Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 03:2 (Autumn 1990)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith. By Peter E. Gillquist. Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, Inc., 1989. 185 pp. Paper, $9.95.

Gillquist and a number of other former Campus Crusade leaders started churches and then a denomination called the Evangelical Orthodox Church. Later the whole denomination, some two thousand people spread throughout the U.S. and Canada, Joined the Antiochian Orthodox Church. This book tells that story.

Gillquist’s purpose in telling this story is clearly promotional. He wishes to draw evangelical Christians into the Antiochian Orthodox Church. He does this by attempting to prove that the only true church today is the Orthodox Church.

It is fascinating to see the reasoning Gillquist employs. Here are some of his arguments: (1) The only way to interpret the Scriptures properly is to listen to church tradition. Tradition interprets Scripture for us (pp. 76, 102). (2) The Reformation was misguided. Neither Roman Catholicism nor Protestantism is correct (pp. 60–61). (3) The Apostles taught orally things which were not placed in Scripture. Many of those teachings have been the source of true apostolic doctrine.

Note that these arguments eliminate the Scriptures as a basis for determining truth. Tradition interprets the Scriptures, not the other way around.

The author accepts and attempts to persuade evangelicals to accept a number of non-evangelical doctrines. These include: (1) Mary is the Mother of the Church (p. 115), the Mother of God (p. 112), and the Queen who sits at the side of Jesus Christ the King (p. 112). (2) Mary remained a virgin her whole life and had no children other than Jesus (pp. 116ff.). (3) Mary did not die. She was translated directly to heaven like Enoch and Elijah (p. 119). (4) Mary and all of the saints intercede before Christ for us (p. 112). (5) Mary can save us (pp. 120–21). (6) Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are sacraments; they are necessary for one to obtain and keep eternal life (pp. 49–50; 110). (7) Crossing oneself, that is, making the sign of the cross on the forehead and upper torso, is powerful, effective, and biblical (pp. 123–31). (8) To be a part of any church other than an Orthodox Church is to depart from the faith

(p. 152). (9) Pastors are priests and should be called “Father” (pp. 97–106)—contra Matt 23:9.

Most grievous of all is the author’s view of the Gospel. He argues that one is saved-at least initially-by committing his or her life fully to Christ (pp. 12, 23, 24, 109) and by submitting to water baptism (pp. 49, 1...

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