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First of all,I just want to say that I'm happy to have come across this amazing site! It's fabulous! Thanks to the LORD God for leading me to this storehouse of wisdom!


I am an evangelical christian who has a very deep interest in the CoE.I have been strangely drawn to this little known but extraordinarily beautiful church.I yearn to learn as much as possible about its history,the writings of its church fathers,and its current state and practices in the USA.
I was just wondering what the CoE feels about evangelical or pentecostal christians?What are the main differences?What do they have in common?Would an evangelical be welcome to attend and worship in one of their churches?I hope the answer is yes,to this last question,as I would dearly love to visit and worship with this wondorous ancient church.I live in New Mexico,so I dont believe there is a church in my state but I have heard there is one in Arizona.Well,any help and information would be greatly apreciated.I feel priveledged to be able to participate on this forum.God be praised!
Hi j,

Welcome to the forum. I've placed a link to Samuel Hugh Moffett's book below, this is absolute required reading for anyone interested in the history of the Church of the East:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/det...s&n=507846

...some comments from people who have reviewed it.... <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

Quote:Last night I dreamt that I was a Great Khan, deciding who the next Nestorian Archbishops would be in the four sections of the empire...

There are few non-fiction books good enough to invade my dreams. This is one of them. I was pulled into the book and found it difficult to put down. Moffett writes in a very readable, engrossing style, but full of research and incredibly accurate. Unlike other treatments of this subject, Moffett is not trying to put forth a particular ideology or accept wholesale hagiophora. While he respects the traditions of some about the formations of the early church, he analyzes these traditions critically to see what might be reality and what might be more myth.

It is rare to find a book on the Nestorian Church, this, perhaps the largest church in the world in the first 1000 years of Christianity, containing at least 20% of all Christians- all East of Antioch. Because many still consider their beliefs heretical (although most scholars now agree that the differences in understanding of the nature/s of Christ were more linguistic than theological), many theologians avoid this church, or don?t even know of it?s existence. I grew up being taught there were Protestants and some Catholics. That was it. It wasn?t till much later I learned there were Orthodox, and two varieties, as well as The Church of the East, the Nestorians. But when a writer does touch this subject, it is often very a very dry, terse history, that makes one want to rather fall asleep.

Moffett takes a different approach. He spent the time to do his research, as copious endnotes and sources indicate. He spent the time to contemplate the lives which he was writing about. And that?s what makes this book different. He?s writing about lives. It?s exciting. He writes about the missions endeavors of this early church, how they spread throughout known Asia: to the Caucuses, central Asia, Arabia, Yemen, Suqutra, India, China, SE Asia, and maybe even Japan. He writes honestly about their successes and failures- why they expanded, and why they declined. Much of their approach was laudable, in their desire to contextualize. Some tragically hurt them in the end, in their repeated attempts to get close to the state, they sacrificed not necessarily ethics but their foremost mission for the sake of temporary security. And when the state fell, as all states do, the new state did not look with favor on those that were so closely tied with the old state. And the overall goal, of being a people called out to be different, an alien people, became lost in a struggle for survival. Ironically, in the attempt to survive, they spelled their own doom- so that today they only exist in isolated pockets in India, Kurdistan, and America, where the Patriarchate is.

..............

This is a definite must for anyone interested in the Eastern churches, and the Church of the East. But I think all Christians should be aware of this church that was so formative in our history, to see how Christianity was really, in the first 12 centuries, an Asian religion before it was European. Though now the majority of Christians live outside the Western world, many forget that the narrowing of Christianity to Europe was only a temporary period in history.


Quote:I know of no other seurvery of Asian Christianity that matches Moffat's, with regards to scholarship and readability for the general reader. I found this book absolutely unputdownable!

Quote:The book is an absolute must-read on the subject.


Have I endorsed it enough ?? <!-- s:biggrin: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/biggrin.gif" alt=":biggrin:" title="Big Grin" /><!-- s:biggrin: -->

I think the closest church to you is St. Peter's in Phoenix. My sister just relocated to Vegas and found a tiny little community that uses a Greek Orthodox Church basement for their services until they can build one over there.

The CoE resembles, in many ways, Catholic or Orthodox churches. They have "sacraments", a "liturgy", etc. In other ways, they resemble synagogues or protestant churches....i.e., they have no images or statues. In other ways, they are unique (Aramaic instead of Latin or Greek liturgies, etc.)

All Christians are welcome to come and worship - but be forewarned that unless you are fortunate enough to live near one of the 3 English-speaking parishes in the U.S. - you will be sitting in a 3-hour all-Aramaic service with absolutely no English uttered. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

If you do manage to get to Phoenix for a service, our brother Dean Dana makes some fantastic tools available to help an English-speaker survive the experience. His website is:

<!-- w --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.aramaicbooks.com">http://www.aramaicbooks.com</a><!-- w -->

Take care.
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Thank you for your welcome.I agree,"Christianity in Asia,volume 1" is a marvelous book! It was the book that first aroused my interest in the Church of the East and whetted my appetite for all things connected to the Syriac tradition.The "Syriac fathers on prayer" by S. Brock is another one of my favorites.



