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Last Day of Sale for St Gregory Palamas Homilies

Palm Sunday (April 24, 2016) will be the last day for the pre-order sale of the 3rd printing of the complete edition of Saint Gregory Palamas: The Homilies.

Wholesale orders on 5 or more copies are at a 60% discount off the Regular Retail Price of $134.95. To place a wholesale order, simply email us at info@mountthabor.com or go to our Contact page by clicking here.

Retail orders are at $59.95 per copy.

Click here to order now.

St. Gregory Palamas - Homilies

Already a Classic! – The Hidden Man of the Heart (2nd Edition)

0980020751-HidMan

Fr. Zacharias‘ own favorite, The Hidden Man of the Heart is already considered a classic!

The Hidden Man of the Heart, Archimandrite Zacharias‘ profoundest work to date, is back in print!

This second edition is also equipped with two indexes, an Index of Scriptural References and an Index of Names and Subjects.

The Hidden Man of the Heart consists of a series of presentations on the place of the heart in the spiritual life of the Christian, with special reference to the Hesychast tradition of the Orthodox Church, including two of the most influential figures in contemporary Christianity: Saint Silouan the Athonite (1866–1938) and Elder Sophrony of Essex (1896–1993).

Delivered in Wichita, Kansas at the 2007 Clergy Brotherhood Retreat of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, each lecture is published here in full together with its corresponding Questions & Answers.

For the Table of Contents, Sample Pages, and further details, please click here.

About the Author

The author is a disciple of Elder Sophrony and a member of the Monastery of St. John the Baptist, England. Also published by MOUNT THABOR PUBLISHING are his The Enlargement of the Heart (2nd edition, 2012) and Remember Thy First Love (2010),

Review

“Father Zacharias has inherited the rare and precious spiritual gift of ‘speaking a word’, an authentic word inspired by these contemporary spiritual giants [sc. St. Silouan the Athonite and Elder Sophrony].” The Right Reverend Basil Essey, Bishop of Wichita, Anthiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

“The writings of Archimandrite Zacharias evince that inspiration which is born of the undistorted vision of Christ in glory.” Dr. Christopher Veniamin D.Phil. (Oxon.), Professor of Patristics, Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, USA

EMPIRICAL DOGMATICS VOL. 2: Holy Trinity, Creation, Fall, Incarnation, Church, Life After Death

Empirical Dogmatics Vol 2

According to the Spoken Teaching of Father John Romanides

Volume 2 completes the Empirical Dogmatics of the Orthodox Catholic Church by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, based on the spoken teaching of Fr. John Romanides. It addresses central dogmatic issues in the light of the experience of the Apostles and saints. Fr. John’s approach is unique, lively, and unconventional. Because of his American background, his wide-ranging academic research and his participation in ecumenical dialogues, he sees Orthodox dogma in its wider context. But his words are also illuminated by the mystery of his own experience, which he does not completely succeed in concealing.

The Church’s teaching on the Holy Trinity distinguishes between the dogma of the Holy Trinity, which it is possible to understand, and the mystery of the Holy Trinity, which defies human comprehension. The revelation of the Holy Trinity begins in the Old Testament: “It is Christ Who appears to the Prophets…Christ…is the Angel of the Lord, the Lord of Glory, Yahweh, the Lord Sabaoth, the Angel of Great Counsel …”

Fr. John reviews the scriptural and patristic teaching on the Creation of the World from non-being. Discussing the Demons of Darkness, he states uncompromisingly: “Being a theologian means first and foremost that someone is an expert in the wiles of the devil.” God’s personal direction of world is a matter of experience: “When someone is in the state of illumination he…sees the uncreated energy of God within creation.”

Commenting on the Creation of Man, Fr. John declares that we all possess a noetic faculty (nous) “which is supposed to be in man’s heart, but it is not in the heart when it is not functioning correctly”. The illuminated nous returns to the heart and prays: “When man prays with his rational faculty, that is human prayer…When, however, his nous prays within the heart, then the Spirit is praying.”

The Fall of Man does not mean “inheriting the guilt of Adam and Eve. The ancestral sin was not an affront to God, but a sickness of man.” Fr. John argues against St Augustine’s view that death is “a punishment from God” and sets out the evidence that it is an illness.

The Incarnation of the Son and Word of God is not just a historical event but “a spiritual event that is confirmed by empirical knowledge”. Analysing the Transfiguration of Christ, Fr. John comments: “We also know these things from the experience of glorification, not simply from reading Holy Scripture.” Christians must personally experience the Mystery of the Cross and Resurrection of Christ. “God is not reconciled with man, but man with God through the mystery of the Cross, and through this reconciliation man is transformed from an enemy of God into His friend, and participates in the Resurrection of Christ.”

