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Common Ground: An Introduction to Eastern Christianity for the American Christian based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
A while back--I forget when, exactly--my wife and I were discussing what denomination of church we'd join if we could no longer be Lutherans. I think we were specifically comparing Baptists and Roman Catholics, but the discussion touched on some of the other denominations out there. My inclination then was towards the Roman Catholic church. After reading this book, however, the Eastern Orthodox Church would definitely be the one to get my application. Common Ground is "an introduction to Eastern Christianity" geared toward the typical mainstream American Christian. Mr. Bajis does a great job explaining his church's point of view, both in pointing out Orthodox objections to Roman Catholic and Protestant doctrines and in presenting the rationale behind their own teachings. As a born, bred, baptized and confirmed Lutheran, I didn't buy all of his arguments. But I had to truly appreciate his church's take on the mystery of Christians unity with Christ and each other. He offers a challenge to the individualism that is inherent in our American culture and so affects our religious practice. Common Ground is a book I intend to keep on my shelf for further reference.--J.
For over four hundred years the Orthodox Church was the church of Christianity. This excellent book accurately spells out the differences between the Christian experience in the early church and Christianity in the Western world. It successfully points us back to the basics that made that early church so powerful. In the process I found that my understanding of the faith as something primarily between God and me was very skewed. Having come to understand how the early Christians lived out the faith in covenant community rather than as individuals has redirected my life,and made the bible much more understandable. As a result, I have a much deeper walk with God than I would ever have considered possible. While it may be a primer for those well steeped in the Orthodox tradition, it was a book that took several readings simply because our Western culture is not inherently communal as was the Biblical culture in which Christianity flourished. Anyone who seriously wants to grow in their Christian walk would find this a fount of knowledge and information that can seriously open one's eyes as to just how much more is available to them than most Christians presently experience.