Very Good. 4to-over 9¾"-12" tall. Tall softcover, x, 302 pp., Shallow scratch mark on front cover, otherwise minimal wear, previous dealer's label on front inside cover, no owner names or gift notes, clean text, tight binding.
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The perennial frustration for Protestant inquirers into Orthodoxy is twofold: a) Protestant teaching is either caricatured or the most extreme examples are given and refuted, and b) Orthodox authors/speakers often fail to 'bridge' Orthodoxy to their readers/listeners. They simply refute Protestant teaching and then speak about Orthodoxy on Orthodoxy's terms - which is fine in and of itself, but not so helpful for *leading* people into the Orthodox faith. Many people end up being turned away who might otherwise be interested. Also, most of the other 'intro' books I've read handily critique extreme (thoroughly individualist) examples of evangelicalism - which I already agreed with as a confessionally Reformed Protestant - but then failed to *show* me why the *Orthodox Church* (as opposed to, say, the confessionally Reformed church) is the only alternative (e.g. Matthew Gallatin's "Thirsting for God in a Land of Shallow Wells"; etc)
This book is the absolute best example of an author who avoids both of these pitfalls. He describes Protestantism in terms that a Protestantism would affirm, and then masterfully shows the errors using the very methods that Protestants would accept, in turn drawing the Protestant to encounter and consider a different methodology and a different worldview. He 'bridges' Orthodoxy to (esp. evangelical) North American Protestants in a way that I have never encountered in Orthodox literature - all the while truly representing Orthodox teaching and refraining from watering anything down. His tone is one of the utmost respect in the midst of serious critique.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this book as the *first* option for any Protestants I know who are looking at learning about central Orthodox teaching. Although potentially helpful for increasing the biblical literacy of cradle Orthodox, this doesn't have the same thoroughly Orthodox 'tone' of other more deeply works speaking in thoroughly Orthodox terms and in a thoroughly Orthodox manner - so it is obviously not 'the best' book for Orthodox Christians looking to dig deeper into the spiritual life in the same way as it might be for a Protestant Inquirer.
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