The Mystery of Pentecost shows that the experience of Pentecost is repeated through the centuries. Fr. John stresses the empirical element of St Paul’s teaching: “For someone to be a temple of the Holy Spirit is an experience. If one reads the Apostle Paul carefully, he is not using empty words every time he describes the Holy Spirit…Who prays in man’s heart…This is the reality.” He also asks: “Without becoming a temple of the Holy Spirit, how can anyone become a theologian?”

Fr. John says characteristically: “What is the purpose of Orthodoxy? It is clear from the calendar of feasts. We have Easter and we have Pentecost. Baptism in water takes place at Easter. Baptism in the Holy Spirit takes place at Pentecost… And what is the outcome? The Sunday of All Saints. In other words, that all Orthodox Christians may be numbered among the saints.”

The Spiritual Perfecting of Christians analyses the stages of purification, illumination and glorification-theosis. Purification is not just a matter of avoiding sin: “Purification of the heart means that thoughts leave the heart…so that the heart is left…with one thought, prayer alone. This…is called prayer of the heart or single-thought prayer.” Those who reach illumination experience this: “Noetic prayer is a gift from God and is proof that somebody has become a temple of the Holy Spirit.” And someone who is glorified “no longer knows God in prophecies and knowledge and prayers, but knows Him directly.

Fr. John takes a historical and spiritual approach to the Mysteries (Sacraments) of the Church, stating: “The Mystery of Chrismation was intended for those who had already become members of the Body of Christ, because it was assumed that the Holy Spirit had already come to them and was praying in their heart.” Heresies and Councils are seen in a therapeutic perspective: “There is no therapeutic treatment in heresy…it is dangerous for people. The Fathers saw heresy as a form of charlatanism…”

Considering Life after Death, Fr. John stresses that Paradise and Hell exist from the human point of view, not from God’s perspective. “Someone who is suitably prepared sees God as glory, and someone else, who is unprepared, who does not have repentance and does not have divine vision, also sees God, but sees Him as ‘a consuming fire’. This is the fire of Hell.”

Metropolitan Hierotheos arranges all this material clearly and systematically, and links it with his own interpretative and critical comments. The resulting account of Empirical Dogmatics is comprehensive and compelling, with many surprises. This book will appeal not only to theologians but to anyone interested in what Orthodox Christians believe and why.

EMPIRICAL DOGMATICS VOL. 1: Dogma, Ethics, Revelation

Empirical Dogmatics

According to the Spoken Teaching of Father John Romanides

Empirical Dogmatics of the Orthodox Catholic Church by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos is a valuable contribution to contemporary theological literature. It is a work in two volumes, based mainly on the spoken teaching of Fr. John Romanides. This book is an encounter between two important theologians of our time. Father John Romanides’ vivid and unconventional words, presented by Metropolitan Hierotheos, come as a liberating intervention in theological thought. Fr. John’s precise and specific teaching is not essentially innovative, but takes patristic theology and re-formulates it for our own era.

The first volume of Empirical Dogmatics is divided into four chapters: Dogma and Ethics, The Experience of Revelation, The Bearers of Revelation and The Living Monuments of Revelation.

This is a different kind of dogmatics because it is based on experience. “Dogma is not to be believed. Dogma is to be experienced.” Dogma is not human speculation. It has nothing to do with philosophy or metaphysics. It does not lead to any form of moralism. Fr. John often draws parallels between theology and the positive sciences, particularly medicine and astronomy. The method proposed for approaching dogma, and theology in general, is experiment, experience, observation and recording, as well as verification of the degree of success in achieving the aim by means of results. The aim is man’s glorification, which is reached by way of purification and illumination. Holy relics are tangible evidence for the authenticity of this experience, which transforms the whole human being, body and soul. It is empirical realities of this kind that attract non-Orthodox Christians today.

Dogma is the record of the revelatory experience of the saints who see God. It is the rational formulation of the mystery that they experienced. Dogma also acts as a means of therapeutic treatment for those who are spiritually sick and as a guide and signpost showing the way to glorification. There is a close connection between dogma and ethics, which Orthodox theology identifies with ascetic practice. The ascetic method consists of striving for purification, and leads to illumination. In this way the separation of the rational faculty from the noetic faculty is achieved, the darkened nous is illuminated and unceasing noetic prayer begins. Man is then in a position to experience dogma and to reach glorification. The empirical basis of dogma is the foundation of the spiritual life, understood in the context of the life of the Church.

