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Athanasios
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The Divine Mercy


« on: December 19, 2007, 08:17:14 PM »

Hello,

I thought we ought to have a thread dedicated to our understandings of the nature of sin. What is it exactly? How does it affect us, both collectively and individually? Ways of combating and curing it and its effects. Etc., etc.
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2007, 09:48:01 PM »

What is the Catholic view?

Is sin a debt to be paid?
Did Christ die to satisfy our debt either to the Father or to Satan for our sins?
Does God merely turn away from the wicked?
Is forgiveness the one and only reason for Christs death?





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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2007, 02:52:10 PM »

Hello,

This should get us started. From the Catechism:



Article 8

SIN

I. Mercy and Sin

1846 The Gospel is the revelation in Jesus Christ of God's mercy to sinners.(Cf. ⇒ Lk 15.) The angel announced to Joseph: "You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."(⇒ Mt 1:21.) The same is true of the Eucharist, the sacrament of redemption: "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."(⇒ Mt 26:28.)

1847 "God created us without us: but he did not will to save us without us."(St. Augustine, Sermo 169, 11, 13: PL 38, 923.) To receive his mercy, we must admit our faults. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."(1 Jn 8-9.)

1848 As St. Paul affirms, "Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."(⇒ Rom 5:20.) But to do its work grace must uncover sin so as to convert our hearts and bestow on us "righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ ourLord."(⇒ Rom 5:21.) Like a physician who probes the wound before treating it, God, by his Word and by his Spirit, casts a living light on sin:

Conversion requires convincing of sin; it includes the interior judgment of conscience, and this, being a proof of the action of the Spirit of truth in man's inmost being, becomes at the same time the start of a new grant of grace and love: "Receive the Holy Spirit." Thus in this "convincing concerning sin" we discover a double gift: the gift of the truth of conscience and the gift of the certainty of redemption. the Spirit of truth is the Consoler.(John Paul II, DeV 31 # 2.)

II. The Definition of Sin

1849 Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as "an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law."(St. Augustine, Contra Faustum 22: PL 42, 418; St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 71, 6.)

1850 Sin is an offense against God: "Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight."(⇒ Ps 51:4.) Sin sets itself against God's love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become "like gods,"(⇒ Gen 3:5.) knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus "love of oneself even to contempt of God."(St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 14, 28: PL 41, 436.) In this proud self-exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation.(Cf. ⇒ Phil 2:6-9.)

1851 It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people, Pilate's cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas' betrayal - so bitter to Jesus, Peter's denial and the disciples' flight. However, at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world,(Cf. ⇒ Jn 14:30.) The sacrifice of Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly.

III. The Different Kinds of Sins

1852 There are a great many kinds of sins. Scripture provides several lists of them. the Letter to the Galatians contrasts the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit: "Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God."(⇒ Gal 5:19-21; CE ⇒ Rom 1:28-32; ⇒ 1 Cor 9-10; ⇒ Eph 5:3-5; ⇒ Col 3:5-8; 1 Tim 9-10; ⇒ 2 Tim 2-5.)

1853 Sins can be distinguished according to their objects, as can every human act; or according to the virtues they oppose, by excess or defect; or according to the commandments they violate. They can also be classed according to whether they concern God, neighbor, or oneself; they can be divided into spiritual and carnal sins, or again as sins in thought, word, deed, or omission. the root of sin is in the heart of man, in his free will, according to the teaching of the Lord: "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man."(⇒ Mt 15:19-20.) But in the heart also resides charity, the source of the good and pure works, which sin wounds.

IV. The Gravity of Sin: Mortal and Venial Sin

1854 Sins are rightly evaluated according to their gravity. the distinction between mortal and venial sin, already evident in Scripture,(Cf. 1 ⇒ Jn 16-17.) became part of the tradition of the Church. It is corroborated by human experience.

1855 Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God's law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him.
Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it.

1856 Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us - that is, charity - necessitates a new initiative of God's mercy and a conversion of heart which is normally accomplished within the setting of the sacrament of reconciliation:

When the will sets itself upon something that is of its nature incompatible with the charity that orients man toward his ultimate end, then the sin is mortal by its very object . . . whether it contradicts the love of God, such as blasphemy or perjury, or the love of neighbor, such as homicide or adultery.... But when the sinner's will is set upon something that of its nature involves a disorder, but is not opposed to the love of God and neighbor, such as thoughtless chatter or immoderate laughter and the like, such sins are venial.(St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 88, 2, corp. art.)

1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent."(RP 17 # 12.)

1858 Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: "Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother."(⇒ Mk 10:19.) The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.

1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God's law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart(Cf. ⇒ Mk 3:5-6; ⇒ Lk 16:19-31.) do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.

1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. the promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.

1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.

1862 One commits venial sin when, in a less serious matter, he does not observe the standard prescribed by the moral law, or when he disobeys the moral law in a grave matter, but without full knowledge or without complete consent.

1863 Venial sin weakens charity; it manifests a disordered affection for created goods; it impedes the soul's progress in the exercise of the virtues and the practice of the moral good; it merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin. However venial sin does not set us in direct opposition to the will and friendship of God; it does not break the covenant with God. With God's grace it is humanly reparable. "Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness."(John Paul II, RP 17 # 9.)

