Author Topic: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...  (Read 155284 times)

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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #360 on: December 29, 2008, 02:14:55 AM »
Father's answer was very good, and one with which I agree.  But, to respond to ozgeorge,

David,
Again, in my mind, this raises the questions:
1) To whom was the "ransom from death and corruption" paid?
2) If a substitution was required for the forgiveness of sin, how could Christ forgive the sins of the Paralytic and the Woman caught in adultery before this substitution had taken place?
3) If Theosis was impossible before the "substitution", how did Elijah not die and get taken up into Heaven in his body and meet Christ on Mount Tabor at the Transfiguration?

1) There is no "whom," but a "what": the reality of all mens' common mortality.  It held us captive as would a human captor, and Christ's blood was the only element strong enough to overturn the rule of death.

2) Melito of Sardis comments that, when the angel in the book of Exodus saw the blood of lambs on the Israelites' doorposts, the angel was not truly "seeing" the blood of lambs, but the blood of Christ which would cleanse all sins (which are shortcomings of being as well as of action, and which are made up for in the Life offered by Christ in His blood).  Likewise, the forgiveness offered to the Paralytic and the Adulterous Woman was "looking forward" to the Cross.  The Cross is the Axis on which all of Time, all of Creation turns; as such, there is no "before" or "after" regarding its effectiveness.  As St. Irenaeus of Lyons said, "it was necessary that he who would be saved should come into existence, that the One who saves should not exist in vain."  The "In the beginning" of Genesis 1:1 was uttered because of the Cross.  The healing of souls and bodies offered by Christ during His Advent was available because of the same.

3) Enoch, as well as Elijah, had faith in God as told in Hebrews 11, and as such shared in an imperfect participation in the yet-to-be-temporally-realized Crucifixion.  Again, any benefit men in the Old Testament received from the Lord was an economia of sorts based on what would happen on Calvary.

Unfortunately, such reasoning has given us the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #361 on: December 29, 2008, 04:01:43 AM »
1) There is no "whom," but a "what": the reality of all mens' common mortality.  It held us captive as would a human captor, and Christ's blood was the only element strong enough to overturn the rule of death.
By this reasoning, God paid a debt which was owed to the mortality which He Himself gave us:
"And the LORD God said, “My Spirit shall not remain among these men forever, for they are flesh; but their days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”  (Genesis 6:3) It is God Who appointed our mortality. Is God therefore like a pyromaniac firefighter who ignites fires so that they can be seen as dramatic rescuer? And is death so much stronger than the Pantocrator God by Whose command the Universe and everything in it came to be that the only way God can defeat death is to bleed and suffer in pain?
It's absurd.

2) Melito of Sardis comments that, when the angel in the book of Exodus saw the blood of lambs on the Israelites' doorposts, the angel was not truly "seeing" the blood of lambs, but the blood of Christ which would cleanse all sins (which are shortcomings of being as well as of action, and which are made up for in the Life offered by Christ in His blood).  Likewise, the forgiveness offered to the Paralytic and the Adulterous Woman was "looking forward" to the Cross.  The Cross is the Axis on which all of Time, all of Creation turns; as such, there is no "before" or "after" regarding its effectiveness.  As St. Irenaeus of Lyons said, "it was necessary that he who would be saved should come into existence, that the One who saves should not exist in vain."  The "In the beginning" of Genesis 1:1 was uttered because of the Cross.  The healing of souls and bodies offered by Christ during His Advent was available because of the same.
3) Enoch, as well as Elijah, had faith in God as told in Hebrews 11, and as such shared in an imperfect participation in the yet-to-be-temporally-realized Crucifixion.  Again, any benefit men in the Old Testament received from the Lord was an economia of sorts based on what would happen on Calvary.
David, firstly, as ialmisry points out, this is the "logic" by which the erroneous doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was conceived. What you are basically saying is that God could not forgive sins without Christ bleeding and dying on the Cross, however, sins could be forgiven in anticipation of His bleeding and dying. Why then were the souls of the righteous dead kept in Hades in the millennia before the Harrowing of Hades and not admitted to Paradise in anticipation of the Crucifixion?  Couldn't God forgive them and admit them to Paradise in anticipation of Golgotha like the way you claim He was able to forgive sins on Earth before His death (in anticipation of it)?
Secondly, you have diminished the Authority, Dominion and Power of the Almighty God by saying that He cannot forgive sins unless certain conditions are met. The Apostle doesn't think so, because he says: "What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses,  “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy." (Romans 9:14-16)
God's Mercy is limitless because God is limitless. God's Love is limitless because God is Love and God is limitless. What you are saying is that certain criteria must be met in order for God to have Mercy and forgive sin- in other words, you are saying that God is not omnipotent, but restricted by factors external to Him. This is heresy. Now the usual Western argument is that the factors are not external to Him because they are His own Justice. And I say: Codswhollop! God is not just.  A "just" God does not make the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the good and the wicked alike (Matthew 5:45). A 'just" God does not command us to imitate Him by loving our enemies, blessing those who curse us, doing good to those who hate us and praying for those who persecute and abuse us (Matthew 5:44-45). This is what God expects of us, because He Himself does so freely.  A "just" God is not good and kind to evildoers. And most importantly,: A "just" God does not die for sinners while they are still sinners or for the ungodly while they are still ungodly.(Romans 5:6-8 )
Read again, what St Isaac the Syrian says:
“Do not call God just, for His justice is not manifest in the things concerning you. And if David calls Him just and upright, His Son revealed to us that He is good and kind. ‘He is good’, He says ‘to the evil and to the impious.’ How can you call God just when you come across the Scriptural passage on the wage given to the workers? … How can a man call God just when he comes across the passage on the prodigal son who wasted his wealth with riotous living, how for the compunction alone which he showed, the father ran and fell upon his neck and gave him authority over all his wealth? Where, then, is God’s justice, for while we are sinners Christ died for us!”    (Ascetical Homilies, 51).
And concerning the Sacrifice of the Cross, read again what St. Gregory the Theologian says:
"Is it not evident that the Father accepts Him, but neither asked for Him nor demanded Him; but on account of the Incarnation, and because Humanity must be sanctified by the Humanity of God, that He might deliver us Himself and overcome the tryant, and draw us to Himself by the mediation of His Son, Who also arranged this to the honour of the Father, Whom it is manifest that He obeys in all things." (2nd Oration on Pascha).
If he who is one of only two Saints the Church calls "Theologian" says this, who am I to argue with it?
« Last Edit: December 29, 2008, 04:45:51 AM by ozgeorge »
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Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #362 on: December 30, 2008, 01:15:21 AM »
here are some random thoughts

concerning ransom: why could God not have paid a ransom to the devil to ransom mankind. The devil accepts the ransom (Christ's death), but the divine offering rises again, swindling the devil our of his fealty. God didn't swindle the devil - in his greed for the death of the Son, the devil didn't consider the ramifications (sort of like not reading the fine print) and swindled himself.

concerning payment for sins: the whole Old Testament sacrificial system is echoed in the sacrificial lamb that Christ was. God doesn't need to be appeased (He is all love and mercy); some platonic perfection of justice that God must adhere to is not what we believe or assert (God is not bound by philosophical ontological constructs of attributes). But in some mystical, symbolic sense, Christ bore the punishment we were due, He bore our sins, He sacrificed himself, with His stripes we are healed, he was made to be sin who knew no sin. We are the beneficiaries. WHY DO WE ORTHODOX HAVE TO REJECT THIS WONDERFUL ACT OF OUR SAVIOUR? To prove we aren't Reformed? or Anselmian? Hey fellow Orthodox - quit being so rationalistic and western in rejecting this and arguing so meticulously and logically against it to prove your more-Orthodox-than-thou stripes and bask in the mystery and beautiful metaphor of this facet of the diamond that is our redemption.

regarding Christus Victor - we don't have much issue here (I don't think any Christian communion does). Christ clearly conquered sin and death and the devil.

Example: love hath no greater man than this, that one lay down his life for his brother.
Again, I don't think any Christian communion has any argument with this.

Participation: in the suffering of mankind. Something that, again, every Christian tradition could adhere to and agree on. Furthermore every Christian tradition would add that each Christian participates in such suffering and redeems it insofaras we offer it to Christ and carry it as our cross

So, no problem on the last 3; scripture is rich on the imagery of the first two. Quit getting hung up on logic and enter the mystery and bless and praise God for our ransom from sin and death and for our sacrificial Lamb who redeemed us.

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #363 on: December 30, 2008, 02:07:43 AM »
So, no problem on the last 3; scripture is rich on the imagery of the first two. Quit getting hung up on logic and enter the mystery and bless and praise God for our ransom from sin and death and for our sacrificial Lamb who redeemed us.
It seems to be true that the Church (= the Orthodox Church) has simply never shown any interest in the atonement theory. 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."

To my mind that speaks volumes of the importance (or lack of importance) attributed to the atonement theory in Orthodox patristics.

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

Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #364 on: December 30, 2008, 11:39:22 PM »
So, no problem on the last 3; scripture is rich on the imagery of the first two. Quit getting hung up on logic and enter the mystery and bless and praise God for our ransom from sin and death and for our sacrificial Lamb who redeemed us.
It seems to be true that the Church (= the Orthodox Church) has simply never shown any interest in the atonement theory. 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."

To my mind that speaks volumes of the importance (or lack of importance) attributed to the atonement theory in Orthodox patristics.

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


that is just circular reasoning: we don't have interest in it therefore we don't have interest in it

Besides I was NOT TALKING about an atonement theory but about ATONEMENT IMAGERY. Please re-read my post. I said that we strive so hard to be anti-anselmian (or anti- reformed or western) that we downplay or reject this beautiful imagery. It's there - in the Bible and even in some of our prayers (see my early posts on this thread) - we just won't see it or admit it and thereby impoverish ourselves.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2008, 11:40:20 PM by BrotherAidan »

Offline Fr. David

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #365 on: December 31, 2008, 12:00:31 AM »
First off, I'd like to pat BrotherAiden on the back for his "random thoughts."  A very nice, if short, commentary.

Unfortunately, such reasoning has given us the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

David, firstly, as ialmisry points out, this is the "logic" by which the erroneous doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was conceived.

Well, yes, but keep in mind that it was that reasoning -- which was also used by the Fathers I mentioned above -- in conjunction with the western idea of a sexually-transmitted guilt for the transgression of Adam that needed to be avoided...which is an idea we have never had to deal with.  So the reasoning itself is not a problem; rather, I'd say, it's biblical, patristic, and Orthodox.  Abusus non tollit usum.

1) There is no "whom," but a "what": the reality of all mens' common mortality.  It held us captive as would a human captor, and Christ's blood was the only element strong enough to overturn the rule of death.
By this reasoning, God paid a debt which was owed to the mortality which He Himself gave us:
"And the LORD God said, “My Spirit shall not remain among these men forever, for they are flesh; but their days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”  (Genesis 6:3) It is God Who appointed our mortality. Is God therefore like a pyromaniac firefighter who ignites fires so that they can be seen as dramatic rescuer? And is death so much stronger than the Pantocrator God by Whose command the Universe and everything in it came to be that the only way God can defeat death is to bleed and suffer in pain?
It's absurd.

Indeed, it would be if this were the case.  God did not give us the mortality, but He did (according to the verse you quoted), set the place where it would definitely overtake us.  The Blessed Augustine put forward the (erroneous) idea that God told Adam and Eve that if they ate of the fruit, He would kill them, but this was not so.  The Lord merely told them that if they ate of the fruit of the tree, they would die.  Action, and consequence.  God created us knowing that we would try to become gods apart from God, and thus fall away from communion with Life Eternal, and thus Death would (as an unavoidable consequence) rush in to fill the vacuum, as it were.  Nevertheless, the image of God was not completely gone from us after this -- only marred -- and the "life of the flesh" was still "in the blood" of a creature, yet life tainted with death could no more free us from our bodies of death than the blind could lead the blind without both falling into a ditch. Our reality was that we were what we were eating -- the earth -- and to that earth we were bound to return.  We needed untainted Life to unite itself to us by grace in order to lift us up from our moribund state, and that Blood came on the Cross, cleansing us from our mortal shortcomings and all the things we'd done because of fear of them.

So God is not the cause of it, nor is the divine Blood satisfying any demand God has externally to us, but it is a destroying of death on our behalf, with our God substituting Himself for us on the Cross -- and by the way, that's not a substitution so that we would not have to suffer and die ourselves, but so that our co-suffering and co-dying with Him would actually produce Life as well as His, that we would be like the Firstfruits and bear life in our dying. 

And I would just stop here and say this: The OT of the thread has to do with why we do not accept the penal satisfaction theory.  I think AMM said something along the lines of "read our hymns and you'll see that we do, we just don't admit it" (forgive me; I'm too lazy to search right now).  I disagree with that assessment, as Great and Holy Friday contains not a hint of Christ's sacrifice having anything to do with the Father punishing anyone or anything, nor does it ever mention the Blood of Christ satisfying the Father's anything in any way, shape, or form.

HOWEVER, while the Orthodox do not subscribe to the penal satisfaction doctrine, I would say we do indeed subscribe to substitutionary atonement -- that is, that "God made Him Who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ."  We could never have life in ourselves, by ourselves, so God came and, on the Cross did for us what we could never do, so that we could then turn around and, cooperating with His grace, do just that!  Death and sin were trampled down by His substitution on our behalf, but as BrotherAiden mentioned, the "bait and switch" came later, as hell thought it had grasped a man but found God instead, and in so doing, vomited up the righteous dead.  In our place, for our salvation, to the glory of (but not for the sake of) God the Father.

