Ask for the Ancient Paths
The sub title of this book is “Discovering What Church is Meant to Be.” I was given this book for free because this is something that I’ve been wondering ever since I decided that I didn’t necessarily agree with the practices of what I had learned growing up in the faith and began to find myself wondering whether the truth was closer to what the New Testament church practiced than where we find ourselves today.
Most Christians tend to try to place their tradition with the founders, and with good reason. Even at the time of the Apostles there were many different types of apostate beliefs circulating around—the Judiazers and the Gnostics being two of the more well known ones. So it doesn’t surprise me when I read anyone making the claim that they are the true church. What fascinates me is that this book showed me that I really didn’t know my history as well as I should.
The book takes the opinion that the only true, consistent church is the Eastern Orthodox. It is woven in all of the text. One of the things that this book does do very well is to show you what the Eastern Orthodox church believes and why it believes it—in essence, why it interprets some things literally and other things not.
One of the things that it quite shocking to a Protestant mindset is the idea that we cannot possibly know what the Bible says—especially in more controversial areas—and that the only way to know for certain is by knowing what the church fathers said on a particular issue, and that settles it. Obviously this solves a lot of the problems as far as separation, church splits and different denominations.
The book is not preachy, in the sense that it is not telling you that you have to be Eastern Orthodox to get to Heaven or that you should leave where you are and seek them out, but it rather lays out the case that if you want to be right with God and the Scriptures, then you can do no better than they, for they carry forth the truth.
I encourage those that are interested in the Eastern Orthodox faith to read this book in that it will give you a good sense of what they believe, regardless of whether or not you agree.