Surprised by Christ: My Journey from Judaism to Orthodox Christianity

Overview

Raised in Queens, New York by formerly Orthodox Jewish parents, Arnold Bernstein went on his own personal quest for the God he instinctively felt was there. He was ready to accept God in whatever form He chose to reveal Himself-and that form turned out to be Christ. But Bernstein soon perceived discrepancies in the various forms of Protestant belief that surrounded him, and so his quest continued-this time for the true Church. With his Jewish heritage as a foundation, he studied and evaluated, and eventually came...

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Overview

Raised in Queens, New York by formerly Orthodox Jewish parents, Arnold Bernstein went on his own personal quest for the God he instinctively felt was there. He was ready to accept God in whatever form He chose to reveal Himself-and that form turned out to be Christ. But Bernstein soon perceived discrepancies in the various forms of Protestant belief that surrounded him, and so his quest continued-this time for the true Church. With his Jewish heritage as a foundation, he studied and evaluated, and eventually came to the conclusion that the faith of his forefathers was fully honored and brought to completion only in the Orthodox Christian Church. Surprised by Christ combines an engrossing memoir of one man's life in historic times and situations-from the Six-Day War to the Civil Rights Movement to the Jesus Movement in Berkeley-with a deeply felt examination of the distinctives of Orthodox theology that make the Orthodox Church the true home not only for Christian Jews, but for all who seek to who seek to know God as fully.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781888212952
  • Publisher: Conciliar Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/2008
  • Pages: 337
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Father Arnold James Bernstein lives with his wife Bonnie outside of Seattle, Washington, where he serves as pastor of St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church.

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Table of Contents


Foreword     9
Acknowledgements     13
Not the Messiah I Expected
Raised in the Shadow of the Holocaust     17
Our Roots in Jerusalem     18
Living among the Gentiles     19
Ike's Candy Store     20
Sounds of the City     22
Let's Play Ball!     23
A Sense of Evil Lurking     25
A Champion at Chess     28
The Divine Destiny of the Jews     29
My Conversion     31
The First Possibility     32
The Second Possibility     36
The Third Possibility     37
The Turning Point     38
Holy Books in the Garbage     40
The Hunger Strike     41
A Visit to a Wall Street Lawyer     41
Is Christ Divine?     45
Jesus Forgives Sins     46
Jesus Accepts Worship     47
Christ Raised Himself from the Dead     50
Christ the "I AM"     51
My First Church     53
The Gift of Tongues     54
Public Preaching     55
Discovering the Prophecies of Christ     57
What the Scriptures Reveal about Prophecy     58
A ChosenLineage and the Formation of a People     60
A Titanic Struggle     62
Embryonic Prophecies That Grew     63
When Is the Messiah to Come?     65
The "Weeks" of the Prophet Daniel     66
Messiah, Son of David     68
A Second-Century Book on Prophecy     70
The Suffering Servant     71
Isaiah 53     72
Psalm 22     77
College Years     81
The World's Fair     82
The Civil Rights Movement     83
The Great Blackout of 1965     85
In the Holy Land     89
A Traitor among My People     89
Meeting Grandmother     90
The Six-Day War     91
Suicide!     93
Old Jerusalem     94
What of Old Israel?     95
Are the Jews Still Chosen of God?     96
The Mystery of Israel's Blindness     96
Returning to America     99
Discovering the Church
Evangelical Protestant Ministries     103
The Vietnam War     106
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship     109
Jews for Jesus     111
Love Not Lust     113
The Jesus Movement      115
Christian Street Theater     117
Why the Scriptures Are Not Enough     121
A Maelstrom of Confused Doctrines     122
A Struggle for Understanding     126
The Bible of the Apostles     127
Early Christian Writings     128
Who Decided?     130
Human and Divine     131
A Question of Authority     132
The Church of the New Testament     133
The Word of God in Oral Tradition     134
Which Came First?     136
Worship in the Ancient Church     139
A Deep Distrust of Roman Catholicism     140
Ancient Worship Was Liturgical and Sacramental     142
How the Earliest Christians Worshiped     144
Does Ancient Worship Matter?     147
The Centrality of the Eucharist     148
A New Commitment     155
Our Wedding     158
Finding the Original Church     161
Fencing the Table     163
Orthodox Christian Doctrine     164
Orthodox Christian Morality     167
Orthodox Christian Obedience     170
A Broken Unity     171
Communion in the Orthodox Church      176
Orthodoxy: Jewish and Christian     179
Worship in Scripture     179
Discovering Christian Roots     182
The Church of the Holy Land     185
Rediscovering the God of the Jews     186
Rediscovering Our True Sacrifice     188
Rediscovering Jewish Mysticism     189
Rediscovering the Joy of the Lord     191
Coming Home     193
What Became of the Apostolic Jewish Christian Church?     197
The Nazarenes     198
Two Movements of Jewish Christians     199
The Great Escape     200
A Gentilized Christianity     201
Into the Abyss     202
Further North     204
The Turning Point     206
Where Are the Descendants of the Nazarenes?     207
Discovering Salvation with Depth
How Fallen Are We?     211
Back to New York     212
Is Death from God?     214
How Fallen Are We?     219
What Is Inherited from Original Sin?     221
Lasting Repercussions of Augustine's Theology     224
Our EOC Friends Become Orthodox     227
My Ordinations     228
What Salvation Is Not: Solutions to Problems That Don't Exist     231
Will There Be the Devil to Pay?     232
A Payment to Appease an Angry God?     233
Indulgences: Punitive or Remedial?     238
The Penal Substitutionary Theory of Atonement     240
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God     241
Too Hard to Bear: The Moral Exemplar Theory of Atonement     245
The Purpose of the Sacrificial System     246
Propitiation or Expiation?     251
What Is Salvation?     255
God as "The Lover of Mankind"     256
Diagnosing the Disease of Sin     258
The Language of Salvation in the New Testament     260
The Language of Salvation in St. Athanasius     267
What Is Not Assumed Is Not Healed     268
God Became Man So That Man Might Become God     275
Returning to the Holy Land     275
Beyond Forgiveness     277
"I said, 'You are gods'" (John 10:34)     279
Eucharist: Divine and Human     282
To Be Filled One Must Be Emptied     284
Knowing God Is Progressive     285
Is God Humble?     289
God: Composite Unity or Absolute Unity?     290
God's Condescension: In His Incarnation      291
One of the Trinity Suffered in the Flesh     293
Humility: Strength or Weakness?     296
Tools with Which to Gain Humility     299
The Divine Fire of God's Love     305
Is Hellfire Physical or Spiritual?     306
What Makes Heaven, Heaven and Hell, Hell?     309
The River of Fire     312
Hearts of Wax or of Clay?     313
Divine Fire Purifies     316
God Never Stops Loving All     319
Understanding Scripture on the Judgment     321
The Doors of Hell Are Locked on the Inside     324
From Glory to Glory: Perfection that Grows     326
Within the Divine Fire of God's Love     328
Endnotes     331
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