May God bless your travels and seeking. Don’t neglect to pack your armor, sword and all.

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After shopping in the spiritual supermarket of the 1960s and 70s, I eventually found my way to what I consider to be the most valuable eastern influence and reality. That is the eastern orthodox church of which I have been a member now for 40 years. Within it, I have found an inexhaustible repository of truth and beauty. I’m pushing 80 now and very thankful for Eastern Othodoxy’s theology, based on the teachings of the apostles and defined more clearly by the ecumenical councils and teachings of the saints, through the ages.

Enjoy your time, Spencer!

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I think it is wise not to discount the beliefs and teachings found in the East entirely. If we are here to journey toward the image of God within us, to steal from Andrew, I think it's entirely possible for other cultures to have done so and discovered truths we haven't, even if they did so on a path seemingly separate to Christianity. God is mysterious to us in so many ways, I think it would be a mistake to dismiss other religions as entirely wrong. Enjoy your trip, Spencer!

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I guess this means Andrew will be shadow boxing in a literary sense. At his age, don’t be surprised if he starts answering his own letters!

Have a great trip! I look forward to any new insights you have on the other religions.

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Spencer writes: “Is it possible that the West, exhausted and aged as it is, caught up in the maniacal intricacies of its own self-destruction, could look for simplicity to the East, where the sun always rises anew? Could it be the God with whom we think we’re too familiar has been working incognito there, a stranger in disguise?”

This evokes three things for me.

1. The elder Klavan’s account in The Great Goid Thing of his Zen encounter

2. Yes. Familiarity breeds contempt or perhaps, at least, indifference and the state of being “lukewarm”. Mike Card has commented that we should never assume we know what the Bible will say next, for example. Fresh translations and an informed imagination help. Hmm, imagination--methinks C. S. Lewis would approve.

3. Speaking of CSL, he spoke of the “rum thing” that in Christianity was the myth among all the pagan mythologies that actually was fully true and had happened in historical reality. The others may contain hints of truth which echo the real thing. And of course there’s the CSL analogy of God invading in disguise the “enemy territory” of our earthly realm.

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