While he is in the flesh, man cannot help but have at least some light sins. But do not despise these sins which we call "light": if you take them for light when you weigh them, tremble when you count them. A number of light objects makes a great mass; a number of drops fills a river; a number of grains makes a heap. What then is our hope? Above all, confession.(St. Augustine, In ep. Jo. 1, 6: PL 35, 1982.)

1864 "Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin."(⇒ Mk 3:29; cf. ⇒ Mt 12:32; ⇒ Lk 12:10.) There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit.(Cf. John Paul II, DeV 46.) Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss.

V. The Proliferation of Sin

1865 Sin creates a proclivity to sin; it engenders vice by repetition of the same acts. This results in perverse inclinations which cloud conscience and corrupt the concrete judgment of good and evil. Thus sin tends to reproduce itself and reinforce itself, but it cannot destroy the moral sense at its root.

1866 Vices can be classified according to the virtues they oppose, or also be linked to the capital sins which Christian experience has distinguished, following St. John Cassian and St. Gregory the Great. They are called "capital" because they engender other sins, other vices.(Cf. St. Gregory the Great, Moralia in Job, 31, 45: PL 76, 621A.) They are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia.

1867 The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are "sins that cry to heaven": the blood of Abel,(Cf. ⇒ Gen 4:10.) The sin of the Sodomites,(Cf. ⇒ Gen 18:20; ⇒ 19:13.) The cry of the people oppressed in Egypt,(Cf. ⇒ Ex 3:7-10.) The cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan,(Cf. ⇒ Ex 20:20-22.) injustice to the wage earner.(Cf. ⇒ Deut 24:14-15; ⇒ Jas 5:4.)

1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:
- by participating directly and voluntarily in them;
- by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;
- by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
- by protecting evil-doers.

1869 Thus sin makes men accomplices of one another and causes concupiscence, violence, and injustice to reign among them. Sins give rise to social situations and institutions that are contrary to the divine goodness. "Structures of sin" are the expression and effect of personal sins. They lead their victims to do evil in their turn. In an analogous sense, they constitute a "social sin."(John Paul II, RP 16.)



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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2007, 03:04:09 PM »

OK, maybe my brain is clouded. But it doesn't seem like you addressed the questions. Could I just get a simple one or two word answer to the questions?

Is sin a debt to be paid?
Did Christ die to satisfy our debt either to the Father or to Satan for our sins?
Does God merely turn away from the wicked?
Is forgiveness the one and only reason for Christs death?
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2007, 03:18:03 PM »

Hello,

OK, maybe my brain is clouded. But it doesn't seem like you addressed the questions. Could I just get a simple one or two word answer to the questions?
It wouldn't do justice to the question, which is why I posted what I did. But, I give it a go:


Is sin a debt to be paid?

In a certain sense, yes.


Did Christ die to satisfy our debt either to the Father or to Satan for our sins?

In a certain sense, yes.


Does God merely turn away from the wicked?

Depends on the perspective - from God's, no; from the wicked's, yes.

Is forgiveness the one and only reason for Christs death?

No, it isn't the only reason.
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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2007, 03:32:11 PM »

So, if the death of the cross was a debt paid to the Father how does that make sense? If He is all powerful then why didn't he just forgive our sins without the sacrifice made by Christ? So God is constrained by divine justice? He has to pronouce the sentance of death for all sin?
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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2007, 03:42:53 PM »

Hello,

So, if the death of the cross was a debt paid to the Father how does that make sense? If He is all powerful then why didn't he just forgive our sins without the sacrifice made by Christ? So God is constrained by divine justice? He has to pronouce the sentance of death for all sin?

Remember, I said in a certain sense.  Wink

I think the answer to your question here was very well answered in Saint Athanasius' On the Incarnation. If I get a chance a little later, I'll post the sections from that treatise.
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2007, 10:51:20 PM »

Hello,

I thought that the quote might just be one or two sections, but it requires more than that for a complete answer. It covers about the first quarter to third of the work. I can quote it if you want, or you can just go to the link I am providing and read it there.

Saint Athanasius - On the Incarnation
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2007, 11:11:10 PM »

In the longer catechism of St. Philaret of Moscow it says

Quote
156.  What is sin?

Transgression of the law. Sin is the transgression of the law. 1 John iii. 4.

http://www.pravoslavieto.com/docs/eng/Orthodox_Catechism_of_Philaret.htm

1 John 3:4 says

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.

I will have to dig up my red Antiochian prayer book, but it had a good section that outlined the major (i.e. mortal sins).
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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2007, 11:41:17 PM »

^^Hello,

I saw the quote and I thought you quoted my quote of the Catechism.  Wink


I'd love to see what your book has to say on the major sins.
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« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2007, 11:46:09 PM »

AMM, Is this what you're referring to?

 The Seven Grievous Sins

1. Pride: the lack of humility befitting a creature of God
2. Greed: too great a desire for money or worldly goods.
3. Lust: impure and unworthy desire for something evil.
4. Anger: unworthy irritation and lack of self-control
5. Gluttony: the habit of eating or drinking too much.
6. Envy: jealosy of some other person's happiness.
7. Sloth: laziness that keeps us from doing our duty to God and man.

