Polemics

Something I have read has reminded me how overwhelming it can be for people interested in Orthodoxy to be hit with ‘strong stuff’ early-on. Obviously some of what I have posted or linked to so far has been ‘strong stuff’! As my disclaimer says, this blog is not intended to be anyone’s sole introduction to Orthodoxy, but to supplement ‘the usual suspects,’ eg, Metropolitan KALLISTOS Ware, Schmemann, OCA and Antiochian websites and publications (and others where available in your language), other books from major publishers, Sunday and Feastday sermons, classes and conversations with local priests and laity and monastics (if available), inquirer email lists/message boards, etc etc etc. Not that “reading yourself into the Church” is all or best, but living it. But this blog takes the position – based on my own slow personal experience! – that here in the Catholic and Protestant (and “post-modern” if you like, or “diverse”) world, there’s a fair bit of information to be addressed that maybe isn’t covered so succinctly elsewhere, or maybe my own unique experience (Everybody’s experience is unique after all) gives me perspectives I don’t always see reflected elsewhere — How many ex-Catholic/seminarian/religious, ex-Quaker, ex-Mennonite Orthodox do you know?!! Not boasting, just saying. Plus, I share materials that have been helpful to *me.* They may not be helpful to you, or not right away, or whatever. (Frankly, God forgive me, Fr. John Romanides struck me as a crank the first time I read him in 1996 or so! But less so later. And I didn’t convert till 2002. Fortunately for me, God was patient, and allowed me the time I needed! Also, there’s “basic” stuff I haven’t read yet – no special reason, just the order in which I’ve come across them in my life.) I also sometimes offer my own reflections on things I have come across, as guideposts for you. But as a (small-F) friend always says, “Your mileage may vary.” Finally, I have a certain affinity and facility for “academic” material – not necessarily better, just not necessarily “typical” of convert reading assignments: I’ve been studying “theology” all my life, especially at the graduate level formally and informally since 1991. So my ‘stuff’ may reflect that aspect of my “journey” too. We’re all egocentric, and commend to others things that have worked for ourselves; they may or may not work for everyone else. I say this as lovingly as I can: take it or leave it… or come back to it in six years like I did!

But by all means, Go With God.

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