Orthodox Catechism Class

This is the coffee shop connected with the church I am attending. It was designed to be a way for people in the Community to learn more about Orthodoxy in a relaxed setting.  They have lots of CS Lewis books so I give it my stamp of approval:

http://www.agiasophiacoffeeshop.com/

A couple pictures of the Holy Theopony Temple:


temple_01.jpg


temple_13.jpg

awesome looking church.....hope God continues to guide u!

can you refer me to a link that states the OC position on inerrancy ?

I will have to do some looking. I can think of a few articles talking about the Bible but I don't know if they speak to the subject of inerrancy.

Zealot,

I scanned this out of my Orthodox study Bible.  I am not sure if this is what you are asking though. 

So the Orthodox claim that what we profess is the Faith of the Apostles with nothing added to it, nothing subtracted from it. In the Church's efforts through­out time to be continually faithful to what she has received and passed on in her lite, what we call her Tradition, all of these written sources, whether it be Scrip­ture or any of the other things we mentioned, as they developed throughout the ages, all are faithful together to what has been revealed from the beginning, held together by this unity of faith and experience among the people of God that we call the Church.

That is why the Orthodox are not disturbed by what are sometimes described as discrepancies in Scripture. If you read the four Gospels, you will see that they are four very different books. They express both what Jesus said and what He did in different ways. For example, if you read the accounts of the Resurrection of the Lord, which is at the very heart of our faith, you find all kinds of different details in the different Gospels. But that has never troubled the Church.

Some people read these accounts and are troubled and say, "They should agree in every last little thing."But this reflects a mentality that tries to make the Gospel into something that it isn't. The Gospel never was intended to be some kind of newsreel playback. Maybe that's one of the reasons why the Gospel has lasted two thousand years, and we forget the news after one day. We modern people have a fascination with data. Data for us equal fact. But in the Gospel, the truth is often something far deeper than mere data are capable of expressing.

When something like the Resurrection of Christ takes place, something which brings the Kingdom of God finally into the human experience and makes it pos­sible for us to have the life of God, it is actually impossible for human writers to find words to express it fully. That's why the Orthodox insist that no single source is isolated from the rest. We don't pick and choose. There's a verb in Greek that means to pick and choose, and from that verb comes the word "heresy." To be a heretic is to pick one part of what the historical Church has always believed and experienced and to ignore the rest. You end up unbalanced. That's why the Or­thodox insist on the unity of all of the sources of Tradition. These are safeguards that we are given within the life of the Church, that not only our knowledge but our experience of God will be the complete revelation that He has made of Him­self.

 

 

nice.

A long consistent lineage brings cohesiveness and sanity unlike the million and one protestant sects. Still not convinced but makes alot of sense.

Zealot,

You might find some good reading on this site.   There are several regular essays in English and then an English theology school complete with textbooks. 

http://www.fatheralexander.org/index.shtml

A couple of inside pictures:


icon_01.jpg


icon_06-1.jpg

On the iconostas, which is the "wall" or "screen" that separates the main part of the temple from the Holy of Holies you see an icon of Mary holding Jesus on the left and then one of Jesus alone on the right.  The one on  the left is actually considered to be an icon of Christ and it is the icon of his entrance into the world.  Then the icon on the right is his Second Coming and he is holding the book of life.

In between is where we are at and we have access to the holy of holies and the keys to the gates of heaven now.  Behind the iconostas there is actually a candelabra that looks like a tree and it represents the Tree of Life from which we partake.  That is also where the alter is where we receive the body and blood of Christ.

The iconostas is not meant to be a barrier but rather is designed to give the impression of windows into heaven.  Also the priest mentioned that if it wasn't there  all you would see are altar boys running around and scratching themselves where they shouldn't.

The icon of Jesus in the top of the dome (which is just huge and beautiful in real life) is Jesus in heaven attended by angels (not in this pic) and then you see the four evangelists or authors of the 4 gospels.  The four pillars represent the earth as in the 4 corners of the earth and that is also why there are 4 gospels and no more or less.

The icon of Jesus continues down the dome and to the back of the iconastas where you see Mary on the back wall.  This is because Jesus came to us through Mary who is the ark of the New Covenant.  The priest even explained that Jesus referred to himself as the three things contained in the old ark.  Its something like the Law, the Fire of God and the manna or bread of heaven.  So that is why he is the Logos or "Word" of God (like the 10 commandments) and he is the light or fire of God and he is the bread of life or heavenly manna.  So just as the old Ark contained those things the new ark, Mary, contained those things.

Mary is not presented outside of her role as the mother of God.  As far as I know there are no Orthodox icons of Mary separate from Jesus.  All reverence payed to her is directly related to Jesus and so there can't be a separate cult of Mary outside of the plan of salvation.

Anyway that is a poor and basic explanation of what some of that stuff means.  Everything in an Orthodox Church has a purpose and meaning.  The Gospel and Salvation History is painted on the walls in technicolor and embedded in the architecture. 

did you get the Orthodox Study Bible Ridge? What do you think of it. I love the icons that it has throughout. All in all a fun NT to read through.

Yep.

That coffee shop looks like the greatest coffee shop ever. I'd totally hang out there.

I used to attend the services of the OCA in DC. It seemed quite different than the local Coptic Church and the local Greek Orthodox Church. I never converted, so unfortunately could not take communion, but really liked the idea of everyone standing. It added significantly to the atmosphere. It seemed that the OCA church I went to were either Russians or converted episcopalians, dissapointed with the move from High to Low

Detriment,

The coffee shop is very nice. I wish it was closer. I would be in there studying all the time if it wasn't an hour or more away.

did u attend any of those classes yet Ridge? i have been thinking of going to an Orthodox service again. I have not been to church in over a year. Perhaps now is the time to return as your threads about Orthodoxy have reignited some interest in me about God. I don't think I could ever join the Church though. Keep us posted.

gord,

I have been to a grand total of 2 vespers services and one adult catechism "class".   The "class", which was more like a presentation of Orthodoxy, happens each Wed. after the vespers service until lent.  I will keep attending until I feel like all of my big questions have been answered.  Its a long drive each time, but ideally I would start going on Saturday night and Sunday morning each week when I got closer to joining and thereafter. 

The really amazing thing, though, is that my wife asked to come along last week and now she wants to attend the classes each week.  My wife is very active in her evangelical church and far less enamored with Orthodoxy.  The only thing I did was ask her to read Gallatin's book Searching for God...which I think you said you read already. 

I had long since resigned myself to the idea that I would go over to Orthodoxy alone.  There was even some concern about an impending divorce.  Actually my father in law threatened that if I converted to R. Catholicism or Orthodoxy it would destroy my marriage because he has seen it happen to others.  My wife doesn't believe you can get out of marriage that easy.  But the thought of her converting with me is almost too good to be true so I pray for it but don't get my hopes up too much since God will not force her into a decision.

I am curious why you say you don't think you could join the church.

just slip some xanex in her sunday morning coffee. hahahahaa