  ---followed by---

The Seven Capital Virtues

1. HUMILITY
2. LIBERALITY
3. CHASTITY
4. MILDNESS
5. TEMPERANCE
6. HAPPINESS
7. DILIGENCE
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2007, 01:08:48 AM »

^^Hello,

I saw the quote and I thought you quoted my quote of the Catechism.  Wink

We have inter-quote confusion!


Quote
I'd love to see what your book has to say on the major sins.

Gabriel I believe has it right with the seven grievous sins.  My ACROD prayer book lists the ten commandments as points to reflect on before confession.
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2007, 04:55:16 PM »

Hello,

We have inter-quote confusion!

Pandemonium at OC.Net!  laugh


Gabriel I believe has it right with the seven grievous sins.  My ACROD prayer book lists the ten commandments as points to reflect on before confession.

Ah, the seven deadly sins. The first enumeration of them I am aware of is by Saint John Cassian in his Institutes.


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« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2007, 08:48:15 PM »

OK, so if sin is "breaking God's Law," then how is it both a original and actual? An infant has not broken any law...
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« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2008, 03:27:43 PM »

So, if the death of the cross was a debt paid to the Father how does that make sense? If He is all powerful then why didn't he just forgive our sins without the sacrifice made by Christ? So God is constrained by divine justice? He has to pronouce the sentance of death for all sin?

Hi Quinault,

Actually this is the argument that many Muslim Apologists make against Christianity.

You ask if the debt paid to the Father makes sense... This really getting us into a discussion concerning the Incarnation and exactly what Jesus Christ really is as the God-Man. I've grappled with this a bit on other forums and find it challenging to suggest that Jesus died to ransom us from Satan as some Orthodox and even Protestant try and argue.

St. Athanasius in his work On the Incarnation appears to argue that:

 "it was unthinkable that God, the Father of Truth, should go back upon His word regarding death in order to ensure our continued existence. He could not falsify Himself; what, then, was God to do? Was He to demand repentance from men for their transgression? You might say that that was worthy of God, and argue further that, as through the Transgression they became subject to corruption, so through repentance they might return to incorruption again. But repentance would not guard the Divine consistency, for, if death did not hold dominion over men, God would still remain untrue. Nor does repentance recall men from what is according to their nature; all that it does is to make them cease from sinning. Had it been a case of a trespass only, and not of a subsequent corruption, repentance would have been well enough; but when once transgression had begun men came under the power of the corruption proper to their nature and were bereft of the grace which belonged to them as creatures in the Image of God. No, repentance could not meet the case. What, or rather, Who was it that was needed for such grace and such recall as we required? Who, save the Word of God Himself, Who also in the beginning had made all things out of nothing? HIs part it was, and His alone, both to bring again the corruption to incorruption and to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. For He alone, being Word of the Father and above all, was in consequence bother able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father."

Taken from On the Incarnation - Chapter II: The Divine Dilemma and Its Solution in the Incarnation by St. Athanasius
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2008, 08:36:03 PM »

So, if the death of the cross was a debt paid to the Father how does that make sense? If He is all powerful then why didn't he just forgive our sins without the sacrifice made by Christ? So God is constrained by divine justice? He has to pronouce the sentance of death for all sin?

The Bible says that blood must be shed for the remission of sins.

Justice had to be satisfied. 

That is the Orthodox teaching.

Of course God is not constrained by His Justice or His Mercy but neither does He act aganist them.

Of course they teach other things in certain places...

Theophan.
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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2008, 08:51:58 PM »

So, in other words, God is subject to Justice? Does this negate His free will and sovereignty?
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2008, 09:04:39 PM »

From http://www.frederica.com/writings/sin-infection-or-infraction.html

Sin: Infection or Infraction?

Often in conversations with Christians of other traditions I find myself explaining the Orthodox view of sin. For most Western Christians, sin is a matter of doing bad things, which create a debt to God, and which somebody has to pay off. They believe that Jesus paid the debt for our sins on the Cross-paid the Father, that is, so we would not longer bear the penalty. The central argument between Protestants and Catholics has to do with whether "Jesus paid it all" (as Protestants would say) or whether, even though the Cross is sufficient, humans are still obligated (as Catholics would say) to add their own sacrifices as well.

Orthodox, of course, have a completely different understanding of Christ’s saving work. We hold to the view of the early church, that "God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself." Our sins made us captives of Death, and God in Christ went into Hades to set us free. The penalty of sin is not a debt we owe the Father; it is the soul-death that is the immediate and inevitable consequence of sin. We need healing and rescue, not someone to step in and square the bill. The early Christians always saw the Father pursuing and loving every sinner, doing everything to bring us back, not waiting with arms folded for a debt to be paid. When the Prodigal Son came home, the Father didn’t say, "I’d love to take you back, but who’s going to pay this Visa bill?"

This was the common view for the first thousand years of Christianity, until Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury at the time of the Great Schism, offered an alternative view. Anselm believed that God could not merely forgive us, because our sins constituted an objective wrong in the universe. It could not be made right without payment. No human could pay such a huge debt, but Jesus’ blood was more than sufficient to pay it, which gave Jesus a "claim" on God the Father. "If the Son chose to make over the claim He had on God to man, could the Father justly forbid Him doing so, or refuse to man what the Son willed to give him?"

