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by John W. Morris
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  • Author:
    John W. Morris
  • ISBN:
    145673492X
  • ISBN13:
    978-1456734923
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    AuthorHouse Publishing (July 18, 2011)
  • Pages:
    660 pages
  • Subcategory:
    World
  • Language:
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    1891 kb
  • ePUB format
    1425 kb
  • DJVU format
    1996 kb
  • Rating:
    4.3
  • Votes:
    581
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The Historic Church is a survey of Christian history written for Orthodox Christians by an Eastern Orthodox scholar

The Historic Church is a survey of Christian history written for Orthodox Christians by an Eastern Orthodox scholar. Although one can find many excellent studies of Christian history in the United States. Archpriest John W. Morris, is the relgious title for Warren B. Morris, Jr. Fr. John received a MTS degree from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of theology, and has been an Antiochian Orthodox Priest for over thirty years. He is now Pastor of St. George's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Before entering seminary, he earned a P. in history at Oklahoma State University, and studied at Goethe Univeristy in Frankfurt, Germany, as a Fulbright Scholar.

The Historic Church is a survey of Christian history written for Orthodox Christians by an Eastern Orthodox scholar

The Historic Church is a survey of Christian history written for Orthodox Christians by an Eastern Orthodox scholar. Although one can find many excellent studies of Christian history in the United States, none of them considers the development of Christianity from an Eastern Orthodox point of view. The work begins by laying a foundation for the study of Christian history by discussing the beliefs and practices of the ancient Church, during the age of the Fathers and the Seven Ecumenical Councils.

The Historic Church book. The Historic Church is a survey of Christian history written for Orthodox Christians by an Eastern Orthodox scholar. The work begins by laying a foundation for the study of Christian history The Historic Church is a survey of Christian history written for Orthodox Christians by an Eastern Orthodox scholar.

The Historic Church is a survey of Christian history written for Orthodox Christians by an Eastern Orthodox scholar

The Historic Church is a survey of Christian history written for Orthodox Christians by an Eastern Orthodox scholar. Although one can find many excellent studies of Christian history in the United States, none of them considers the development of Christianity from an Eastern Orthodox point of view

Read "The Historic Church An Orthodox View of Christian History" by Archpriest John W. .Books related to The Historic Church.

The Historic Church is a survey of Christian history written for Orthodox Christians by an Eastern Orthodox scholar  .

The history of the Eastern Orthodox Church is traced back to Jesus Christ and the Apostles. The Apostles appointed successors, known as bishops, and they in turn appointed other bishops in a process known as Apostolic succession. Over time, five Patriarchates were established to organize the Christian world, and four of these ancient Patriarchates remain Orthodox today.

More books by Archpriest John W. Morris. Your statutory rights are not affected.

General History Books. Archpriest John W Morris. The Historic Church : An Orthodox View of Christian History. Walmart 9781456734923. This button opens a dialog that displays additional images for this product with the option to zoom in or out. Tell us if something is incorrect. Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H). 0 x . 6 Inches.

pastor of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Vicksburg, Mississippi concerning his book, The Historic Church: An Orthodox View of Christian History. Listen as they discuss Biblical interpretation and theological lies that veil a Christian unity that could never exist. But first, Dr. Theodore Bogdanos, a lifelong musician of the church, composer, chanter, and retired professor of English and World Literature talks with Fr. Chris.

The Historic Church is a survey of Christian history written for Orthodox Christians by an Eastern Orthodox scholar. Although one can find many excellent studies of Christian history in the United States, none of them considers the development of Christianity from an Eastern Orthodox point of view. The work begins by laying a foundation for the study of Christian history by discussing the beliefs and practices of the ancient Church, during the age of the Fathers and the Seven Ecumenical Councils. The author then discusses the development of Roman Catholicism and the theological and cultural reasons for the split between Rome and Orthodoxy, and relations between East and West following the schism. He concludes his work with a discussion the origins and historical development of every major Protestant group and tells how they differ from Orthodoxy.

