LIGHT FROM THE CHRISTIAN EAST: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ORTHODOX TRADITION BY JAMES R. PAYTON JR.
To many people, the Orthodox Christian tradition (or Eastern Orthodoxy) seems unfamiliar and mysterious. Yet this tradition is arguably the most faithful representative of early Christianity in existence today and numbers roughly 250 million adherents worldwide. What`s more, a steady stream of evangelical Christians has been entering the Orthodox Church in recent decades. Isn`t it time we gained a deeper understanding of Orthodoxy?
In Light from the Christian East, James Payton gives us just that. With a sympathetic eye and even hand, he ushers readers into the world of Orthodox Christianity — its history, theology and religious practices. In doing so, he clears away the confusion and misunderstandings that often prevent non-Orthodox Christians from fully appreciating the riches of this ancient tradition. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in Orthodox Christianity.
This is a lucidly written, highly approachable book that highlights some of the key distinctions between the `Christian East` and the `Christian West.` It shows the theological thinking of the Orthodox East to be the best-kept secret in the West. It will invite other studies that will rightly seek to draw the lines a little less sharply, but such responses will benefit greatly from the clarity of Payton`s preliminary exposition.
—Peter Bouteneff, D.Phil.
assistant professor of dogmatic theology
St. Vladimir`s Orthodox Theological Seminary
James Payton has combined his thorough familiarity with Eastern Orthodoxy—her history, theology and practice—with a gracious and respectful sensibility, and produced a book that is inviting, accessible and more content-rich than an introductory work is expected to be. Light from the Christian East is an excellent book.
author of The Illumined Heart: The Ancient Christian Path of Transformation