We would say that Western Christians, Protestant and Catholic, have mixed up two Scriptural concepts: "sacrifice/offering" and "ransom/payment." Jesus couldn’t have paid the "ransom" for our sins to the Father; you pay a ransom to a kidnapper, and the Father wasn’t holding us hostage. No, it was the Evil One who had captured us, due to our voluntary involvement in sin. It cost Jesus his blood to enter Hades and set us free. That’s the payment, or ransom, but it obviously isn’t paid *to* the Father. Yet it is a sacrifice or offering to the Father, as a brave soldier might offer a dangerous act of courage to his beloved General.

If I haven’t lost you yet, I’d like to take this one step further. As I said, I often have this conversation with other Christians, and make the point that sin is not infraction, but infection; sin makes us sick. The Christian life is one of healing and restoration; its not merely about paying a debt.

It recently occurred to me that this difference between Western and Eastern Christianity explains something else I hadn’t noticed till now: that Orthodoxy doesn’t spend a lot of time worrying about the problem of evil. The question of why bad things happen is a major one in the West; it seems to refute the assertion that God is good and loves us. If he’s all powerful and loves us completely, why does he let bad things happen? I expect that this lingering image of a God who is reluctant to forgive, waiting to be paid, feeds a suspicion that maybe he *doesn’t* really love us.

I think the Orthodox view of sin as illness, rather than rule-breaking, answers this. There is evil in the world because of the pollution of our sins. Our selfishness and cruelty don’t merely hurt those around us, but contribute to setting the world off-balance, out of tune. It has a corporate nature. Anyone can observe that life isn’t fair; bad things happen to "good" people. But even good people contribute some sin to the mix, and we all suffer the consequences of the world’s mutual sin.

The radio humorist Garrison Keillor used an image for this that has always remained in my mind. He told a story about a man considering adultery, who contemplated how one act of betrayal can unbalance an entire community: "I saw that we all depend on each other. I saw that although I thought my sins could be secret, that they would be no more secret than an earthquake. All these houses and all these families, my infidelity will somehow shake them. It will pollute the drinking water. It will make noxious gases come out of the ventilators in the elementary school. When we scream in senseless anger, blocks away a little girl we do not know spills a bowl of gravy all over a white tablecloth."

What we Orthodox keep in mind, and Western Christians often forget, is the presence of the Evil One. In Anselm’s theory of the Atonement, there’s no Devil. The whole transaction is between us, the Father, and Jesus (and when the Devil is ignored, he has a field day). But Orthodox know who our true enemy is, and we cling to the Lord Jesus as our deliverer. When we see evil in the world, we know immediately that "an enemy has done this" (Matthew 13:28). We’re not surprised that life is unfair and that "good" people suffer; when we see innocent suffering, we know that our own sins helped cause it, by helping to unbalance the world and make a climate of injustice possible. The Evil One loves to see the innocent suffer, and the fact that such events grieve and trouble us delights him all the more. This is in fact one of the ways we bear the burden of our sins: that we must feel the wrenching pain of seeing innocence suffer, and know that we helped make it happen. Western Christians, on the other hand, who see sin as a private debt between an individual and God, and who forget the presence of the Evil One, can’t figure out how God could let an innocent person suffer, and are left with the chilly thought of questioning the goodness of God.

"Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:24-25). We do not trust in our own strength to get out of this mess, but rely entirely on the power of Jesus Christ, who has "trampled down death by death." Day by day growing in grace, we can contribute to the world’s healing, by forgiving our enemies, loving those who hate us, and overcoming evil with good. The first place it needs to be overcome, we know, is in our hearts.

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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2008, 09:08:10 PM »

So, in other words, God is subject to Justice? Does this negate His free will and sovereignty?

You should take that up with St Paul.

God is supremely Sovereign however. Justice however like everything else comes from God. He is not inconistent or arbitary.

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« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2008, 09:11:30 PM »


Sin is both an infection and an infraction.

Christ gave us a moral example, redeemed us from the clutch of death AND sacraficed Himself for our sins.

Why do the neo-Monatist heretics always make things either/or when they can be both/and?

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« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2008, 09:36:05 PM »

Three posts into the thread today and already calling people heretics.  Bravo, GOC. 
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« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2008, 09:43:16 PM »

Three posts into the thread today and already calling people heretics.  Bravo, GOC. 

The Orthodox Church has Anathemized as heretics those who deny that the podvig of Christ on the Cross was a Sacrafice offered to the Most Holy Trinity for the sins of mankind.

That makes them heretics.

Likewise those who deny the teaching of Original Sin are Anathemized heretics.

As Sophia pointed out already on this question before those who reject the Bible and Sobornost of the Church on this issue and follow after SVS, Fr Ambrose, HOCNA or OCA Archbishop Lazar have no right to call themselves Orthodox.
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« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2008, 10:23:26 PM »

As Sophia pointed out already on this question before those who reject the Bible and Sobornost of the Church on this issue and follow after SVS, Fr Ambrose, HOCNA or OCA Archbishop Lazar have no right to call themselves Orthodox.

GOCTheophan please stop referring to Orthodox clergy, hierarchs, etc as heretics.  If you have grievances/disagreements with them and their statements/beliefs, either discuss the statement charitably without attacking the person here, or possibly get in contact with them directly and address it with them.  Just pointing your finger at them without mentioning specifically what you disagree with leads to nothing fruitful.

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« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2008, 11:04:39 PM »

GOCTheophan,

Thank you for modifying your post to include this sentence:
Of course God is not constrained by His Justice or His Mercy but neither does He act aganist them.
This sounds much more Orthodox than what you had previously written. However, this:

Quote
Of course they teach other things in certain places...
is not Orthodox at all. Please, when we tell you that you must not use ad hominems, it is not necessarily that your grievances are invalid. But you must realize that no one will listen to you if you belittle them for their position rather than debating their position. You may agree or disagree with anyone here at your discretion, but please limit your comments to debate and discussion only.
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« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2008, 11:42:36 PM »

The Bible says that blood must be shed for the remission of sins.

Justice had to be satisfied. 

That is the Orthodox teaching.

Is that right?  And all along, I thought that these things were over-emphasized in the West because of the West's extreme views about the nature of the ancestral sin of Adam and the overly juridical emphasis on the sacrifice of Christ held by the West.  Thanks so much for straightening us out on this, and informing us that this is actually the Orthodox view.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2008, 11:46:33 PM »

Is that right?  And all along, I thought that these things were over-emphasized in the West because of the West's extreme views about the nature of the ancestral sin of Adam and the overly juridical emphasis on the sacrifice of Christ held by the West.  Thanks so much for straightening us out on this, and informing us that this is actually the Orthodox view.   Roll Eyes

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« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2008, 11:57:19 PM »

GOCTheophan please stop referring to Orthodox clergy, hierarchs, etc as heretics.  If you have grievances/disagreements with them and their statements/beliefs, either discuss the statement charitably without attacking the person here, or possibly get in contact with them directly and address it with them.  Just pointing your finger at them without mentioning specifically what you disagree with leads to nothing fruitful.

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Okay.Teachings fall under the Anathemas of the Orthodox Church. What should they be called? Orthodox?

Can hetrodox be used as a polite term?

Orthodox clergy teach the the Orthodox Faith.

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« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2008, 12:04:06 AM »

Okay.Teachings fall under the Anathemas of the Orthodox Church. What should they be called? Orthodox?

Can hetrodox be used as a polite term?

Orthodox clergy teach the the Orthodox Faith.
But you didn't need to point out specific people by calling them heretics.

As Sophia pointed out already on this question before those who reject the Bible and Sobornost of the Church on this issue and follow after SVS, Fr Ambrose, HOCNA or OCA Archbishop Lazar have no right to call themselves Orthodox.

It's OK to say in a general way that those who follow after a certain teaching are heretics, even if you're wrong, though it often isn't a very good way to win people to your point of view.  But to name specific people, one of whom posts on this forum, as heretics, though they have not been formally condemned, is totally inappropriate.
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« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2008, 12:05:50 AM »

GOCTheophan,

Thank you for modifying your post to include this sentence:This sounds much more Orthodox than what you had previously written. However, this:
is not Orthodox at all. Please, when we tell you that you must not use ad hominems, it is not necessarily that your grievances are invalid. But you must realize that no one will listen to you if you belittle them for their position rather than debating their position. You may agree or disagree with anyone here at your discretion, but please limit your comments to debate and discussion only.

They do teach other things in certain places. That is not ad hominem. Simply fact.

Many will be more than happy to say they have been thaught differently.
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« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2008, 08:47:45 AM »

They do teach other things in certain places. That is not ad hominem. Simply fact.

Many will be more than happy to say they have been thaught differently.
But where are these "certain places"? And who are these "many"? If by stating their names you would be committing an ad hominem, then why do you think it is any different when you use a euphemism? "Speaking in a more general way," as you have already been exhorted by PetertheAleut, is not mere substitution of names for euphemism. You must restate your point in such a way as to avoid attacking anyone. Again, all we expect is that you debate the position, not the poster.

To quote an old Southern saying, "If you cain't say nothin' good, don't say nothin' at all."
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« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2008, 10:17:56 AM »

But where are these "certain places"? And who are these "many"? If by stating their names you would be committing an ad hominem, then why do you think it is any different when you use a euphemism? "Speaking in a more general way," as you have already been exhorted by PetertheAleut, is not mere substitution of names for euphemism. You must restate your point in such a way as to avoid attacking anyone. Again, all we expect is that you debate the position, not the poster.

To quote an old Southern saying, "If you cain't say nothin' good, don't say nothin' at all."

In certain places people calling themselves Orthodox (and they are not Orthodox because they go aganist the Synodically defined teachings of the Orthodox Church- again not a personal attack just a fact otherwise we might aswell completely deny the infallibility of the Church to draw any lines at all between Orthodoxy and heresy) they teach differently. That is not some dark secret that they keep hidden. They are open about it to the degree that many good-willed Roman Catholics and Protestants are put off Orthodoxy because they are given the impression that certain ideas ANATHEMIZED by the Orthodox Church are infact Orthodox Dogma.

