Author Topic: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...  (Read 164532 times)

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Offline augustin717

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #450 on: December 27, 2009, 05:57:11 PM »
"to zon te kai athyton iereion, os theos seauton ekousios prosagagon to patri"
(Paschal Canon)
"I saw a miracle where 2 people entered church one by baptism and one by chrismation. On pictures the one received by full baptism was shinning in light the one by chrismation no."

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #451 on: December 27, 2009, 06:06:06 PM »
zon te kai athyton iereion
Again I ask: why a "zon te kai athyton" iereion? Why does the Orthodox Church call Christ the "LIVING and UNSLAIN" sacrifice?
And why does the Church also say that He "raised with Himself all Adam’s race in rising from the tomb."?
« Last Edit: December 27, 2009, 06:07:30 PM by ozgeorge »
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Offline augustin717

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #452 on: December 27, 2009, 06:09:01 PM »
zon te kai athyton iereion
Again I ask: why a "zon te kai athyton" iereion? Why does the Orthodox Church call Christ the "LIVING and UNSLAIN" sacrifice?
And why does the Church also say that He "raised with Himself all Adam’s race in rising from the tomb."?
I never thought of this. I was just pointing out that Christ brought himself, in His humanity, I suppose, to the Father.
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #453 on: December 27, 2009, 07:07:37 PM »
Well, I often asked myself why God wanted the Jews to sacrifice a goat or a cow to Him. I have no idea why, but He did.  Indeed Christ sacrificed Himself to the Father (albeit His sacrifice was eternal and once and for all) as the perfect unblemished Lamb of God. Christ offers Himself (the Living Sacrifice) to the Father on our behalf.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2009, 07:08:15 PM by Ortho_cat »

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #454 on: December 27, 2009, 09:07:46 PM »
You can guess, it is a text well known within our church.
Merely slapping a text from some hymn onto a discussion board without explaining what it is you think the text says offers nothing to the discussion.  And then to have the gall to tell me that I can guess the answers to my questions.  I usually don't like engaging someone in a guessing game when I come expecting to engage someone in an intelligent discussion.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2009, 09:08:22 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline ms.hoorah

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #455 on: December 27, 2009, 09:16:23 PM »
^^^Through who sinners have been reconciled --Christmas Canon, 5th Song, Troparion  :-*  :laugh:

« Last Edit: December 27, 2009, 09:17:51 PM by ms.hoorah »

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #456 on: December 27, 2009, 09:41:28 PM »
Firstly, you're using a bad translation. Here's the original: http://www.oodegr.com/oode/pateres1/athanasios/enanthrwpisi1.htm
Secondly, you take it out of context. If you read St. Athanasios (for example, in the quote I give above) you will see that he is talking about Christ rescuing us from death by His Death & Resurrection. Of what possible use would Christ's corpse be to the Father? How would this please Him? Christ offers His life in order to Harrow Hades the same way that a soldier "offers" his life to save others- not as a judicial substitution nor as an appeasement of the enemy.
Thirdly, the idea in your earlier post that Christ offered something to satan and death is absurd. God owes satan nothing.

It's hard to tell if you're being snippy in this reply.  No need to get upset (if you are), I was just confused by the passage as I read it.  Would you mind translating that portion of the text from the Greek for me in a better way, as I cannot read Greek?

Also, I was unaware that it is theologically improper to refer to Christ offering a ransom to death and the Devil.  When trying to separate the Eastern and Western views, I have always been fumbling, and this is just kind of what I ended up with.  You have to try to be understanding and realize that it's difficult to correct your perspective when you've had something beaten into your head a certain way since infancy, especially when it is this nuanced.

So then is the correct Orthodox perspective that Christ's sacrifice was offered to no one?  Is it rather that he assumed death itself in order to conquer it?

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #457 on: December 27, 2009, 10:02:32 PM »
Thirdly, the idea in your earlier post that Christ offered something to satan and death is absurd. God owes satan nothing.

It was, I believe, a theme in the Holy Fathers, and it persists in Orthodoxy today in what is, I suppose, a legitimate 'theologoumenon" although it has been generally discarded.

Offline Vlad

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #458 on: December 28, 2009, 12:04:10 AM »
I am confused when I converted my Priest at the time said that the Divine Liturgy was a sacrifice. So who is this sacrifice offered to if not the Father? Further is this sacrifice in the liturgy to be considered the same way Catholics consider the Mass to be the reenactment of the great sacrifice of Calvary? Blah I am confused by this whole atonement thing. >:(
« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 12:06:17 AM by Vlad »

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #459 on: December 28, 2009, 12:12:08 AM »
Fr. Hopko says:

(speaking of the eucharist) "It is strictly understood as being the real presence of Christ, his true body and blood mystically present in the bread and wine which are offered to the Father in his name and consecrated by the Divine Spirit of God."



Post modified to preface a priest's name with his clerical title...  Please remember to give our clergy the respect due their priestly office by using proper titles when you speak of them.  - PtA
« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 02:14:56 AM by PeterTheAleut »

Offline Vlad

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #460 on: December 28, 2009, 01:01:35 AM »
Hopko says:

(speaking of the eucharist) "It is strictly understood as being the real presence of Christ, his true body and blood mystically present in the bread and wine which are offered to the Father in his name and consecrated by the Divine Spirit of God."

Ah ha. Thanks for that Ortho cat.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #461 on: December 28, 2009, 01:14:13 AM »
"It is strictly understood as being the real presence of Christ, his true body and blood mystically present in the bread and wine which are offered to the Father in his name and consecrated by the Divine Spirit of God."

But what does this mean?!?!

Offline Vlad

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #462 on: December 28, 2009, 01:23:35 AM »
"It is strictly understood as being the real presence of Christ, his true body and blood mystically present in the bread and wine which are offered to the Father in his name and consecrated by the Divine Spirit of God."

But what does this mean?!?!

Good question does it mean that the body and blood are offered for sins like in the Catholic Church?


Offline Eirr

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #463 on: December 28, 2009, 05:34:29 AM »
Christ sacrifice was for God, to accomplish God`s righteouss.It`s the ultimate act wich shows us that God is all-righteous, and a Just Judge, not only this , but All-Loving and All-Mercifull. God could of redeemed us in any way , but He chose to satisfy the Divine Justice. He is Almighty He could of done it in any way.Splendid says the Apostle : God was in Jesus reconciliating the world with Himself.God judged Himself for our sins and took the sins of humanity upon Himself.For He became sin , the one who knew no sins so that we could became sinless through Him.So Jesus' sacrifice was for our atonement, cause "He took all our infirmities and all our inquities , our wicknesses and our sickness upon Himself"(from Esaias, Isaiah 53).It was the sacrifice for the accomplishment of God`s Justice.Cause He took all our sins upon Himself the sins of humanity and the handwritting that was contrary to us in wich all the sins of humanity were accounted and nailed it on the cross.For God DIED , consider this, imagine this , this was the judgement and the offering so it would satisfy the Judgement, he took the sins of humanity and judged Himself for them and Died Himself for all our sins, God Almighty, died for us.This is the sacrifice of great and splendid odure , the sacrifice of Justice.The sacrifice of Christs stands as testimony for God`s justice a testimony for all the prosecutors and the acusors , the Devil and the Angels.
Roman Catholic nonsense.

Why are you offending the little ones with your Romophobia? The atonement and ransom must not be comprehended literally.God did not made a pact or any agreement with Satan or with anyone else, rather He chose to be this way so that His Justice will also accomplish , and to show everyone He is a just Judge.The Offering of Christ was to the Father, to accomplish His Judgement, cause God wich is Perfect, Mercifull and Loving is also Just.This is what many people don`t understand.He could of wash our sins in any way , but then it would not be in harmony with His Justice, and Justice needed to be accomplished aswell, cause God is perfect.Christ was also a "ransom" for grave, for through His death He "re-buyed" us and with His death , He killed death.It`s not a literall ransom , nor any agreement in pact , but this must be understanded like this : By Him dying and descending in Hades, He liberated the souls captive in the abide of the death.So He gave His death so that He could free us the death.Released the souls from Hades and opened the gates of heaven.So Jesus' sacrifice stands as confession for God`s great love towards the world, His mercy , and at the same time His "terrible" justice.

.
Firstly, you're using a bad translation. Here's the original: http://www.oodegr.com/oode/pateres1/athanasios/enanthrwpisi1.htm
Secondly, you take it out of context. If you read St. Athanasios (for example, in the quote I give above) you will see that he is talking about Christ rescuing us from death by His Death & Resurrection. Of what possible use would Christ's corpse be to the Father? How would this please Him? Christ offers His life in order to Harrow Hades the same way that a soldier "offers" his life to save others- not as a judicial substitution nor as an appeasement of the enemy.
Thirdly, the idea in your earlier post that Christ offered something to satan and death is absurd. God owes satan nothing.
It's hard to tell if you're being snippy in this reply.  No need to get upset (if you are), I was just confused by the passage as I read it.  Would you mind translating that portion of the text from the Greek for me in a better way, as I cannot read Greek?

