Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Ancient Christian Path of Transformation

Frederica Mathewes-Green, 2001, The Illuminated Heart: The Ancient Christian Path of Transformation, Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press

Frederica Mathewes-Green writes from a Greek Orthodox point of view. I have always enjoyed her articles and this is the first time I read a book by her. This is a small book and the main thesis is to answer this question, "How do we come like Jesus?"

Frederica approaches "the becoming like Jesus" as the orthodox process of theosis. She mines from the wisdom of the desert fathers and suggests that the ancient path of transformation includes discipline of our bodies (by fasting), and our mind (by the Jesus prayer). Additional to that is having a spiritual mentor and social interactions of the inner circle of the family, and the outer circle of the community.

I find it fascinating that she does not mention bible study, service or evangelism that is so key in the Evangelical tradition in her ancient Christian path of transformation. Or of the role of the Holy Spirit. I look forward to reading more of her books to understand the Orthodox tradition.


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