Quote:The CoE resembles, in many ways, Catholic or Orthodox churches. They have "sacraments", a "liturgy", etc. In other ways, they resemble synagogues or protestant churches....i.e., they have no images or statues. In other ways, they are unique (Aramaic instead of Latin or Greek liturgies, etc.)


I have studied the traditions of almost all branches of christianity,ie. Roman Catholic;Greek,Coptic,Russian orthodoxy, etc. and I have come to the conclusion that the Church of the East has the most beautiful liturgy,singing,etc. It really strikes a deep chord within my heart and makes me rejoice greatly in the LORD God.Not only am I amazed at the beauty of the liturgy,aramaic language,worship but I stand in awe of the rich missionary tradition of the CoE.Having done missionary evangelism in countries such as Nepal,Mexico,etc. I can really identify with these brave "nestorian"{lol,I dont mean that in a disrespectful way,in my humble opinion the CoE shouldnt be ashamed of the term "nestorian",but should wear it with pride as a badge of honor}men of God and their never-ending desire to spread the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.The more I learn about this great body of Christ the more I yearn to be associated with it in some way.May God make it so one day!





Quote:If you do manage to get to Phoenix for a service, our brother Dean Dana makes some fantastic tools available to help an English-speaker survive the experience. His website is:

<!-- w --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.aramaicbooks.com">http://www.aramaicbooks.com</a><!-- w -->



I've already placed an order!...lol...They have some great stuff!



I just want to thank you again for your welcome and for responding to my questions in such a swift and kind manner.But after reading many of the previous posts I see that this is not unusual,indeed,you are very helpful and kind towards all.God bless you and may He help us all manifest such christian character!


One last question if you dont mind.What is the CoE position in regard to "justification by faith alone"? What is their position on the importance of works.Also do they have much ecumenical dialoge with "protestant and evangelical christianity".Thank you. <!-- s:biggrin: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/biggrin.gif" alt=":biggrin:" title="Big Grin" /><!-- s:biggrin: -->
Hi J,

You may enjoy this little snippet from Mar Aphrahat, the bishop of Nineveh in the early part of the 300s....

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For Abel, because of his faith his offering was accepted. And Enoch, because he was well-pleasing through his faith, was removed from death. Noah, because he believed, was preserved from the deluge. Abraham, through his faith, obtained blessing, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Isaac, because he believed, was loved. Jacob, because of his faith, was preserved. Joseph, because of his faith, was tried in the waters of contention, and was delivered from his trial, and his Lord established a witness in him, as David said:--Witness hath he established in Joseph." Moses also by his faith performed many wonderful works of power. By his faith he destroyed the Egyptians with ten plagues. Again, by faith he divided the sea, and caused his people to cross over and sank the Egyptians in the midst of it.

By faith he cast the wood into the bitter waters and they became sweet. By faith he brought down manna and satisfied his people. By faith he spread out his hands and conquered Amalek, as is written:--His hands continued in faith till the selling of the sun. Also by faith he went up to Mount Sinai, when he twice fasted for tim space of forty days. Again by faith he conquered Sihon and Og, the Kings of the Amorites.

This is wonderful, my beloved, and a great prodigy that Moses did in the Red Sea, when the waters were divided by faith, and stood up on high like mountains or like mighty cliffs. They were checked and stood still at the commandment; they were closed up as in vessels, and fast bound in the height as in the depth. Their fluidity did not overflow the boundary, but rather they changed the nature of their creation. Irrational creatures became obedient. The billows became rigid and were awaiting the vengeance, when the people should have passed over. Wonderful was it how the waves stood still and expected the commandment and the vengeance. The foundations (hidden) from the ages of the world were revealed, and that which from the beginning had been liquid suddenly became dry. The gates lifted up their heads and the everlasting gates were lifted up. The pillar of fire entered and illuminated the entire camp. The people passed over by faith. And the judgment of righteousness was wrought upon Pharaoh and upon his host and upon his chariots.