Nto
This is a unique work. A survey of the history of Christendom written by an Orthodox priest to tell the story from an Orthodox perspective. He admits his background and "bias" right up front, and equally important, that he isn't going to be a revisionist. Thus, this is conventional survey history, that follows the generally accepted history of Christendom, as seen through the eyes of the Eastern Church. Readers would also do well to keep in mind that this is written at about the 11th or 12th grade level. This is an accessible work, one designed for a wide variety of laity. But this means the work is not in-depth, well nuanced, history, that fleshes out figures, eras, or issues. This is short survey work that gets at things quickly. It is not a primary work that one would normally use for research. It may lead you to the right era, to give you the down and dirty overview, but it is too quick in its coverage to be useful for much else.

Thus this work should be read by any and all Orthodox who want to see the history of Christendom from a non-Western perspective. Such a rarity! Which, of course, also makes it useful for all Western Christians to read, to see the world from a different view, one they've never encountered before. Thankfully, for example, the author makes many nice mentions of the Western Rite of Orthodoxy, something most Westerners know little or nothing about (on pgs. 183, 210-11, 318, 417, 429, 435, & 459).

The greatest strength of the work, regardless of your Church affiliation, is the sheer comprehensiveness of it. Pretty much it is "all" there. Now unfortunately, due to various editing choices, many things just aren't quite where you expect them (wish there was an index!), but eventually you find them. For me, about the only two "oversights" I could find, for people I wanted to read about in such a history, were Faustus of Riez (5th century Western bishop who opposed Augustine along with John Cassian and Vincent of Lerins) and Heinrich Bullinger (a magisterial giant of the 16th century Reformed). I thought at various times that I wouldn't see anything about say the Old Catholics or Polish National Catholics or the Church of Utrecht, because they weren't where I thought they should be; however, eventually I found them. Buried on p. 504! Though, unfortunately, I never did find the French Petite Church, which went into schism from the RCC after the Concordat of 1801 between the papacy and Napoleon. Or take Wesley and the Methodists. They don't appear until Chapter 27, on p. 455, after both the Enlightenment (Chapter 22) and Liberation Theology (Chapter 23).

The second greatest strength is its understanding of Orthodox theology and its clear presentation on same. Take just one issue that divides East and West: grace. The author makes clear at various points the differences initially between the general thoughts on grace East and West as well as a look at specific Western ways of thinking about it (e.g., RC infused substance versus Lutheran forgiveness of sins). For the East, grace is uncreated, divine. It is the forgives of sins by the Holy Ghost and the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in his energies but not his essence. From their errors in the West on grace springs so much erroneous thinking on the sacraments and more. But the reader of this work will be enlightened on the issue. See, for example, pgs. 173, 176, 237, 327, and 525!

The greatest weakness of the thought of the work is its lack of nuance. This is more sledgehammer history, or at least hammer and nail, than it is sewing with needle and thread. And it is designed to uphold the modern Orthodox "consensus" of today, even when that consensus may have been impacted by the Western Captivity, nicely, if briefly, discussed in Chapter 30. Take the Canon of the Old Testament. The author briefly disposes of the issue in the broadest of strokes on p. 25: "The ancient Church simply adopted the canon as found in the LXX, which contains forty-nine books." But this is NOT accurate and IS part of the Western Captivity. The accurate picture begins with the assessment that various manuscripts of the LXX contain both different lists of books as well as different editions of books (e.g., Judges A vs. Judges B, Esther Old Greek vs. Esther Alpha, the longer and shorter of Tobit, etc.). And an acknowledgement that during the patristic era of the first millennium, the Eastern fathers united behind the shorter Hebrew Canon. Thus, Melito, the bishop of Sardis, in the 2nd century uphold the shorter canon. He is followed by Athanasius in the 4th century. And, most importantly, John of Damascus is quite specific in his listing of the Canon in the 8th century. One doesn't find the 2nd canon until the Western Captivity.