What you are basically saying is that God could not forgive sins without Christ bleeding and dying on the Cross, however, sins could be forgiven in anticipation of His bleeding and dying. Why then were the souls of the righteous dead kept in Hades in the millennia before the Harrowing of Hades and not admitted to Paradise in anticipation of the Crucifixion?  Couldn't God forgive them and admit them to Paradise in anticipation of Golgotha like the way you claim He was able to forgive sins on Earth before His death (in anticipation of it)?

A couple of things here, I suppose.

Firstly, It's not a matter of "He could not."  It's a matter of "we could not."  God can do whatever He wants, even work outside His own "rules."  If He wants to forgive someone's sins, heal their soul and body somehow independently of Christ's blood (don't ask me how He'd do that, because it seems to be how He set it up), then that's His business.  It's like we say regarding ecclesiology: If He wants to save someone outside the physical bounds of the Church, then that's His business.  Our business is to be in the Church and "do it the way He set it up."  In terms of soteriology, that means partaking of the Life that is in the Body and Blood of Christ, which is the means of counteracting the death that reigns in our fleshly members.

Secondly, I don't tread very heavily on the idea of assigning periods of time to realms which are clearly outside time yet still, in a sense, dependent upon it (Hades and those in it, who are clearly outside time yet still "await" reunion with their bodies).  I would say that Scripture tells us that they were "waiting" to be made perfect with us, something dependent upon time.  I would say that we still ask for those who are "on this side" of Calvary to find rest in "Abraham's bosom," not in "Paradise."  So I can't tell you in a detailed sense "where" the righteous dead were or are.  I can't tell you "where" departed Christians "are" between "now" and the Second Coming of Christ except to say that they are with the Lord (for good or for ill) and that they await reunion with their bodies.  I can't tell you "why" God didn't do as you posit, except to say that neither did He forgive all men their sins, personally and out loud, prior to the Crucifixion.  Men such as Enoch and Elijah were exceptions, but that doesn't disprove the rule.

Secondly, you have diminished the Authority, Dominion and Power of the Almighty God by saying that He cannot forgive sins unless certain conditions are met.

I do not believe I have ever said this explicitly, and if I have said so implicitly, forgive me.  I'll repeat what I said above: Christ's sacrifice doesn't have anything to do with the Father angrily or bloodthirstily punishing anyone or anything, nor does it ever mention the Blood of Christ satisfying the Father in any way, shape, or form.  God can do whatever He wants, period.  Our business is to participate in God's economy, which He's set up for us (not for Himself), and that economy states that "without the shedding of blood, there is no remission."  It is not a limiting of what He "must" do (as if "must" could ever apply to the Almighty), but rather a directing of what we must do per His instruction and gracious provision.  Were we to approach God who is a consuming fire of Life and Love with death and hate still in us, we would be consumed.  God demands that we come through His Son's blood not because of any anger towards us that is vented onto His Son (God forbid!) but rather because He knows that this is how we will be cleansed -- through the Blood that the Son shed for us.  So it's not that He had to do it this way, but this is how He did it.

What you are saying is that certain criteria must be met in order for God to have Mercy and forgive sin- in other words, you are saying that God is not omnipotent, but restricted by factors external to Him. This is heresy.

True.  God is not restricted.  We are.

Now the usual Western argument is that the factors are not external to Him because they are His own Justice. And I say: Codswhollop! God is not just.

Read again, what St Isaac the Syrian says...

Oh, I love that quote. Indeed, the grace poured out on the Cross was made available to all, even while we were unrepentant.  Hardly a "just" thing to do, I agree.  His judgment in regard to men's reaction to His Love and Mercy (which was supremely revealed on the Cross) is entirely His own, and His alone, and will indeed shock people like myself in whose so-called mercy there is none of the wideness that God's mercy will one Day show.  The quote, however, does not negate Christ's substitution on our behalf, and does not contradict my position, seeing as how it does not assign any limitations or restrictions to God the Father.  God demonstrates His love towards us--as you said--by sending Christ to die for us while we were yet sinners.  He therefore would have us come, dead in sin as we are, to Him through the Cross.  Can He or could He save us without that Blood?  Well, could He create a boulder so big that He couldn't lift it?  I see the two questions as on the same level; they're both hypothetical in my book.  God can do whatever He wants; that applies to either question.  He's not limited by anything.  But, again, we are, and as such, He has provided us with an economy through which to approach Him.  That economy is death through sin, life through the Blood of Jesus Christ.

And concerning the Sacrifice of the Cross, read again what St. Gregory the Theologian says:
"Is it not evident that the Father accepts Him, but neither asked for Him nor demanded Him; but on account of the Incarnation, and because Humanity must be sanctified by the Humanity of God, that He might deliver us Himself and overcome the tryant, and draw us to Himself by the mediation of His Son, Who also arranged this to the honour of the Father, Whom it is manifest that He obeys in all things." (2nd Oration on Pascha).
If he who is one of only two Saints the Church calls "Theologian" says this, who am I to argue with it?

You certainly shouldn't, and I hope I've made it clear that I'm doing no such thing myself, either.  Penal satisfaction is and should be anathema, but St. Gregory's beautiful phrasing of substitutionary atonement -- "Humanity must be sanctified by the Humanity of God, that He might deliver us Himself and overcome the tryant, and draw us to Himself by the mediation of His Son" -- shows that the latter is not inseparable nor indistinguishable from the latter, and that, indeed, the latter idea is a foundational one for Orthodox -- and indeed, all -- Christians.  That prominent members of the Church of late have "simply never shown any interest in the atonement theory" in "their published explanations of salvation" does not detract from the fact that the New Testament and many, many early Fathers saw the great beauty in Christ crucified for us -- the substitution that is folly and scandal to those outside, but to us the power and wisdom of God.
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #366 on: December 31, 2008, 12:24:28 AM »
David,
St. Gregory the Theologian is not talking about substitutionary atonement.
"Atonement" is just another word for "penal satisfaction".

Imagine, for a moment that I got caught up in a poker game with a cardshark. As the game continues, I manage to lose all my money, my house and end up owing money that I don't have. Now let's say I have a rich friend who loves me and sees the distress caused by the mess I got myself into playing poker with someone who is much better at it than me. My rich friend decides to help by getting into a poker game with the cardshark himself. My rich friend is not only wealthier than the cardshark, he is also infinitely better at poker than he is, and my friend ends up completely obliterating the cardshark, takes all his winnings, his house, and has him thrown into prison in debt. My friend then distributes the loot from the cardshark among all those he has cheated. Has my wealthy friend made "atonement"? The cardshark is the Death and the Devil, my rich friend is Christ who has redeemed me, not by paying my debt, but by deceiving the deceiver.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2008, 12:25:26 AM by ozgeorge »
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #367 on: December 31, 2008, 12:41:05 AM »
Imagine, for a moment that I got caught up in a poker game with a cardshark. As the game continues, I manage to lose all my money, my house and end up owing money that I don't have. Now let's say I have a rich friend who loves me and sees the distress caused by the mess I got myself into playing poker with someone who is much better at it than me. My rich friend decides to help by getting into a poker game with the cardshark himself. My rich friend is not only wealthier than the cardshark, he is also infinitely better at poker than he is, and my friend ends up completely obliterating the cardshark, takes all his winnings, his house, and has him thrown into prison in debt. My friend then distributes the loot from the cardshark among all those he has cheated. Has my wealthy friend made "atonement"? The cardshark is the Death and the Devil, my rich friend is Christ who has redeemed me, not by paying my debt, but by deceiving the deceiver.