I cannot see how by actually stating the names and places of those who teach differently it would be a personal attack since they make no secret of the fact. I also notice when Heorhij slanders God, mocks the Patriarchs,says the Holy Fathers were in prelest effectively and dismisses those who believe the Orthodox understanding of creation as fools thats not an ad homien but when I simply state that others teach differently (which they will not deny) that is. Like John Alden being warned for refering to women who wear men's clothes as transvestites (who would not refer to a man wearing women's clothes as a transvestite?) and stating that such are allowed in their trousers to attend some World Orthodox Temples (I have seen women wearing trousers with my owns eyes in World Orthodox Temples- though I am aware that not all allow such unChristian behaviour inside of them, though John Alden lives in the USA which is piosoned in its root by false Freemasonic ideas of tolerance according to Orthodox Christians who live there whom I have communicated with so that problemn MAY be worse over there) your accusation of ad hominem is hard for me to understand unless you consider someone stating that the Roman Catholics teach the Filioque is an ad hominem.

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« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2008, 10:35:22 AM »

Is that right?  And all along, I thought that these things were over-emphasized in the West because of the West's extreme views about the nature of the ancestral sin of Adam and the overly juridical emphasis on the sacrifice of Christ held by the West.  Thanks so much for straightening us out on this, and informing us that this is actually the Orthodox view.   Roll Eyes

You are welcome Bob. I am glad you are coming around to seeing more things as the Church sees them.

Theophan.
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« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2008, 11:46:18 AM »

In certain places people calling themselves Orthodox (and they are not Orthodox because they go aganist the Synodically defined teachings of the Orthodox Church- again not a personal attack just a fact otherwise we might aswell completely deny the infallibility of the Church to draw any lines at all between Orthodoxy and heresy) they teach differently. That is not some dark secret that they keep hidden. They are open about it to the degree that many good-willed Roman Catholics and Protestants are put off Orthodoxy because they are given the impression that certain ideas ANATHEMIZED by the Orthodox Church are infact Orthodox Dogma.
You persist in your ad hominems without any backing. And you can state all you want that it's "just a fact," but saying so does not make it true. Who are you to say who is and is not Orthodox? Do you think that you are God?

Quote
I cannot see how by actually stating the names and places of those who teach differently it would be a personal attack since they make no secret of the fact. I also notice when Heorhij slanders God, mocks the Patriarchs,says the Holy Fathers were in prelest effectively and dismisses those who believe the Orthodox understanding of creation as fools thats not an ad homien but when I simply state that others teach differently (which they will not deny) that is.
It's how you say it that matters. If I say "Latter-Day Saints accept the Book of Mormon as Scripture," this is a fact. If I say, "The Latter-Day Saints are all going to hell because they accept the Book of Mormon as Scripture," this is an ad hominem. If I were to modify my latter statement to read, "I believe that accepting the Book of Mormon as Scripture, as the Latter-Day Saints do, is dangerous theology," this is no longer an ad hominem, it is my personal opinion, and is subject to agreement or disagreement. Ad hominems can be explicit or implicit, against one person or against a group of people. Be careful how you word things.

Quote
Like John Alden being warned for refering to women who wear men's clothes as transvestites (who would not refer to a man wearing women's clothes as a transvestite?) and stating that such are allowed in their trousers to attend some World Orthodox Temples (I have seen women wearing trousers with my owns eyes in World Orthodox Temples- though I am aware that not all allow such unChristian behaviour inside of them, though John Alden lives in the USA which is piosoned in its root by false Freemasonic ideas of tolerance according to Orthodox Christians who live there whom I have communicated with so that problemn MAY be worse over there)
Women in TROUSERS! Shocked I...I can't believe it. You have SEEN this? With your own eyes? And here in the USA, of all places? Sad state the world is in today. Roll Eyes

Quote
your accusation of ad hominem is hard for me to understand unless you consider someone stating that the Roman Catholics teach the Filioque is an ad hominem.
This is the logical fallacy of mutatio ad absurdum.

You are welcome Bob. I am glad you are coming around to seeing more things as the Church sees I see them.

Theophan.
I fixed it. You're welcome.
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« Reply #33 on: February 13, 2008, 01:13:01 PM »

Women in TROUSERS! Shocked I...I can't believe it. You have SEEN this? With your own eyes? And here in the USA, of all places? Sad state the world is in today. Roll Eyes

Even more shocking is to realise that this kind of behaviour is found not only in America, but in the old world as well.  Shocked
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« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2008, 01:42:53 PM »

Even more shocking is to realise that this kind of behaviour is found not only in America, but in the old world as well.  Shocked

Quite so!

Nevertheless, I defer to GiC and Ebor....

As for women wearing pants, I don't think this is what we have to worry about. Women adopted this custom from the effeminate persians, but no real man would be caught dead in them. In fact, Caesar even forced his conquered prisoners to wear pants in his Triumph through Rome as a means to humiliate and degrade them. But, hey, I'm a liberal, I'll support you in your lifestyle choices, I support your right to wear whatever you want, be it pants or pink panties with lace; if it feels good, do it. If you're a transvestite at heart and want to go prancing around the country in pants or other women's garments, more power to you, don't let me stop you. 

Whenever this topic comes up, I wonder what is it that some people think is "intrinsically masculine" about pants that women wearing them are "cross-dressing" or "in men's clothing" or "immodest"?  There are reasons behind clothing like "What is the person wearing it doing?"  "What are the materials available?"  "What technology is available for making clothing?" "What is the climate or conditions of the place the clothing is being worn?"  "Is there any ritual meaning or does a garment just have practical use?"  The History of clothing is part of learning about other cultures.

