Author: Archpriest Josiah Trenham
This book has been written for three purposes. First, to provide the Orthodox reader with a competent overview of the history of Protestantism and its major traditions, from its beginnings in the 16th century to the present day. This overview relies heavily upon the Reformer s own words as well as the creeds of various Protestant faiths, in order to avoid misrepresentation and caricature. Second, to acquaint Orthodox and non-Orthodox readers with a narrative of the historical relations between the Orthodox East and the Protestant West. Finally, to provide a summary of Ortho- dox theological opinion on the tenets of Protestantism.
The saying that schism breeds schism continues to create an ever expanding corpus of churches, all birthed at the time of the Protestant Reformation, which have their roots in the teachings of various reformers of Christianity. In the pages of this book an informed scholar/pastor has made the complexities of these 16th century creators of new doctrines understandable to those readers who were formed in these traditions and those who, being Orthodox Christians, have no previous exposure to them. This book is a great resource for parish priests and students of missiology.
--Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, Chancellor, St. Vladimir s Seminary, New York
Rock and Sand is a critique of the major Protestant denominations written by The Very Rev. Josiah Trenham, Ph.D. In this work, Fr. Josiah presents historical background on each of the various denominations, their specific theological tenets, their opposition to the teachings of the Holy Fathers and the Tradition of the undivided Christian Church, and the author s refutation thereof according to Holy Orthodoxy.
Father Josiah is a serious scholar; his well-documented research confirms this. He is also an incredible pastor; his presentation is oriented toward and well-suited for the parish setting. This book will be of great value to clergy in their preparation of catechumens from Protestant backgrounds. It will also be of great assistance to our laypeople, helping them to understand their own Tradition and enabling them to defend the Orthodox Faith in response to the teachings of the various Reformers.
--Rt. Rev. MICHAEL (Duhalich), Ph.D. Bishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey
Posted by Richard (Andrew) Cervin on 20th Jun 2016
Fr. Josiah Trenham’s Rock and Sand is a very good book, a fair assessment of Protestant history, doctrines, and practices. The book is very easy to read (it is not dry and stodgy as many history books unfortunately are), although Fr. Josiah doesn’t mince words.
From the perspective of Orthodoxy, Fr. Josiah provides a brief history and critical examination of the three major Reformers – Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin – along with the sectarian movements they each inspired; the Anglican church; the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation; and how these various Protestant movements have impacted the contemporary religious atmosphere in the USA. Fr. Josiah covers a lot of ground, but he does it very well.
For Orthodox who know little or nothing of Protestantism, or who are having increased contact with Protestants as inquirers into Orthodoxy, Fr. Josiah’s book is a must read. It will help them immensely to understand in general where Protestants are coming from.
For Protestants who sense that something is missing from their spiritual experience and who are sincerely looking to deepen their faith, they will likely get a lot out of the book; however, those Protestants who are already defensive about their “own turf” or who just don’t care about history or theology will probably be offended by it.
In characterizing Evangelicals in particular, Fr. Josiah says that they “are so a-historical, so radically detached from the historic Christian ethos that an organic association even with their own Protestant lineage is too much of a chronological and dogmatic commitment” (p. 223). Fr. Josiah’s characterization here is spot on, and goes a long way in explaining Evangelicals’ enduring and unfortunate antipathy towards history, even their own.
Additionally, I have read the 16th century correspondence between the Lutheran theologians and Patriarch Jeremiah II (Augsburg and Constantinople, translated by George Mastrantonis, 1982), and it is very gratifying that Fr. Josiah has included the 1672 Confession of Dositheos, Patriarch of Jerusalem, in which he lays out Orthodox doctrinal positions as opposed to the Reformers’ (mis)understandings. Fr. Josiah shows that contact between the Reformers and the Orthodox was much more extensive than is commonly thought, and it makes me wonder how Christianity in the West might have developed had the Reformers not been so blinded by their mutual hatred of Rome, and at times, of each other; if they had instead been more open to hearing the voices from the East.
Posted by Fr Chris Williamson on 14th Jun 2016
This book provided a very informative and well documented review of the major Reformers from Luther to Calvin and beyond to the modern era.
There is extensive material on the personal lives of the Reformers weaved together with their "theology"
It was a surprise to learn the extent of the communication between The Orthodox Church and the Reformers. I had not known this.
I would definitely recommend this book to Pastors to add to their library. Laymen too.
The book is written in an "easy to read" style while being scholarly.
All prices are in USD.