Posted 29 November 2011 - 02:20 PM
This is a very good book. It is a bit dated to the extent that it describes and analyzes specific movements and events that were occurring in America around the time the book was written (1970s). However, the phenomenon Fr. Seraphim observed then has only mushroomed since the time of writing this, and his general observations and comments regarding the various movements and events of his time are equally applicable to the New Age, Eastern (non-Christian), and Charismatic phenomena that we see in our own times. Fr. Seraphim’s critique of these movements from an Orthodox perspective, his comments regarding the distinctiveness of the Orthodox life and faith in contrast to these various movements, and his observations regarding where these movements are ultimately leading, are just as invaluable today as when they were written. Because the book was written a few decades ago, it is important to read just to see how much more enmeshed our entire society has become in the “New Spirituality” of which he speaks.
Regarding the Charismatic movement, one should also read the comments of Elder Cleopa of Romania in his book “The Truth of Our Faith” on the subject. Elder Cleopa makes some very valuable observations and is essentially in agreement with Fr. Seraphim regarding the origin of the phenomena observed in this movement