8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern spiritiual classic to be read more than once!
"The Orthodox Way," by Bishop Kallistos Ware is the second most frequently recommended book on Eastern Orthodoxy in the English language to date, and the top book specifically on Orthodox Christian spirituality. (The number one book on Orthodoxy is his classic work, "The Orthodox Church," published under his given name, Timothy Ware.
I first read an...
Published on March 23 2004 by Volkert Volkersz
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring and doesn't really talk about the Ortodox way
IMHO, I felt this book lacking in what I was looking for in what it means to be an Orthodox Christian. It's just a priest giving 'his' spiritual view on the things that didn't really lead to anything.
Published 1 month ago by Mark Sleemans
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern spiritiual classic to be read more than once!,
This review is from: The Orthodox Way (Paperback)"The Orthodox Way," by Bishop Kallistos Ware is the second most frequently recommended book on Eastern Orthodoxy in the English language to date, and the top book specifically on Orthodox Christian spirituality. (The number one book on Orthodoxy is his classic work, "The Orthodox Church," published under his given name, Timothy Ware.
I first read an earlier edition of "The Orthodox Way" many years ago as an Evangelical Christian, shortly after I began looking into the Orthodox Church. At that time it communicated to me that something profoundly spiritual was going on in this church of "smells and bells," robes and formal liturgical worship. It introduced me to the mystery of God, and made me realize that it was important to spend less energy talking about and trying to understand God, and to spend more time getting to know him in prayer. This is where I first encountered the idea that theology in the strict sense of the word is "the contemplation of God himself."
It was this book that explained the importance of the Trinity, not only as part of the Nicene Creed, but that God has been Trinity since before the book of Genesis, and a proper understanding of him will drive how we commune with him. My first reading introduced me to new terms and concepts: apophatic approach (saying what God is not rather than what he is), apatheia (dispassion), passion (any disordered appetite or longing that takes possession of the soul), nous (spiritual intellect), nepsis (watchfulness, sobriety and wakefulness), theosis (deified, or "christified," or "made sharers of the divine nature" [2 Peter 1:4]), and the difference between the "essence" and "energies" of God.
Now, seven years after I began "checking out" the Orthodox Church, and four years after coming home to Orthodoxy, I found myself rereading this volume (revised edition) and discovering how much went right over my head. This time I paid closer attention to the many quotes from liturgical texts, Church Fathers, saints, mystics, monks, historians and theologians. It made me appreciate how much Bishop Kallistos is writing from a rich tradition, that has become my tradition, and how that this Orthodox way, is The Spiritual Way. For fear that this last statement may sound sectarian, it should be noted that this volume has been endorsed by a number leaders and authors outside of the Eastern Orthodox tradition.
God wants all to come to know him, and this volume can introduce the reader to a Way that is well mapped out, but sadly, not often traveled. May God grant me the ability follow this way more closely.
On a closing note, at the time I write this review, Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ" is in the theaters, and causing many to discuss the significance of Jesus' death on the cross. "The Orthodox Way" has perhaps the best brief summary of what Jesus accomplished by his passion and death on the cross, not to mention his birth, life, teachings and resurrection, which are all part of the story.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern day classic of Christian theology and philosophy.,
This review is from: The Orthodox Way (Paperback)A modern day classic of the highest quality. Bishop Ware covers the absolute basics or Christian philosophy such as God as Mystery, God as Trinity, God as Creator, God as Man, God as Spirit, and God as Prayer. He gives complete and full logical basis for each teaching, belief, and action of the Orthodox, and non-Orthodox Christian.
It reminds me of "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis in which he tells the story of how he went from a vehement opponent of religion in general, especially Christianity, to an Anglican Christian through philosophy. Not that Ware tells the story of his conversion, but that both of them use are utmost in their philosophy which flows so naturally and purely that it couldn't just be from humans.
One of the main reasons (aside from historical reasons) I converted to Christianity instead of Islam, Hinduism, Deism, etc, (the list goes on at the religions I considered, researched, etc. some more than others though) is because the first was so much more philosophical, contemplative, logical, and filled with love, while retaining the utter unattainable, unknowable, and unfathomable greatness of God. It was as if everthing just clicked together, the entire essense and meaning of the Gospels permeated and elimenated the 'contradictions' that are seen when they are viewed in a shallow, ultra legalistic and literal sense. I realized they were written to expound a meaning and essense of love, not to be a code of laws like the Qur'an is for Muslims, or the Constitution is for hicks; to be viewed in a legalistic, shallow way, taken at face value, and not having a meaning past the words on the page.
All I can do is to recommend this book, if it were within my abilities I would give a copy to every person I meet and bid them read it again and again and again
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring and doesn't really talk about the Ortodox way,
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This review is from: The Orthodox Way (Paperback)IMHO, I felt this book lacking in what I was looking for in what it means to be an Orthodox Christian. It's just a priest giving 'his' spiritual view on the things that didn't really lead to anything.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Orthodox Way,
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This review is from: The Orthodox Way (Paperback)Excellent book! Great for people thinking if joining the Eastern Orthodox Church, recent converts, and cradle long-time members alike. Highly recommend this jewel!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Further introduction to the Orthodox Church,
This review is from: The Orthodox Way (Paperback)If anyone has read Ware's book, The Orthodox Church, then this book is a must read. For those who haven't read Ware's introductory work on Orthodoxy, this book will still be enlightening and rewarding.