Also, I was unaware that it is theologically improper to refer to Christ offering a ransom to death and the Devil.  When trying to separate the Eastern and Western views, I have always been fumbling, and this is just kind of what I ended up with.  You have to try to be understanding and realize that it's difficult to correct your perspective when you've had something beaten into your head a certain way since infancy, especially when it is this nuanced.

So then is the correct Orthodox perspective that Christ's sacrifice was offered to no one?  Is it rather that he assumed death itself in order to conquer it?

WHOEVER CHANGES THE SUBSTANCE OF THIS POSTS OR DELETES ANYTHING FROM IT, LET IT BE ANATHEMA TO HIM!




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ADDENDUM:  This poster has been confirmed to be Dan-Romania, who is presently banned from this site.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 06:59:14 AM by PeterTheAleut »

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #464 on: December 28, 2009, 06:04:40 AM »
Christ sacrifice was for God, to accomplish God`s righteouss.It`s the ultimate act wich shows us that God is all-righteous, and a Just Judge, not only this , but All-Loving and All-Mercifull. God could of redeemed us in any way , but He chose to satisfy the Divine Justice. He is Almighty He could of done it in any way.Splendid says the Apostle : God was in Jesus reconciliating the world with Himself.God judged Himself for our sins and took the sins of humanity upon Himself.For He became sin , the one who knew no sins so that we could became sinless through Him.So Jesus' sacrifice was for our atonement, cause "He took all our infirmities and all our inquities , our wicknesses and our sickness upon Himself"(from Esaias, Isaiah 53).It was the sacrifice for the accomplishment of God`s Justice.Cause He took all our sins upon Himself the sins of humanity and the handwritting that was contrary to us in wich all the sins of humanity were accounted and nailed it on the cross.For God DIED , consider this, imagine this , this was the judgement and the offering so it would satisfy the Judgement, he took the sins of humanity and judged Himself for them and Died Himself for all our sins, God Almighty, died for us.This is the sacrifice of great and splendid odure , the sacrifice of Justice.The sacrifice of Christs stands as testimony for God`s justice a testimony for all the prosecutors and the acusors , the Devil and the Angels.
Roman Catholic nonsense.

Why are you offending the little ones with your Romophobia? The atonement and ransom must not be comprehended literally.God did not made a pact or any agreement with Satan or with anyone else, rather He chose to be this way so that His Justice will also accomplish , and to show everyone He is a just Judge.The Offering of Christ was to the Father, to accomplish His Judgement, cause God wich is Perfect, Mercifull and Loving is also Just.This is what many people don`t understand.He could of wash our sins in any way , but then it would not be in harmony with His Justice, and Justice needed to be accomplished aswell, cause God is perfect.Christ was also a "ransom" for grave, for through His death He "re-buyed" us and with His death , He killed death.It`s not a literall ransom , nor any agreement in pact , but this must be understanded like this : By Him dying and descending in Hades, He liberated the souls captive in the abide of the death.So He gave His death so that He could free us the death.Released the souls from Hades and opened the gates of heaven.So Jesus' sacrifice stands as confession for God`s great love towards the world, His mercy , and at the same time His "terrible" justice.
Roman Catholic nonsense.
Welcome to the forum anyway. :)
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #465 on: December 28, 2009, 06:12:59 AM »
If God is "Just" and His "Justice" demands sacrifice for sin, why does He pay those who arrive at the eleventh hour the exact same wage as those who worked all day (Matthew 20:1-16)?
If God is "Just" and His "Justice" demands sacrifice for sin, why does He make the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the good and the wicked alike (Matthew 5:45)?
If God is "Just" and His "Justice" demands sacrifice for sin, why does He say "I desire Mercy, not sacrifice" (Matthew 9:13)?
Roman Catholic nonsense projects "justice" on to a God Who clearly is not Just. Or more correctly, Who is truly just which means infinitely merciful.
In the human mind, mercy and justice are opposed to one another. In Heaven, they are the same thing.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 06:18:11 AM by ozgeorge »
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Offline Eirr

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #466 on: December 28, 2009, 06:14:56 AM »
If God is "Just" and His "Justice" demands sacrifice for sin, why does He pay those who arrive at the eleventh hour the exact same wage as those who worked all day (Matthew 20:1-16)?
If God is "Just" and His "Justice" demands sacrifice for sin, why does He make the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the good and the wicked alike (Matthew 5:45)?
If God is "Just" and His "Justice" demands sacrifice for sin, why does He say "I desire Mercy, not sacrifice" (Matthew 9:13)?
Roman Catholic nonsense projects "justice" on to a God Who clearly is not Just.

I did not say God`s Justice needed or needs sacrifice , but Christ`s sacrifice was also according to God`s Justice.Don`t twist my words convert.

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #467 on: December 28, 2009, 06:20:40 AM »
I did not say God`s Justice needed or needs sacrifice , but Christ`s sacrifice was also according to God`s Justice.
I know that is what you said. And you are wrong. God is not "just".

.Don`t twist my words convert.
I don't have to twist your words. And who is not a convert?
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Offline Eirr

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #468 on: December 28, 2009, 06:27:51 AM »
The death of Christ was for our redemption and to release us from the grave and death.As someone who you are offending said very good "he assumed death in order to conquer it".Christ`s sacrifice was the ultimate sacrifice the last sacrifice of blood, cause as the Law teaches "there is no forgiveness of sins without pooring of blood".Another person who your all-knowing persona offended , reminded a connection between the OT sacrifice and the sacrifice of Christ.Now the blood of Christ has poored and covers everything there is no need of another blood to cover our sins , and we in His blood have redemption from our pooring of blood and through His blood we find grace and mercy at God.

I did not say God`s Justice needed or needs sacrifice , but Christ`s sacrifice was also according to God`s Justice.
I know that is what you said. And you are wrong. God is not "just".

.Don`t twist my words convert.
I don't have to twist your words. And who is not a convert?

God is perfect in all ways.To say God is not just is an heresy, and a blasphemy.Don`t be a pagan.
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #469 on: December 28, 2009, 06:32:05 AM »
The death of Christ was for our redemption and to release us from the grave and death.As someone who you are offending said very good "he assumed death in order to conquer it".Christ`s sacrifice was the ultimate sacrifice the last sacrifice of blood, cause as the Law teaches "there is no forgiveness of sins without pooring of blood".Another person who your all-knowing persona offended , reminded a connection between the OT sacrifice and the sacrifice of Christ.Now the blood of Christ has poored and covers everything there is no need of another blood to cover our sins , and we in His blood have redemption from our pooring of blood and through His blood we find grace and mercy at God.
Roman Catholic nonsense.

God is perfect in all ways.To say God is not just is an heresy, and a blasphemy.Don`t be a pagan.
Is St Isaac the Syrian also a heretic and a pagan? Because he says exactly the same thing as I do:
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!”    — St. Isaac of Syria, Ascetical Homilies, 51

Now, which Fathers of the Orthodox Church can you quote to back up your claims? (And note, Thomas Aquinas is not a Father of the Orthodox Church.)
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Offline sorrowhasnohome

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #470 on: December 28, 2009, 07:38:51 AM »
The death of Christ was for our redemption and to release us from the grave and death.As someone who you are offending said very good "he assumed death in order to conquer it".Christ`s sacrifice was the ultimate sacrifice the last sacrifice of blood, cause as the Law teaches "there is no forgiveness of sins without pooring of blood".Another person who your all-knowing persona offended , reminded a connection between the OT sacrifice and the sacrifice of Christ.Now the blood of Christ has poored and covers everything there is no need of another blood to cover our sins , and we in His blood have redemption from our pooring of blood and through His blood we find grace and mercy at God.
Roman Catholic nonsense.

God is perfect in all ways.To say God is not just is an heresy, and a blasphemy.Don`t be a pagan.
Is St Isaac the Syrian also a heretic and a pagan? Because he says exactly the same thing as I do:
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!”    — St. Isaac of Syria, Ascetical Homilies, 51

Now, which Fathers of the Orthodox Church can you quote to back up your claims? (And note, Thomas Aquinas is not a Father of the Orthodox Church.)


Quoting Isac of Syria is irrelevant as he was suffering of APOKATASTASIS.