How can a woman from Pakistan or India or Bangladesh be "acting male" while wearing a kameez and the trousers that go with it?  What about a Japanese farm woman in "mompe"?  Is she "cross-dressing"?  No, that is a practical garment for the hard work she has to do and particular in working in places like rice paddies. The Kimono for men and women are cut the same.  It is the colours and decorations that make one for male or female wear, and even then there are some that serve both.  Do Inuit women wear skirts in the Arctic? No, Leggings/trousers keep everyone from freezing.

Judging someone's dress by only one standard might have some pitfalls.

Ebor 

I know the pietists have this great hatred of pants (despite the fact that female senators now wear them on a regular basis) and an affinity for islamic headgear (if you really want to flame me for this, please just cut and paste the link from the last time we went through this and save yourself the difficulity of repeating yourself)...but now there's something wrong with wearing certain types of shoes to church? Almost as ridiculous as the anti-kalimafi crowd, all this fuss over a HAT!!! Roll Eyes

When I read that TomS had been banned from this site I was most disappointed. In post after post he seemed to so often be a lone voice of common sense in a sea of absurdities. In the thread he was banned for posting in, his statement was far less offensive than others seen. The suggestion that women wearing pants is 'cross-dressing' is far more offensive than suggesting a bishop has heterosexual tendencies; considering the number of hierarchs that I could name (but won't), based on good sources, who have been engaged in homosexual activity, such an accusation as TomS gave could actually be considered a complement (infact, following the scandal of a certain Antiochian Bishop for groping a woman in a Casino, I had one person associated with said archdiocese essentially brag to me that at least they can prove they have one heterosexual bishop, essentially saying that it was one more than the Greek archdiocese could prove).

As for the complaint that TomS doesn't stick around to argue his posts, look at the absurdities that preceded his posts, men complaining about the immodesty of women and suggestions that pant-suits are cross-dressing, a reasonable person wouldn't even give them enough credence to argue against them; notice, I said reasonable person, I'll argue against such absurdities from time to time, not because I believe they deserve the time of day, but rather because I love a good heated argument even when unreasonable Wink

You know what the great irony of this is...when pants first became popular in the west, the custom comming from Persia, they were only worn by Women, men would wear Tunics and regard the wearing of Pants as unmanly. Infact there are some ancient examples of them mocking the Persians for the wearing of pants and, hence, dressing like women. So the truth of the matter is that both men who wear pants and women who wear dresses are cross-dressers, only men who wear dresses and women who wear pants are appropriately attired...so I guess I better make sure I'm wearing an anteri or rason when entering the Church, lest I be in violation of Levitical law, or maybe I could wear that pink frilly number that I like Cheesy

In all seriousness though, what each sex wears is relative to culture and today, when female senators regularly wear pant suits, it is nothing short of absurd to try and argue that pants are not appropriate and formal women's attire.
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« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2008, 02:25:44 PM »

Even more shocking is to realise that this kind of behaviour is found not only in America, but in the old world as well.  Shocked

Also, in parts of the Old World, men actually have the audacity to wear unbifurcated garments!  I imagine hell is full of male Greek dancers, Scottish pipers (and other Scots who just plain like wearing skirts such as myself!), and Bavarian drunks.
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« Reply #36 on: February 13, 2008, 02:42:10 PM »

You persist in your ad hominems without any backing. And you can state all you want that it's "just a fact," but saying so does not make it true. Who are you to say who is and is not Orthodox? Do you think that you are God?
It's how you say it that matters. If I say "Latter-Day Saints accept the Book of Mormon as Scripture," this is a fact. If I say, "The Latter-Day Saints are all going to hell because they accept the Book of Mormon as Scripture," this is an ad hominem. If I were to modify my latter statement to read, "I believe that accepting the Book of Mormon as Scripture, as the Latter-Day Saints do, is dangerous theology," this is no longer an ad hominem, it is my personal opinion, and is subject to agreement or disagreement. Ad hominems can be explicit or implicit, against one person or against a group of people. Be careful how you word things.
Women in TROUSERS! Shocked I...I can't believe it. You have SEEN this? With your own eyes? And here in the USA, of all places? Sad state the world is in today. Roll Eyes
This is the logical fallacy of mutatio ad absurdum.
I fixed it. You're welcome.

I never said anyone was going to hell. That is placing words in my mouth.

Many World Orthodox to their credit in my opinion find the idea of a woman wearing trousers in Church an abomination.

The Council [of Constantinople] of 1156 considers it indisputable that the death of Christ on Golgotha was a propitiatory sacrifice for the human race and is only concerned to know to whom the sacrifice was offered. It concludes that the sacrifice was offered by Christ the Saviour to the Holy Trinity. In doing this, Christ was at the same time both the victim and the sacrifice (in accordance with His human nature) and God receiving the Sacrifice, with God the Father and the Holy Spirit (in accordance with His consubstantiality with the Father and the Holy Spirit). The Council also established that the eucharistic sacrifice is this same Sacrifice, that of Golgotha. The Council CONSIGNS TO ANATHEMA THOSE WHO THINK OTHERWISE TO ALL THAT IT HAS LAID OUT.


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« Reply #37 on: February 13, 2008, 02:45:06 PM »


I fixed it. You're welcome.