Bishop Ware's main purpose in this book is to introduce the reader to the more salient and deeper teachings of the Orthdox Christian faith. Ware begins by arguing that God is an ineffable and incomprehensible mystery that cannot be understood by the human mind. This squares well with traditional Eastern teaching, but not so well with Western paradigms. The Orthodox believe that God's Essence and Uncreated Divine Energies are two distinct and separate concepts, whereas the West, following after Augustine, believe that God's essence and energy are one and the same. Therefore, the Orthodox believe that God in His essence is completely mysterious and unknowable by man, but God's energies may be perceived and understood. Also, the Orthodox employ a different method in order to understand and know God called the apophatic approach. This method states that one can know something about God by understanding what God is not. I think this is a valuable method and one that needs to be utilized more by Christians of a Western mindset.
Next Ware deals with the traditional Orthodox understanding of God as Trinity. Ware argues that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one in essence but consist as three separate persons. Nothing really new or groundbreaking here, but Ware does an admirable job of defending the traditional Christian doctrine of the Trinity. The area where many will disagree with him is on the issue of the procession of the Holy Spirit. The Orthodox believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father as Jesus says in John 15:26, whereas the West holds that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Ware argues that to hold that the Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son can have disastrous consequences by leading one to confuse the distinctive characteristics possessed by each Divine person. Also, he believes that since such an idea was a later unauthorized addition to the creed, and not argued for by the Eastern Fathers of the Church it is to be rejected. Finally, Ware deals with the subject of God as creator and God in relation to man. Once again, one won't find to much disagreement between traditional Eastern teaching and Western teaching, but there are a few differences. The Orthodox have a completely different understanding of original sin. They believe that mankind is not guilty of Adam and Eve's sin since they can only be guilty of that transgression, but that we all bear the consequences of their disobedience. Since the human race exists as a corporate solidarity Ware argues, mankind suffers evil, pain, death and sin because we are related to and descend from Adam and Eve.
Lastly, Ware deals with the subject of God as man and God as Spirit. Ware shows why the Incarnation was an absolute necessity because of the sinfulness and fallen nature of mankind. He speaks of the redemptive significance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and here is where Ware goes off the beaten track by hinting that maybe even Satan and the fallen angels will eventually be redeemed. I believe that Scripture seriously mittigates against such a view and leaves no doubt about the fate of Satan and his demons. Also, Ware's treatment of spiritual toll houses and the 40 journey after death are odd and are not well established teachings within Orthodoxy. In fact, such a teaching seems to have more in common with early pagan beliefs than early Christian teaching. Although the 40 days following one's death is an imporant time in Orthodoxy, the belief that one is tested and tried on a path of toll houses is not a common teaching. Overall, this book is an excellent work on the basic tenets of the Orthodox Christian faith. Although it does have some awkward elements it is still an excellent book and one that should be read by anyone interested in learning more about the Orthodox Church.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book,
This review is from: The Orthodox Way (Paperback)Bishop Kallistos Ware does an excellent job of offering the reader a modern Orthodox catechism. The book presents theology in a way that is never stuffy and always enlightening. Non Orthodox readers will be impressed by the similarities of the basic trinitarian theology of the Orthodox church and other branches of Christianity whether it be Roman Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, etc. However, readers from other traditions will be challenged by the depth of mysticism in Orthodoxy and the emphasis on a serious relationship with God this side of heaven. Eastern Orthodoxy has a message for the rest of Christianity and this book delivers it well.
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the scholar,
This review is from: The Orthodox Way (Paperback)This very illuminating text offers new insights into the Orhtodox religion and its works and acts. A highly helpful text, thoroughly researched and presented in a proper manner.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Introduction Available!,
This review is from: The Orthodox Way (Paperback)Bishop Kallistos has written the classic introduction to the foundation of the inner life of the Eastern Orthodox tradition. There are few books that can be compared to this masterpiece, which has helped thousands of seekers find their home in the Eastern tradition of prayer, love, worship and communion with the Holy Trinity. Using both ancient and modern writers, Bishop Kallistos guides us by exploring the various meanings of Orthodoxy- God as Trinity, Prayer, Man, heaven, hell, etc.
This book is also an excellent stepping-stone into further reading, as it contains ample excerpts from many authors with full bibliography. Very highly recommended! Enjoy!
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal introduction book,
This review is from: The Orthodox Way (Paperback)Bishop Ware possesses the ability to transmit complex ideas in a very straight forward manor. Born in Great Britain, Bishop Kallistos is able to speak directly to his readers in English, which becomes an important and useful consideration as the issues become increasingly sophisticated. As one reads his books, it becomes abundantly clear that this is a man who posses a prodigious intellect and a warm heart. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (website) has a streaming video of an interview with the Bishop that is definitely worth checking out.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Intro To Orthodoxy,
This review is from: The Orthodox Way (Paperback)This book was amazing for an inquirer like myself. It covers most of the theological aspects of Orthodoxy one would need to get a a solid look at what they believe and how they think. It is excellent for Orthodox Christian wishing to learn more or get in touch with their faith. It is a MUST for Orthodox converts! You will get a solid foundation by reading this book.
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The Orthodox Way by Kallistos Ware (Paperback - June 27 2002)
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