An Introduction to the Eastern Orthodox Church For the Curious (My List of Recommended Reading)

An Introduction to the Eastern Orthodox Church For the Curious (My List of Recommended Reading) November 24, 2012

I’m often asked about the Eastern Orthodox Church since I have been going to a Greek Orthodox church for the last 25 years. Since I come from an evangelical background I get the question “Why did you convert?”

I didn’t. The word “conversion” implies the evangelical idea of salvation as a one-stop conversion-to-Jesus moment, AKA the “born-again” experience of passing from “dark to light.”

But the Orthodox view of salvation is of a mysterious journey toward God. So I don’t think I was “lost” before I “became” Orthodox any more than I think that the Orthodox Church is the only gateway to God. It’s just where I go to church. And the Orthodox Church is as full of imperfections as any group. It just happens to be where I make my stand against the flesh. (I speak on this topic in colleges and churches and may be contacted on my website about speaking engagements.)

I think that  other people — who certainly do not need to join the Orthodox Church in order to find God let alone meaning — could learn a lot that is helpful to their own journey by better understanding what the Orthodox Tradition is  and by deepening their spiritual understanding of the spiritual path found there.

So in the spirit of sharing — not evangelism — I share a few titles of books that might be helpful you that provide a clear easy-to-read “link” for contemporary people from a non-Orthodox background like me, to the rich liturgical and monastic Orthodox tradition.

Here are the links to the various electronic platforms — Kindle or B&N, NOOK and such — and of course you can also order the paperbacks too if you wish to by going online to Regina Orthodox Press and ordering there. (They offer a great discount of 40% off of purchases of 5 items or more.)

Please Click HERE to go to the Regina Orthodox website or order for your Kindle and NOOK by going directly to Amazon, or to Barnes and Noble, by using the links I’ve provided below. These titles are on I-Tunes too.



One Flew Over the Onion Dome 

Converts to the Orthodox Church are sometimes stunned by the ethnic ghetto they seem to have landed in. Cradle Orthodox are no less amazed by these zealous sometimes apparently nutty converts. And priests seem to often not have a clue as to how to deal with the mixed blessing of newcomers. How on earth can we all understand each other? More importantly what can we learn from each other? Now at last a NEW book that will bring us all together in love and understanding: ONE FLEW OVER THE ONION DOME — American Orthodox Converts, Retreads & Reverts Fr. Joseph David Huneycutt

“The Convert experience is full of surprises, not only for the pilgrims involved but for those who attempt to pastor and teach them. One Flew Over the Onion Dome tackles these challenges with up-front honesty, good humor, and steadfast faith.” Frederica Mathewes-Green NPR commentator and author

Available on I-Tunes


Click on the title for:

One Flew Over the Onion Dome on Kindle

One Flew Over the Onion Dome on Barnes and Noble

The Faith

The Faith: Introduction to Orthodox Thinking and Liturgy

An Orthodox Catechism by author Clark Carlton. Quite simply, The Faith is the best single-volume introduction to Orthodoxy in the English language. It is used by all North American “jurisdictions” (Russian, Greek etc.,) as a basic catechism. The Faith is a beautifully written book that truly answers the question, “What is it that you Orthodox believe?” The Faith has become an Orthodox classic. Perfect for group or individual study. The Faith is written in short chapters with a special section of questions after each chapter for further reflection. Each section also has relevant quotes from the Fathers and suggestions for further reading.

Available on I-Tunes


Click on the title for:

The Faith on Amazon Kindle

The Faith on Barnes and Noble

The Life: The Orthodox<br> Doctrine of Salvation

The Life: The Orthodox Doctrine of Salvation

The Life completes the series with a focus on “the one thing needful:” what must we do to be saved. The author presents the Orthodox doctrine of salvation in an easy-to-understand format, fully supported with scriptural references and quotations from the Fathers. The Life addresses many issues related to the doctrine of salvation, including issues that some find confusing. Among these are the immortality of the soul and the resurrection, the relationship of faith and works, and what it means to have a “personal relationship” with Christ.

Available on I-Tunes


Click on the title for:

The Life on Amazon Kindle

The Life on Barnes and Noble

The Truth

The Truth: What Every Roman Catholic Should Know About the Orthodox Church

The Truth will give Roman Catholics a profound understanding of the Orthodox Church. It will give both Orthodox and Roman Catholics insight as to the reasons why the two churches are not in communion with one another. The Truth will also help those confused by the outward similarities between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism to understand the marked differences between the two churches. The Truth will help Protestants understand church history in a new way and claims of the Orthodox Church to be the Bride of Christ.

Available on I-Tunes


Click on the title for:

The Truth on Amazon Kindle

The Truth on Barnes and Noble

The Way

The Way: What every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church

The Way clearly presents: The fundamental issues that distinguish the Orthodox Church from all Protestant denominations… A comprehensive understanding of how Orthodox and Protestants understand Scripture, Tradition, and the structure of the Church… Explains worship in the Early Church and the Protestant reformation…

Available on I-Tunes


Click on the title for:

The Way on Amazon Kindle

The Way on Barnes and Noble


Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back.To book Frank to speak at your college, church or group please contact Frank HERE


"i live and work on the sea, and your so right about the temperature not ..."

At Last Idiot Climate Change Deniers ..."
"The pre-tribulation Rapture Doctrine is valid. The entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation is metered ..."

Tim LaHaye is dead but his ..."
"I'm sorry, Ivan, I must have missed the part where you said you were from ..."

Open letter to all students contemplating ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment