Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Salvation by grace in Orthodox theology


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Todd G

Todd G

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 22 posts

Posted 22 May 2012 - 03:37 PM

the other day a protestant freind asked me something that must get asked of orthodox everyday around the world. He aksed of the orthodox believe in salvation by grace alone. I told him that I could not image the cappadocian fathers using the word "alone" vis a vis salvation by grace, but that since salvation by grace is certainly part of the Pauline set of ideas, and part of the gospels, that it must have a place in orthodoxy, just not singled out as a hand held dogma that can be taken apart from other things. I told him I would ask here and see what came of it. thoughts?

#2 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,028 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 22 May 2012 - 04:17 PM

There is a lot of comment on this question in this section of the forum. The Orthodox position is well explained here: http://orthodoxinfo....rios_works.aspx

(We do not, of course, have 'thoughts' on such matters - we refer to the teachings of the Church through scripture and the Holy Fathers.)

#3 Steve Roche

Steve Roche

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 201 posts

Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:00 PM

THe GRACE teaching has gone through a revolution in modern Protestant churches. Many churches are focusing on Grace in an extraordinary way. Grace has now replaced "born-again" as the new catchphrase. We humans are very fickle :) I am sure Orthodoxy offers the best solution to this fad.

#4 Owen Jones

Owen Jones

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,341 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:16 PM

In Orthodoxy, salvation is earned through living a life of virtue.

#5 Herman Blaydoe

Herman Blaydoe

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,157 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:25 PM

I don't know that "earned" is a useful word. Might I suggest that in Orthodoxy, salvation is GAINED through living a life of virtue through Christ?

#6 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,028 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:30 PM

'Virtue' must mean the Christian notion of virtue; that is, the motive for the virtue should be love (cf 1 Corinthians 13:3).

#7 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,028 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 23 May 2012 - 07:41 AM

Andreas, you are being childish.


What I had in mind was the importance of distinguishing the world's concept of virtue, of being a good person - social activism, if you will - and the Christian concept of virtue as showing love for one's neighbour. The world sees people as individuals but that is false. The Christian is commanded to love his neighbour as himself. This is to dwell in Trinitarian love since man is created in God's image and likeness. Christ took upon Himself human nature which must mean that human nature is an ontological unity, not a collection of individual hypostases. As Elder Sophrony of Essex puts it:

"'Our brother is our life', the Staretz often said. Through Christ's love all men become an inseparable part of our own individual, eternal existence. The Staretz began to understand the commandment, 'Love thy neighbour as thyself' as something more than an ethical imperative. In the word as he saw an indication, not of a required degree of love but of an onotological community of being." (Saint Silouan the Athonite, p 47.)

#8 Steve Roche

Steve Roche

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 201 posts

Posted 23 May 2012 - 08:22 AM

The Staretz began to understand the commandment, 'Love thy neighbour as thyself' as something more than an ethical imperative. In the word as he saw an indication, not of a required degree of love but of an onotological community of being."


That is different. I don’t think you mean it this way; but the concept touches on oriental mysticism (or esotericism). “All are one and one are all…” These concepts were not thought of in the 4th century (as far as I know). The Nicene trinity was difficult enough to explain to believers. Constantine could not even convince his son of the idea, who later became an Arian. The Cappadocian Fathers helped to teach the trinity with dignity.

Origen and Gregory of Nyssa possibly touched on similar themes of onotological unity in their universalism teachings, for Gregory was well acquainted with Origen, and he extended many of Origen’s teachings on man’s tripartite nature and the existence of the soul in the “image of God”. The fathers spoke more about the “economy” of the trinity more so than the onotological unity. Thank goodness!

#9 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,028 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 23 May 2012 - 09:13 AM

I hope it is not different. I don't 'mean' anything - I was quoting a contemporary Father. That human nature is one is based on scripture and long-standing patristic and conciliar authority.

