“…it has been known to the Christian Church from the beginning that mere knowledge about God does not mean communion with God. The devil knows about God better than any theologian, but that does not save him.”

Dcn Victor Klimenko, Ph.D
The Orthodox Teaching on Personal Salvation, Ch. II
Orthodox Theological Resources

At its core, Orthodoxy is not primarily an intellectual exercise in theology, but a way of prayerful, heartfelt, repentant practice that must be lived and experienced in one's daily walk with the Lord. That said, proper theology plays an indispensable role in the Orthodox life, especially for inquirers, catechumens and converts seeking to understand the differences between Orthodoxy and other traditions. The Orthodox faithful should also have a solid understanding of the basics in order to refute the pernicious heresies that grow daily. May the following resources help these efforts.

Inquirers / Catechumens
Orthodox Teaching on Salvation Pt. 1

An in-depth introduction to Orthodox basics such as universal atonement, theosis and much more, by Dcn Victor E. Klimenko, Ph.D

Orthodox Teaching on Salvation Pt. 2

Dcn Klimenko returns to discuss distinctly western concepts of original sin, scholasticism, and penal atonement theory.

Orthodox Teaching on the Free Will of Man

The Imago Dei signifies man's free will, his reason, and his sense of moral responsibility.

Rock & Sand Pt. 1

Fr Josiah Trenham outlines basic aspects of the Orthodox faith and how they contrast to other traditions.

Rock & Sand Pt. 2

Fr Josiah Trenham returns to explain more basic Orthodox tenets in contrast to reformed doctrines.

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Confession of Dositheus

The Orthodox Church officially condemned many reformed doctrines at the Council of Jerusalem in 1672

Myth of the Calvinist Patriarch

An answer to the common Protestant claim that Orthodoxy approved the various reformed doctrines

Reconsidering TULIP

A short series of arguments by Alexander J. Renault, an evangelical turned Calvinist who converted to Orthodoxy

Why the Orthodox Reject Total Depravity

The first answer in this thread is a summary of Renault's arguments in his chapter on Total Depravity from Reconsidering TULIP, linked above

Plucking the TULIP Pt. 1
Plucking the TULIP Pt. 2
Ex-Calvinist on Total Depravity
Does John 6:44 Teach Predestination?

The reformed interpretation of John 6:44 as teaching predestination holds up only if one isolates this verse to the exclusion of the overall context of John 6.

Free Will & Grace in the Early Church Fathers (PDF)

An appraisal of the patristic views on free will and grace, contrasted with the standard Calvinist interpretation

Predestination and the Gnostic Connection

Blog post sketching the general connections between Gnosticism and the various reformed doctrines

St Gregory of Nyssa on the Atonement (PDF)

An appraisal of the Cappadocian understanding of the atonement by A.S. Dunstone, (MA, BA)

St Irenaeus on the Atonement (PDF)

Scholarly paper by John I. Hochban, (SJ) exploring second-century views of the atonement expressed by St Irenaeus

St Irenaeus of Lyons on Christus Victor

Introductory article on the Christus Victor view of the atonement expressed by St Irenaeus

Scope of the Atonement in the Early Church Fathers

Article by Christopher T. Bounds from the Wesleyan Theological Journal, Vol. 47 No. 2, Fall 2012

On Limited Atonement

Historical powerhouses Philip Schaff and Jurislov Pelikan discuss the patristic consensus on the universality of the atonement

On The Five Solas
Jay Dyer on Sola Scriptura
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TWIM Archives

Contra Atheism

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Last updated on June 28th, 2020 at 04:18 am


Coming into Orthodoxy in the beginning, I unfortunately didn’t have a formal catechesis, so I mostly undertook study on my own. These are the books I’ve read from March of 2019 until present. I’ve tried to provide links to Orthodox bookstores and monasteries instead of Amazon. Click the title to purchase the book. Some of these works are also available online.


Catechism of the Orthodox Church
by St. Philaret of Moscow, St. John of Kronstadt Press, 96p.

Entering the Orthodox Church: The Catechism and Baptism of Adults
by Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos, Birth of the Theotokos Monastery, 200p.

The Law of God
by Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy, Holy Trinity Publications, 636p.

The Catechetical Lectures of St. Cyril of Jerusalem
Veritatus Splendor, 696p.

Letters From A Convert
by Marianna Friesel, SJKP, 48p.

Service for the Reception of Converts
OCA, 16p.

Preaching Another Christ
by St. Theophan the Recluse, Orthodox Witness, 52p.

Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy
by Andrew Stephen Damick, Ancient Faith Publishing, 212p.

Missionary Conversations with Protestant Sectarians
by Reverend Kyril Zaits, Holy Trinity Monastery, 48p.

Christianity or the Church
by Archbishop Ilarion, Holy Trinity Monastery, 48p.

Sola Scriptura
by Fr. John Whiteford, Conciliar Press, 48p.

Interpreting Orthodoxy to Western Church Traditions
by N.A. Nissiotis, Light and Life Publishing Company, 48p.


On The Incarnation / Against the Heathen
by St. Athanasius, Paterikon Publications, 174p.

The Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit
by Joseph P. Farrell, Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 116p, available online

Disputations with Pyrrhus
by St. Maximus the Confessor translated by Joseph P. Farrell, STM Press, 128p.

On the Person of Christ: The Christology of Emperor Justinian
translated by Kenneth P. Wesche, SVS Press, 200p.


