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Unread 10-19-2017, 08:49 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by athanatos View Post
This is a good point. While the Reformers were convinced that the RCC was in error, Protestants were on the whole considering themselves as maintaining the banner of truth, with little to no debate over whether the Greeks needed to be included in their movement. From this standpoint, Protestants were decidedly Latin.

However, I think you're overstating how much they wanted to throw off Tradition and only focus on Scripture. Sola Scriptura did not mean "ignore the patristics" or "forget the tradition of reading." I think we can explain the overstatement as an anachronistic reading of anti-tradition evangelicals onto the early modern Protestants.

I can send you some excerpts of Francis Turretin's systematic theology, where he basically follows the following format: question, clarification, Scripture, (reason,) patristics, medievals, contemporary debate. He was a Swiss Protestant Scholastic (1623-1687) and his systematic theology was a staple at Old Princeton seminary. I heartily recommend him, and I think he is a pretty clear counter-example to thinking that Sola Scriptura means that Scripture was the only rule for doctrine and practice even during the Reformation.
True, I suppose I am superimposing modern fundamentalism onto Sola Scriptura. I suppose, though, one of the by-products of Sola Scriptura and the weakening of the authority of the Church's to definitively pronounce upon doctrinal matters, is that everyone can define Sola Scriptura for himself.

It occurs to me that I've heard of a book on this matter - The Shape of Sola Scriptura by Keith Mathison. Have you heard of it, and would you recommend it?

Quote:
Do you think the Christian tent is big enough to include "the errors of St. Augustine"? In other words, from your vantage, is the Reformation no more theologically significant than, say, the split between the Latter Day Saints and the Community of Christ? (They are both so erroneous that neither side of the split maintains orthodoxy unto salvation)
That's a tough question. I'm going to try to answer it, but the answer may not be very satisfying to you.

Augustine lived a very holy life, after his conversion. Nevertheless, the Orthodox Church has significant reservations about him, based on several things,

- a kind of dualism present in his thinking, influenced by his former delusion (Manicheaism)
- the fact that much of his anthropology seems to be based on an erroneous Latinized reading of the Greek of Romans 5 (briefly: Augustine's Latin translation (via St. Jerome) of Romans 5: 12 read "unum hominem ... in quo omnes peccaverunt" - "one man...in whom all sinned" whereas the Greek reads "ef ho pantes hemarton" - "because all sinned") his seeming denial of synergy, i.e. that the human will cooperates with the grace of God, stemming from his view of the human will as totally darkened.

The thing is, we believe that a person can be holy and still be wrong. So it is with Augustine. Unfortunately, the Latin church, in failing to let their doctrine be in adequate conversation with the Greek-speaking East, took Augustine's teaching and ran with it... in a direction we have major problems with.

I don't know if it's possible to reconcile Augustinian soteriology and anthropology with that of the Greek East. I suspect not, but that's for our hierarchs to decide in their discussions with the Roman church, not me.

As to the central point of your question - whether those who profess Augustinian soteriology can be within the "pale of orthodoxy", as our old questionnaire on the CGR theology forum asked, that I can answer.

In short: I don't believe anybody but the Orthodox are within the pale of Orthodoxy. Now, lest you be confused by that or think I mean something monstrous, let me explain what I mean.

There is no salvation outside the Church, the Bride that Jesus Christ purchased with His blood. And there is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, and it is a visible church that can be identified in the world today. This does not mean that everyone outside the Church is ipso facto damned, since we are convinced, since the Apostles and Christ our God himself have told us so, that God is not willing that any should perish. So, basically, He judges a person based on what they know. But truth is a scaffold that leads a person to holiness if that person obeys the precepts of that truth, which is why error is so dangerous - because the scaffold can lead you off a cliff or collapse under you if it isn't built solidly.

Because communion (koinonia both as the physical act of receiving God into our bodies, and the spiritual reality it makes present) is viewed as such an important marker of Christian identity in Orthodoxy, to be out of communion with the Orthodox Church means that a person is seriously lacking one of the major markers of Christian identity. But it isn't the sole marker of Christian identity - and to the extent that Protestants and Roman Catholics teach the same things that the Orthodox Church teaches, y'all are our brethren in Christ. As my priest says, "They worship Jesus, and that's not nothing." - with Father's usual penchant for argument-by-understatement.

So, could Augustinian errors ever be brought into Orthodoxy? I'd hope not. But can a thoroughly Augustinian Roman Catholic or Protestant be saved? Absolutely - because God loves them and desires their salvation. And they've certainly obtained a greater knowledge of the Truth than a Mormon, who doesn't even have a correct understanding of the Father or the Son or... well, much of anything else, really.

For a really good Orthodox critique of some of the Augustinian-Anselmian concepts of anthropology and soteriology, may I recommend Fr. Patrick Reardon's "Reclaiming the Atonement: An Orthodox Theology of Redemption: Volume 1: The Incarnate Word".

Shameless plug: buy the Kindle version, my godfather's e-book publishing company produced the Kindle book and some royalties will probably go to him

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Last edited by Homer Simpson; 10-19-2017 at 12:49 PM.
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Unread 11-01-2017, 08:43 PM   #17
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While we're on the subject, Fr. Andrew Damick (article posted above) published a piece on Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy entitled "Protestantism is Not United, Not Catholic, and Not a Church". In it, he criticizes a document called the "Reforming Catholic Confession" (a deliberate play on Roman Catholic Church? ).

I figure one or two of you might like to have a look at it, and possibly offer criticisms.
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Glory to God for all things...
~ Ryan
==========

In the flesh You fell asleep as a mortal man, O King and Lord,
You arose on the third day, freeing Adam from corruption and destroying death!
O Pascha of incorruption! The salvation of the world...

Exapostilarion of Pascha

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Unread 11-14-2017, 08:41 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by IsaactheSyrian View Post
While we're on the subject, Fr. Andrew Damick (article posted above) published a piece on Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy entitled "Protestantism is Not United, Not Catholic, and Not a Church". In it, he criticizes a document called the "Reforming Catholic Confession" (a deliberate play on Roman Catholic Church? ).

I figure one or two of you might like to have a look at it, and possibly offer criticisms.
What I really don't get is how so many of these "confessional" documents seem to be made behind closed doors, and have a general call for acceptance rather than a specific and systematic call for adoption in ecclesiastical context.

Like, it would've been better to get 10-20 representatives of the major denominations that one wants to build bridges between, and then hammer out the core documents over which they agree, then go to the denominations to seek adoption as a constitutional document or official creed.

This method seems to be instructive only in its propagation (it's use is no more than a theological blog widely distributed; not for church discipline), and the authors are relying on clicks to measure its value.
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