And here's the evidence from our Orthodox Hymns for Good Friday:

Today hell cries out groaning: I should not have accepted the Man born of Mary (i.e. "I shouldn't have got into a poker game with Him"). He came and destroyed my power. He shattered the gates of brass. As God, He raised the souls that I had held captive. Glory to Thy cross and resurrection, O Lord.

Today, hell cries out groaning: My dominion has been shattered. I received a dead man as one of the dead, but against Him I could not prevail (i.e. "I was deceived"). From eternity I had ruled the dead, but behold, He raised all. Because of Him do I perish. Glory to Thy cross and resurrection, O Lord.

Today hell cries out groaning: My power has been trampled upon. The Shepherd is crucified and Adam is raised. I have been deprived of those whom I ruled. Those whom I swallowed in my strength I have given up. He Who was crucified has emptied the tombs (ie. "He has taken all my winnings and given them back to those I cheated"). The power of death has been vanquished. Glory to Thy cross and resurrection, O Lord.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2008, 12:42:17 AM by ozgeorge »
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Offline ignatius

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #368 on: December 31, 2008, 12:48:34 AM »
I think St. Athanasius does a good job of integrating all the 'imagery' that the Sacred Scriptures uses for our 'atonement' in On the Incarnation.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #369 on: December 31, 2008, 12:51:11 AM »
David,
St. Gregory the Theologian is not talking about substitutionary atonement.
"Atonement" is just another word for "penal satisfaction".

Imagine, for a moment that I got caught up in a poker game with a cardshark. As the game continues, I manage to lose all my money, my house and end up owing money that I don't have. Now let's say I have a rich friend who loves me and sees the distress caused by the mess I got myself into playing poker with someone who is much better at it than me. My rich friend decides to help by getting into a poker game with the cardshark himself. My rich friend is not only wealthier than the cardshark, he is also infinitely better at poker than he is, and my friend ends up completely obliterating the cardshark, takes all his winnings, his house, and has him thrown into prison in debt. My friend then distributes the loot from the cardshark among all those he has cheated. Has my wealthy friend made "atonement"? The cardshark is the Death and the Devil, my rich friend is Christ who has redeemed me, not by paying my debt, but by deceiving the deceiver.
Yes, Christ died for us, not instead of us.
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Offline SolEX01

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #370 on: December 31, 2008, 12:55:31 AM »
Christ in Hades reversed the deception that the Deceiver used on Adam & Eve.  There's no atonement.

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #371 on: December 31, 2008, 01:47:34 AM »
The law of death, which followed from the Transgression, prevailed upon us, and from it there was no escape. The thing that was happening was in truth both monstrous and unfitting. It would, of course, have been unthinkable that God should go back upon His word and that man, having transgressed, should not die; but it was equally monstrous that beings which once had shared the nature of the Word should perish and turn back again into non-existence through corruption... It was impossible, therefore, that God should leave man to be carried off by corruption, because it would be unfitting and unworthy of Himself.

Yet, true though this is, it is not the whole matter. As we have already noted, 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 creations in the Image of God. No, repentance could not meet the case. 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 corruptible 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 both able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father.
~St. Athanasius On the Incarnation p.32-33

At least in the mind of St. Athanasius there existed an element of satisfaction...


Thus, taking a body like our own, because all our bodies were liable to death in place of all, and offered it to the Father. This He did out of sheer love for us, so that in His death all might die, and the law of death thereby be abolished because, when He had fulfilled in His body that for which is was appointed, it was thereafter voided of its power for men... It was by surrendering to death the body which He had taken, as an offering and sacrifice free from every stain, that He forthwith abolished death for His human brethren by the offering of the equivalent. For naturally, since the Word of God was above all, when He offered His own temple and bodily instrument as a substitute for the life of all, He fulfilled in death all that was required. ~ p. 35

Also in the mind of St. Athanasius there existed an element of substitution and atonement... it's all there.

There is some hair-splitting going on here which doesn't seem present in the mind of St. Athanasius. This isn't a case of this 'or' that but it seems to be a case of this 'and' that.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2008, 02:06:22 AM by ignatius »
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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #372 on: December 31, 2008, 02:42:05 AM »
St. Gregory the Theologian is not talking about substitutionary atonement.
"Atonement" is just another word for "penal satisfaction".

I disagree, and I think that you, ironically, sound a lot like western Christian apologists who say the same thing: that is, that there is no other way to look at the work of the blood of Christ other than the fact that His blood was shed because of an internal conflict the Father had with Himself which compelled Him to sacrifice Himself to Himself just to fulfill a law that He made Himself.

My whole point is that atonement need not be equated with "penal satisfaction."  Please show me where the two must be synonymous, if I am indeed mistaken.  Atonement, rather, has always been a "making up for that which is lacking," as it were, a supplement to our shortcomings so that we can partake of the presence of God -- not because God couldn't stand for us to be in His presence or because He needs it, but because He's set it up this way for us to be cleansed from sin and death through Life and Love.  Expiation instead of propitiation, in other words.

He destroys death, as you say through you cardshark metaphor (which is an excellent one, by the way), but He also finishes His union of our nature with His through His three-day Pascha, which begins on Calvary.  Christ did die for us rather than instead of us--for we must also die with Him to live with Him--yet the Blood He gave when He died is what gives us the life necessary to die correctly.  Christ did reverse the deception, yet He also became sin so that we might become righteousness, thus reversing our nature's fallenness (or "atoning for it") through His life-giving Blood.

Let us not make the same mistake that many western Christians make and stress one aspect of salvation -- in our case, beguiling the beguiler -- to the exclusion of other, very real facets of our salvation.  Our nature is renewed -- atoned for, or brought up from its former, crippled state and reconciled to the Father -- by the Blood of Christ.  This is the supreme atonement to which all of the atonement language in the Old Testament alluded.  We can't get around that, nor should we simply dismiss it out of hand, as St. Athanasius shows us (thanks for the quote, ignatius). 
« Last Edit: December 31, 2008, 02:56:47 AM by DavidBryan »
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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #373 on: December 31, 2008, 12:56:43 PM »
Yes, Christ died for us, not instead of us.

Christ in Hades reversed the deception that the Deceiver used on Adam & Eve.  There's no atonement.

DavidBryan posts such a thorough, articulate, cogent defense of his thesis, and this is all you two can say in rebuttal?  You may as well have not said anything at all. ;)

I'd like to see you offer a defense of your positions that even comes close to approaching the conviction, eloquence, and completeness DavidBryan has shown here.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2008, 01:00:54 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #374 on: December 31, 2008, 01:58:55 PM »
Yes, Christ died for us, not instead of us.