Chrysostom (349-407) on Hebrews 9:28. “So Christ was once offered.”: By whom offered? evidently by Himself. Here he says that He is not Priest only, but Victim also, and what is sacrificed. On this account are [the words] “was offered.” “Was once offered” (he says) “to bear the sins of many.” Why “of many,” and not “of all”? Because not all believed, For He died indeed for all, that is His part: for that death was a counterbalance against the destruction of all men. But He did not bear the sins of all men, because they were not willing. NPNF1: Vol. XIV, Epistle to the Hebrews, Homly 17.

Theodoret of Cyrrhus (393-466) commenting on Hebrews 9:27-28: As it is appointed for each human being to die once, and the one who accepts death’s decree no longer sins but awaits the examination of what was done in life, so Christ the Lord, after being offered once for us and taking up our sins, will come to us again, with sin no longer in force, that is, with sin no longer occupying a place as far as human beings are concerned. He said himself, remember, when he still had a mortal body, “He committed no sin, nor was guile found in his mouth.” It should be noted, of course, that he bore the sins of many, not of all: not all came to faith, so he removed the sins of the believers only. Robert Charles Hill, Theodoret of Cyrus: Commentary on the Letters of St. Paul, Vol. 2 (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2001), p. 175.

Bede (672/673-735) commenting on 1 John 2:1: The Lord intercedes for us not by words but by his dying compassion, because he took upon himself the sins which he was unwilling to condemn his elect for. On 1 John. Gerald Bray, ed., Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament, Vol. XI, James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000), p. 177.

"[T]he Word, being the Image of the Father and immortal, took the form of the servant, and as man underwent for us death in His flesh, that thereby He might offer Himself for us through death to the Father...Formerly the world, as guilty, was under judgment from the Law; but now the Word has taken on Himself the judgment, and having suffered in the body for all, has bestowed salvation to all". (St. Athanasios the Great, Contra Arianos I.41,60)

"But beyond all this, there was a debt owing which must needs be paid; for, as I said before, all men were due to die. Here, then, is the second reason why the Word dwelt among us, namely that having proved His Godhead by His works, He might offer the sacrifice on behalf of all, surrendering His own temple to death in place of all, to settle man's account with death and free him from the primal transgression. In the same act also He showed Himself mightier than death, displaying His own body incorruptible as the first-fruits of the resurrection." (St. Athanasios the Great, De Incarnatione, 20)

"If Phinees, when he waxed zealous and slew the evil-doer, staved the wrath of God, shall not Jesus, who slew not another, but gave up Himself for a ransom, put away the wrath which is against mankind?...Further; if the lamb under Moses drove the destroyer far away, did not much rather the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world, deliver us from our sins? The blood of a silly sheep gave salvation; and shall not the Blood of the Only-begotten much rather save?...Jesus then really suffered for all men; for the Cross was no illusion, otherwise our redemption is an illusion also...These things the Saviour endured, and made peace through the Blood of His Cross, for things in heaven, and things in earth. For we were enemies of God through sin, and God had appointed the sinner to die. There must needs therefore have happened one of two things; either that God, in His truth, should destroy all men, or that in His loving-kindness He should cancel the sentence. But behold the wisdom of God; He preserved both the truth of His sentence, and the exercise of His loving-kindness. Christ took our sins in His body on the tree, that we by His death might die to sin, and live unto righteousness." (Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, XIII)

"Note carefully in the above the words, "I gave to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for the blood shall make atonement for the soul." He [Moses] says clearly that the blood of the victims slain is a propitiation in the place of human life. And the law about sacrifices suggests that it should be so regarded, if it is carefully considered. For it requires him who is sacrificing always to lay his hands on the head of the victim, and to bear the animal to the priest held by its head, as one offering a sacrifice on behalf of himself. Thus he says in each case: "He shall bring it before the Lord. And he shall lay his hands on the head of the gift." Such is the ritual in every case, no sacrifice is ever brought up otherwise. And so the argument holds that the victims are brought in place of the lives of them who bring them...While then the better, the great and worthy and divine sacrifice was not yet available for men, it was necessary for them by the offering of animals to pay a ransom for their own life, and this was fitly a life that represented their own nature. Thus did the holy men of old, anticipating by the Holy Spirit that a holy victim, dear to God and great, would one day come for men, as the offering for the sins of the world, believing that as prophets they must perform in symbol his sacrifice, and shew forth in type what was yet to be. But when that which was perfect was come, in accordance with the predictions of the prophets, the former sacrifices ceased at once because of the better and true Sacrifice.

"This Sacrifice was the Christ of God, from far distant times foretold as coming to men, to be sacrificed like a sheep for the whole human race. As Isaiah the prophet says of him: "As a sheep he was led to slaughter, and as a lamb dumb before her shearers." And he adds: "He bears our sins and is pained for us; yet we accounted him to be in trouble, and in suffering and in affliction. But he was wounded on account of our sins, and he was made sick on account of our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripe we are healed. ...And the Lord hath given him up for our iniquities ...for he did no sin himself, nor was guile found in his mouth.'' Jeremiah, another Hebrew prophet, speaks similarly in the person of Christ: "I was led as a lamb to the slaughter." John Baptist sets the seal on their predictions at the appearance of our Saviour. For beholding Him, and pointing Him out to those present as the one foretold by the prophets, he cried: "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

"Since then according to the witness of the prophets the great and precious ransom has been found for Jews and Greeks alike, the propitiation for the whole world, the life given for the life of all men, the pure offering for every stain and sin, the Lamb of God, the holy sheep dear to God, the Lamb that was foretold, by Whose inspired and mystic teaching all we Gentiles have procured the forgiveness of our former sins, and such Jews as hope in Him are freed from the curse of Moses, daily celebrating His memorial, the remembrance of His Body and Blood, and are admitted to a greater sacrifice than that of the ancient law, we do not reckon it right to fall back upon the first beggarly elements, which are symbols and likenesses but do not contain the truth itself. And any Jews, of course, who have taken refuge in Christ, even if they attend no longer to the ordinances of Moses, but live according to the new covenant, are free from the curse ordained by Moses, for the Lamb of God has surely not only taken on Himself the sin of the world, but also the curse involved in the breach of the commandments of Moses as well. The Lamb of God is made thus both sin and curse—sin for the sinners in the world, and curse for those remaining in all the things written in Moses' law. And so the Apostle says: "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us"; and "Him that knew no sin, for our sakes he made sin."For what is there that the Offering for the whole world could not effect, the Life given for the life of sinners, Who was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a lamb to the sacrifice, and all this for us and on our behalf? And this was why those ancient men of God, as they had not yet the reality, held fast to their symbols.

"He then that was alone of those who ever existed, the Word of God, before all worlds, and High Priest of every creature that has mind and reason, separated One of like passions with us, as a sheep or lamb from the human flock, branded on Him all our sins, and fastened on Hirn as well the curse that was adjudged by Moses' law, as Moses foretells: "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." This He suffered "being made a curse for us; and making himself sin for our sakes."And then "He made him sin for our sakes who knew no sin,"and laid on Him all the punishments due to us for our sins, bonds, insults, contumelies, scourging, and shameful blows, and the crowning trophy of the Cross. And after all this when He had offered such a wondrous offering and choice victim to the Father, and sacrificed for the salvation of us all, He delivered a memorial to us to offer to God continually instead of a sacrifice." (Eusebius of Caesarea, Demonstratio Evangelica, I.10)

"And the Lamb of God not only did this, but was chastised on our behalf, and suffered a penalty He did not owe, but which we owed because of the multitude of our sins; and so He became the cause of the forgiveness of our sins, because He received death for us, and transferred to Himself the scourging, the insults, and the dishonour, which were due to us, and drew down on Himself the apportioned curse, being made a curse for us. And what is that but the price of our souls? And so the oracle says in our person: "By his stripes we were healed," and "The Lord delivered him for our sins," with the result that uniting Himself to us and us to Himself, and appropriating our sufferings, He can say, "I said, Lord, have mercy on me, heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee." (Eusebius of Caesarea, Demonstratio Evangelica, X.1)

“A sacrifice was needed to reconcile the Father on high with us and to sanctify us, since we had been soiled by fellowship with the evil one. There had to be a sacrifice which both cleansed and was clean, and a purified, sinless priest…. God overturned the devil through suffering and His Flesh which He offered as a sacrifice to God the Father, as a pure and altogether holy victim – how great is His gift! – and reconciled God to the human race…Since He gave His Blood, which was sinless and therefore guiltless, as a ransom for us who were liable to punishment because of our sins, He redeemed us from our guilt. He forgave us our sins, tore up the record of them on the Cross and delivered us from the devil’s tyranny. The devil was caught by the bait. It was as if he opened his mouth and hastened to pour out for himself our ransom, the Master’s Blood, which was not only guiltless but full of divine power. Then instead of being enriched by it he was strongly bound and made an example in the Cross of Christ. So we were rescued from his slavery and transformed into the kingdom of the Son of God. Before we had been vessels of wrath, but we were made vessels of mercy by Him Who bound the one who was strong compared to us, and seized his goods.” (St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 16, 21, 24, 31)

