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Touching Heaven: Discovering Orthodox Christianity on the Island of Valaam
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Touching Heaven: Discovering Orthodox Christianity on the Island of Valaam


Ancient Faith Publishing 2003

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


Touching Heaven tells the story of John Oliver, a young evangelical American on a journey of discovery that leads him to an ancient Russian monastery on the Island of Valaam, a place of peace and a place of struggle. There on Valaam, he encounters Orthodox Christianity and is reminded that the Christian life is not for the faint of heart. And on Valaam, the treasure of stillness requires a fierce guarding.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Provides a comprehensive introduction to Orthodox Christianity
  • Explains key ideas about the Orthodox Church
  • Presents insights into the journey of faith


  • Entering Wonder
  • Tapestry and Family
  • Fumbling Toward Faith
  • Awakening to Orthodoxy
  • From Routine to Russia
  • Salvation and Sweat
  • The Rhythm of Vigilance, the Pulse of Prayer
  • Monk for a Day
  • “Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There!”
  • Raphael: Astonishment
  • John the Baptist: Suddenness
  • Farewell
  • From Eternity to Here
  • Poverty
  • Chastity
  • Obedience
  • Stability
  • The Story

Praise for the Print Edition

Touching Heaven is a lovely book, quiet and contemplative, and full of peaceful revelations.

—Frederica Mathewes-Green, author, Facing East

A gripping . . . account of what drew John Oliver into the deep waters of Christianity and made him an Orthodox Christian.

—Jim Forest, international secretary, Orthodox Peace Fellowship

Product Details

About John Oliver

John Oliver is the priest of St. Elizabeth Orthodox Christian Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. A graduate of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, he is now an instructor there in Old and New Testament, and American Religious History.