Christ in Hades reversed the deception that the Deceiver used on Adam & Eve.  There's no atonement.

DavidBryan posts such a thorough, articulate, cogent defense of his thesis, and this is all you two can say in rebuttal?  You may as well have not said anything at all. ;)

I'd like to see you offer a defense of your positions that even comes close to approaching the conviction, eloquence, and completeness DavidBryan has shown here.

Just to be fair, George and Ignatius are providing us with the same quality of posts, and might I say George, awesome analogy.
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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #375 on: December 31, 2008, 03:29:02 PM »
Just to be fair, George and Ignatius are providing us with the same quality of posts, and might I say George, awesome analogy.

Oh absolutely.  George's analogy is a good one, to be sure.  Excellent argumentation of his point.  Just let's not preclude all other aspects of the Cross in favoring the one he argues for.  That's just as bad as a satisfaction atonement model that excludes all other aspects of our redemption.

And thanks, PtA.
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #376 on: December 31, 2008, 04:02:14 PM »
Yes, Christ died for us, not instead of us.

Christ in Hades reversed the deception that the Deceiver used on Adam & Eve.  There's no atonement.

DavidBryan posts such a thorough, articulate, cogent defense of his thesis, and this is all you two can say in rebuttal?  You may as well have not said anything at all. ;)

I'd like to see you offer a defense of your positions that even comes close to approaching the conviction, eloquence, and completeness DavidBryan has shown here.

Just to be fair, George and Ignatius are providing us with the same quality of posts, and might I say George, awesome analogy.
Oh, sure! :)  I intended to limit my comments only to the two posts that I quoted from ialmisry and SolEX01.  I agree with you on the stuff from ozgeorge and ignatius.
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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #377 on: December 31, 2008, 04:14:20 PM »
Oh, sure! :)  I intended to limit my comments only to the two posts that I quoted from ialmisry and SolEX01.  I agree with you on the stuff from ozgeorge and ignatius.

Please take the "focus" off of me for all I did was summarize ozgeorge and nothing more.   ;)  Thanks in advance.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2008, 04:15:54 PM by SolEX01 »

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #378 on: December 31, 2008, 05:06:06 PM »
It seems to be true that the Church (= the Orthodox Church) has simply never shown any interest in the atonement theory. 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."

To my mind that speaks volumes of the importance (or lack of importance) attributed to the atonement theory in Orthodox patristics.

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



that is just circular reasoning: we don't have interest in it therefore we don't have interest in it

This is so, in a positive sense though.

Likwise we have no real urgent interest in other theological theories which have sprung up outside the parameters of the Church  - papal supremacy, papal infallibility, sola scriptura, once saved always saved. millennialism.....

As with the Atonement these matters have never really occupied the interior mind of the Church and that speaks volumes as to their level of importance within Orthodoxy.  When we have to engage them it is for external reasons and often self-defensive polemical ones.

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #379 on: December 31, 2008, 05:13:04 PM »
Oh, sure! :)  I intended to limit my comments only to the two posts that I quoted from ialmisry and SolEX01.  I agree with you on the stuff from ozgeorge and ignatius.

Please take the "focus" off of me for all I did was summarize ozgeorge and nothing more.   ;)  Thanks in advance.
Well, why didn't you say so?  Ozgeorge did such a good job of arguing his POV, though, that he really didn't need anyone to summarize him. ;)
« Last Edit: December 31, 2008, 05:13:54 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #380 on: January 01, 2009, 12:07:49 AM »
My whole point is that atonement need not be equated with "penal satisfaction."  Please show me where the two must be synonymous, if I am indeed mistaken.  Atonement, rather, has always been a "making up for that which is lacking," as it were, a supplement to our shortcomings so that we can partake of the presence of God -- not because God couldn't stand for us to be in His presence or because He needs it, but because He's set it up this way for us to be cleansed from sin and death through Life and Love.  Expiation instead of propitiation, in other words.
David, the original meaning of "atonement" is none of what you have described, and I actually have no problem with the original meaning of the word, however I do have a problem with how the word has come to be understood. Look in any dictionary and the first definition of "atonement" is "expiation" ie, "amends made for an injury or a wrong". This is evident from the the use of the verb "to atone".
The original meaning of the word "atonement" was actually "harmonising". As I understand, it was first used in the 16th century, and it has an English etymology, literally: "at one-ment" (to cause two or more things to be "at one"). This is an excellent description of our reconciliation to God. However this is not what the word "atonement" means now (as any dictionary will describe). It now means "  Amends or reparation made for an injury or wrong; expiation."  Where did this "alternate" meaning for a word which originally meant "harmonising" come from?

He destroys death, as you say through you cardshark metaphor (which is an excellent one, by the way), but He also finishes His union of our nature with His through His three-day Pascha, which begins on Calvary.  Christ did die for us rather than instead of us--for we must also die with Him to live with Him--yet the Blood He gave when He died is what gives us the life necessary to die correctly.  Christ did reverse the deception, yet He also became sin so that we might become righteousness, thus reversing our nature's fallenness (or "atoning for it") through His life-giving Blood.

Let us not make the same mistake that many western Christians make and stress one aspect of salvation -- in our case, beguiling the beguiler -- to the exclusion of other, very real facets of our salvation.  Our nature is renewed -- atoned for, or brought up from its former, crippled state and reconciled to the Father -- by the Blood of Christ.  This is the supreme atonement to which all of the atonement language in the Old Testament alluded.  We can't get around that, nor should we simply dismiss it out of hand, as St. Athanasius shows us (thanks for the quote, ignatius). 
I disagree with your definition of "atoning", and therefore I disagree with your understanding of what Christ's Blood has done for us. Yes, His Blood is the only source of Life for us, but It was not shed to make up what was lacking in our fallen state.
You can't drink water from a Rock unless you split it (Numbers 20:11). You can't share a loaf of bread unless it's broken open. You can't drink the Lifegiving Blood of Christ unless He is broken open. Christ was Crucified because the only way His Unfallen Body could die was to be murdered. This was the only way His Human Soul could enter Hades and destroy it. The Cross was the "price He had to pay" in order to undertake His Rescue Mission of us. It was the "sacrifice" He made in the same way that you might "sacrifice" yourself at work every day in order to feed your family. The main point which we seem to miss about the Old Testament Sacrifices is what it meant in an agrarian society. When an holocaust offering was made of one of your cattle, you had to give up something precious. When Abraham our Father in Faith was called to make a Sacrifice, he was asked to sacrifice the most precious thing he had- his only son Isaac. When the Passover Sacrifice was made, it was offered and then shared and eaten. So yes, the Old Testament Sacrifices were a precursor to Golgotha, but your understanding of them is incorrect.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 12:10:08 AM by ozgeorge »
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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #381 on: January 01, 2009, 12:36:51 AM »
And just one more thing David: where in the Eastern Orthodox Liturgy is the word "atonement" used?
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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #382 on: January 01, 2009, 01:02:26 AM »
And just one more thing David: where in the Eastern Orthodox Liturgy is the word "atonement" used?