And I`m sure there are many many more.Confess your foulishness in front of all the people on the forums and stop offending people , because of your lack of faith and your Romophobia.Other than that God Bless you and everyone here.You can ban me now.I will keep coming back everytime I see big offences here,though.You don`t know(the administrators) what you have done, I was exactly what this forum needed ... faith, and I don`t rememmber dear administrators of having impose any sort of death threats to anyone.While I was in the chat room someone started behaving very rasist and calling me names and gypsy and etc of course it made me mad.So other than insults I haven`t done anything of that manner wich is death threats.I urge you very urgently to stop your arogance , here i`m refering essp to some of the converts, and stop making this religion the religion of the pharisees.Be good and kind , respectfull and peacefull with everyone esspecially with those in need of good words , who are thirsty and curious of orthodoxy.Be as Christ, serve the people and help them, share your faith without arrogance , pride and insults.Stop making others feel inferior, rather make yourselves inferior to them , as Christ came to serve not to be served, and everyone in image of Christ must always humble himself and be at the disposal of people, trying to understand everyone.Cause no one has been born teached, and I bet any one of you(us) were(and still are) like those who are not so knowledgable about orthodoxy.This is not a reason to despise them, but the serve their purpose and feed their curiosities.Be good with your brothers and neighbours cause life comes from our neighbour.God bless all on this forum.May God give wisedom to the moderators and administrators and may God bless esspecially the little ones.May God be with you.Happy Holydays and a Happy New Year.

Dan-Romania
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« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 07:40:34 AM by sorrowhasnohome »

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #471 on: December 28, 2009, 09:01:27 AM »
The death of Christ was for our redemption and to release us from the grave and death.As someone who you are offending said very good "he assumed death in order to conquer it".Christ`s sacrifice was the ultimate sacrifice the last sacrifice of blood, cause as the Law teaches "there is no forgiveness of sins without pooring of blood".Another person who your all-knowing persona offended , reminded a connection between the OT sacrifice and the sacrifice of Christ.Now the blood of Christ has poored and covers everything there is no need of another blood to cover our sins , and we in His blood have redemption from our pooring of blood and through His blood we find grace and mercy at God.
Roman Catholic nonsense.

God is perfect in all ways.To say God is not just is an heresy, and a blasphemy.Don`t be a pagan.
Is St Isaac the Syrian also a heretic and a pagan? Because he says exactly the same thing as I do:
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!”    — St. Isaac of Syria, Ascetical Homilies, 51

Now, which Fathers of the Orthodox Church can you quote to back up your claims? (And note, Thomas Aquinas is not a Father of the Orthodox Church.)


Quoting Isac of Syria is irrelevant as he was suffering of APOKATASTASIS.

Chrysostom (349-407) on Hebrews 9:28. “So Christ was once offered.”: By whom offered? evidently by Himself. Here he says that He is not Priest only, but Victim also, and what is sacrificed. On this account are [the words] “was offered.” “Was once offered” (he says) “to bear the sins of many.” Why “of many,” and not “of all”? Because not all believed, For He died indeed for all, that is His part: for that death was a counterbalance against the destruction of all men. But He did not bear the sins of all men, because they were not willing. NPNF1: Vol. XIV, Epistle to the Hebrews, Homly 17.

Theodoret of Cyrrhus (393-466) commenting on Hebrews 9:27-28: As it is appointed for each human being to die once, and the one who accepts death’s decree no longer sins but awaits the examination of what was done in life, so Christ the Lord, after being offered once for us and taking up our sins, will come to us again, with sin no longer in force, that is, with sin no longer occupying a place as far as human beings are concerned. He said himself, remember, when he still had a mortal body, “He committed no sin, nor was guile found in his mouth.” It should be noted, of course, that he bore the sins of many, not of all: not all came to faith, so he removed the sins of the believers only. Robert Charles Hill, Theodoret of Cyrus: Commentary on the Letters of St. Paul, Vol. 2 (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2001), p. 175.

Bede (672/673-735) commenting on 1 John 2:1: The Lord intercedes for us not by words but by his dying compassion, because he took upon himself the sins which he was unwilling to condemn his elect for. On 1 John. Gerald Bray, ed., Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament, Vol. XI, James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000), p. 177.

"[T]he Word, being the Image of the Father and immortal, took the form of the servant, and as man underwent for us death in His flesh, that thereby He might offer Himself for us through death to the Father...Formerly the world, as guilty, was under judgment from the Law; but now the Word has taken on Himself the judgment, and having suffered in the body for all, has bestowed salvation to all". (St. Athanasios the Great, Contra Arianos I.41,60)

"But beyond all this, there was a debt owing which must needs be paid; for, as I said before, all men were due to die. Here, then, is the second reason why the Word dwelt among us, namely that having proved His Godhead by His works, He might offer the sacrifice on behalf of all, surrendering His own temple to death in place of all, to settle man's account with death and free him from the primal transgression. In the same act also He showed Himself mightier than death, displaying His own body incorruptible as the first-fruits of the resurrection." (St. Athanasios the Great, De Incarnatione, 20)

"If Phinees, when he waxed zealous and slew the evil-doer, staved the wrath of God, shall not Jesus, who slew not another, but gave up Himself for a ransom, put away the wrath which is against mankind?...Further; if the lamb under Moses drove the destroyer far away, did not much rather the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world, deliver us from our sins? The blood of a silly sheep gave salvation; and shall not the Blood of the Only-begotten much rather save?...Jesus then really suffered for all men; for the Cross was no illusion, otherwise our redemption is an illusion also...These things the Saviour endured, and made peace through the Blood of His Cross, for things in heaven, and things in earth. For we were enemies of God through sin, and God had appointed the sinner to die. There must needs therefore have happened one of two things; either that God, in His truth, should destroy all men, or that in His loving-kindness He should cancel the sentence. But behold the wisdom of God; He preserved both the truth of His sentence, and the exercise of His loving-kindness. Christ took our sins in His body on the tree, that we by His death might die to sin, and live unto righteousness." (Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, XIII)

"Note carefully in the above the words, "I gave to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for the blood shall make atonement for the soul." He [Moses] says clearly that the blood of the victims slain is a propitiation in the place of human life. And the law about sacrifices suggests that it should be so regarded, if it is carefully considered. For it requires him who is sacrificing always to lay his hands on the head of the victim, and to bear the animal to the priest held by its head, as one offering a sacrifice on behalf of himself. Thus he says in each case: "He shall bring it before the Lord. And he shall lay his hands on the head of the gift." Such is the ritual in every case, no sacrifice is ever brought up otherwise. And so the argument holds that the victims are brought in place of the lives of them who bring them...While then the better, the great and worthy and divine sacrifice was not yet available for men, it was necessary for them by the offering of animals to pay a ransom for their own life, and this was fitly a life that represented their own nature. Thus did the holy men of old, anticipating by the Holy Spirit that a holy victim, dear to God and great, would one day come for men, as the offering for the sins of the world, believing that as prophets they must perform in symbol his sacrifice, and shew forth in type what was yet to be. But when that which was perfect was come, in accordance with the predictions of the prophets, the former sacrifices ceased at once because of the better and true Sacrifice.

"This Sacrifice was the Christ of God, from far distant times foretold as coming to men, to be sacrificed like a sheep for the whole human race. As Isaiah the prophet says of him: "As a sheep he was led to slaughter, and as a lamb dumb before her shearers." And he adds: "He bears our sins and is pained for us; yet we accounted him to be in trouble, and in suffering and in affliction. But he was wounded on account of our sins, and he was made sick on account of our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripe we are healed. ...And the Lord hath given him up for our iniquities ...for he did no sin himself, nor was guile found in his mouth.'' Jeremiah, another Hebrew prophet, speaks similarly in the person of Christ: "I was led as a lamb to the slaughter." John Baptist sets the seal on their predictions at the appearance of our Saviour. For beholding Him, and pointing Him out to those present as the one foretold by the prophets, he cried: "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

"Since then according to the witness of the prophets the great and precious ransom has been found for Jews and Greeks alike, the propitiation for the whole world, the life given for the life of all men, the pure offering for every stain and sin, the Lamb of God, the holy sheep dear to God, the Lamb that was foretold, by Whose inspired and mystic teaching all we Gentiles have procured the forgiveness of our former sins, and such Jews as hope in Him are freed from the curse of Moses, daily celebrating His memorial, the remembrance of His Body and Blood, and are admitted to a greater sacrifice than that of the ancient law, we do not reckon it right to fall back upon the first beggarly elements, which are symbols and likenesses but do not contain the truth itself. And any Jews, of course, who have taken refuge in Christ, even if they attend no longer to the ordinances of Moses, but live according to the new covenant, are free from the curse ordained by Moses, for the Lamb of God has surely not only taken on Himself the sin of the world, but also the curse involved in the breach of the commandments of Moses as well. The Lamb of God is made thus both sin and curse—sin for the sinners in the world, and curse for those remaining in all the things written in Moses' law. And so the Apostle says: "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us"; and "Him that knew no sin, for our sakes he made sin."For what is there that the Offering for the whole world could not effect, the Life given for the life of sinners, Who was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a lamb to the sacrifice, and all this for us and on our behalf? And this was why those ancient men of God, as they had not yet the reality, held fast to their symbols.

