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Introducing the Orthodox Church: Its Faith and Life Paperback – June, 1982


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Light & Life Pub Co (June 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0937032255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0937032251
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #455,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
Coniaris writes very well. Unlike Shaeffer's angry"Dancing Alone" or "Our Hearts' True Home" (tomeof 14 women's journies to the Orthodox faith) this book is a flat-out "telling it like it is" book on what Orthodoxy is without slamming other faiths. He isn't a self appointed holy man, nor does he refer to other faiths as rubbish (although he does not ascribe to them!)This isn't a defence of Orthodoxy but rather an explanation of what it is. He covers basic beliefs, holidays, sacraments, the whole gamut. It is great to have on your bookshelf as refernce!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By David Bennett VINE VOICE on June 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
Coniaris has written what is perhaps the best primer on Orthodoxy. As an Anglican, I have often considered becoming Orthodox as our communion becomes beset with problems. Whenever I have a theological question, particularly a sacramental one, I usually consult this book first. It is highly detailed, yet simple and easily understood. A caption in the front of the book suggests it is for those curious about the Orthodox faith, and for confirmation classes, and I think it is excellent for both.
Some of the topics include The Church, Jesus, the Nicene Creed, Icons, Sacraments (i.e. mysteries), Prayer, and the Bible. Coniaris' tone is non-polemical, and he does not condemn others as he lauds the Orthodox faith. This is in contrast to Frank Schaeffer's writings, which are also intended for those discovering Orthodoxy. In some ways all 215 pages of this book read like a historical Christian commentary on major themes, because the writings and wisdom of the ancient Church are generously quoted. However, Coniaris does keep the discussion current as well. He uses many jokes and modern illustrations to explain key theological points. For instance, when describing the mystery (and difficulty) of the Trinity he tells of a boy singing in the choir of a Church that uses the Athanasian creed. When the little boy sang the 8th verse, the boy would sing under his breath, "The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, the Holy Spirit incomprehensible, ...the whole thing incomprehensible!"
Overall, this is a fine book for those exploring the Orthodox Church, those in it, and those who just want a taste of ancient Eastern Christian theology. Often in the Western churches the wisdom of Chrysostom, Gregory Palamas, Symeon, and other great theologians are largely ignored. Thus, this book has many purposes, and even if you don't read it all the way through, keep it as a reference book; there is a lot of great theology contained within.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book covers the Orthodox faith in complete detail and answers questions pertaining to the doctrine and liturgy of the faith. Simply written and easy to understand. We use this text in our inquirers study class.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 6, 1997
Format: Paperback
I was assigned to read this book as my introduction to the Orthodox faith for my upcoming conversion. I was surprised at the readability of the book. The author makes many modern day references to explain the point he is trying to make.

The book goes into detail about different aspects of the church to answer all your questions. It not only explains the what, but the why, people do certain things in the Orthodox Church. It has chapters devoted to praying, saints, icons, etc., explaining in detail why people do what they do with each.

If you have an interest in the Christian Orthodox faith, or are curious about why certain things are done in your church, read this book - it can only serve to make your experience more enjoyable when your questions are answered
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the catechism for us average folk. Fr. Coniaris takes us into the Orthodox Church and makes all those confusing theological terms make sense. He relates the teachings of the Church to everyday life and is well-known for his edifying and sometimes amusing anecdotes. This is recommended as a good general catechism.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gary Gillespie on November 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Introducing the Orthodox Church is a fast but comprehensive read of contemporary orthodoxy. As an Evangelical, I find myself many times in a Christian quandry as to the state of the current church. Evangelicals have a pot pouiree of choices from which to choose to experience their faith. I grew up in the United Church of Christ, became a Missouri Synod Lutheran after marriage, went to an Evangelical Free Church, but I am Charismatic (EV Free is not)so I went looking elsewhere, attending 5-10 differnt churches over the last 20-25 years. Seeker sensitive, Emerging church, nondenominational, mainline denominations, charismatic, fundmentalist, dispensational, reformed, as an evangelical maybe I detect a problem here?

The question needs to be "what is Gods will?" I have read through the entire Catholic Catechism but in many points it just did not "ring true" even though I was praying to seek if this is where the Lord may lead me.

In contrast Coniaris has written a book which is designed to acquaint people with Orthodoxy and was written for use in an adult membership or converts class.

He breaks the book down into chapters which cover What We Believe about the Nicene Creed, Jesus, The Holy Trinity, Salvation, The Divine Liturgy. Other chapters cover Who were the Church Fathers, What We Believe about Saints and Theotokos, Life After Death, The Bible, Icons, Praying for the Dead and a chapter on the Sacraments and what they are and their purpose.

It is a very simple but comprehensive book. It will probably answer most questions that one might have concerning Orthodox Christianity.

One chapter describing the icons and the physical layout of an Orthodox church was very insightful to me.
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