West of Jesus
This was an interview with Regina Orthodox Press (ROP), the book's publisher:
ROP: What exactly inspired you to write West of Jesus?
Anthony: Prior to becoming an Orthodox Christian, in 1999, I prided myself in being adept in various belief systems; Western Christianity, Eastern religions, the occult, but had never even heard of Orthodox Christianity.
ROP: Really? How did you find out about the Holy Apostolic Church?
Anthony: I read a book by Kyriakos Markides, Riding with the Lion: In Search of Mystical Christianity; the concept of mysticism and Christianity fascinated me. And, I might add, the book changed my life.
ROP: How so?
Anthony: I began writing one of the book's protagonists, a Metropolitan Athanasius in Cyprus, and he sent me many books on Church Fathers and Saints. One of these, Orthodox Psychotherapy (by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos) showed me that Orthodox Christianity was indeed our interior hospital and that the Lord Jesus Christ was our Supreme Spiritual Physician.
ROP: And where did this lead you?
Anthony:I was intoduced to an elder from Mount Athos, an Archimandrite Paisios, and under him I became a catechumen [in the Orthodox Christian Church this is about a year of intense study that preceeds baptism -ed.]. I was then baptized by Elder Paisios (now my spiritual father), but I still experienced frustration with the previous lack of knowledge about Orthodox Christianity, Church Fathers, councils, and canons. All of these were foreign and I scoured book after book, scribbling hundreds of pages of notes. From this I could humble myself and adopt the wisdom of Church Fathers (as opposed to personal opinion) and the seeds of the book emerged. I was driven to share the teachings of Christ's first century Church and to expose just how far Protestantism had deviated from the Faith delivered once and for all to the saints (Jude 1:3).
ROP: Glory to God and thank you for allowing us to publish this fine work.