Light from the Christian East:
to the Orthodox Tradition
by James R. PAYTON Jr
InterVarsity Press, 2007
This counts for
ABOUT THE BOOK
The Orthodox tradition is arguably the most faithful representation of early Christianity in existence today. Yet despite a quarter billion adherents—including growing numbers of evangelical converts—it remains unfamiliar and mysterious to many. Payton’s sympathetic, evenhanded introduction illuminates Orthodoxy’s fascinating history, theology, and practice. Dispelling common misperceptions, he explores the riches of this ancient faith. [christianbook.com].
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. James R. Payton Jr., B.A., M.A., Ph.D, is a history professor at Redeemer University College. He is the author of the acclaimed book Light from the Christian East: An Introduction to the Orthodox Tradition, and has published a number of different articles that have been published in numerous scholarly magazines, books, and other media. You can find more about his biography, education, and work on wikipedia
REVIEWS BY OTHERS
Lots of good reviews are on Goodreads – you can read them without being a Goodreads member.
MY OWN THOUGHTS
This book was recommended to me by my Orthodox godparents. Being a recent convert from Catholicism, with a large background in Western Christianity, I found this book excellent. The author belongs to the Protestant tradition, but he is also a Church historian, very well read in both Western and Eastern traditions.
I don’t think I have ever read any book as good as this one presenting Orthodoxy from a Western point of view. It is extremely balanced and sympathetic – actually, all along I wondered how long it would take for the author to make the plunge and become Orthodox, as many other great Church historians, Jaroslav Pelikan being one of the latest ones.
He tackles all the major Christian themes, sums up the Western position, and then highlights what’s common and different from an Orthodox point of view. His main point is that Western Christianity can learn so much from Eastern Christianity and have a broader and deeper understanding of Christianity.
The tone of the book is perfect, in the sense that there is no trace of polemic whatsoever, at least that was my feeling. This is very appreciable.
My Orthodox godfather, Philosophy and Religion teacher, has used it to introduce his students to Orthodoxy.
This is not an easy read, this is for study. But if you want to have a view of the whole of Christianity, this is for you.
As I read along, I posted a few short excerpts – as well as a quotation on the Transfiguration.
Here is the Table of Contents:
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