Monday, September 23, 2019

Books to Deepen our Faith


Dear Parish Faithful,


At the Liturgy yesterday, the homily focused on one of the great Church Fathers, St, Ignatius of Antioch (+ c. 110). My purpose was to remind everyone of a homily preached back in July about the Church Fathers and my challenge then to everyone to choose the work of one of the Church Fathers and read it before the end of the year. I brought up St. Ignatius as one example among many together with his famous Seven Epistles. And during the post-liturgy discussion, I promoted the Popular Patristic Series from SVS Press. This series has now reached 50 volumes and counting. This is an outstanding resource that would give you an excellent collection to choose from. Therefore, I have provided a link to the Popular Patristic Series on the SVS Press website. 


I further promoted two more books, both dealing with the crucial and very contemporary issue of how science and religion can coexist and mutually support each other. Of course, there is a "dark side" to this relationship in which mutual and bitter conflict seem to be inescapable. Militant atheists have nothing but disdain for God and "religion" and they do not hesitate to "preach" this to a broad reading public ad nauseam. This is more scientism than science. On the other hand, defensive positions by "religious" people who do not trust the scientific community find strength in what is now being called "fundamentalism," a more-or-less literal interpretation of Scriptures. These both seem like close-minded systems of thought.

The two books I promoted present an open attitude to theology and science and understand them to be compatible within their spheres of competence and investigation. Their respective authors are Metropolitan Kallistos Ware and Fr. John Breck, two of the most prominent Orthodox theologians writing today.

I was surrounded by a large group of parishioners yesterday following the post-Liturgy discussion who were eager to get more information  of the two books I briefly presented. Many got out their phones are were taking pictures of the respective book covers  presumably in order to do some potential purchasing and reading. I further discovered this morning email requests from other parishioners for more information about these books.I have therefore provided two more links for your convenience. 

The first book is Met. Kallistos' Religion, Science & Technology - An Eastern Orthodox Perspective. The content of this short book is very accessible:

Fr. John Breck's book Beyond These Horizons - Quantum Theory and Christian Faith is quite challenging on the level of content. But a careful and patient reading (and perhaps multiple re-readings)  can be deeply enlightening and rewarding. If you want to find a "lay" introduction to Fermions and Quarks and how they can possibly relate to God, then this book will do precisely that:

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