Having read the Book of Cocords, Thirty-Nine Articles, West-Minister Confession, and defended Sola Fide for over five years, I think I have a pretty good understanding of what Sola Fide means (and its secondary variance of meanings across denominations.)
The Reformed have a lot more confessions than just the Westminster Confession. The Barmen Declaration and the American 1967 Confession come to mind. In fact most large Reformed churches around the world are no longer strictly "Calvinist" in the sense commonly understood (TULIP).
Okay. In what way are the large Reformed churches no longer "TULIP" Calvinists?
Where does Orthodoxy say that the Church does NOT start with the people?
There is no one Orthodox ecclesiology, and that's just the problem in my mind. In the end it comes down to having faith in the Church, whereas Protestants tend to emphasize faith in Christ with less mediation.
How did you come to that conclusion?
Doesn't the Catholic Church teach that the Church is a people AND an institution? Vatican II teaches that the Church subsists in the Roman Magisterium.
Vatican II is when the Catholic Church started using the term "People of God" frequently.
Okay, but how is that suppose to prove that the RC Church start with the people, while the EO Church does not? Forgive me, but I find it a bit strange that you are using Catholicism to score polemical points against Orthodoxy. It reminds me of how some Catholic apologists say that the Orthodox Church agrees with them on such-and-such issue, just to score polemical points against Protestants.
What do you consider primary?
I believe that mainline Protestants and some Roman Catholic expression of Christianity are more faithful to Jesus' own understanding of the Kingdom of God.
I respect that, but I kindly request you to apologize for your statement that may give others the impression that Evangelicals and non-denom inquirers/converts are just some gullible people who have not thought through history in any objective way:
On the other hand, it won't be hard to bamboozle the average non-denom or evangelical with a few facts and persuade them of the ahistorical nature of their religion.
It is a plain insult to my long, agonizing inquiry. There are sooooooo many things about Orthodoxy that I DO NOT WANT
to believe, but became convinced after examining history in neutral sources for a long time and with an open mind.