'All Protestants are Crypto-Papists...To use the concise language of algebra, all the West knows but one datum a; whether it be preceded by the positive sign +, as with the Romanists, or with the negative -, as with the Protestants, the a remains the same. Now a passage to Orthodoxy seems indeed like an apostasy from the past, from its science, creed, and life. It is rushing into a new and unknown world.' - Alexis Khomiakov
I'm reading (again) the book The Orthodox Church by Bishop Kallistos Ware. This book is split into two parts, the first is history and the second is a short overview of Orthodox theology. The theology gets expanded in his other book, The Orthodox Way, which I have also read multiple times. :)
Anyway. I really like this first quote from the introduction. I think it really does express a certain level of truth about the difference between the West and the East. It's not even so much about Roman Catholic v. Orthodox, though that was the 'beginning' certainly. But since Protestantism grew out of Roman Catholicism they share certain patterns of thought. Certain focuses and concerns. There's a very Western, scientific drive to understand and quantify and know things in detailed and controllable ways that drives, in my opinion, much of Western theological thinking.
Now a Protestant and a Roman Catholic (or even varying flavours of Protestant) may ask the same question and get different answers. They do, obviously, most of the time. :) But because of the thinkers that they learn from. Because of their traditions of thought they do ask the same questions.
Orthodoxy though doesn't share the same thought patterns. The questions themselves are different. It's an almost entirely different way of looking at the world. The neat thing is (or at least I've found this to be true) that you can study Orthodox theology and keep going, 'Well, yeah! That's what I've thought/believed all along.' Even if sometimes you couldn't quite put it into words. Or you come across things that didn't quite click before and they're explained slightly differently, maybe with a different emphasis or a different understanding of the meaning behind it and it makes perfect sense.