"He then that was alone of those who ever existed, the Word of God, before all worlds, and High Priest of every creature that has mind and reason, separated One of like passions with us, as a sheep or lamb from the human flock, branded on Him all our sins, and fastened on Hirn as well the curse that was adjudged by Moses' law, as Moses foretells: "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." This He suffered "being made a curse for us; and making himself sin for our sakes."And then "He made him sin for our sakes who knew no sin,"and laid on Him all the punishments due to us for our sins, bonds, insults, contumelies, scourging, and shameful blows, and the crowning trophy of the Cross. And after all this when He had offered such a wondrous offering and choice victim to the Father, and sacrificed for the salvation of us all, He delivered a memorial to us to offer to God continually instead of a sacrifice." (Eusebius of Caesarea, Demonstratio Evangelica, I.10)

"And the Lamb of God not only did this, but was chastised on our behalf, and suffered a penalty He did not owe, but which we owed because of the multitude of our sins; and so He became the cause of the forgiveness of our sins, because He received death for us, and transferred to Himself the scourging, the insults, and the dishonour, which were due to us, and drew down on Himself the apportioned curse, being made a curse for us. And what is that but the price of our souls? And so the oracle says in our person: "By his stripes we were healed," and "The Lord delivered him for our sins," with the result that uniting Himself to us and us to Himself, and appropriating our sufferings, He can say, "I said, Lord, have mercy on me, heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee." (Eusebius of Caesarea, Demonstratio Evangelica, X.1)

“A sacrifice was needed to reconcile the Father on high with us and to sanctify us, since we had been soiled by fellowship with the evil one. There had to be a sacrifice which both cleansed and was clean, and a purified, sinless priest…. God overturned the devil through suffering and His Flesh which He offered as a sacrifice to God the Father, as a pure and altogether holy victim – how great is His gift! – and reconciled God to the human race…Since He gave His Blood, which was sinless and therefore guiltless, as a ransom for us who were liable to punishment because of our sins, He redeemed us from our guilt. He forgave us our sins, tore up the record of them on the Cross and delivered us from the devil’s tyranny. The devil was caught by the bait. It was as if he opened his mouth and hastened to pour out for himself our ransom, the Master’s Blood, which was not only guiltless but full of divine power. Then instead of being enriched by it he was strongly bound and made an example in the Cross of Christ. So we were rescued from his slavery and transformed into the kingdom of the Son of God. Before we had been vessels of wrath, but we were made vessels of mercy by Him Who bound the one who was strong compared to us, and seized his goods.” (St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 16, 21, 24, 31)

And I`m sure there are many many more.Confess your foulishness in front of all the people on the forums and stop offending people , because of your lack of faith and your Romophobia.Other than that God Bless you and everyone here.You can ban me now.I will keep coming back everytime I see big offences here,though.You don`t know(the administrators) what you have done, I was exactly what this forum needed ... faith, and I don`t rememmber dear administrators of having impose any sort of death threats to anyone.While I was in the chat room someone started behaving very rasist and calling me names and gypsy and etc of course it made me mad.So other than insults I haven`t done anything of that manner wich is death threats.I urge you very urgently to stop your arogance , here i`m refering essp to some of the converts, and stop making this religion the religion of the pharisees.Be good and kind , respectfull and peacefull with everyone esspecially with those in need of good words , who are thirsty and curious of orthodoxy.Be as Christ, serve the people and help them, share your faith without arrogance , pride and insults.Stop making others feel inferior, rather make yourselves inferior to them , as Christ came to serve not to be served, and everyone in image of Christ must always humble himself and be at the disposal of people, trying to understand everyone.Cause no one has been born teached, and I bet any one of you(us) were(and still are) like those who are not so knowledgable about orthodoxy.This is not a reason to despise them, but the serve their purpose and feed their curiosities.Be good with your brothers and neighbours cause life comes from our neighbour.God bless all on this forum.May God give wisedom to the moderators and administrators and may God bless esspecially the little ones.May God be with you.Happy Holydays and a Happy New Year.

Dan-Romania
Could you tell me (before you are banned again) which of the Fathers you quote says that God's "justice" demands a sacrifice for sin?
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Offline sorrowhasnohome

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #472 on: December 28, 2009, 09:53:33 AM »
I have never said that, again.God in His truth, in His justice and in His all-loving chose to die for us on the cross.It was not only an act of love,but also an act of true and divine justice,not of human justice, cause us according to our humanity were to be damned. Read esspecially the quote of Cyrill of Jerusalem.Again the possibility that God`s love and mercy can overcome and be higher than His justice it is another thing  , but God made this beautifull act of mercy and love without breaking His justice.So the sacrifice of Christ was made also according to His justice.For He took and imputed our sins to Himself, so that we through Him would become sin-free.

2Cor5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.


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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #473 on: December 28, 2009, 10:05:09 AM »
I have never said that, again.
Spiffing. So what is your problem? I'm actually arguing against the pagan notion of a sacrifice required to satisfy "divine justice" as does St. Isaac the Syrian who is suggesting the same as me and you tell me that he is a heretic and that I must "confess my foulishness in front of all the people on the forums". So if you don't believe that "divine justice" requires a sacrifice before God will forgive sins, you therefore agree with me, so why must I "confess my foulishness" and you not?
The notion of "divine justice requiring sacrifice" is irrational and insane and breeds irrationality and insanity- which is why I so vehemently oppose it.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 10:10:47 AM by ozgeorge »
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #474 on: December 28, 2009, 02:29:31 PM »
This thread sucks!

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #475 on: December 28, 2009, 03:17:23 PM »
If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #476 on: December 28, 2009, 10:48:10 PM »
Firstly, you're using a bad translation. Here's the original: http://www.oodegr.com/oode/pateres1/athanasios/enanthrwpisi1.htm
Secondly, you take it out of context. If you read St. Athanasios (for example, in the quote I give above) you will see that he is talking about Christ rescuing us from death by His Death & Resurrection. Of what possible use would Christ's corpse be to the Father? How would this please Him? Christ offers His life in order to Harrow Hades the same way that a soldier "offers" his life to save others- not as a judicial substitution nor as an appeasement of the enemy.
Thirdly, the idea in your earlier post that Christ offered something to satan and death is absurd. God owes satan nothing.
It's hard to tell if you're being snippy in this reply.  No need to get upset (if you are), I was just confused by the passage as I read it.  Would you mind translating that portion of the text from the Greek for me in a better way, as I cannot read Greek?

Also, I was unaware that it is theologically improper to refer to Christ offering a ransom to death and the Devil.  When trying to separate the Eastern and Western views, I have always been fumbling, and this is just kind of what I ended up with.  You have to try to be understanding and realize that it's difficult to correct your perspective when you've had something beaten into your head a certain way since infancy, especially when it is this nuanced.

So then is the correct Orthodox perspective that Christ's sacrifice was offered to no one?  Is it rather that he assumed death itself in order to conquer it?

George, can you please address my concerns from this post?  I am mainly interested in a translation of that portion of the text if you can give one, and an explanation of how you think that the Son is offered to the Father, or if it even happens at all.

