Danut Manastireanu writes:
Rev. Ovidiu Dorin Druhora, a Romanian Pentecostal serving in Los Angeles, USA, has just published, in Romanian, the result of his doctoral research on Evangelical–Orthodox relations in America. The book, for which the author kindly asked me to write the Afterword, is titled The Case for Dialogue: Protestantism and Orthodoxy [Pledoarie pentru dialog. Protestantism si Ortodoxie] and can be ordered HERE.
Dr. Druhora frames his argument around the triad information, formation, transformation, formulated by David Lochhead, in his book The Dialogical Imperative: A Christian Reflection on Interfaith Encounter.
The author suggests that before we can expect any results from the interaction of Evangelicals and the Orthodox, participants need to start from the Father’s desire for unity, as expressed by Jesus in John 17, and to set their dialogue on the ground of reality, realised through correct information, which presupposes the willingness to eliminate prejudices and wrong perceptions, as well as the memory of past poisoned experiences, whose subconscious power should never be underestimated.
The second step, formation, presupposes that members of the two traditions spend time together in order to assess, based on their common commitment to Christ, both the similarities and the differences between them. That is precisely what LOI is trying to do, by providing opportunities for genuine interaction and fruitful cooperation.
Yet, true ecumenical engagement and spiritual cross fertilization is impossible without the third step, the most mystical of the three, the transformation of hearts and minds, which we may call an ‘ecumenical epiclesis’ which is the work of the Holy Spirit.
In other words, we begin by learning about each other; we continue by knowing well each other and we end up, by God’s grace, being for each other. This is the strong Christian hope that animates Dr Druhora’s work.