Thus also Joshua the son of Nun divided Jordan by his faith, and the children of Israel crossed over as in the days of Moses. But know, my beloved, that this passage of the Jordan was three times laid open by its being divided. First through Joshua the Son of Nun, and secondly through Elijah, and then through Elisha. For the word of the Book makes known that over against this passage of Jericho, there Elijah was taken up to heaven; for when Elisha turned back from following him and divided the Jordan and passed over, the children of the Prophets of Jericho came out to meet Elisha and said:--The spirit of Elijah rests upon Elisha. Furthermore when the people crossed over in the days of Joshua the son of Nun (it was there), for thus it is written:--The people passed over, over against Jericho. Also Joshua the son of Nun by faith cast down the walls of Jericho, and they fell without difficulty. Again by faith he destroyed thirty-one kings and made the children of Israel to inherit the land. Furthermore by his faith he spread out his hands towards heaven and stayed the sun in Gibeon and the moon in the valley of Ajalon. And they were stayed and stood still from their courses. But enough! All the righteous, our fathers, in all that they did were victorious through faith, as also the blessed Apostle testified with regard to all of them:--By faith they prevailed. Again Solomon said:--Many men are called merciful, but a faithful man who can find? Also Job thus said:--My integrity, shall not pass from me, and in my righteousness will persist.

Also our Saviour used thus to say to every one who drew near to Him to be healed:--According to thy faith be unto thee. And when the blind man approached Him, He said to him:--Dost thou believe that I am able to heal thee? That blind man said to Him:--Yea, Lord, I believe.' And his faith opened his eyes. And to him whose son was sick, He said:--Believe and thy son shall live. He said to Him:--I believe, Lord; help thou my feeble faith. And by his faith his son was healed. And also when the nobleman came near to Him, by his faith was his boy healed, when he said to our Lord:--Speak the word and my servant will be cured. And our Lord was astonished at his faith, and according to his faith it happened to him. And also when the chief of the Synagogue requested Him concerning his daughter, He said thus to him:--Only firmly believe and thy daughter shall live. So he believed and his daughter lived and arose. And when Lazarus died, our Lord said to Martha:--If thou believest, thy brother shall rise. Martha saith unto Him;--Yea, Lord, I believe. And He raised him after four days. And also Simon who was called Cepha because of his faith was called the firm rock, And again when our Lord gave the Sacrament of Baptism to His apostles, He said thus to them:--Whosoever believeth and is baptized shall live, and whosoever believeth not shall be condemned. Again He said to his Apostles:--If ye believe and doubt not, there is nothing ye shall not be able to do. For when our Lord walked on the billows of the sea, Simon also by his faith walked with Him; but when in respect of his faith he doubted, and began to sink, our Lord called him, thou of little faith. And when the Apostles asked of our Lord, they begged nothing at His hands but this, saying to Him:--Increase our faith. He said to them:--If there were in you faith, even a mountain would remove from before you. And He said to them:--Doubt ye not, lest ye sink down in the midst of the world, even as Simon when he doubled began to sink in the midst of the sea, And again He said thus;--This shall be the sign for those that believe; they shall speak with new tongues and shall cast out demons, and they shall lay their hands on the sick and they shall be made whole.

Let us draw near then, my beloved, to faith, since its powers are so many.

For faith raised up to the heavens (Enoch), and conquered the Deluge.
It caused the barren to bring forth.
It delivered from the sword.
It raised up from the pit.
It enriched the poor.
It released the captives.
It delivered the persecuted.
It brought down the fire.
It divided the sea.
It cleft the rock, and gave to the thirsty water to drink.
It satisfied the hungry.
It raised the dead, and brought them up from Sheol.
It stilled the billows.
It healed the sick.
It conquered hosts.
It overthrew walls.
It stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the flame of fire.
It humiliated the proud, and brought the humble to honour.


All these mighty works were wrought by faith.

Now thus is faith; when a man believes in God the Lord of all, Who made the heavens and the earth and the seas and all that is in them; and He made Adam in His image; and He gave the Law to Moses; He sent of His Spirit upon the prophets; He sent moreover His Christ into the world. Furthermore that a man should believe in the resurrection of the dead; and should furthermore also believe in the sacrament of baptism. This is the faith of the Church of God. And (it is necessary) that a man should separate himself from the observance of hours and Sabbaths and moons and seasons, and divinations and sorceries and Chaldaean arts and magic, from fornication and from festive music, from vain doctrines, which are instruments of the Evil One, from the blandishment of honeyed words, from blasphemy and from adultery. And that a man should not bear false witness, and that a man should not speak with double tongue. These then are the works of the faith which is based on the true Stone which is Christ, on Whom the whole building is reared up.

Furthermore, my beloved, there is much besides in the Holy Books about faith. But these few things out of the much have I written to recall them to thy love that thou mayest know and make known and believe" and also be believed. And when thou hast read and learned the works of faith, thou mayest be made like unto that tilled land upon which the good seed fell, and produced fruit a hundred-fold and sixty-fold and thirty-fold. And when thou comest to thy Lord, He may call thee a good servant and prudent and faithful, who on account of His faith, that abounded, is to enter into the Kingdom of his Lord.
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Wow! That was truly beautiful! Thank you for sharing that with me.




"j" stands for Jerry.



God bless you! <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->
My conclusion from reading Mar Aphrahat's awesome writings is that faith produces works.

According to thy faith be unto thee.