Better yet, where does the word appear before Tyndale, 1524?
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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #383 on: January 01, 2009, 02:43:12 AM »
Better yet, where does the word appear before Tyndale, 1524?

Well apparently St. Athanasios (4th Century) meant to use this term which was invented in the 16th Century:
Also in the mind of St. Athanasius there existed an element of substitution and atonement... it's all there.

"It's all there" :D
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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #384 on: January 01, 2009, 05:29:00 AM »
David,
St. Gregory the Theologian is not talking about substitutionary atonement.
"Atonement" is just another word for "penal satisfaction".

Imagine, for a moment that I got caught up in a poker game with a cardshark. As the game continues, I manage to lose all my money, my house and end up owing money that I don't have. Now let's say I have a rich friend who loves me and sees the distress caused by the mess I got myself into playing poker with someone who is much better at it than me. My rich friend decides to help by getting into a poker game with the cardshark himself. My rich friend is not only wealthier than the cardshark, he is also infinitely better at poker than he is, and my friend ends up completely obliterating the cardshark, takes all his winnings, his house, and has him thrown into prison in debt. My friend then distributes the loot from the cardshark among all those he has cheated. Has my wealthy friend made "atonement"? The cardshark is the Death and the Devil, my rich friend is Christ who has redeemed me, not by paying my debt, but by deceiving the deceiver.
YES YES YES -- your friend has atoned for your stupidity (in your analogy). And Christ has substituted for your sins (God made him who knew no sin to be sin) and atone (AS IN "make right", "fix" - NOT as in paying off an angry god); He healed you with his stripes.

GEORGE -- THAT IS ALL, I REPEAT, ALL, THAT WE ARE SAYING!!!!!!!!

It is something that in one form or another many of the Greek Fathers say. DON'T keep filtering it through some western construct of Reformed/Augustinian/Anslemian/protestant fundamentalist dogma that you feel compelled to resist/reject/rhetorically defeat - or your etymological dictionary definitions (browse your dictionary - words can have multiple meanings and subltleties -- unless you propose to do away with poetry!)

Take a step back, take a deep breath -- we are saying close to (although not quite) the came thing (give us a break because I know you are charitable at heart!!!!)
« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 05:50:37 AM by BrotherAidan »

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #385 on: January 01, 2009, 05:36:20 AM »
David,
St. Gregory the Theologian is not talking about substitutionary atonement.
"Atonement" is just another word for "penal satisfaction".

Imagine, for a moment that I got caught up in a poker game with a cardshark. As the game continues, I manage to lose all my money, my house and end up owing money that I don't have. Now let's say I have a rich friend who loves me and sees the distress caused by the mess I got myself into playing poker with someone who is much better at it than me. My rich friend decides to help by getting into a poker game with the cardshark himself. My rich friend is not only wealthier than the cardshark, he is also infinitely better at poker than he is, and my friend ends up completely obliterating the cardshark, takes all his winnings, his house, and has him thrown into prison in debt. My friend then distributes the loot from the cardshark among all those he has cheated. Has my wealthy friend made "atonement"? The cardshark is the Death and the Devil, my rich friend is Christ who has redeemed me, not by paying my debt, but by deceiving the deceiver.
Yes, Christ died for us, not instead of us.

no dah, it's ransom. That is not what David and I are talking about in terms of atonement (at-one-ment; making right; fixing; restoring; repairing)

NOW HERE THIS ALL YE ORTHODOX ---- ATONEMENT can be seen in other-than Anselmian, Reformed, protestant-fudamentalist, Anslemian dogma. SEE MY PARENTHESIS ABOVE!!!!!

Pardon my shouting, but i don't know how else to get y'all (yinz, yous, yous guys, your) attention,
« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 05:37:05 AM by BrotherAidan »

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #386 on: January 01, 2009, 05:45:08 AM »
It seems to be true that the Church (= the Orthodox Church) has simply never shown any interest in the atonement theory. 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."

To my mind that speaks volumes of the importance (or lack of importance) attributed to the atonement theory in Orthodox patristics.

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



that is just circular reasoning: we don't have interest in it therefore we don't have interest in it

This is so, in a positive sense though.

Likwise we have no real urgent interest in other theological theories which have sprung up outside the parameters of the Church  - papal supremacy, papal infallibility, sola scriptura, once saved always saved. millennialism.....

As with the Atonement these matters have never really occupied the interior mind of the Church and that speaks volumes as to their level of importance within Orthodoxy.  When we have to engage them it is for external reasons and often self-defensive polemical ones.

Please pardon my im-politeness in asking this question: are you a convert? Because you seem to filter Orthodox dogma through a lens of "everything must be contra-everything-I-was-taught-as-a-protestant filter and you seem incapable of coming at the question from another angle.

Or, again. at the risk of being uncharitable, perhaps you are one of those cradle Orthodox who has been so steeped in protestant strawmen and caricatures that it is nearly impossible for you to grasp subtleties in anything that even hints of Western theology.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 05:53:04 AM by BrotherAidan »

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #387 on: January 01, 2009, 05:57:00 AM »
And just one more thing David: where in the Eastern Orthodox Liturgy is the word "atonement" used?

Better yet, where does the word appear before Tyndale, 1524?
Even better yet, why is this even important?
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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #388 on: January 01, 2009, 06:17:02 AM »
that is just circular reasoning: we don't have interest in it therefore we don't have interest in it

This is so, in a positive sense though.

Likwise we have no real urgent interest in other theological theories which have sprung up outside the parameters of the Church  - papal supremacy, papal infallibility, sola scriptura, once saved always saved. millennialism.....

As with the Atonement these matters have never really occupied the interior mind of the Church and that speaks volumes as to their level of importance within Orthodoxy.  When we have to engage them it is for external reasons and often self-defensive polemical ones.

Quote
Please pardon my im-politeness in asking this question: are you a convert? Because you seem to filter Orthodox dogma through a lens of "everything must be contra-everything-I-was-taught-as-a-protestant filter and you seem incapable of coming at the question from another angle.

Or, again. at the risk of being uncharitable, perhaps you are one of those cradle Orthodox who has been so steeped in protestant strawmen and caricatures that it is nearly impossible for you to grasp subtleties in anything that even hints of Western theology.
If you frequent Orthodox lists such as Orthodox-Forum you will find that it is (usually recent) Protestants converts who sometimes try to push atonement theories onto the Orthodox and get quite upset by the Orthodox resistance and lack of interest.   Atonement has been such a major plank in their former understanding of salvation that, even though they have entered Orthodoxy, they find it hard to contemplate life without some doctrine of the atonement.

Quote
it is nearly impossible for you to grasp subtleties in anything that even hints of Western theology.
Fine!   But really, don't expect the Orthodox to bother to grasp the subtleties of what passes for Western theology - the whole predestination and TULIP teaching, the endless bickering about grace and works..... the papal dogmas of supremacy and infallibility, of purgatory and indulgences..... etc.