The experience of revelation, of glorification, is the experience of Pentecost. Theology is an expression of the vision of God, but is not identical with it, because in the state of divine vision theology is transcended. The Christian is led to this experience through obedience to an experienced spiritual father. Spiritual fatherhood and its therapeutic dimension is the factor that links the bearers of the revelation: the glorified down through the ages and the God-seers of the Old and New Testaments. The difference between them is that the glorified Prophets of the Old Testament experience the revelation of the unincarnate Word, whereas the glorified Apostles, Fathers and saints of the New Testament experience the incarnate Word. Divine inspiration is another characteristic that they share, so they are unerring theologians. The infallibility of the Ecumenical Councils, which set out dogmas when the appearance of heretics makes this necessary, is due to the divine inspiration and freedom from error of the glorified Fathers who participated in them.

The theological teaching of Fr. John clarifies misunderstandings and resolves points of uncertainty. For instance, he clarifies the distinction between the revelation itself and the ‘living monuments of the revelation’: Holy Scripture and Tradition. The source of the faith is revelation, the experience of uncreated, ineffable words. The purpose of created words and concepts in Holy Scripture and Tradition is to cure man through purification, illumination and glorification.

This therapeutic method is the heart of the Orthodox Tradition and Empirical Dogmatics is a therapeutic intervention for those who are tired of the barren wanderings of Western theology.

 

The Seer: The Life of the Prophet Samuel and its Relevance Today, by Mtp Hierotheos Vlachos

The Prophet Samuel personifies universal history. His life and work are interpreted through the Old and New Testaments, and through the experiences of the Prophets, Apostles and Fathers of the Church. This book can benefit parents and children, spiritual fathers and those under their guidance, secular leaders and many others. The biography of a Prophet who lived thirty-two centuries before our time is significant for the people of today: clergy and laity, monks and married people, rulers and those they rule, and everyone who is troubled by being subject to suffering, corruption and death.

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The Seer describes the life and work of the Prophet Samuel, called ‘the Seer’ and ‘the man of God’ by his contemporaries, who lived in the period of the Old Testament and is a saint of our Church.

The author examines the fascinating life of the Prophet and uses events from it to illustrate the relationships between parents and children, spiritual fathers and their disciples, and rulers and those they rule in a theological perspective.

Early chapters focus on Hannah and her prayer, and discuss prayer in the heart. The Prophet was a son born by God’s good pleasure and sanctified from his mother’s womb. The miraculous nature of his birth demonstrates that the conception of a human being is the action of God’s grace, and that children are God’s gifts. There are practical comments about bringing up children in the Church, prompted by the account of Samuel as a child in the Temple. Later in the book there is a specific chapter about Samuel’s sons and the reasons why children from devout families sometimes rebel and take the wrong path, as they did.

The Prophet Samuel received revelations from God and possessed the spiritual gifts of clear sight and seeing into the future. There is a detailed discussion of what exactly these charismas are and for what purpose they are bestowed by God.

The Holy Spirit was at work in the Old Testament, and there is a compelling account of how Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit when anointed by Samuel, although he later lost this gift completely. The chapters on Saul’s sins, which seem superficially not to be serious, but were in fact so grave that they caused God to ‘change His mind’ about him, are thought-provoking. As a spiritual father, the author is able to understand Samuel’s profound grief over Saul’s fall and to describe it.

The book draws to a close with the anointing of David as king and Samuel’s death. The final pages look at the Prophet Samuel and the Church and include extracts from the service sung in his honour.

The author summarises Samuel’s four great virtues as his purity, his obedience to God’s will, his lack of resentment, and his love for the people, which also found expression through his grief at their mistakes. Samuel never grieved God at any point.

 

Feature: Tribute to Prof. Constantine Scouteris

Constantine Scouteris: Greek theologian

Prof. Constantine B. Scouteris

Prof. Constantine B. Scouteris – at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, Pennsylvania, during his Onassis Foundation sponsored tour of the USA in March & April of 2006.

How precious are thy friends unto me, O God!(Psalm 139:17 LXX).

Paraphrasing Porphyrios, Scouteris would say, “The goal of the Christian is not to receive gifts from God. It is love”, which is “an exodus from selfishness”. This “exodus from selfishness” and this love come as a direct result of “communion with God”. As he once told me personally, “Communion is the greatest gift that God has bestowed on the human race” – communion with one another, the ability to enter into a personal relationship with one’s neighbour.

In imitation of his beloved spiritual father, Professor Scouteris accepted the cross of his final illness, in the understanding that the gifts of God “are truly the fruits of patience and suffering.” He lived his last days in great pain, but also in thanksgiving – in gratitude for all the gifts that God had bestowed upon him, and especially for his dear wife, Pitsa, and family. Scouteris’ own words on Porphyrios apply equally to himself: “He never prayed for God to make him well. He didn’t pray for his own relief. He glorified God” …

Read the full Obituary, published in the London Times, here.

