Item description for Is Eastern Orthodoxy Christian? by Robert Morey...
Overview To many Americans, Eastern Orthodoxy is limited to such ethnic immigrant communities as the Greek, Russian, Syrian, and Coptic churches. The Greek Orthodox Church is primarily known for its annual festivals. The Evangelical and Orthodox worlds are basically isolated from each other. To many Christians, Eastern Orthodoxy is simply Roman Catholicism without a Pope. But beginning in the 1980's, thousands of evangelical pastors, missionaries and artists converted to Eastern Orthodoxy. The Orthodox Church in America has now experienced the largest mass conversions in its history. Dr. Robert Morey (PhD., DMin, DD, MDiv., BA) has spent over five years investigating the truth claims of Eastern Orthodoxy. With meticulous research and massive documentation, Dr. Morey has traced the historical and philosophic origins of its doctrines and rituals, and has now written the definitive Evangelical response to Eastern Orthodoxy. This work has already received international recognition for its careful scholarship, logical analysis, and biblical insight into the history and teachings of Eastern Orthodoxy and will be considered the classic Evangelical response to the Eastern Church for many years to come.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.6" Width: 4.8" Height: 0.5" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Release Date Dec 10, 2007
Publisher Christian Scholar's Press
ISBN 1931230358 ISBN13 9781931230353
Availability 121 units. Availability accurate as of May 23, 2017 07:00.
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More About Robert Morey
Morey has earned degrees in philosohpy, theology and cult evangelism. He is the executive director of the Research and Education Foundation which is dedicated to research relevant topics affecting Western culture. He is also pastor of New Life Bible Church. He is an internationally known author and lecturer in Christian philosophy, apologetics, theology, the cults and the occult.
Reviews - What do customers think about Is Eastern Orthodoxy Christian??
No Way A "Dr" Wrote This Trash Aug 19, 2008
I may not be a "Dr" like Morey claims to be but with my limited education I sense that this is not worthy of being called a book. Morey has his preconceived opinion set in stone that Orthodoxy was paganized early on around 200 AD and God attempted to reform it with Cyril Lucaris in 1572. Because the Orthodox rejected Lucaris, according to Morey, they rejected truth (Morey's version) completely and the Orthodox completely ceased being Christian. Wow, if we accept Morey's thesis then the church basically ceased to exist from 200 AD until Luther. I guess Morey's Jesus can not keep His promise as recorded in Matthew 16:18. I was a Baptist Pastor for almost 20 years until I discovered (by reading primary sources)the historical reality that the Orthodox Church is Christ's Church. And it was more of a relief to be able to shed the nonsensical evangelical claims that Morey either in great ignorance or in greater deception espouses. ANYONE can read the historical record (again, from primary sources and not evangelical spin) and see that what Morey asserts is a myth. Don't waste your time with this - there are better researched books - just search this site and their recommendations.
Exceptional ignorance or deliberate deception? May 26, 2008
First, I'm not Orthodox, YET! I'm an evangelical protestant with a mere masters degree in Biblical Studies from Trinity Theological Seminary accredited by the University of Liverpool, with a secular degree from the U of WI from my atheist days of yore. As a student of Church history I've found my studies highly detrimental to my Protestant faith and hoped that Morey could somewhat revive it. Unfortunately his pathetic grasp of Church history, straw-man, ad hominim, and non-sequiter attacks has actually had the opposite effect. His narrow focus on Alexandrian Theology, as expounded by Origen, completely ignores the Theological schools of Antioch and/or North Africa. He also neglects the fact that much of Origen's Platonic speculation was condemned by the Church. Neatly ignored also is Morey's Calvinistic beliefs that stem from Augustinian Neo-Platonic speculation that was largely adopted by the western church (Roman Catholicism). The naive view that the Church ceased to exist after the Apostles, becoming a corrupt organization, and being revived by the Reformation is not only silly, but goes against Scripture where Christ promises to be with the Church until the end of the age. Morey's Christ must be a liar! I am forced to agree with the two Orthodox reviews and also give this poorly researched book a single star, and one more than it deserves. Far more pursuasive is Michael Horton in the book "Three Views on Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism" Zondervan 2004. However Horton still fails to convince me to remain Protestant in view of the overwhelming evidence for the ancient Faith. All of Clark Carlton's books are exceptional apologetics from a former Baptist become Orthodox.
Morey Misses the Mark May 11, 2008
If Morey's list of degrees is for real, I seriously wonder how he could spend "five years...of meticulous research" and come up with this book about Eastern Orthodoxy. From page one with his Dan Brown-esque take on Church history as a mish mash of unsubstantiated connections and a blending of events that span 4 centuries to sound as if they all happened in the first post apostolic century, to his jaw dropping outrageous "quote" that an Orthodox Christian would ask "Didn't Jesus become God?" (p. 89) to his understanding of the hesychastic practice of the Jesus Prayer as the "stages of deification" (p.73), to his amazingly sophomoric "exegesis" of I Peter 1:3 that a first year Greek student would laugh at (p.97) to his request for an infallible list of infallible Church Fathers from someone who is Orthodox, to his listing of heretics as "church Fathers of the Orthodox Church", this book is a laugh fest. His understanding of the Fathers, Church history, the role of Platonic philosophy within the early Church and philosophy in general as an influence within the Christian faith, his interpretation of the writings of the people he quotes as "Orthodox authorities", his half truths, non-sequiturs, blatant omissions and lack of true scholarship make this a text that only those predisposed to reject Orthodoxy without investigating its primary sources and who want ammunition to "win many Orthodox people to Christ" would find helpful. The bottom line of this book is, only ignorant protestants will be able to use it to evangelize ignorant Orthodox. Yes, of course I'm Orthodox. Yes, of course I'm giving it a negative review, but not because I'm defensive, it is because the book does not represent my faith. I would expect a true scholar to not create a caricature at best and an outright misrepresentation at worst of someone else's faith to demolish. If you want a book of straw men, ignorant claims about what the Orthodox Church really teaches, and you want to make a fool of yourself trying to evangelize someone with these "facts", buy it. You may indeed convert some theologically unlearned Orthodox people with it, I'll give you that. But anyone like myself who has come from evangelicalism (with degrees too) and embraced Orthodoxy after years of study will find the arguments contained within this book to be laughable. I would be glad to answer ALL of his questions that he claims no Orthodox person will take the time to answer (p. 25). If anyone is interested in hearing them, you can start by going to my radio program's website [...] and listen to the audio archives for a start. My email is here and on my program website for further dialogue or clarification.
