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Turning the Heart to God [Paperback]

The Recluse, St.Theophan , Iona Zhiltsov , Ken Kaisch
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 9.01 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Jan 2001
One of the most profound works on repentance in all of Christendom. St. Theophan, a beloved Orthodox bishop from nineteenth-century Russia, speaks not only from a deep knowledge of the Church Fathers, but also from a lifetime of experience in turning his heart to God-and guiding others on this glorious Way that leads to our salvation. His writings are unique in that he combines centuries of Church wisdom with keen psychological insights for us today. Repentance is not a popular term here in the West, yet it is the cornerstone of the Lord's gospel, and the entrance into God's kingdom. Turning the Heart to God is a manual of true spiritual transformation in a world of often cheap grace . . . a classic book that has the power to change our lives, if we let it.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 131 pages
  • Publisher: Conciliar Press; 1st Edition edition (1 Jan 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888212225
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888212228
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 12.6 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 282,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent 2 Oct 2013
By Fotini
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent book. St. Theophan the Recluse was a very serious theologian, practical and strait to the point. worth it

Arrived on time and in good condition, as described. nothing wring with this order. Everything fine. (nothing else to say but must meet the word limit of this review)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An oustanding book, which clearly explains the path of true spiritual life, emphasising the necessity of watchfulness and warfare. In an era of 'anything goes' we have in our hands an alternative perspective, one which directs us to responsibly abide in the Divine Grace of God.
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I was a pentecostal Christian before, and after much searching I found the One True Church of Christ - the Orthodox Church. All the rich history, tradition, truth and holiness that I was longing for I found.

This book has been so helpful to me. It's nice to read a book by someone who lived for Christ and no for himself or money.

Highly recommended. x
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking yourself deep into tranformation of ones being through devotion 1 July 2010
By Alan B. Cicco - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I cannot say enough about this title. Saint Theophan is a master of writing down how to transform oneself into a vehicle for Christian salvation. He walks you through the process of first awakening to the call to become a Christian. Then setting the mind on the path of sensing the desire to transform your life and finally walking the path. It is not easy nor simple as one thinks. It takes tremendous self determination and desire to become that which most don't seek and avoid if they can because of the lure of sin in one's life.

Theophan talks about the wages of sin in our life and how we live in a daze of sleepy ignorance while following a self serving philosophy. When we decide to live in accordance with God we find that we must take on a burdeon far greater than first thought. We must change at our very core and he explains those transformations and how we deepen our commitment to God and his plan for our life.

Thepohan's use of spoken word to explain and correct our misunderstandings about our views and personal agenda in how we live outside God's real purpose for our complete deliverance from sin and ignroance is beyond excellent. It truly brings across the message in blantant and open manner that creates a perfect method of moving from sin towards grace. It perfetly uses a concrete written form to explain something so abstract as total spiritual transformation to where you feel your very being moving towards grace with each word.

Among the great saints Theophan is given the a title richly deserved by his very personal account of the path towards salvation. This book is one that I can read over and over again gleaming more each time. This title is one that should be given to anyone thinking about taking on the role as a Christian and transforming their lives in accordance to the Way of Christ.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to Follow ~ Deep Theology 19 Dec 2010
By jodie wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was glad to find I could follow this material and not be overwhelmed by the depth of what I was taking in. By covering thins in the format that is used I get the most I could possibly take in chapter by chapter.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Detailed Observation of the Soul 24 July 2014
By Benjamin Cabe - Published on Amazon.com
Turning the Heart to God is a partial translation of Saint Theophan's larger work, The Path to Salvation: A Manuel of Spiritual Transformation. Before reading either of these books it is important to consult your Spiritual Father, as they can be easily misunderstood and misapplied which could lead to demonic delusion. Turning the Heart to God is a book that details varying spiritual conditions, how to recognize them, and how they are healed--this being the case, it must be noted that it is extremely dangerous to preform surgery on yourself and it is thus necessary to have a Spiritual Father to consult before, during, and after reading this book.

A Short Biography of Saint Theophan the Recluse
Saint Theophan the Recluse, born in 1815, just after the Napolean's invasion of Russia in 1812, found himself in the middle of a cultural transition.1 Several years after being ordained a hieromonk (a monk who is also a priest) in 1841, Saint Theophan travelled to Jerusalem where he helped establish a Russian ecclesiastical presence.2 Over the next six years he learned Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, and French, studied the Church Fathers, and stayed in several monasteries on Mount Sinai and Mount Athos. In 1855 he was "raised to the rank of archimandrite"3. Two years later he became the rector of St. Petersburg Theological Academy and two years after that the Bishop of Tambov (1859). Bishop Theophan would later be transferred to oversee the Diocese of Vladimir and Suzdal (1863) and become Father Superior of the Visha Hermitage (1866).4 Regardless of his rapid increase in rank and responsibility, Bishop Theophan's main desire was to live a simple life of seclusion. In 1872 this desire was realized. From then until the end of his life in 1894 he only received a handful of visitors. Saint Theophan corresponded to Spiritual Children by means of letters. "He received twenty to forty letters everyday, and responded to them faithfully."5 In addition to his spiritual guidance and correspondence, he translated into Russian the five volumes of the Philokalia, which took nearly two decades to complete, and a handful of other works.6

Saint Theophan was an intellectual well versed in the Church Fathers and wholly imbued with the mind of the Church. The insights contained in this book are penetratingly deep and occasionally hard to fully grasp. He details, in an almost psychotherapeutic way, the ramifications of deep spiritual slumber and varying degrees of spiritual lethargy. He uses the parable of the prodigal son in a profound manner throughout the entire book in order to illustrate the means of coming to yourself (waking), decided to get out of bed and do something (determination/resolve), and actually doing something (action). He dissects each of these phases, where people get caught or stuck, and how to get out of the mire in which you may find yourself. The entire book is composed of subthemes based on these three phases. This book is an observation of man's soul and the things that lurk there. Saint Theophan's main goal in writing it is revealed in the title of the whole work: The Path to Salvation: A Manuel of Spiritual Transformation. I would highly recommend this book provided, of course, that you speak to your Spiritual Father prior to reading it.

Review originally published on www.BenCabe.com/blog


1. Turning the Heart to God, xiii.
2. ibid, xxiv
3. ibid, xxv
4. ibid, xxvi
5. ibid, xxxi
6. ibid, xxxii
5.0 out of 5 stars 2nd most important book of my life 8 Jun 2014
By M. Collins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For me, this little book describes the central tenets of Christianity and is a must,must read for any serious Christian.
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