The question of the Orthodox understanding of the Church is one of the most pressing of our times, and Professor Scouteris’ book is simply masterful in its presentation of the Body of Christ as a theanthropic institution. His genius, which is more than evident in this book, is his ability to treat complex themes with remarkable clarity, a clarity which stems from his profound erudition and special relationship with his spiritual father, St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia.

In his Ecclesial Being, Professor Constantine Scouteris focuses most ably on the mystery of the human person in the context of the conciliarity of the Church. His vision of the unity of the Orthodox churches, based on the Pauline theme of the New Israel, embraces all Orthodox Christian peoples wonderfully diverse in language and culture as one nation in Christ, which the entire world is invited to join.

Dr. Scouteris was Professor of Theology in the University of Athens, Greece, and Adjunct Professor in the History of Doctrine at the Theological School of the University of Balamand, Lebanon.

MTP Contributes to the Success of 18th Biennial Antiochian Archdiocesan Clergy Symposium!

Mtp Joseph of North America

Mtp Joseph addresses the Clergy.

MOUNT THABOR PUBLISHING  contributed to the 18th Biennial Antiochian Archdiocesan Clergy Symposium at the Heritage and Learning Center at the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, from July 14 through 18, 2014, which was a historic occasion, inasmuch as it was the first National Clergy Symposium of the newly-elected Metropolitan Joseph, the former Archbishop of Los Angeles and the West.

Armed with its 12 quality publications and its first ever Catalogue, MTP provided our clergy significant wherewithal with which to both instruct the Orthodox faithful and promote the Orthodox Christian Faith in North America.

A special feature of the MTP booth was signed copies of Dr. Christopher Veniamin’s newly reprinted Saint Gregory Palamas: The Homilies and The Orthodox Understanding of Salvation: “Theosis” in Scripture and Tradition.

It was a privilege to be there. Already looking forward to next year’s Sumposium!

 

Vespers

Verspers

Mtp Joseph and Dr. Christopher Veniamin

Mtp Joseph and Dr. Christopher Veniamin go back a long way: not only were they fellow theology students at the University of Thessalonica, but they were also neighbors at Agia Marina, Ano Toumba.

Mtp Joseph and Dr. Christopher Veniamin

Mtp Joseph is one who is able to savor the richness of Patristic theology – the ascetic-theological vision of the Church.

Mtp Joseph with some of the Veniamins

Mtp Joseph has a heart of gold and truly loves children.

The 18th National Clergy Symposium

The 18th National Clergy Symposium, Antiochian Village, 2014.

The Divine Liturgy

The Divine Liturgy, Friday morning.

The Divine Liturgy, Friday morning.

The Divine Liturgy, Friday morning.

MTP at 42nd Biennial Greek Orthodox Clergy-Laity Congress – A Resounding Success!

MOUNT THABOR PUBLISHING  joined the Exhibitors at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese’s 42nd Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress in Philadelphia from July 6 through 9, 2014.

Armed with its 12 quality publications and its first ever Catalogue, MTP was well-received by clergy and lay folk alike from all over North America and beyond.

A special feature of the MTP booth was signed copies of Dr. Christopher Veniamin’s newly reprinted Saint Gregory Palamas: The Homilies and The Orthodox Understanding of Salvation: “Theosis” in Scripture and Tradition.

Here are just some of the wonderful people we met at the Congress:-

With Mtp Athenagoras of Belgium, whom Dr. Christopher and Mrs. Anna Veniamin

With Mtp Athenagoras of Belgium, whom Dr. Christopher has known since the Mtp’s first visit to the Monastery of St. John the Baptist in England (to which, still a young lad, he was brought by his father, Père Ignace, to meet Fr. Sophrony.)

 

Abp Demetrios deep in discussion with Dr. Christopher Veniamin

Abp Demetrios notices that On the Saints has an impressive icon of his own patron saint on the front cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abp Demetrios with Dr. and Mrs. Veniamin

Abp Demetrios deep in discussion with Dr. Christopher Veniamin, Professor of Patristics at St. Tikhon’s Seminary

Abp Demetrios, with Dr. and Mrs. Veniamin

Dr. Christopher Veniamin, a Thessalonian by education, describes the nature and purpose of his edition of the Abp of Thessalonica’s homilies to Abp Demetrios of America, a Thessalonian by birth!

Abp Demetrios, with Dr. and Mrs. Veniamin

A scholar of some considerable distinction himself, the Archbishop was able to appreciate the magnitude of the contribution being made by these MTP publications.

 

Prof. Christopher Veniamin with Fr. Vasili Hillhouse, left (Anchorage AK) and Fr. Seraphim Majmudar (Tacoma WA).

What a good and pleasant thing it is to meet up with one’s former students: Fr. Vasili Hillhouse, left (Anchorage AK) and Fr. Seraphim Majmudar (Tacoma WA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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