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #477 on: December 29, 2009, 04:34:08 AM »
  I am mainly interested in a translation of that portion of the text if you can give one,
There is just no equivalent anywhere in the text. The eighth section of the first chapter reads:
"For He Who is the bodiless Logos Son of the Father, out of the love and kindness of the Faather for us and for our salvation, deigned to surround Himself in human flesh and be revealed.

and an explanation of how you think that the Son is offered to the Father, or if it even happens at all.
I have actually explained that several times on this thread, so I hope it is a case that you didn't understand what I was saying, and not a case that you just didn't bother to read it (i'm giving you the benefit of the doubt  ;) ) Firstly, I hope I've made myself abundantly clear as to how the Son is definitely not offered to the Father, that is, the Son is not a "required penalty". Have a look at the quote from St. Gregory the Theologian. St. Gregory says that it was not the Father who held us in bondage because of our sin, therefore Christ was not a bribe to the Father to release us, and that the notion that Christ was a ransom paid to satan who held us in bondage is an outrage. St Gregory asks: "on what principle did the Blood of His only Begotten Son delight the Father, Who would not receive even Isaac when he was being offered by his father, but changed the sacrifice, putting a ram in place of a human victim?" God does not delight in sacrifice, as Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself said: "But go and learn what this means:  ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’[a] For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:13) To insist that God desires or demands a sacrifice for sin when He Himself says that He does not is ludicrous. So St. Gregory concludes: "Is it not evident that the Father accepts Him, but neither asked for Him nor demanded Him", that is, no sacrifice was required, and St. Gregory continues by explaining what the Father "accepted": "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" In other words, the Father accepted the whole of the Incarnation in which our Humanity was sanctified since God had joined it to Himself, and the Incarnate Christ's obedience to the Father in all things, even unto death. The Father accepted the Incarnate Christ's rescue of humanity via the Incarnation, Life, Death and Resurrection.
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #478 on: December 29, 2009, 04:46:38 AM »
I have actually explained that several times on this thread, so I hope it is a case that you didn't understand what I was saying, and not a case that you just didn't bother to read it (i'm giving you the benefit of the doubt  ;) ).

No, no.  You were perfectly clear in addressing these issues numerous times throughout the thread.  I was simply interested in seeing if you thought that the Body of Christ could be offered to the Father in some other way; one outside of the whole "penal satisfaction" sphere altogether.  Since you have basically stated that the translation of Athanasius I have is completely botched on that section, at this point I would just being going off of the aforementioned portion of the anaphora which implies that the sacrifice of Christ is offered "unto Thee (the Father) on behalf of all and for all."

However, you explained your view it very succinctly in the last sentence.  I'm not sure if I agree or disagree at this point, but I think that you are saying that Christ's death was not a sacrifice offered to anyone, but that the event can be correctly referred to as a sacrifice as a metaphor.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 04:47:05 AM by Alveus Lacuna »

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #479 on: January 03, 2010, 12:14:54 AM »
Recently came across a refutation of Vladimir Moss' ravings on this theory, against Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky's and the Dogma of Redemption
http://orthodoxyinfo.org/Moss%20Resolution.pdf
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #480 on: April 12, 2010, 11:30:00 PM »
Is St Isaac the Syrian also a heretic and a pagan? Because he says exactly the same thing as I do:
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!”    — St. Isaac of Syria, Ascetical Homilies, 51

I think I'm beginning to understand that the main issue here surrounds "justice" and whether or not God can forgive freely. I was missing this element before in the debate.

"Does God need blood? Is He bloodthirsty and requires a full stomach of sacrifice to be appeased?"

It would seem obvious that the clear answer is no. However, the Old Testament is full of references to sacrifices sending up a sweet and pleasing aroma to God. Does God have nostrils? No, he does not, but he still asked for burnt offerings.

I am coming back with a quote by St. Ephraim the Syrian:

"O God of mercies Who refreshed Noah, he too refreshed Your mercies. He offered sacrifice and stayed the flood; he presented gifts and received the promise. With prayer and incense he propitiated You: with an oath and with the bow You were gracious to him; so that if the flood should essay to hurt the earth, the bow should stretch itself over against it, to banish it away and hearten the earth. As You have sworn peace so do You maintain it, and let Your bow strive against Your wrath!

Stretch forth Your bow against the flood, for lo! It has lifted up its waves against our walls!

In revelation, Lord! It has been proclaimed, that that lowly blood which Noah sprinkled, wholly restrained Your wrath for all generations; how much mightier then shall be the blood of Your Only Begotten, that the sprinkling of it should restrain our flood! For lo! It was but as mysteries of Him that those lowly sacrifices gained virtue, which Noah offered, and stayed by them Your wrath. Be propitiated by the gift upon my altar, and stay from me the deadly flood. So shall both Your signs bring deliverance, to me Your cross and to Noah Your bow! Your cross shall cleave the sea of waters; Your bow shall stay the flood of rain.
"  - St. Ephraim the Syrian, Nisibene Hymns I: 1-2.

I'm beginning to think that either the nuances of the issue are beyond my ability to grasp intellectually, or that the whole debate is some kind of a constructed war against "Western" theology which is, at its root, not really an issue at all. Aren't all of these explanations as to in what way Christ reconciles us to God only inadequate attempts to conceptualize the unfathomable? Even if we dismiss the notion of his "justice" being appeased, we cannot deny many references to His "wrath" being appeased.

There was division with God and man because of sin, and the Blood of Christ reconciled us to God. How did it do this, and why did it need to be done this way? I don't know that there is an adequate answer to this question.

Most Holy Mother of God, pray for us, that we might understand!
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 11:34:47 PM by Alveus Lacuna »

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #481 on: April 13, 2010, 01:27:00 PM »
Is St Isaac the Syrian also a heretic and a pagan? Because he says exactly the same thing as I do:
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!”    — St. Isaac of Syria, Ascetical Homilies, 51

I think I'm beginning to understand that the main issue here surrounds "justice" and whether or not God can forgive freely. I was missing this element before in the debate.

"Does God need blood? Is He bloodthirsty and requires a full stomach of sacrifice to be appeased?"

It would seem obvious that the clear answer is no. However, the Old Testament is full of references to sacrifices sending up a sweet and pleasing aroma to God. Does God have nostrils? No, he does not, but he still asked for burnt offerings.

I am coming back with a quote by St. Ephraim the Syrian:

"O God of mercies Who refreshed Noah, he too refreshed Your mercies. He offered sacrifice and stayed the flood; he presented gifts and received the promise. With prayer and incense he propitiated You: with an oath and with the bow You were gracious to him; so that if the flood should essay to hurt the earth, the bow should stretch itself over against it, to banish it away and hearten the earth. As You have sworn peace so do You maintain it, and let Your bow strive against Your wrath!

Stretch forth Your bow against the flood, for lo! It has lifted up its waves against our walls!

In revelation, Lord! It has been proclaimed, that that lowly blood which Noah sprinkled, wholly restrained Your wrath for all generations; how much mightier then shall be the blood of Your Only Begotten, that the sprinkling of it should restrain our flood! For lo! It was but as mysteries of Him that those lowly sacrifices gained virtue, which Noah offered, and stayed by them Your wrath. Be propitiated by the gift upon my altar, and stay from me the deadly flood. So shall both Your signs bring deliverance, to me Your cross and to Noah Your bow! Your cross shall cleave the sea of waters; Your bow shall stay the flood of rain.
"  - St. Ephraim the Syrian, Nisibene Hymns I: 1-2.

I'm beginning to think that either the nuances of the issue are beyond my ability to grasp intellectually, or that the whole debate is some kind of a constructed war against "Western" theology which is, at its root, not really an issue at all. Aren't all of these explanations as to in what way Christ reconciles us to God only inadequate attempts to conceptualize the unfathomable? Even if we dismiss the notion of his "justice" being appeased, we cannot deny many references to His "wrath" being appeased.

There was division with God and man because of sin, and the Blood of Christ reconciled us to God. How did it do this, and why did it need to be done this way? I don't know that there is an adequate answer to this question.

Most Holy Mother of God, pray for us, that we might understand!


  The blood of Christ Expiates/cleanses/cleans/destroyes/purify/wash our sin. This is different from appeasement/Propitiation.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2010, 01:29:09 PM by jnorm888 »
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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #482 on: October 30, 2010, 07:12:59 AM »
Augustine says that anything in the Bible that “cannot in a literal sense be attributed either to an upright character or to a pure faith” should be understood as figurative. I'd say the same for the portrayal of penal satisfaction theory in the bible.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2010, 07:14:02 AM by Ortho_cat »

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #483 on: October 30, 2010, 11:11:56 PM »
Augustine says that anything in the Bible that “cannot in a literal sense be attributed either to an upright character or to a pure faith” should be understood as figurative. I'd say the same for the portrayal of penal satisfaction theory in the bible.

Indeed. I think highly opinionated people on both sides of the debate muddle the issue when they equate "a sin-offering to God" with "penal substitution" as such. It really all depends on how you interpret certain phrases. Personally, I think there is a good reason why the Scriptures and our liturgical texts refrain from giving us any detailed "mechanism" of how the expiation on the Cross "works."

