Wonder as the Beginning of Faith
Foreword by Christos Yannaras:
The author of this book, Maxim Vasiljevic, the most beloved bishop of Los Angeles, manages in this book a special (dare I say ecclesial) type of writing: He does not write to teach or to make known opinions, views, acquired information, or wise conclusions from the study of wise texts bequeathed to us by the Fathers of the Church. In short, he does not write to incite or facilitate the understanding of ecclesial truth or teaching. He is not interested in informing the reader. The aim and purpose of the writing here is to build a relationship of communion with the reader, to invite him to touch the empirical truth of the Church, and to make him a participant in these empirical touches.
I would dare to say the the "logic" of this book is to transmit experience and not just understanding-- that is, to work with the dynamics of poetry, not with the logic of the presentation of ideas. For example, the poet Odysseas Elytis writes: "What I know not glows within me. And yet it glows." I would say that this phrase is the clearest possible formulation of empirical and not just intellectual knowledge.
This book of Bishop Maxim ravishes and captivates, not because it "informs" us about the genesis of the ecclesial faith, but because it "leads us by the hand" to this faith, in the way that the language of art transmits the immediacy of experience.