’s Revelation Of Life Eternal Essay, Research Paper

A Review of Revelation of Life Eternal Nicholas Arseniev was a professor of New

Testament and Apologetics at St. Vladimir?s He wrote over 174 articles and

books and died in 1977. His Revelation of Life Eternal is described as ?an

introduction to the Christian message.? It pulls together many different

mystic perceptions and beliefs, and it is an excellent entry into the diverse

world of Christian Mysticism. The introduction quickly pulls the reader in by

asking several basic questions about why religion even exists at all. These

questions are first answered with broad answers, then Arseniev focuses on why

Christian Mysticism is the answer to these questions: ?We have to believe in

God, because this is Truth–life-giving Truth His Reality is something very

earnest, very real: it is the only true Reality And He has to meet us, or rather

we have to meet Him, for He meets us at every step? (8). This book is

especially valuable to those of us who have little or no knowledge of Christian

mysticism. It is broken into two parts, and each part is divided into chapters.

Many of the chapters follow the pattern of the introduction by asking a broad

question first, then defining it within the terms of the beliefs of the mystics.

Basic Biblical stories are reviewed through easily comprehended but not

patronizing language, allowing the reader to learn the background information

for the beliefs of Christian Mysticism. The many sources consulted for the

information shared in this book allows the reader to have some faith in what is

being read. Many saints, religious books, and scholars are quoted, thus

supporting the theories posed. The first chapter ?Principles of Religious

Cognition? explains why religion is indeed necessary and why humans are

naturally drawn to question things that religion alone can answer. From proving

this basic need for religion, Arseniev has a platform to prove his personal

religious beliefs–those of Christian Mysticism. A few chapters later some of

the problems in early and false religions are explored. As each different issue

is dismantled, he is able to set up the premise of Christian Mysticism, which

has lasted for hundreds of years–contrasting this with religions that have

fallen. Plato is explored, thus pulling in platonic and neoplatonic beliefs,

which have become integral part of contemporary mysticism and influenced many of

the sources with which Arseniev refers. Christ?s importance is explored in

chapters about the Transfiguration, Resurrection, and Atonement–three of the

basic supporting factors within Christian Mysticism. The book is wrapped up with

chapters about the importance of God?s humility and love, most importantly

God?s ultimate love for us. I enjoyed this book for many reasons. The language

is easy to understand, but it is beautiful and descriptive at the same time. I

had little knowledge of Christian Mysticism before reading this book, so I found

it to be an excellent introduction. As I read each chapter, the questions posed

persuaded me to continue reading, because I became very interested in the

answers to the questions. The questions were answered using reputable sources

and answers that appealed to common sense and experience. I was actually

surprised by how interested I became in the Orthodox church. This book appealed

to the knowledge I already had of different religious beliefs, thus pointing out

that Mysticism indeed could affect my life directly and keeping my interest high

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the Orthodox

church but has little past experience with it. Nicholas Arseniev?s book

Revelation of Life Eternal is an excellent introduction to the basic beliefs

within Christian Mysticism. It gives the beliefs and the history of religion in

general before focusing on the development of Christian Mysticism. It is an

excellent source of information on Christian Mysticism for anyone who has little

or know knowledge of the subject beforehand.


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