Orthodoxy and Western Christianity: For All Protestants

These articles are important for all Protestant inquirers. I recommend reading the articles on this page and then perusing the other "For" pages for more in-depth articles pertaining to a particular Protestant group.


The Ascetic Ideal and the New Testament: Reflections on the Critique of the Theology of the Reformation, by Father George Florovsky. This is one of the most important articles a Protestant inquirer to Orthodoxy could read. It is a lengthy survey of almost the entire New Testament. The author demonstrates that in each book the Orthodox doctrines of synergy and theosis are taught. He interacts constantly with the theology of Luther and Calvin, as well as the book Agape and Eros, by Anders Nygren.

Protestantism: various topics briefly addressed. From the ROCOR Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Washington, DC.

Why Orthodoxy Is the True Faith. A lecture by A.I.Osipov on the Fundamentals of Theology, held in the Sretenskaya Theological Seminary on September 13, 2000.

Finding Common Ground Between Orthodox and Protestants: Partial Resolution of Protestant Difficulties with Orthodox Theology, by Reader Daniel Lieuwen

An Overview of Orthodoxy By Way of a Reply to Dan Clendenin. A good overview that inquirers to our Faith should find interesting and helpful. By Anastasia Theodoridis.

Miles from the Truth: A Response to the Protestant magazine Credenda/Agenda, by Deacon [now Father] John Whiteford and Patrick Barnes.

Recommended Books

Bajis, Jordan, Common Ground: An Introduction to Eastern Christianity for the American Christian. Minneapolis, MN: Light and Life, 1991. Geared specifically for the typical modern American evangelical Christian. It is divided into four sections: 1. Western and Eastern Outlooks Compared (Ch.1-3); 2. Tradition, Bible, and Authority (Ch. 4-8); 3. The Church (Ch. 9-11); 4. Sacraments and Salvation (Ch. 12-17). Fantastic footnotes and bibliography for further reading.

Bouyer, Louis, The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism. Westminster, MD: The Newman Press, 1961. A sympathetic critical analysis of the Protestant Reformation by a former Lutheran who converted to Roman Catholicism. In the first half he praises the first principles of the Reformation, ironically identifying them with true Catholicism. In Part II he shows how those same first principles decayed and protestantism fell apart due to its failure to properly critique and throw off the nominalistic framework of the late medieval period. The "good" of protestantism can only be sustained and flourish within the Church (of course, he argues for Roman Catholicism).

Archimandrite [now Archbishop] Chrysostomos and Archimandrite [now Bishop] Auxentios, Scripture and Tradition. Etna, CA: The Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1994. This is arguably the best book on this subject available in the English language (perhaps in any language). Read the comments on the back cover by Fr. George florovsky: "The thoughts presented...[in several essays appearing in the present book]...are clear expositions of classical Patristic reasoning. They should certainly appear in print, and without a doubt they will be received as important contributions to the body of Orthodox literature."

Florovsky, Georges, Collected Works. vol. 1, Bible, Church, Tradition. Belmont, MA: Nordland, 1972-79. [out-of-print, but still available]. This little gem is under 100 pages and a superb treatment of the Eastern Orthodox perspective on Tradition.

Lee, Philip J, Against the Protestant Gnostics. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. This insightful work by a Protestant pastor "traces gnostic motifs to the very roots of American Protestantism."

Nasr, Father Constantine. The Bible in the Liturgy. Oklahoma City, OK: Theosis Publishing Company, 1988. Father Constantine puts the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (the main service of worship for Orthodox Christians) in the left column of the page and then lists the full text of every Scripture reference related to each key sentence in the Liturgy in the right column. He thereby shows just how scriptural is Orthodox worship.

Meyendorff, John, Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes. New York: Fordham Univ. Press, 1979. Detailed and scholarly. Not an easy read but for many Western Christians it has been on of the key theological books in their journey. Father John interacts with Western views throughout this work.