In the midst of all this, we must remember that Holy Tradition attributes redemptive power not to the Cross only, but to the entire Incarnation, right up through the Resurrection, the Ascencion, and even the Second Coming. Penal Subtsitution and a literal Satisfaction theory tend to obscure, often deny, the meaning of the entire Incarnation.

Offline synLeszka

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #484 on: October 31, 2010, 08:11:11 AM »
I glanced over the first post in this thread and it cited Lossky as if he were an authority. In reality, the Russian religiophilosophy movement of which Lossky is a represenitive was not and did not claim to be the authorititave voice of Orthodoxy theology.
In my opinion the penal satisifaction theory is a pan-Christian theory. Even Berdiaev writes about how the belief of the Russian peasant trembled before God the Father fearing his retribution and preferred to pray to the Mother of God.

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #485 on: October 31, 2010, 01:39:02 PM »
Even Berdiaev writes about how the belief of the Russian peasant trembled before God the Father fearing his retribution and preferred to pray to the Mother of God.

Like the Publican. My issue is with the assertion that GOd must punish sin, or would rather punish sin, or is unwilling to forgive without punishent (including substitutionary punishment), etc.

In any event, the Protestant teaching of Penal Substitution is not identical to Anselm's Satisfaction Theory, with which some Protestant groups with fundamentalist tendencies take issue. There is also widespread disagereement among Protestants as to what the word "atonement" actually means. So I don't see how it is a pan-Christian theory.

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Re: Christ The Lamb Of God
« Reply #486 on: August 02, 2012, 07:35:30 AM »
Here is what I think and what I have been saying on this forum for 5 years about this (not that anyone listens to me since I am old and a cradle Orthodox!)


The question it asks is: "To whom is the ransom paid?"
It cannot be paid to God, since God was not holding us to ransom because of our sins. We were enslaved to Death and the Devil by our sins, and to say that Christ paid a ransom to death and the Devil to liberate us is ludicrous.

Or, another possibility is that "ransom" is a metaphor, and is not to be taken literally.

St. Gregory the Theologian, Second Oration on Pascha

"To whom was that Blood offered that was shed for us, and why was it shed? I mean the precious and famous Blood of our God and High Priest and Sacrifice. We were detained in bondage by the evil one, sold under sin, and received pleasure in exchange for wickedness. Now, since a ransom belongs only to him who holds in bondage, I ask, to who was this offered and to what cause? If to the evil one, fie upon the outrage! The robber receives ransom, not only from God, but a ransom which consists of God Himself, and as such has an illustrious payment for his tyranny, a payment for whose sake it would have been right for him to have left us alone all together.
But first I ask, how? For it was not by Him (God) that we were being oppressed. And next, on what principle did the Blood of His only Begotten Son delight the Father, Who would not receive even Isaac when he was being offered by his father, but changed the sacrifice, putting a ram in place of a human victim? 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."


I would not wish to say that any of the bibilical motifs for understanding the cross are metaphorical; mysteries that we can't fully comprehend? Yes. Metaphors, No.
So, again, I ask, to whom was the ransom paid if it is a literal ransom? As St. Gregory says, the one who held us in bondage is the evil one, so did he receive the ransom?
The problem with viewing terms like "ransom" and "atonement" too literally is that doing so imprisons God. Basically, it means God cannot forgive sin unless an atonement is made or a ransom paid.

This is the way I view it. The ransom (Christ)is the bait. When Christ offers himself sinless to the devil, the devil didn't know he had a sinless example of a human. the devil took the bait and was bound by doing it. Death was overcome by a sinless example. This is clearly seen when one sees that death is the consequence for sin.

I agree. It was a case of deceiving the deceiver. And in the Orthodox Church, we commemorate this on Holy Saturday:

"Today Hades cries out groaning:
I should not have accepted the Man born of Mary.
He came and destroyed my power.
He shattered the gates of brass.
As God. He raised the souls I had held captive.

"Today Hades cries out groaning:
my power has been abolished;
I have received a mortal, as one of the mortals;
but this One, I am completely powerless to contain;
with Him, I have lost all those over which I have ruled. 
For ages I had held them dead;
but behold, He raises them up all.'"



I'm not sure we have any choice but to view the word "ransom" as a metaphor. If we don't view it as a metaphor- then the ransom must be paid to the one who holds in bondage, i.e., the one who holds to ransom, or the one who has enslaved.
Why can't you just accept this instead of making some song and dance about how it is "not a metaphor"? Why is it so important to you that it is not a metaphor?

This is what I don't get.
Any time anyone questions a particular view of soteriology, such as the literal interpretation of Christ as "ransom", they are "convert bashing" or "anti-Western"....Why? 
If a particular doctrinal interpretation has holes in it, it has holes in it if it is "Western", "Eastern", "Northern" or "Southern".
And if it is not the "universally accepted" Western view, then why should someone who is merely questioning it's correctness be accused of being "anti-Western" or "convert bashing"? Do only Western coverts hold these views?

I don't believe it was a ransom paid to the devil or bait put forth to ensnare him.
And I agree with you. All I'm saying is that a literal interpretation of the concept of "ransom" does not permit one to hold this view.
I think that the fact that we were "bought at a price" is a testimony to God's love for us, and it is the way He chose to save us by Divine Economia so that "when I (Christ) am lifted up (on the Cross), I will draw all men to Myself." But I also think that God's infinite love and mercy does not require that a "payment" be made for sin. Christ said: "This is my Blood of the new Covenant which is shed for many to (Gk: "εις") the forgiveness of sin."  To interpret this as saying "in order that sins may be forgiven" in the sense that sins can only be forgiven if someone suffers and dies in "payment" for them or accepts the "punishment" due for them is, in my view, erroneous. Our sins are forgiven because God is merciful, not because He has been paid off like some mafia boss given protection money.

What's important to understand to me is why it appears that much of what is being purported as the "Orthodox view" seems radically inconsistent with what the church has taught in the past. 
I'm not sure that it is radically different from what the Church has taught in the past. What seems radically different is that some view concepts meant as metaphors as meant to be taken literally- something which the Fathers did not do.

It's also important to me to understand why there is a continual need felt by many Orthodox people to continually construct caricatures of the "western view" or to define what they believe in terms of what they oppose in western theology.
I think what they are reacting against is the misinterpretation of metaphors as literal doctrine. The fact is that many today think that "God cannot forgive sin unless something bleeds".  I myself have come accross this many times, not only in my Catholic and Protestant friends, but some Orthodox as well. The fact is that this view is absent in Eastern soteriology, since our salvation came about by the "Divine Economia" of the Incarnation.

was not aware that I am putting forth a "song and dance" here, so much as actually posting writings that are directly related to the topic at hand.
What I am asking is: why is it so important that no one question the literal interpretation of our redemption as being the payment of a ransom? When you said:
Yes, that is the question.
Yet, if what you say is true, there is no ransom.  Yet, clearly there is a ransom that was paid by Christ on our behalf.  But to whom?
It seems to me there is only one possibility.
It seems to me that the words "clearly there is a ransom that was paid by Christ on our behalf"  leaves no room except for a literal interpretation of "ransom" to mean a payment given to God without which He could not forgive our sin. If I misunderstood, I apologise. But if this is what you meant to say, I could not disagree more.

What exactly is absent in "Eastern" soteriology?  Why do we stress "Eastern" so much?

Because Eastern theology has maintained the Orthodox Christian view of redemption. Whereas the "Western" view has been typified by the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and are different. See:Summa Theologica: Q48 The efficiency of Christ's Passion

I will say I'm thankful my real world experiences in the church are in almost all cases absolutely nothing like what I read online.
That's fine. But you're just going to have to accept the fact that in 40 years as an Orthodox Christian, I have never come across any reference in any Liturgical Service to the "satisfaction" view of redemption. That's my real world experience.

Mina,
You're playing on the word "satisfaction" here.
There is nothing wrong with the Russian theological concept of "satisfying" the Righteousness of God (which is what St. Athanasios is talking about), in fact, this is exactly how Christ redeemed us; that is, by fulfilling the Law: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." (Matthew 5:17). And not only Christ, but we too are required to satisfy God's Righteousness: ".... it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." (Matthew 3:15).

 But this is vastly different to the Western concept of satisfying God's "Justice" (which is what lubeltri is talking about), where God must extract a payment before He will forgive sin.

Satisfying God's Righteousnes is something we must all strive for, but was fulfilled par excellence by the Theanthropic Christ.

