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Christ the Eternal Tao

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  252 ratings  ·  29 reviews
This book looks at Christ through the innocent vision of Lao Tzu. People of the modern West have to a great extent become jaded by Christian terminology and doctrinal constructions, yet many of them are drawn to the person of Christ Himself. This book seeks to develop not only a new way of seeing Christ, but also a new language by which to express His message, drawing from ...more
Paperback, 552 pages
Published March 28th 2004 by St. Herman Press (first published 1999)
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4.35  · 
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 ·  252 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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David Withun
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, religion
"In the beginning was the Tao, and the Tao was with God, and the Tao was God." That sentence, the opening of the Gospel of John translated from the Chinese version into English, says it all. Hieromonk Damascene does here what the Church Fathers of the first through fourth centuries did with their ancient Greek heritage: he takes up the ancient spiritual wisdom of the Chinese and uses the insights of long ago to illuminate the New Covenant of the coming of Christ -- the Tao, the Logos -- in the f ...more
James Andersen
This book is truly an incredible read. For those who feel that Christianity is exclusively Western will be proved wrong by this book. This book attempts and succeeds in walking a balancing act between religious exclusivity and syncretism.

This book shows how Christianity is the fulfillment of all the worlds spiritual traditions both in their unique worldview's and practices, whether Judaism of the West or Taoism of the East, using this book and others I will attempt a great undertaking of trying
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, christianity
This is an exceptionally unique Christian book. In it, the author(s) compare Christianity to ancient Chinese beliefs by philosopher Lao Tzu. Before the coming of Christ, Lao Tzu attempted at reconciling himself with the unknowable overarching objective truth in the universe. He called this truth the "Tao," which can be comparable to Jesus being the "Word" who became flesh. To use a pop-culture reference, the Tao can also be somewhat compared to the famous "Force" in George Lucas's Star Wars. Chr ...more
Adam Gossman
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Any religion that claims to be universal and exclusive must be capable of bridging the cultural gaps between the various cultures of the human race. Christianity makes that claim and this book does an incredible job of explaining how a faith with Jewish roots fits in with the history of philosophy all over the world.

More importantly, this book provides a detailed and awe-inspiring introduction to Eastern Orthodox spirituality, which is something both Protestants and Catholics lack (Catholics due
John Pillar
Feb 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Good book. There's a lot of variety in the book revolving around Jesus Christ and the concept of the Tao; ranging from poetry to practical spiritual practice.

For me personally, I found a good bit of affirmation of the foreshadowing of Jesus that I found when reading a translation of the Tao Te Ching. I appreciated the consistent message of the necessity of humbleness in our walk with Christ, as well as the emphasis the Jesus Christ must be our focus. I think the book provides a good balance betw
Shiva Seven
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
WOW! A must-read for all dime-store mystics!
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
A fantastic read for any person who has grown up in the context of Western Christianity and has found it lacking a certain spiritual element. Damascene approaches the teachings of the Tao Te Ching from an Eastern Orthodox prospective, leaving a deep impression on the typical Western reader. (By the way, in most of my treatments, "typical Western" = Me. Thanks) Widespread in its topics, this book offers a fresh alternative to the overly-academic systematic theologies offered us by Catholic and Pr ...more
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Part 1 is worth the price of the book. Simply put, Part 1 it beautiful poetry in the style of the Tao Teh Ching that focuses on The True Way (Jesus the Anointed).

The remainder of the book is more theological and practical. Not being Eastern Orthodox myself (though I appreciate much of the theology), I did not agree with everything, but I supposed that was to be expected (so I didn’t let it impact my review). Nevertheless, I will take many of the teachings on prayer to heart.
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent look into how our mind is so easily influenced by external factors, and what we need to do to keep grounded and focussed on the right things.
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book! would give more stars if I could! Good to understand the history in China as well!
Timothy Nichols
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-goals
You take your time with this one. The second half is a clear, serviceable exposition of Eastern Christian spirituality -- well-crafted, but nothing you couldn't find in a dozen other books. But the first half...the first half is a Christian engagement with and response to the Dao De Jing written in the same sparse, beautiful style. This is old-school Christian cultural engagement at its absolute finest. Buy it. Read it. Then read it again.
Jan 24, 2016 rated it liked it

This was the very last book in my "Great Book Project of 2015." I set out to read every last book I had bought with my own money but not yet read. I lined them up on my bookshelf and proceeded to read them one by one. It started in the spring of 2015 with The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk's Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux, and ended today. It's a nice feeling.

As for the book itself, it's written from the Orthodox Christian view that some sages who preceded Chri
Alex Petrovich
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My Priest-Brother recommended this. Changed my thinking on religion altogether in that it made me think Bigger about God and the Universe. There is so much pride in religion these days; everyone thinks that only they have Truth. This book helped me understand the humility of spiritual experience can perhaps come from outside the typical well; that perhaps we are all looking for Truth and each have to find our own Tao to reach It.

Very Beautiful Literature.
Sep 01, 2011 marked it as to-read
After listening to the free podcast series from ANCIENT FAITH RADIO, I felt it was time to revisit the themes discussed and get a copy of the book, this time so I can take more notes. Not being familiar with Eastern Spirituality, this is to me a more interesting way to go about an introduction, through an Eastern (Christian) Orthodox perspective. Reviews by readers on Amazon encouraged me further in this direction.
Tom Rehbeck
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just started reading it! From a person who has been discouraged by the Western Church culture, I can see how this book will give me a different, non-religious view of The Way! Have only just begin to read, but feel this book will be one that challenges both my beliefs and non-beliefs! I feel an organic connection to its premise so far!
Mike Simmons
Aug 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
A fun read, if you want to wade through Lao Tzu. Damascene and Seraphim Rose help us see that the eastern religions had a vision of God that is not contrary to what was revealed by Jesus Christ when He entered this world as the Logos and the Way. A nice look into Eastern Orthodox Christianity in China.
Nov 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2010
This is several sections in one book - and I may have ordered the sections differently.

Having said that, each section was fascinating and beautifully written. Many truths are in this excellent book, I will definitely keep it as a re-read.
Arthur Johnson
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The book really changed my life, and set me on such a different path than what I was already on, but one that was so familiar.

Recommended to Christians, Buddhists, or anyone looking for answers.
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Local book discussion.
Elizabeth White
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Have read this several times over the years. It's a book that requires time for contemplation.
Kierstin Butler
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very good read. Thought it was a different kind of read, didn't turn out to be something I personally would WANT to read. But it was very well written.
Ephraim Lawson Bowick
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
May 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
Rather obvious.
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am not ready to properly review this book. For now, it was good. I am glad I read it. I have more thoughts.
I'm interested in reading this now. I have a smaller booklet with parts of it. I got it for my mom once, i think i'll borrow it from her. ;)
A great book on the Chinese philosophy of Tao and the Orthodox Church
Shawn E
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There are precious few books that one returns to again and again. This is one of them.
rated it it was amazing
Sep 09, 2009
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Hieromonk Damascene (secular name John Christensen) is hieromonk of Serbian Orthodox Church, and deputy abbot of St Herman of Alaska Monastery, Platina, California.

Born in 1961 in family with Scandinavian roots. Raised as a nominal Protestant Christian. By the time he began college, however, he believed that the highest spiritual reality was not a personal deity or God, but rather a transpersonal