Thursday, March 7, 2013

Orthodox Thursday: Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven

Why are we here on this earth? Is there more to this life than this? These and many others are questions that man struggles with in this world. Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven attempts to answer these questions and provide an introduction to the Christian life. This book was written by St. Innocent of Alaska, who not only developed an alphabet (Aleut) for natives in Alaska, but also had the Bible and other religious works translated into this language. That's some effective evangelism!

There are only four chapters in this book, but each chapter gets progressively longer as the information becomes deeper. In the first chapter, the reader (presumably a new Christian) learns about the blessings we gained from Jesus' death. This is something the seasoned Christian will already know, but it is definitely essential for the new Christian to know that it is only through Jesus' death that we can receive forgiveness of sins and the eternal reward of Heaven. We do not gain either of those by our own power.

We then move onto a chapter about how Jesus lived and suffered. This is followed by a chapter that discusses the way to Heaven. In one word, it's Jesus. That is the simple answer, but we must deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow Him. That is easier said than done. The last chapter deals with how Jesus helps us and that is through the Holy Spirit. However, we can only receive the Holy Spirit through purity of heart, humility, listening to the voice of God, prayer, daily self-denial, reading and listening to the Holy Scripture, and the sacraments, especially the Eucharist.

This is a great little book for the beginning Christian or possibly even someone questioning Christianity or considering conversion to Christianity. Don't let it's size fool you though. It is packed with information, and each chapter contains questions to reflect upon which provide further assistance. Even the person who has been a Christian all their life will find merit in reading this book. I wish I had read this book in my late teens/early twenties. So pick up this 5 star book from Holy Trinity Publications today!