August 30, 2014

The Constitution of the Eastern Church

In 1942, Russian emigre and lay theologian Nicholas Zernov published a little book on the Orthodox Church under the auspices of the Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius. Much of Zernov's "The Church of the Eastern Christians" is aimed -- no surprise -- at educating the British public about the Orthodox Church and advancing the cause of unity between Anglicans and Eastern Orthodox. He also has some things to say about how the Church governs itself that we would do well to reflect upon today. "The Eastern Church rejects altogether the attempts of the West to locate Church authority in one or another ecclesiastical institution," Zernov wrote. "It is the Holy Spirit speaking and acting through the whole body of believers who is the teacher and guardian of truth for them." In his introduction, written against the backdrop of WWII, he identified two major problems facing Christians: the lack of unity and the rise of totalitarianism, first in Russia following the revolution and then … [Read more...]