The Orthodox Way by Bishop Kallistos Ware has been a joy to read – I would even go as far as to call it a spring of fresh water in the land of sureties. For so much of my life, I have been taught that God could be understood by our minds – we just had to study the Bible, pray a lot and bingo, we could figure everything out.
And yes, if you pushed these same folks would say that it is impossible to fully understand God…yet, their actions did not follow that line of reasoning. Their actions said that people with the right education could come up with the right theology which would explain God, His actions, and the world around us.
This book offered a different route.
It offered a way to embrace the mystery of God without having to understand everything.
Instead, we could simply relax in the greatness of an Almighty, All Loving, Graceful God. Ahhh…isn’t it wonderful not to know everything? Or to have to defend God?
This brings up a sad side effect of Protestantism and the Reformation of the sixteen century. In all of the fighting and the rethinking of Christianity, we effectively lost a huge part of our heritage – namely the picture of God as seen through the eyes of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
I say it is time that we – believers in the West – take the time to get to know our brothers and sisters in the East. They have a rich heritage of following God and seeing things that we have never seen. This does not mean that they are perfect, for no institution or person is prefect (save One). It is just that we need their insight and wisdom as we move into a new era of history.
The Orthodox Way is a great place to start.
Buy it, borrow it from a library (use interlibrary loan if you have too), do what you have to – but start reading outside Protestantism. Open your eyes to the finger prints of God as He is active through out all traditions.