An American Pilgrimage to the Orthodox Church: Part 3

by James Kushiner Councils, Tradition & Mary There were also several other features of the New Testament and early Church that to varying degrees are reflected in some non-Orthodox churches, but are worth mentioning here. 1. The leading of the church by council. In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 15, we find the Church gathered to answer the difficult and divisive question of how Gentiles (non-Jews) are to be received into the Church. Must they be circumcised first? No, the apostles decided, after deliberating in council together. Paul and Barnabas came from their missionary work abroad to participate in this council, … [Read more...]

An American Pilgrimage to the Orthodox Church: Part 2

by James Kushiner Marks of the Biblical Church In our study of the Bible, we saw that there are certain features of the New Testament Christian life that generally are not practiced in most of the Protestant churches from which we had come. It would be helpful to give a list of things that we saw in Holy Scripture, and found in the early Church, but are not found consistently at all among the Protestant and Evangelical communities. 1. The Doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in Communion. Many denominations downplay this biblical truth or deny it outright, saying that the Bread and Wine are merely symbols that simply help us remember … [Read more...]

An American Pilgrimage to the Orthodox Church: Part 1

by James Kushiner I don’t remember when I first became aware that there are other than Roman Catholic or Protestant Christians. There are so many Catholics and so many Protestants in the United States that the Orthodox virtually are an invisible minority to many. When I finally became aware of the Orthodox, I was not impressed. I heard about a local Greek Orthodox parish, where they mostly spoke Greek; I figured it was just an “immigrant” religion. The children and grandchildren of those Greeks, having been born and raised in America, would adopt American churchgoing habits, I thought, and become either Episcopalian or Presbyterian or … [Read more...]

Student of Pope Benedict XVI Converts to Orthodoxy, Starts Monastery in Swiss Alps

Enjoy this video and interview about Fr. Gabriel Bunge, patristics scholar and convert from the Roman Catholicism to the Orthodox Church. Fr. Gabriel Bunge was born in 1940 in Cologne, Germany, to a Lutheran father and a Catholic mother. At the age of twenty-two he entered the Benedictine Order in France; he was ordained to the priesthood in 1972. He has dedicated many years to the study of the works of Evagrius Ponticus. Since 1980 he has lived in the Skete of the Holy Cross in the Swiss canton of Ticino, where he follows the ancient Rule of St. Benedict. He was received into the Orthodox Church in 2010. His books in English translation … [Read more...]