It is recent Protestant and Catholic converts to the Orthodox faith who may wish to engage you in a discussion of these doctrines.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 06:51:12 AM by Irish Hermit »

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #389 on: January 01, 2009, 06:25:53 AM »
Sacred scripture tells us:


"It  is  a  holy  and  pious thing  that atonement 
be  made  for the  dead,  that  they  might be  delivered 
from their  sin."
 


~ Macc  12:46

I'd like to comment if I may, for those who don't know the context of this atonement.

What had happened was that many of the dead Jewish soldiers were found to have small idols in their clothing.  They had been worshipping idols and the text says that this idolatry is the reason God allowed them to be slain in battle.

So the surviving soldiers began to offer profound prayers that this dreadful sin would be forgiven and Judas Maccabeus decided to send a large quanity of silver to the Jerusalem temple for prayers for the forgivness of these idolators.

The whole incident substantiates not just prayers for the dead but the hope and belief that sin, even very serious sin (mortal sin if you will), may be forgiven by God even after death.

2 Macc 12: 39-46
King James Version
http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/Kjv2Mac.html

« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 06:30:58 AM by Irish Hermit »

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #390 on: January 01, 2009, 11:56:14 AM »
Even better yet, why is this even important?
Because Scripture and Tradition existed for one and a half milennia before the word "atonement" was invented by a Protestant Reformer.
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Offline ignatius

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #391 on: January 01, 2009, 11:59:14 PM »
Could someone please example to me how this should be interpreted...

His part it was, and His alone, both to bring again the corruptible 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 both able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father.

This appears to suggest a two-part action... restoration of our incorruption 'and' to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. Christ the Word was 'able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father'. This appears to suggest estrangement between mankind and the Father which Christ restored. We can't simply ignore the second part of which St. Athanasius is speaking and wrap everything into the restoration of our incorruption as if there was no Transgression which was the breaking of the Father's Commandment.
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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #392 on: January 02, 2009, 12:40:10 AM »
Could someone please example to me how this should be interpreted...

His part it was, and His alone, both to bring again the corruptible 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 both able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father.

This appears to suggest a two-part action... restoration of our incorruption 'and' to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. Christ the Word was 'able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father'. This appears to suggest estrangement between mankind and the Father which Christ restored. We can't simply ignore the second part of which St. Athanasius is speaking and wrap everything into the restoration of our incorruption as if there was no Transgression which was the breaking of the Father's Commandment.
You say this excerpt is from one of St. Athanasius's works.  Could you tell us which one?
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #393 on: January 02, 2009, 12:53:19 AM »
Here is a brief blog entry by Charles Cameron who is, I think, a Protestrant.  I wonder how people would approve of it or not?

Athanasius on the Atonement

http://charlescameron.wordpress.com/2007/04/01/athanasius-on-the-atonement/

"Are there two unreconciled theories of the atonement in Athanasius?

"Do the writings of Athanasius contain two theories of the atonement - a ‘physical’ theory which teaches that, through Christ’s assumption of humanity, mankind is clothed in the incorruption and indestructibility that is inherent in Christ the Word and a ‘legal’ theory which maintains that the heart of the Gospel lies in Christ’s payment of the debt owed to God by humanity?........."

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Offline ignatius

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #394 on: January 02, 2009, 12:53:46 AM »
One of the big questions we have to ask ourselves is... In What Sense is Christ "Made to Be Sin for Us"?

Christ knew no sin, but he was made sin for us. This occurred by the imputation of our sin to him. We might argue the key text is 2 Corinthians 5:21 "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." It was central to the Father's justification teaching.

Christ was not a sinner, but a victim for sinners, according to St. Cyril of Alexandria: "Whe do not say that Christ became a sinner, far from it, but being righteous (or rather righteousness, because he did not know sin at all), the Father made him a victim for the sins of the world" (Letter 41.10). ~FC 76:174: ACCS NT 7:252

Christ knew no sin either inwardly or outwardly, either in intention or action. Yet he was voluntarily made to be sin for us by the imputation of our sin to him.

John Chrysostom explained: "God allowed his Son to suffer as if a condemned sinner, so that we might be delivered from the penalty of our sins. This is God's righteousness, that we are not justified by works (for then they would have to be perfect, which is impossible), but by grace, in which case all our sin is removed" (Homilies on the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians 11:5). ~NPNF 1 12:334; ACCS NT 7:252

The Fathers teach that Christ was made an offering for our sins. "It was only because all flesh was subject to sin that he was made sin for us. In view of the fact that he was made an offering for sins, it is not wrong for him to be said to have been made 'sin,' because in the law the sacrifice which was offered for sins used to be called a 'sin.' After his death on the cross Christ descended to hell, because it was death, working through sin, which gave hell its power. Christ defeated death by his death, and brought such benefit to sinners that now death cannot hold those who are marked with the sign of the cross" (Ambrosiaster, Commentary on Paul's Epistles). ~CSEL 81:238; ACCS NT 7:252

I deeply appreciate the holistic teaching which the Orthodox offer as a deeper understanding of the Gospel message but we must recognize that the heart of the gospel idea of uprighting (i.e. justification) cannot be penetrated without pursuing 'carefully' the metaphor of a courtroom verdict. Many crucial biblical terms describing our salvation come directly out of the setting of the court. Justification is such a term. It belongs with other judicial terms like judge, pardon, sentence, and verdict. These are somtimes called forensic or juridical metaphors and they are throughout the New Testament. I have to believe that there was a reason the Holy Spirit allowed these terms to be present in the Sacred Text.
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #395 on: January 02, 2009, 12:54:02 AM »
Quote
You say this excerpt is from one of St. Athanasius's works.  Could you tell us which one?

It's from On the Incarnation, 7. Though it might have been hard to locate if you we're using CCEL as there is a different translation there:

"For His it was once more both to bring the corruptible to incorruption, and to maintain intact the just claim of the Father upon all. For being Word of the Father, and above all, He alone of natural fitness was both able to recreate everything, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be ambassador for all with the Father."
« Last Edit: January 02, 2009, 12:54:31 AM by Asteriktos »

Offline ignatius

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #396 on: January 02, 2009, 12:59:35 AM »
Could someone please example to me how this should be interpreted...

His part it was, and His alone, both to bring again the corruptible 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 both able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father.

This appears to suggest a two-part action... restoration of our incorruption 'and' to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. Christ the Word was 'able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father'. This appears to suggest estrangement between mankind and the Father which Christ restored. We can't simply ignore the second part of which St. Athanasius is speaking and wrap everything into the restoration of our incorruption as if there was no Transgression which was the breaking of the Father's Commandment.
You say this excerpt is from one of St. Athanasius's works.  Could you tell us which one?

I'm sorry... On the Incarnation p. 35 St. Vladimir's Seminary Press
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Offline Fr. David

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #397 on: January 05, 2009, 12:51:13 AM »
For all who've been following this:

I do intend to reply to some of the more recent posts, but my reply may be a few days in coming; we're starting back up in our school district on Tuesday (it WOULD be on the feast of Theophany, of course) and we have to gear up for semester finals and grades, so things will be rather hectic.

