Orthodox Christian Doctrine

Dormition of the Theotokos
During the first thousand years following the birth of Christ numerous variant teachings arose attempting to replace Christianity with some religiosity of human invention and convenience. All these variant teachings (heresies) were answered by the Church with the Seven Great Œcumenical Councils. At the first of these Councils in AD 325 at Nicaea the assembled Fathers proclaimed the Creed (fromCredo, I believe) which summarises the True Christian Doctrine. This Nicene Creed as originally formulated is faithfully recited by the Orthodox at the Liturgy in all the churches in all places of Orthodox worship:

I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible:

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; Begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made: Who for us men and our Salvation came down from heaven, And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, And was made man: And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried: And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures: And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father: And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father; Who with the Father and Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the Prophets: And I believe one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church: I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins: And I look for the Resurrection of the dead: And the life of the world to come. Amen.

Orthodox Christian worship is focused on God, not on our own enjoyment, fulfilment, or fellowship. We come into the presence of God with awe, aware of our fallenness and His great mercy. We seek forgiveness and rejoice in the gift of salvation. Orthodox worship is formed by repentance, thanksgiving, and unending praise. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. World without end. Amen.

PLEASE NOTE:  Not all links to the works and articles listed below are still active. The internet is always changing!  If a link fails to work, please search for the work or article online using a Google search or through another search engine.  The articles suggested are still good resources even if they are not present on this website. 

Articles on Orthodox Belief

The Commonitory
By St. Vincent of Lerins, defending Orthodoxy against heresy. Source of the famous quote:

For that is truly and in the strictest sense Catholic, which, as the name itself and the reason of the thing declare, comprehends all universally. This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, consent.

The Destiny of the Race of Man
By George Zgourides:

…theosis is the process whereby man becomes what God originally meant him to be. Man and God must work synergistically to bring about man’s redemption through the Incarnation and subsequent death of our Lord and Savior . And, in the end, deified man will fully commune with God, and participate in His divine energies.

Articles on Orthodox Ecclesiology

The Nature of the Church
A lecture delivered in 1887 by the Rt. Rev. John Franklin Spalding, D.D., Episcopal Missionary Bishop of Colorado and founding Rector of St. Mark’s Church, Denver. Reflects an Orthodox understanding of the Church as one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.
The Church is One
By A.S. Khomiakov:

The unity of the Church follows of necessity from the unity of God; for the Church is not a multitude of persons in their separate individuality, but a unity of the grace of God, living in a multitude of rational creatures, submitting themselves willingly to grace.

Ecclesiology: What is It? Why is It Important?
An article from the now defunct periodical Anglican Orthodox Pilgrim, Vol. 2, No. 4, by Franklin Billerbeck:

How we view, think about, and understand the Church is referred to as ecclesiology. While this may seem like an abstract area best left to academic theologians in seminaries, it is not. It is an area of vital concern to every Christian.

Whither the Branch Theory?
An article from the now defunct periodical Anglican Orthodox Pilgrim, Vol. 2, No. 4, by Fr. Gregory Mathewes-Green:

In the end then, we find the branch theory to be theologically defective, resting as it does on a non-Biblical, non-Patristic ecclesiology, very late in development and believed by a minority of those for whom it was devised.

Problems of Ecclesiology between Anglicans and Orthodox in the Dublin Agreed Statement
An article from the now defunct periodical Anglican Orthodox Pilgrim, Vol. 2, No. 4, by Fr. John Daly:

In a very real sense, our discussion with Anglicans is a sort of tertium quid—neither like the discussions with Roman Catholics nor like those which might be had with Protestant congregationalists. All of this, of course, is grounded fundamentally in the ecclesiology, or lack thereof, which forms the basis of the Anglican Communion.

Links to Offsite Introductions to Orthodox Doctrine

The Orthodox Faith
A series of short articles divided into four sections by Fr. Thomas Hopko, of the Orthodox Church in America.
Orthodox Confession of Faith
The classic catechism by Peter Moghila, published by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, a group not in communion with the Patriarchate of Antioch and the rest of the Patriarchal Orthodox Churches.
The Didache, or the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles
A classic Christian text dating from around AD 100, at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
The Fundamental Teachings of the Orthodox Church
An article by Rev. George Mastrantonis, of Orthodox Ministry ACCESS.
The Basic Sources of the Teachings of the Orthodox Church
An article by Rev. George Mastrantonis, of Orthodox Ministry ACCESS.
The Dogmatic Tradition of the Orthodox Church
An article by His Grace Maximos, Greek Orthodox Bishop of Pittsburgh.
Dogmas and Opinions
An article by Fr. Michael Pomazansky, on His Grace Bishop Alexander’s site.
Revelation and Interpretation
An article on the Orthodox approach to the Bible by Fr. Georges Florovsky.
Tradition in the Orthodox Church
An article by George S. Bebis, Ph.D.
The Stand of the Orthodox Church on Controversial Issues
An article by Rev. Stanley Harakas
The Sacramental Life of the Orthodox Church
An article by Rev. Alciviadis C. Calivas.
The Saints of the Orthodox Church
Another article by George S. Bebis, Ph.D.
What We Believe about the Saints
An article by Anthony Coniaris
The Orthodox Veneration of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary)
An article by St. John Maximovitch of San Francisco