You accuse me of personal attacks for stating that certain people are heretics because they fall under Anathemas if the Orthodox Church. Than you accuse of me of saying things I did not say. Than you adopt such mocking tactics. Well whatever....
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« Reply #38 on: February 13, 2008, 02:53:13 PM »

Also, in parts of the Old World, men actually have the audacity to wear unbifurcated garments!  I imagine hell is full of male Greek dancers, Scottish pipers (and other Scots who just plain like wearing skirts such as myself!), and Bavarian drunks.

I'm not into cross dressing myself but if there is Bavarian beer in hell, I'm game. 
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« Reply #39 on: February 13, 2008, 03:52:03 PM »

I never said anyone was going to hell. That is placing words in my mouth.
Yet again you ignore my explanation of what an ad hominem is, choosing instead to make a false accusation. You have proven that you have no intention of listening to me.

Quote
Many World Orthodox to their credit in my opinion find the idea of a woman wearing trousers in Church an abomination.
Here you have proven that you have no intention of listening to Cleveland, either.

Quote
The Council [of Constantinople] of 1156 considers it indisputable that the death of Christ on Golgotha was a propitiatory sacrifice for the human race and is only concerned to know to whom the sacrifice was offered. It concludes that the sacrifice was offered by Christ the Saviour to the Holy Trinity. In doing this, Christ was at the same time both the victim and the sacrifice (in accordance with His human nature) and God receiving the Sacrifice, with God the Father and the Holy Spirit (in accordance with His consubstantiality with the Father and the Holy Spirit). The Council also established that the eucharistic sacrifice is this same Sacrifice, that of Golgotha. The Council CONSIGNS TO ANATHEMA THOSE WHO THINK OTHERWISE TO ALL THAT IT HAS LAID OUT.
There's no need to yell, but you have (finally) explained your position in reply #15. I think, though, that the position of this Council is not nearly so juridical as you seem to think it is.
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« Reply #40 on: February 13, 2008, 05:59:20 PM »

I just bumped into an absolutely beautiful article written on this subject by an Orthodox theologian, a professor of the Moscow Orthodox Theological Academy, Alexei Ilyich Osipov. Unfortunately for the majority of the posters here and fortunately for some (esp. Msmirnov, Nektarios and YoungFogey, and perhaps a number of others), it is written in Russian. Here's the link: http://www.wco.ru/biblio/books/osip16/Main.htm. The author summarizes a great deal of patristic writings and says, essentially, that nothing "broken," nothing imperfect can unite with God, simply because of the basic, fundamental nature of God (sort of like "oil and water do not mix"). Becoming incarnate and dwelling among us and voluntarily putting Himself on the cross, God, essentially, took upon Himself our "brokenness," our imperfections. There is nothing "judicial" about it, no anger, no wrath, no vengeance. Scriptures use these terms simply because we, humans, are used to them in our everyday life, but they do not convey the true character of God who is without passions (while anger, wrath, vengeance are certainly passions).
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« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2008, 06:26:19 PM »

Quite so!

Nevertheless, I defer to GiC and Ebor....


ROFL!!!   laugh  Oh my, who could forget this absolutely classic GiC.  Thanks for reminding us.  Oh my gosh, that's hilarious.  lol!!!
« Last Edit: February 13, 2008, 06:30:36 PM by Pravoslavbob » Logged

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« Reply #42 on: February 13, 2008, 09:57:32 PM »

As Sophia pointed out already on this question before those who reject the Bible and Sobornost of the Church on this issue and follow after SVS, Fr Ambrose, HOCNA or OCA Archbishop Lazar have no right to call themselves Orthodox.
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Oooo!  I see my name is being invoked among the heretics.  Theophan, you asked me my idea about atonement and I sent you the below.....


There is an interesting essay "Salvation By Christ: A Response to Credenda / Agenda on Orthodoxy's Teaching of Theosis and the Doctrine of Salvation" by Carmen Fragapane.

http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frag_salv.aspx

Carmen Fragapane writes:
 
"...In EH Jones writes that in Orthodoxy "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation.

"... the notion that redemption should be rigidly interpreted in one particular way is itself foreign to early Christian thought: "The seven ecumenical councils avoided defining salvation through any [one model] alone. No universal Christian consensus demands that one view of salvation includes or excludes all others" 

J.N.D. Kelly further explains:

        "Scholars have often despaired of discovering any single unifying thought in the Patristic teaching about the redemption. These various theories, however, despite appearances, should not be regarded as in fact mutually incompatible. They were all of them attempts to elucidate the same great truth from different angles; their superficial divergences are often due to the different Biblical images from which they started, and there is no logical reason why, carefully stated, they should not be regarded as
complimentary"

And this is precisely what we find in Orthodoxy: "While insisting in this way upon the unity of Christ's saving economy, the Orthodox Church has never formally endorsed any particular theory of atonement. The Greek Fathers, following the New Testament, employ a rich variety of images to describe what the Savior has done for us. These models are not mutually exclusive; on the contrary, each needs to be balanced by the others. Five models stand out in particular: teacher, sacrifice, ransom, victory and participation"

I apologise if this topic is seen as alien to a Celtic Christianity list.  It is certainly a matter of religion, and we are, at least obliquely, discussing what would have been the belief of the Celts of the 4th to the 11th centuries.  After that the "new theology"
brought to Ireland by the invading Anglo-Normans ousted the old ways of belief.

Fr Ambrose

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