Just a note; hope to respond soon.
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #398 on: January 05, 2009, 03:16:25 AM »
Is anybody able to provide any cogent and scholarly Orthodox work which supports the teaching of substitutionary atonement as the consensus teaching of the Fathers and which is able to show that it has been a consistent teaching through the history of the Church? 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."  This is an undeniable fact - the Orthodox have really no interest in substitutionary atonement, and won't be drawn onto a doctrine whiuch has been absent from the tradition of the Church since the beginning.

The make or break point for this doctrine is  - somebody would need to provide convincing evidence that the Orthodox have taught substitutionary atonement throught the centuries.

Many thanks.

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



Offline ignatius

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #399 on: January 05, 2009, 10:04:52 AM »
Is anybody able to provide any cogent and scholarly Orthodox work which supports the teaching of substitutionary atonement as the consensus teaching of the Fathers and which is able to show that it has been a consistent teaching through the history of the Church? 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."  This is an undeniable fact - the Orthodox have really no interest in substitutionary atonement, and won't be drawn onto a doctrine whiuch has been absent from the tradition of the Church since the beginning.

The make or break point for this doctrine is  - somebody would need to provide convincing evidence that the Orthodox have taught substitutionary atonement throught the centuries.

Many thanks.

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




Could you define what you mean Substitutionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction to mean?

I think it's pretty clear that the Saints saw our Lord as 'a sacrifice' and 'an offering' and that 'He was made sin for us' but I'm not sure what you and ozgeorge mean when you say the the Orthodox never had a Substituionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction Theory?
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”

Offline Papist

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #400 on: January 05, 2009, 01:42:28 PM »
MODERATION:
This topic has been split off from the thread :
"Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory..."





Even better yet, why is this even important?
Because Scripture and Tradition existed for one and a half milennia before the word "atonement" was invented by a Protestant Reformer.
Scripture and Tradition existed before the word Trinity was invented. But that does not mean that the same doctrine of the Trinity did not already  substantially exist in Scripture and Tradition.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2009, 05:56:56 PM by ozgeorge »
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline Papist

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #401 on: January 05, 2009, 01:43:40 PM »
Is anybody able to provide any cogent and scholarly Orthodox work which supports the teaching of substitutionary atonement as the consensus teaching of the Fathers and which is able to show that it has been a consistent teaching through the history of the Church? 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."  This is an undeniable fact - the Orthodox have really no interest in substitutionary atonement, and won't be drawn onto a doctrine whiuch has been absent from the tradition of the Church since the beginning.

The make or break point for this doctrine is  - somebody would need to provide convincing evidence that the Orthodox have taught substitutionary atonement throught the centuries.

Many thanks.

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




Could you define what you mean Substitutionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction to mean?

I think it's pretty clear that the Saints saw our Lord as 'a sacrifice' and 'an offering' and that 'He was made sin for us' but I'm not sure what you and ozgeorge mean when you say the the Orthodox never had a Substituionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction Theory?
I think it would be a good thing if people would starte differentiating between the Calvinist view of Atonement and the Catholic One.
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline ignatius

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #402 on: January 05, 2009, 01:46:41 PM »
Is anybody able to provide any cogent and scholarly Orthodox work which supports the teaching of substitutionary atonement as the consensus teaching of the Fathers and which is able to show that it has been a consistent teaching through the history of the Church? 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."  This is an undeniable fact - the Orthodox have really no interest in substitutionary atonement, and won't be drawn onto a doctrine whiuch has been absent from the tradition of the Church since the beginning.

The make or break point for this doctrine is  - somebody would need to provide convincing evidence that the Orthodox have taught substitutionary atonement throught the centuries.

Many thanks.

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




Could you define what you mean Substitutionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction to mean?

I think it's pretty clear that the Saints saw our Lord as 'a sacrifice' and 'an offering' and that 'He was made sin for us' but I'm not sure what you and ozgeorge mean when you say the the Orthodox never had a Substituionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction Theory?
I think it would be a good thing if people would starte differentiating between the Calvinist view of Atonement and the Catholic One.

Please offer us the Catholic understanding if you don't mind.
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #403 on: January 05, 2009, 05:43:06 PM »
Is anybody able to provide any cogent and scholarly Orthodox work which supports the teaching of substitutionary atonement as the consensus teaching of the Fathers and which is able to show that it has been a consistent teaching through the history of the Church? 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."  This is an undeniable fact - the Orthodox have really no interest in substitutionary atonement, and won't be drawn onto a doctrine whiuch has been absent from the tradition of the Church since the beginning.

The make or break point for this doctrine is  - somebody would need to provide convincing evidence that the Orthodox have taught substitutionary atonement throught the centuries.

Many thanks.

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




Could you define what you mean Substitutionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction to mean?

I think it's pretty clear that the Saints saw our Lord as 'a sacrifice' and 'an offering' and that 'He was made sin for us' but I'm not sure what you and ozgeorge mean when you say the the Orthodox never had a Substituionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction Theory?
I think it would be a good thing if people would starte differentiating between the Calvinist view of Atonement and the Catholic One.

Please offer us the Catholic understanding if you don't mind.
Certainly. Calvinists believe that Christ literally experienced the identical punishment that we deserve as sinners. Because we are are deserving of both death and hell, then that is exactly what Christ experienced. Some of the reformers even argued that Christ experienced the pains and damnation of Hell between his death and resurrection. Catholics, on the other hand, do not take such a legalistic approach. Yes, man had separated himself from God by sin but Christ did not experience damnation for us vicariously. Rather, Christ did something different, something above the law. He became one of us and as one of us took humanity with him back to God. It was in our pride that we elevated ourselves and believed that we could walk away from God and exhault our will above his. Because we, in are broken and fallen state, could not perfectly submit our will to God again, the Logos took on our flesh and did so as one of us. The second Adam undid what the first did. He submitted his will perfectly and completely to God the Father, so much so, that he did it to the point of death. There was no flaw in the submission of will because he was sinless. The spotless lamb sacrificed his entire will, again to the point of death (not my will but yours be done). As the perfect representative of humanity, Jesus offered back to the Father the perfect sacrifice of submission that reestablished our relationship with him.
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #404 on: January 05, 2009, 06:10:46 PM »
Could you define what you mean Substitutionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction to mean?

"Substitutionary Atonement" means that basically, Christ died "in our place" (ie "was substituted for us") in order to make "Atonement" (whatever that means, since the meaning has changed over time). While the various meanings of "Atonement" is problematic, the idea that Christ died "in our place" or "instead of us" is wrong. He died for us, not instead of us.

"Penal Satisfaction" basically means that a debt (or penalty) is owed to God for sin, (somewhat like a parking fine) which needs to be paid so that the sin can be forgiven. The idea is that Christ paid the fine for us (because we were unable to).
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