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The Forgotten Faith: Ancient Insights for Contemporary Believers from Eastern Christianity Paperback – November 8, 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Cascade Books (November 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620328674
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620328675
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #968,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


If you ever wondered what Christianity looked like in its early centuries and still looks like in the Orthodox Church of the twenty-first century, it would be hard to find a better starting point than Philip LeMasters' The Forgotten Faith. --Jim Forest, author of Praying with Icons

Drawing on his conversion to Orthodoxy, LeMasters introduces the mysteries that make Orthodoxy what it is with a gentle clarity befitting the great church. For anyone wanting to learn about the Orthodox faith there is no better place to begin than with The Forgotten Faith. --Stanley Hauerwas, Professor of Theological Studies, Duke University

Gracefully and without apology, LeMasters combines autobiography with evangelism in his review of ancient Orthodox teachings and their contemporary belonging. To say that this is popular and not serious theology does injustice to a narrative that is both scholarly and accessible. Buy it, read it, and give it to someone curious about Orthodoxy as an alternative in American Christianity. --Harmon L. Smith, Emeritus Professor of Moral Theology, Duke University

More About the Author

The Rev. Fr. Philip LeMasters, Ph.D., is the pastor of St. Luke Orthodox Church, Abilene, TX. He also serves as Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Religion, Professor of Religion, and Director of the Honors Program at McMurry University. In addition, Fr. Philip is the Corporate Secretary of the Board of Trustees of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York.

Fr. Philip is the author of: The Forgotten Faith: Ancient Insights for Contemporary Believers from Eastern Christianity (Cascade Books, 2013); Toward a Eucharistic Vision of Church, Family, Marriage, and Sex (Light & Life Publishing Company, 2004), and The Goodness of God's Creation (Regina Orthodox Press, 2008), as well as other books, articles and reviews in Christian theology and ethics. Two of his most recent essays are "Orthodox Perspectives on Peace, War and Violence," The Ecumenical Review, and "A Dynamic Praxis of Peace: Orthodox Social Ethics and Just Peacemaking," Revista Teologica (Romania).

He has served as a commencement speaker at St. Herman Orthodox Theological Seminary in Kodiak, AK, and the keynote speaker for Education Day at St. Vladimir's Seminary. Fr. Philip has been an invited participant in international Orthodox consultations on social ethics in Greece, Romania, and Syria. He has also led retreats on marriage and sexuality at St. Michael Orthodox Church, Beaumont, TX, and St. John the Compassionate Mission, Toronto.

Closer to home, Fr. Philip regularly introduces visiting groups of students from local universities to the Orthodox faith. He has also spoken about Eastern Christianity at Methodist, Episcopal, and Church of Christ congregations in Abilene. You may listen to his podcasts on Fr. Philip has also been interviewed on "Come Receive the Light," an internationally syndicated radio program of the Orthodox Christian Network ( Visit his blog at

Fr. Philip received the Ph.D. in Christian Theology and Ethics from Duke University and is also a graduate of Rice and Baylor. He holds the M.A. in Applied Orthodox Theology from the St. John of Damascus School of Theology of the University of Balamand. He is a married priest with two daughters.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joseph on January 15, 2014
Format: Paperback
The Forgotten Faith is a pragmatic, sound exposition of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Faith written by an American convert for Americans who are seeking the Truth. It also serves as a reminder to those of us who have entered into the communion of the Holy Church just what it is that She, and we, are about.

Fr Philip LeMasters lays out the essence and practice of Orthodox Christianity with the straightforward precision of an experienced teacher. His agenda seems to be: The better I teach, the more you learn, the fewer questions go unanswered. The teaching is methodical, practical, and convincing. Fr Philip loves Eastern Christianity, believes his beloved to be unique and true, and presents his love to you with love. If you are looking for a book that compares and contrasts various Christian beliefs and traditions, passing judgments on the same, this is not your choice, nor his task.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Bowman on August 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a Protestant Christian who is heavily interested in (and sympathetic to) Eastern Orthodoxy, and that despite my contentions—both biblical and historical—with this branch of Christianity. I have corresponded with the author of the foreword (Everett Ferguson) and with LeMasters, and consider them both to be fine Christian men who exhibit a spirit of humility and charity.

This book recounts LeMasters’ journey from Baptist to Orthodox, a path that seems appealing to many Evangelicals in the modern religious climate as they debate whether to cross the Tiber (to Roman Catholicism) or the Bosphorus (to Eastern Orthodoxy). The Eastern Church has never had anything comparable to a Reformation, and LeMasters takes this as one indication that Orthodoxy possesses the fullness of faith, over and against the claims of the Latin Church: “Orthodoxy never had or needed a Reformation because the Church did not develop traditions contrary to scripture” (34). There have been schisms in Orthodoxy, both early (e.g., the Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox) and late (the Old Believers), but this is not the time or place to delve too deeply.

LeMasters views his conversion as a completion of what he was taught in the SBC, and has no reservations about “calling faithful Protestants and Catholics my brothers and sisters in Christ” (11). Although not all Orthodox feel this way, Catholic and Protestant readers will certainly applaud this mindset. At the same time, however, LeMasters clearly expresses his discontentment with non-Orthodox Christians and delivers a forthright challenge for other Christian traditions (especially Southern Baptists) to respond to.

But this book covers much more than conversion.
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