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Unread 08-05-2017, 04:39 PM   #1
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Article about what the (ordained) priesthood means in Orthodox Christianity

Hey folks,

I shared this on my journal, but I wanted to share it with the wider audience of Theology as well.

This article was written by Father Lawrence Farley, who is the pastor of my parish's 'mother church' (i.e. the church that planted mine), St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church in Langley, BC.

A handful of times, when I've spoken to Evangelicals of various stripes, they balk when I mention 'my priest, Fr. So-and-so'. The thought goes - Jesus is our High Priest, and we share in His priesthood as members of the priesthood of believers. This leads to a bunch more questions: don't y'all believe in the priesthood of believers? The short answer is of course we do.

The longer answer is this article. Though it does touch on a number of other points. In particular, Fr. Lawrence discusses a more nuanced and theologically astute understanding of the saying that I've heard in some Evangelical circles that 'Christianity is not a religion'. Fr. Lawrence concurs (ultimately concurs with another classic Orthodox author, Fr. Alexander Schmemmann, whom he cites).

Enjoy.

https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/nooth...istian-clergy/

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Unread 08-05-2017, 04:42 PM   #2
and you were wondering??
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I'm about to go to bed, but am eager to read this later!
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Unread 08-06-2017, 03:53 PM   #3
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I look forward to your (and anyone elses) thoughts.

As you can no doubt tell, our concept of what the presbyterate' and episcopate (the more accurate translation of 'priesthood') do is kind of inherently tied up in our sacramentology - to wit, what is actually happening upon the altar during the Divine Liturgy (or Mass, in the case of the Roman church, especially when it could still be called properly Orthodox). What is the nature of the anamnesis being celebrated? Does the presbyter stand as an icon of Christ in the Heavenly Tabernacle, re-presenting at once His finished death on Calvary and his heavenly intercessions before the Father, as is the Orthodox understanding? As Fr. Lawrence puts it, does the presbyter 'offer by anamnesis the one true sacrifice of Christ?

These are all things upon which Fr. Lawrence's article stands or falls. Obviously, you all know where I come down. I hope this article at least paints the conclusions we make and some of the vocabulary we use as reasonable given our assumptions, even if you happen to disagree with our assumptions (and if you do, then by all means, let's talk about that).
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