And the lack of nuance means that many presentations about the Reformation and its heirs are not entirely accurate. We read this on p. 553: "Lutherans yield to the authority of Luther. The Reformed tradition considers Zwingli and Calvin the ultimate authorities on correct Christian belief." But the author's focus on the Reformed using only Zwingli and Calvin is a huge oversight of the reality. A giant like Bucer barely gets a mention and an even bigger giant, Bullinger, who pre-dated Calvin and outlived him, leading Zurich for over 40 years after Zwingli's death, is absent! "Calvinism" is really the child of Beza, who is after Bullinger, by way of the Dutch and Scottish Churches in the 17th century. But Bullinger's 2nd Helvetic Confession was influential then and now, being the most popular confession of the Reformed bodies around the world, esp. on the European continent. And when it comes to confessional Lutheranism, too much is made of Luther and not enough is made of the fathers of the Book of Concord. The BOC is mentioned (p. 267), but the giants who made it, esp. Martin Chemnitz, a student of Melanchthon, and rightly called "the 2nd Martin" of Lutheranism, are mentioned in mere passing. Lutheran scholasticism is their child, not Luther's or Melanchthon's.

Unfortunately, the elephant in the room here are the number and type of mistakes and errors. They are legion. And over time become highly off-putting. Whether typos or errors of fact. So, for example, you may see lots of double periods at ends of sentences. And misspellings. Not to mention wrong dates. For example, on p. 52 the Council of Chalcedon is dated at 453 AD (sic) though later on p. 81 it is corrected to 451 AD. Or take p. 103, where John of Damascus is born "around 645 [AD]" and "died in 749 [AD]". That makes John 104 years old! Though most sources give his date of birth around 675 or 676 AD. And in one paragraph, on p. 520 the Russian Orthodox theologian is first spelled "Khomiakov" but suddenly in the very next paragraph it is now "Komiakov", even though on the page before we read: "Khomiakov, also spelled Khomykov". A good couple of proof-readings by different proof-readers would've culled most of these obvious mistakes.

Readers should keep in mind that two items are missing that would really have improved the work. First, and foremost, an Index. There is no way to search the hardcopy edition except using the brief chapter summaries in the Table of Contents. Thus, for example, if I want to see if Heinrich Bullinger, who led Zurich after Zwingli's death in the early 1530s until his own death in the mid-1570s, is in the work, I can't. And sadly, he isn't nor is his influential 2nd Helvetic Confession of 1561/66. Or take some specific event like the Council of Jerusalem in the 1670s and its Confession of Dositheus. I remember reading about it, but I'm not sure where, since there is no Index. And I remembered Peter Mogila being mentioned. But where? On p. 518, but when writing this review I had to sift through the chapters and pages to find the one mention of Peter. And lo and behold digging yields both the Council of Jerusalem and Dositheus on pgs. 295-297. Yet Peter and his catechism happened a few short decades before the other. The editing choices that drive the reader to despair. And there are NO maps. Even though places and dates are, of course, important to the history. Why no series of maps showing the rise of Christendom, the splits within the East and later between East and West, and then the Reformation?

And do keep in mind that this relies on mainly secondary sourcing. With the "Select Bibliography" showing some serious holes and omissions. Thus, the giant scholar Jaroslav Pelikan is shown only for Vol. 1 on his magisterial 5 vol. History of Christian Doctrine. But I can't imagine anyone writing such a work from an Eastern perspective not using Vol. 2, which covers the Eastern Church from 600-1700 AD. The modern convert to Orthodoxy and expert on bioethics, H. Tristan Englehardt is cited by name on p. 218. and his work, The Foundation of Christian Bioethics is in the "(Endnotes)" on both pgs. 606 & 607 (2 different spellings of his last name!), but the work is not in the bibliography. And it is hard to take the author too seriously on the Photian Schism (Chapter 10) when the classic reference work by Dvornik (The Photian Schism: History and Legend), is absent from the bibliography and endnotes! Too many of the endnotes are internet citations.

And while the final two chapters on "Orthodox Since 1453" (30) and "Orthodoxy in America" (31) are priceless, since pretty much every other such survey work is from a Western perspective and skips over this material, it really would've been helpful if the author had used some charts and "family trees" to graphically present what was happening in various Sees and jurisdictions regarding schisms and lines of apostolic succession.