'And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad'. (John 11:52)

'Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.' (Eph. 4:25)

That human nature is ‘omoousios’ or consubstantial is the dogma of the Church, and Christ’s human nature is likewise ‘omoousios' with our nature (Fourth Ecumenical Council). There is no fragmentation: man has a single nature (St Maximus the Confessor, Centuries on Love, 2, 30; St Silouan quoted in St Silouan the Athonite, p 108).

It is sin and vice which separate man one from another (cf St Maximus the Confessor, Centuries on Love 4,17).

It should be mentioned that the virtue of love for all includes the departed for whom the Church provides by prayers and commemoration in the Divine Liturgy.

Edited by Andreas Moran, 23 May 2012 - 10:04 AM.


#10 Owen Jones

Owen Jones

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,341 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 23 May 2012 - 01:41 PM

The perichoresis within the Trinity applies to mankind as well, only by degrees. There is a tension between being created each with his own soul and free will and noetic potential, etc., as well as the need to live one's own life and the duties that are attached to that, vs. the spiritual realities that bind us all together, believers and unbelievers, as created beings, and each and every human being experiences both poles of this tension. The Orthodox way is to see this not as contradiction or opposites. So individuality is not something that needs to be overcome or eliminated by being fused into some kind of universal psyche, and certainly not through some kind of political or social experiment. But it is true that we really do not have an individuality per se. In the most fundamental sense there is no such thing as an individual "I." So there is a tension, which is not something to be overcome but rather lived in the right balance by participating in both poles of existence.

As for anger and even violence among Christians, I think one must avoid the temptation to view it in relativistic terms. Blasphemy should engender some ire on the part of the faithful. I do not see myself in the position of being able to pontificate on the issue of internecine warfare among Christians, as if somehow I am in a position to look down on it from on high, particularly with respect to conflicts during the Patristic period. Christ did not promise us peaceful coexistence. Every time I see one of those "coexist" bumper stickers I want to ram my car into it!

#11 Owen Jones

Owen Jones

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,341 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 23 May 2012 - 01:42 PM

Of course, I am probably being childish and insecure.

#12 Mary Lanser

Mary Lanser

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 203 posts

Posted 23 May 2012 - 05:37 PM

The perichoresis within the Trinity applies to mankind as well, only by degrees. There is a tension between being created each with his own soul and free will and noetic potential, etc., as well as the need to live one's own life and the duties that are attached to that, vs. the spiritual realities that bind us all together, believers and unbelievers, as created beings, and each and every human being experiences both poles of this tension. The Orthodox way is to see this not as contradiction or opposites. So individuality is not something that needs to be overcome or eliminated by being fused into some kind of universal psyche, and certainly not through some kind of political or social experiment. But it is true that we really do not have an individuality per se. In the most fundamental sense there is no such thing as an individual "I." So there is a tension, which is not something to be overcome but rather lived in the right balance by participating in both poles of existence.

As for anger and even violence among Christians, I think one must avoid the temptation to view it in relativistic terms. Blasphemy should engender some ire on the part of the faithful. I do not see myself in the position of being able to pontificate on the issue of internecine warfare among Christians, as if somehow I am in a position to look down on it from on high, particularly with respect to conflicts during the Patristic period. Christ did not promise us peaceful coexistence. Every time I see one of those "coexist" bumper stickers I want to ram my car into it!


You were starting to sound very Zen today Owen...Till you reached the last paragraph, where I realized that you are still fully and thoroughly Christian!! <Grin>...

In Christ,

M.

#13 Owen Jones

Owen Jones

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,341 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 24 May 2012 - 07:10 PM

I'm surprised I have not been rebuked for #4. I really do not see that as the Orthodox way at all.

#14 Steve Roche

Steve Roche

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 201 posts

Posted 24 May 2012 - 07:41 PM

I hope it is not different. I don't 'mean' anything - I was quoting a contemporary Father. That human nature is one is based on scripture and long-standing patristic and conciliar authority.


Phrased like this it is not so different. The orthodoxy quotes are impressive; although I misunderstood at first.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users