Foreword - The Faith of the First Millennium
Whatever we may think of the events surrounding the Year 2000, there is certainly
no doubt that this year signals a turning-point in human history. For it comes at
the end of the bloodiest century in human history, after two European-instigated
World Wars and unspeakable genocides in Russia, China and many other parts of the
world. It comes after a Cold War in which the world waited to be annihiliated in
nuclear apocalypse. And, as a result, for many this new millennium represents a
time of new crises and deep foreboding - eco-apocalypse, asteroids crashing into
the Earth, the millennium bug, plagues of new and incurable diseases, the appearance
of genetic monsters, mad sects, all manner of phenomena, both real and fictitious,
devised by human invention and human imagination. There are now many who believe
that the end of humanity will come soon, within our lifetimes, at the beginning of
this 'New Age' of the Third Millennium, during the Twenty First Century.
Amid the frenzy of modern life, these apocalyptic strains in current thought
have sobered many into seeking out the origins of the Year 2000. And this has meant
seeking Him who was born over 2000 years ago, at the beginning of the First Millennium,
Christ. And whoever mentions Christ and the First Millennium is bound to think of the
For it is a fact that the Orthodox Church alone guarded the Faith of the First
Millennium through all the long centuries of assaults and temptations of the Second
Millennium. And it is now She Who bears that selfsame Faith in the Third Millennium.
For the Orthodox Church alone guarded the original Christian Creed unchanged, resisting
the transformations of Christianity undergone in Western Europe, withstanding both the
deformations of the Middle Ages and of the Reformation, and of Modern Times. And it is
Her unchanging Orthodox Christian Faith of the First Millennium which now seems so
relevant and needful as we enter the Third Millennium. For how can we live in this age
of apocalyptic strain, if our lives do not have a basis in unchanging Christian Faith?
It is our belief that to confess Orthodox Christianity is to believe in the possibility
of reversing the whole sweep and tide of error in the Second Millennium of Western
history. And to confess this unchanging Christian Faith is to return to Truth and
Mercy, to Wisdom and Love, to the path of the Saints. It is to seek and to find the
Lighted Way, which alone will lead us safely home to our inevitable and now ever more
pressing appointment with Destiny, with our God and Maker.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Father Andrew Phillips
St Edmund's Tide 1999
More details of the book "The Lighted Way" and where to buy it, can be found on
The English Orthodox Trust page of this site.