A few pictures of the most famous icons, places, and personages would've been appreciated, too, in such a general work.

And sometimes one does wonder if an historical bias does over-power some historical judgements. Take this sentence on p. 499: "After war broke out between Greece and the newly formed Turkish republic, the Turks turned their wrath on the Greeks living in Asia Minor." Though, this is 1919. When Turkey has been defeated in WW I and the Greeks, who came late to the Allied party during WW I, wanted their spoils. The Greeks were the aggressors, with the Allied Powers concurring but not providing much direct support. And, sadly, to the victors go the spoils. The Greeks overplayed their military hand and they lost. The Greek people of Asia Minor suffered as a direct result of bad political and military decisions made by the post-WW I Greek government.

Ultimately, the highest praise I can give this nice work is my strong desire to see a 2nd edition be published. I pray Fr. John Morris takes the time to have an editor go over it with a fine-toothed comb to fix the typos and errors, edit out duplicative material, add maps and an Index. Then we'd have a classic survey work from the Eastern perspective for use by all Christians. Till then, enjoy this book but be prepared for its limitations.
Light out of Fildon
Most Christians in the West have no idea of the actual early history of the Church. Our history in the West comes from the Roman Catholic Church and is very slanted towards their doctrines. It is funny to hear a non-Catholic say that they don't like the RC Church and don't believe their doctrine, when the RC church doctrine is all the non-Catholic's have; everything comes from the RC Church.
This book is the history of the Orthodox Church, which is the Church that wrote the Bible, picked the books that are in the NT today, and fought the battles against heresy in the first 700 years of the Church. If you read this book you will have a great view of Christianity in it's first 700 years. You will also read how far the RC Church and as a result, the non-Catholic Churches have moved away from the early Church.
As Pope Benedict says, honestly; "the (Roman) Catholic Church is a mixture of man's wisdom (from Rome) and God's word". The Orthodox Church has stuck more to God's word, as you will see in the book.
I hear Baptists say, "we only believe in the Bible", but without knowing it, they have just declared to believe the writings of the Orthodox Church.
You will be amazed at the "The Historic Church"; I know I was.
By the way, I am not Orthodox or Roman Catholic.
Dianazius
This is a highly flawed history of Orthodox history for a number of reasons,

It was pretty good up until the Reformation. Then, it got bogged down in describing every little Protestant group for some reason. The truth is all Protestants apart from High Church Anglican are pretty much the same. I bought this for a history of Orthodoxy, not all the Protestant sects.

This would be better as two books. One the history of Orthodoxy and one the history of Protestantism. That just made it not flow.

Devoting so little room to Orthodoxy under the Ottomans was criminal. So much happened there. Also, Russian history was skated over.

The basic difference between Orthodoxy and all Protestants is basically the same. It didn't need to be repeated over and over.

That said, this was a great book up to the Reformation. The history of Protestantism has little impact on The Church.

I give it four stars.
Hadadel
I finished reading this book about a month or so ago. It was the most thorough, easy-to-read, and excellent book on Christian history I've ever read. He starts from the very beginning of Christian history at Pentecost, all the way to the present day. He talks about all the ecumenical councils, the schisms, heretical groups/heresies, the teachings of the Historic, Ancient, Eastern Orthodox Church, and all the teachings of the other Christian sects, from Catholicism, to Baptist, to Quaker, to Unitarian, to United Church of Christ, to Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, etc. It gives the history and what each believes, and also gives the whole history of the Orthodox Church up to present times. I HIGHLY recommend this book for those interested in an accurate and fair view of Christian history!!
Brightcaster
The present crisis among many christian groups, I believe, stems from ignorance and/or misgivings about the history of Christianity.
This book goes a long way in dispelling many misconceptions about that subject.
In the West we tend to assume that "true Christianity" was conceived just a few centuries ago.
This books sets the record straight. It presents a fairly complete picture of all 2000 years of history with all its complexities, nuances, tragedies and achievements.
It also clarifies the relationship of the historic and apostolic church with the various modern christian trends.