number 9, december 14, 1998

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Orthodox preachers shares testimony about being lost

In a candid testimony, an Orthodox theologian confessed that it was possible to be religious but at the same time lost, because it had happened to him.

Dr Bradley Nassif is a theologian of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East, and academic director for Fuller Theological Seminary in the USA. He made his personal remarks at the end of midday preaching in the university chapel on Saturday.

"It is not only possible to be religious but lost, but it actually happens to some of us, especially those of us in religious work. I am one of them!" Dr Nassif said.

"I grew up in the Orthodox Church, was a moral and upright young man. I went to church every Sunday, made the sign of the cross, kissed the icons, and read the Bible and Orthodox literature ceaselessly in my youth.

"I was even ordained a subdeacon and was on my way to becoming a priest. I could quote the Bible and recount the history and theology of the Orthodox Church in great detail and with great precision.

"I don’t want to call attention to my intellectual achievements, but I want to tell you: That is not enough! You can have all the religious knowledge you want, and still not know God."

However, God did not leave people there. He looked into people’s hearts to see whether they really want more of God -- not only knowledge about him -- and revealed himself in love.

"He invites all of us, scholars, priests, lay persons, journalists, delegates and anyone else: Come to God through Christ, in the Holy Spirit," he said.

Dr Nassif, who promotes Orthodox-evangelical dialogue around the world, preached on "Salvation in the Trinitarian God".

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Read other articles in this issue:

Mandela to WCC: tribute, and the development goal
Four fundamental questions for churches
Experiences people have had: Living the ecumenical connection
Orthodox preachers shares testimony about being lost
Visitors take home gift of a covenant
Bulgarian Orthodox quit WCC
Looking for the vision
WCC to set up commission with Orthodox churches
Trees will be reminder of the 8th assembly
Listen! Children can work
Letters: Provocative, misleading
50 years ago: Report from Amsterdam
Zimbabwe Christians criticise government
WCC celebrates 50th anniversary
Assembly yes to Christian 'forum'

8th Assembly and 50th Anniversary

copyright 1998 World Council of Churches. Remarks to webeditor