Of Course, The Eastern Orthodox Won't Like This One... Feb 2, 2008
It is no surprise to me that the first review of this book was a negative review - no doubt by someone in the Eastern Orthodox faith. I have read the book and do not view the "...numerous spelling and grammatical mistakes as well as errors in citations, misquotations, and false attributions." What I see is a clear understanding of how the Eastern Orthodox church has duped unsuspecting Christians. Starting on page 31, Morey clearly identifies the critical differences between Evangelical Christianity and Eastern Orthodoxy. They are not the same!
For example, Morey states that they have different hermeneutics. "Orthodoxy is mystical and intuitive in its understanding of the Bible, while biblical Christianity follows the principles of historical, grammatical exegesis."
Also, "Different views on the veneration of icons and relics." And, "Different views of salvation, grace, works, faith, and the nature, number, and the role of sacraments"
Morey states over 15 differences in that section of the book alone and goes on to provide the documentation for each of the claims.
On page 59, Morey provides a chart showing the difference among the Greek Orthodox, Latin Catholic and Hebrew/Protestant Bible. And on page 81, Morey provides a clear picture of the philosophic origins of the Essence/Energy dichotomy.
This book is packed with solid information on the true beliefs and origins of the Eastern Orthodox church.
A Hobgoblin of a Book Jan 27, 2008
If you are looking for a Protestant scholarly evaluation of Eastern Orthodoxy, this is not the book for you. Much better is Robert Letham's book (although not without its problems either) "Through Western Eyes."
Morey's book suffers from a number of serious problems. The main historical thesis of the book is that true "Jewish" Christianity puttered out sometime in the 2nd to 3rd century and pagan philosophy took over resulting in a total "apostasy" of the Christian Church both East and West. If this were true, then it amounts to a de facto claim that Christianity ceased to exist, which runs counter to the claims of the Classical Reformation (not to mention Jesus Christ-Matt 16:18). Factually, it is just a bad resurrection of the German Liberal theologian, Adolf von Harnack's long since debunked Hellenization thesis.
Morey attacks Orthodoxy on other fronts. The essence/energies distinction, icons, the Septuagint and a few other areas. Most of his attacks seriously miss the mark. For example he chides the Orthodox for claiming that Christians will be deified and paints this as if theosis is the province of a few "wise men." But Orthodoxy teaches that theosis is for all Christians and that the methods of some monks on Mt. Athos are not required for become deified. Moreover, Morey paints theosis as if it is becoming God by essence (which it doesn't) but then argues that 2 Pet 1:4 only speaks of God's moral qualities being shared with believers. Of course, one wonders how God's glory and immortality amount to "moral qualities." Not only that the source that he cites (James Starr) against the Orthodox actually articulates the Orthodox view.
Morey also usually cites either rather popular sources (tracts) or dictionaries/encyclopedias rather than working through the major scholarly monographs on these subjects. In so doing he makes a number of serious mistakes. For example, he cites sources to the effect that there is no formal doctrine of theosis in the early fathers or scripture as proof that the doctrine is unscriptural and not the faith of the earliest Christians. Of course, these same sources will say there is no formal doctrine of just about anything in early Christianity. Morey's point trades on the notion of formal articulation verses the concept being taught. It is one thing to express an idea and quite another to have an adopted technical vocabulary for the concept. Moreover, he employs sources that treat terms like "theosis" as an umbrella term for rival concepts as if there was no difference in derivation or content between what the ancient Romans and Greeks thought of theosis and the early Christians. If Morey carried this through, one could just as easily conclude Christian dependence on Paganism for a dying and rising deity or the idea of death and raising to life in baptism or jsut about any Christian idea or practice.
The book also suffers from numerous spelling and grammatical mistakes as well as errors in citations, misquotations, and false attributions. One example will suffice. Morey cites a quotation in page 315 of Russell's "The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition" to the effect that not all Orthodox theologians agree with the essence/energies distinction. (Page 83) The citation is from Eric Mascall. Of course, Eric Mascall wasn't Orthodox, he was an Anglican Thomist, not to mention the fact that Mascall became more comfortable with a similar notion not long after he penned the words in the citation. In any case, Morey or whomever composed that section of the book must not have read Russell's book since on page 313 which introduces the section, Russell explicitly names Mascall as an Anglican who interacted with Russian theologians in the 20th century. Of course in the index to Russell's book there is a listing on page 411 for the essence/energies distinction for page 315. So what the writer did was not read the book, but just cherry pick a quote, and rip it from its context. So, essentially Morey lied and misrepresented himself as actually having done "meticulous research" which took "years" when in fact he hasn't done so. This is just one of a number of misquotes in the book.
If you really want to understand (not necessarily agree with) Orthodox theology, then you are going to have to do a few things. Invest some time and try to be fair by reading works by Orthodox theologians to hear what they have to say for themselves. After all, isn't that how you'd want someone to investigate your religious body?