Orthodox Dogmatic Theology Vol. 1: The Experience of God
by Dumitru Staniloae, Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 280p.

The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church
by Vladimir Lossky, SVS Press, 252p.


Is the Grace of God Present in the Soviet Church?
by I.M. Andreyev, Monastery Press, 98p.

Light From the Christian East: An Introduction to the Orthodox Tradition
by James R. Payton Jr., IVP Academic, 220p.

The Orthodox Church
by Kallistos Ware, Penguin Books, 368p.

New Frontiers: The Orthodox Christian Church Through the Ages Vol. 2
by Sophie Koulomzin, ROCA, 122p.

The Religion of the Russian People
by Pierre Pascal, SVS Press, 130p.

Which Came First: The Church or the New Testament?
by A. James Bernstein, Conciliar Press, 22p.

The Structure and Worship of the Early Church
by Clark Carlton, Holy Trinity Orthodox Mission, 24p.


The Love Chapter
St John Chrysostom, Paraclete Press, 90p.

The Great Canon
by St Andrew of Crete, Holy Trinity Publications, 96p.

On Signs and Miracles
by St Ignatius Brianchaninov, Holy Trinity Monastery, 86p.

Kindling the Divine Spirit
by St. Theophan the Recluse, St. Xenia Skete, 160p.

The Homilies of St. Gregory Palamas
by Christopher Veniamin, St. Tikhon’s Seminary Press, 302p.

An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith
by St. John of Damascus, Veritatus Splendor, 312p.

The First Created Man
by St. Symeon the New Theologian, St. Herman of Alaska, 122p.

The Life of St. John Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco
by Maria Naumenko, SJKP, 32p.

On the Acquisition of the Holy Spirit
by St. Seraphim of Sarov, Pantianos Classics, 24p.

The Joy of the Holy
by Harry M. Boosalis, St. Tikhon’s Monastery Press, 164p.

The Illustrated Sayings of the Holy Fathers
by Monk John Vranos, St. Xenia Skete, 48p.

On Prayer
by St. Theophan the Recluse, SJKP, 16p.

St. Silouan The Athonite
by Archimandrite Sophrony, SVS Press, 504p.

The Teaching of the Holy Fathers on Illness
Nikodemos Orthodox Publication Society, 48p.


Orthodox Study Bible 1,750p.

Romans: An Orthodox Commentary
by Patrick Henry Reardon, SVS Press, 172p.

Revelation: A Liturgical Prophecy
by Patrick Henry Reardon, SVS Press, 114p.

On Earth We’re Just Learning How To Live
by Archpriest Valentin Biryukov, St. Herman’s of Alaska Press, 168p.

Unseen Warfare
edited by Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain, SVS Press, 280p.

The Mountain of Silence
by Kyriacos Markides, Doubleday Publishing, 256p.

Dictionary of Orthodox Intercessions
by Claude Lopez-Ginisty, St. John of Kronstadt Press, 96p.

The Way of the Pilgrim & The Pilgrim Continues His Way
Translated by R.M. French, by Anonymous, SPCK, 264p.

O Full Of Grace Glory to Thee
by Igumen Gregory, New Zadonsk Press, 96p.

The Forgotten Medicine: The Mystery of Repentance
by Archimandrite Seraphim Aleksiev, St. Xenia Skete, 72p.

The Meaning of Suffering / Strife and Reconciliation
by Archimandrite Seraphim Aleksiev, St. Xenia Skete, 112p.

Irenaeus and Orthodox Apologetic Methodology: A Neopatristic Presuppositionalism
by Joshua Schooping, St. Theophan the Recluse Press, 148p.

Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age
by Fr. Seraphim Rose, St. Herman of Alaska Press, 124p.

by Archpriest Boris Molchanoff, 28p.

On Miracles and Signs
by Natalia Challis, Holy Trinity Monastery, 32p.

Akathist to the Mother of God
St. Paisius Orthodox Monastery, 24p.

by J. Richard Ballew, Ancient Faith Publishing, 18p.

Raising Them Right
by St. Theophan the Recluse, Conciliar Press, 76p.

Apostasy and Antichrist
by Holy Trinity Monastery, 46p.

Christian Unity and Ecumenism
OCA, 16p.

Seeds of Heaven and Hell in the Heart
by Igumen Sergius, St. Tikhon’s Monastery, 12p.

Christ and the Church
by Archbishop Gregory Afonsky, SVS Press, 116p.

God’s Revelation to the Human Heart
by Fr. Seraphim Rose, St. Herman’s of Alaska, 52p.

A Commentary of the Divine Liturgy
by Nicholas Cabasilas, SVS Press, 120p.

Ascent to the Summit: The Life and Martyric Death of Fr. Igor Rosin
St. Herman of Alaska Press, 68p.

The Hermitess Photini
by Archimandrite Joachim Spetsieis, St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery, 160p.

The Greatest Thing in the World
by Henry Drummond, Spire Books, 60p.

The Struggle for Virtue
by Archbishop Averky (Taushev), Holy Trinity Publications, 142p.

The Great Divide
by Fr. Alexey Young, Nikodemos Orthodox Publication Society, 50p.

Children in the Church Today: An Orthodox Perspective
by Sr. Magdalen, SVS Press, 100p.

Introduction to the Jesus Prayer
by H.R.H. Princess Ileana of Romania, Light and Life Publishing Company, 12p.

Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica
translated by Ana Smiljanic, St. Hermans of Alaska, 208p.