The Church's Identity

Established through Images according to Saint John Chrysostom


by Protopresbyter Gus George Christo


Paperback (March 2006)

ISBN: 1-933275-05-7

Price: $22.95 + S&H (USD)


Since the topic of ecclesiology is central to current theological dialogues, the rich ecclesiological doctrine of St. John Chrysostom provides an invaluable contribution to such discussions. This work establishes Chrysostom's conception of the Church through various human, social and natural images. The unquestionably scriptural nature of Chrysostom's imagery offers a clear perception of the Church's origins, connections with the Old Testament, and its relationship to the Triune God, the Saints and Martyrs of both Covenants, humanity and creation in general. All things are renewed in the unconquerable Church of God. This new creation embodies the apostolic faith in Jesus Christ, the correct manner of worshipping God and interpreting Scripture, and has christological and apostolic roots. Furthermore, the Church's blameless, virtuous, orderly and sacramental character, its oneness, nobility, heavenly setting and way of life, its exclusion of all sin, heresies and the devil, and its positive and saving effects upon people and the cosmos, are all concretely revealed and experienced in the local Church under the oversight of a canonical, orthodox bishop.



Father Gus George Christo is a Greek Orthodox Priest under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. He is currently Pastor of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Wilmington, Delaware. A graduate of the University of Virginia, Fr. Christo earned a B.A. in Religious Studies and a Minor in Biology. He contributed to medical research at the Department of Plastic Surgery as a Lab Technician-B. He also received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Theology (Patristics) from the University of Durham in England under the tutelage of the eminent Orthodox Patristic Theologian, the Reverend Professor George D. Dragas, Ph.D., D.D. A specialist on St. John Chrysostom, Father Christo continues to translate, write, lecture and publish on the life and works of this Father of the Church. Fr. Christo was ordained a priest by the late Metropolitan Silas of New Jersey at the Greek Orthodox Shrine Church of St. Nicholas in Flushing, New York, where he served for one and a half years. Afterward, he was transferred to the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Lansing, Michigan. During his seven year pastorate there he received the ecclesiastical offikia of Stavrophoros Economos and Father Confessor. He served as Greek Orthodox Chaplain at Michigan State University, episcopal representative to the Governor of Michigan, and On-Call Chaplain at Sparrow Hospital. He published two scholarly books on St. John Chrysostom: St. John Chrysostom on Repentance and Almsgiving (Fathers of the Church Series, vol. 96, The Catholic University of America Press, 1998) and Martyrdom According to St. John Chrysostom: To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain (The Edwin Mellen Press, 1997). He recently published a book on Orthodox Liturgy: The Consecration of a Greek Orthodox Church according to Eastern Orthodox Tradition: A Detailed Account and Explanation of the Ritual (The Edwin Mellen Press, 2005). He has also published several articles and lenten sermons. The highlight of his ministry was his reception of a sacred relic (bone fragment) of St. John Chrysostom from Pope John Paul II during a personal audience in Rome in 1998. He has followed this milestone with the publication of a video on St. John Chrysostom, which he served as text consultant, contributor and participant, entitled THE SAINTS, St. John Chrysostom, “They Called Him Golden Mouth” (Ellinas Multimedia Presentation, 2003). Fr. Christo served as dean and pastor of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Norfolk, Virginia from 1999–2004. On December 14, 2003, Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey consecrated the Cathedral's Chapel of St. Theodore the Commander and bestowed upon Fr. Christo the offikion of Protopresbyter.