthodoxy and so I searched for a Protestant alternative. I can speak with some authority when I say that there is nothing in the Protestant world that will satisfy you once you've glimpsed at the Truth. So, today, 13 years later, I find myself ready to enter Orthodoxy as a catecumen.

It was this book that started that journey. If you want to help a Protestant understand the basics of why he or she should be Orthodox, BUY THIS BOOK!

Of course, in the end, God draws us to himself in different ways but I think this book is one powerful way to tell Protestants why they should consider Orthodoxy.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dave Kinsella on September 10, 2011
I am a baptized Roman Catholic, converted Evangelical who then joined the Anabaptist movement and am now seriously looking into the Orthodox Church as I feel the end of my journey for the historic faith and Church is coming to it's conclusion.

I have read Timothy Ware's book on orthodoxy, and found it to be ok. It was a little dry in places, and to be honest I couldn't finish it. But I couldn't put Gilquist's book down. I gobbled it up. It had me hooked from start to finish, there wasn't a chapter I found uninteresting or unrelated to my own spiritual journey. Perhaps that's because we had similar Evangelical backgrounds.

He discusses the subjects of Mary, The Sign of the Cross (blessing or signing yourself), Tradition, The Church etc., and targets mostly Evangelical/Reformed Christians in doing so. Perhaps Ware wasn't quite so direct or narrow in his target audience. I only wish he had discussed the topic of the Canon of Scripture as this is another huge issue,a dn one that divides Protestants from the historic Churches who accept (and have always accepted from the very beginning)the "Apocrypha".

If you are considering Orthodoxy or want to share your Orthodox faith with others and they are of a Protestant persuasion, then this is the best book for the job.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Culver TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 17, 2011
BECOMING ORTHODOX is a personal testimonial by Fr Peter Guilquist written to track the conversion of nearly a thousand Evangelical Protestants to Orthodox Christianity in 1987. This mass conversion was one of the biggest events in modern American Orthodoxy, and Fr Guilquist's book paints a vivid picture of the theological wrestling and jurisdictional complications which ended in the reception of the converts in the Antiochian Orthodox Church.

Fr Guilquist and many other leaders of this movement started their Christian occupations in the 1950s and 1960s as activists for Campus Crusade for Christ. They travelled widely, trying to organise rallies at such universities as the uber-liberal Berkeley and Roman Catholic Notre Dame. Their focus was entirely on bringing young people to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, not on building community, which they saw as denominationalism. Over time, however, they became jaded by their work, because many converts fell away after the initial dedication. They understand the need for a Church which would provide lasting support. Yet, they had no idea what such a church should look like.

In the early 1970s these former CCC leaders came together to begin a study of what the Church looked like in the decades after Pentacost, using only the Bible and early Fathers, so that they might form a community mirroring it entirely. They found that the early Church was liturgical, retaining a Judaic structure of worship after the expulsion from the synagogues, and that it was built around the Eucharist, which was seen as no mere commemoration but as a true mystery of faith. They discovered that the Church had a three-tiered division of authority, with bishops defending the faith, and priests and deacons serving the flocks of faithful.
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The quotes are the last words in the book. This 'manifesto' (imho) is not another 'conversion' story but rather the true story of a spiritual journey; a journey embarked by a group of fervent evangelical Protestants (Campus Crusade for Christ leaders) and which lasted over a decade. Peter E. Gillquist (the author) is a brilliant marketeer and presenter of his group's spiritual journey, of their search for the ancient faith and original New Testament Church.

The book is devided into three sections:

Part I describes the group's pilgrimage through the history of Christendom. This was done by assigning each members an area of research, such as church history pre-reformation and post-reformation, Biblical doctrine, and Christian worship. As Gillquist sumarizes this new journey in the last chapter, "the change came for us when we stopped trying to judge and reevaulate Church history, and for once invited Church history to judge and evaluate us."

Part II entitled "Orthodoxy and the Bible" is the meat of the book (imho). Here Gillquist does an excellent job of explaining (and not overpowering or over-analyzing) the most mis-understood and puzzling components of the Orthodox faith and praxis. These topics include:
a) explaining the use of all 5 senses in Orthodox worship,
b) the reasons for having a Christian historical tradition ("Traditon is there not just to preserve the Bible, but also to interpret it."),
c) using the title "Father" (Fr.),
d) why should we honor Mary (aka Theotokos - God-bearer),
e) and why does a Christian cross oneself?
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