Satisfying God's Justice, however by saying things such as:
To satisfy the divine justice or the divine consistency. It is just that we all die for rejecting God through sin.
makes Death not the natural consequence of sin, but a temporal evil imposed on us by God in retribution for sin. In other words, it makes God the Author of evil. The wages of sin are death, but who is it that "pays" these wages? Is it the God Who swore by His Own Life that He does not desire the death of the sinner but that he should turn and live (Ezekiel 33:11)? I don't think so.

If one wishes to take the judicial view of Redemtion, one has no choice but to aknowledge that the reductio ad absurdum is that God cannot forgive sin unless a penalty for it is paid, and one lays oneself open to the accusations of Atheists that the God one worships doesn't think repentance is sincere enough unless someone has pain and death inflicted on them.



According to St. Athanasius, repentance wasn't enough.  Not only does it not heal the corruption, but also it makes God's word untrue to simply forgive after saying one will "surely die."

But you are assuming that St. Athanasios is taking the judicial view here, and you are reading things into him that he does not say. Where does St. Athanasios say that God cannot forgive sin without the Crucifixion? Forgiving sin is one thing, and redeeming us from death is quite another.

I've said it three times on this thread, and I'll say it again: Death is the natural consequence of sin, not the "penalty" inflicted by God for sin. We will "surely die" for sin just as we will "surely die" if we ingest cyanide, but death is not the "penalty" for ingesting cyanide, it's merely the natural consequence of it. By ingesting cyanide, we corrupt our homeostasis, and this leads to death. Sin also corrupts us and leads to death.

The greatest testimony to the fact that God did not redeem mankind by judicial means is the Harrowing of Hades. It was a rescue mission to save mankind from the natural consequences of sin, just like a paramedic saves a drug addict from the natural consequences of taking an overdose.

Again, we should not put words in RC mouths.  Let's seek to understand them.  Perhaps, all they were affirming all this time was Athanasian theology.
I am listening, and what I am hearing is that unless I take the judicial view of redemption, I am a heretic, and I refuse to accept that.
The denial of any juridical aspect is just plain heterodoxy to me

Well, St. Athanasius says that God cannot merely forgive sin or fix corruption, even though He has that power, it would be "inconsistent" for God to forgive sin without the Incarnation, Human Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ.  So, in the end, St. Athanasius does indeed say that God cannot "forgive sin" without the Incarnation, in addition to redemption of death.

No he doesn't Mina.

Listen to what St. Athanasios actually says:
Quote
"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."
St. Athanasios says that Death is not "Just" as lubeltri claims, St. Athanasios says it is monstrous.

and St. Athanasios also says:
Quote
"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? "
St. Athanasios is not talking about forgiveness, but healing the consequences of sin. One can repent of murdering someone, and God will forgive them, but the consequences of the sin (the corruption it causes) remain- the victim remains dead.

You are equating Forgiveness with Redemption- which is the very error which the judicial view makes, but St. Athanasios clearly distinguishes between sin and it's consequences, and between forgiveness and Redemption. Sin can be forgiven, and indeed was forgiven even before the Incarnation. But the echoes sin causes through the Universe, that is, it's consequences, could only be healed through the Incarnation, Passion, Death and Resurrection of the God-Man.

Quote
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.I
t's equally monstrous and "unthinkable" (did you think about it...shame on you  Tongue) that God should just simply get rid of the death and corruption that ailed man.  God said man will surely die, and He CANNOT go back on His word.  Notice also, it's interesting because while we concentrate so much on the fact that it's our own fault, we forget that it's also God's commandment that this should happen if this happened.  If it's merely just a "my own fault, God didn't create death" type of arguement, it wouldn't have been necessary for St. Athanasius to be so insistent on Goid not going back "on His word."

No Mina! Stop and think! You are saying that what St. Athanasios calls "the law of death" was created by God, and that He cannot break His own law. But "God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good", and "the dead do not praise the Lord, neither they that go down into the silence", and "The Lord is the God of the living and not of the dead." Just as sin is evil and can have no part with God, Death is also evil and can have no part with God. Death is the absence of Life, and the only Source of Life is God.
When God says in Genesis that on the day Adam disobeys His commandment "you will surely die", He is stating a fact; namely that sin by definition cuts us off from the Source of Life. This is the "law of death" St. Athanasios is talking about. What is impure and evil cannot have anything to do with what is Pure and Good, and evil cannot have any part of God. The concept is ontological not judicial. Don't be confused by the term "law". When we talk about the Laws of Thermodynamics, we are not talking about judicial laws. And note that St. Athanasios calls it "the law of death", not the "law of God".

It would, of course, have been unthinkable that God should go back upon His word and that man, having transgressed, should not die.
Quote
Nor does repentance recall men from what is according to their nature ; all that it does is to make them cease from sinning.
Self-explanatory.  This is the ontological side of things.
No, Mina. It is exactly the same as what St. Athanasios said before, just a different way of saying it. In both cases, St. Athanasios is saying the same thing and is speaking ontologically.


David,
I have read your articles, and I liked them, but I don't think we can draw the conclusion that the "judicial" and "ontological" views complement each other, and I'm not sure how you are trying to make this connection when you say:
I mean...God demands a perfect humanity for union with Himself and will take no less, for to do so would 1) go against the reality of holiness' incompatibility with iniquity and 2) damn us all as a natural consequence...and His love for us could not bear the latter, nor would His holiness allow for the former to pass unchallenged and unconquered.
(1) above, is ontological- evil and good, impurity and purity cannot mix, because that would mean that God is no longer Pure, and therefore, no longer God., and in (2), it is not God Who is damns us, and He acts, not with "Justice" but with Mercy to solve an ontological problem:
our impurity and consequential seperation from Him Who is the All Pure Source of Life vs. His desire that we be united with Him

Peter the Aleut,
I think it is wrong to think of God as the Creator of death. The Source of Life cannot create Death. Just as darkness is the result of being cut off from a source of light, Death is the result of being cut off from the Source of Life. Thus, "the law of death" is not a "Divine Law", it's the natural consequence of being cut off from the Divine. Deification is not "one option among many", it is the only option if we are to attain Eternal Life, and it is intrinsic to our true Human Nature. We made it impossible to attain by leaving the Source of Life, and Christ made it possible again by Sanctifying Human Nature at the Incarnation, and delivering the souls of those in Hades by His own Death. God took back from Death what was His. To say that He put them there in the first place makes God the sadistic being that modern Atheists accuse us of making Him into.

But if you say that God created "the law of death" you are saying that God could have chosen not to let sin lead to death. Our redemption, therefore, is a farce which never needed to happen in the first place. God places us in Hades then gets us out again....some Redeemer that would be! It would be like a firefighter who starts forest fires then plays the hero.

I am in fact saying this!  :o  All jest aside, for God to have chosen "not to let sin lead to death" would have been inconsistent with His incorruptible nature.  God cannot by His very nature allow Himself to be corrupted by uniting Himself to the corruption caused by sin.  Sin, therefore, MUST separate man from God.
That's correct. Which is what I've been saying all along. God could not have included anything in the Laws of Nature which would prevent sin leading to death, so, contrary to the Laws of Nature, a Virgin gave birth to a Human Being Who is God....We were redeemed because God suspended and contradicted the Laws of Nature. And when, as True Man, God died on the Cross, He himself entered the realm of Death, and even the Dead were no longer seperated from Him, and He raised them up and granted them Life again.


If St. Athanasius explicates that our redemption was achieved by (inter alia) the lifting of "God's sentence", and yet you persist in essentially denying that God could be responsible in any way for any sentence, then I am inclined to believe that you are not really addressing St. Athanasius on his own terms.

EA,
Again, you misquote St. Athanasios and take his words out of context.
In answer to the Arians, Saint Athanasios is talking about the remission of sin and the fact that Christ had the authority to forgive sins on Earth, which proves that He was not a creature, but God Himself. Here is what St. Athanasios actually says:
Quote
And how, were the Word a creature, had He power to undo God's sentence, and to remit sin, whereas it is written in the Prophets, that this is God's doing? For 'who is a God like unto You, that pardons iniquity, and passes by transgression Micah 7:18 ?' For whereas God has said, 'Dust you are, and unto dust shall you return Genesis 3:19 ,' men have become mortal; how then could things originate undo sin?

Therefore, since the Saint is saying that Christ had the authority to "undo God's sentence" by forgiving sins on Earth, the attempt to use this as "proof" that the Saint is saying that our redemption through the Cross and Resurrection was judicial in nature is ludicrous. In answer to the Arians, St. Athanasios is showing that Christ is God by referring to the fact that in the Gospel, Christ had the authority to "undo God's sentence"  by forgiving sins....and He was doing this in the Gospel before His Death and Resurrection. If we take the judicial view of Redemption, wouldn't it be impossible for Christ to remit sins before the "debt" was paid by Him?



Peter,
it isn't the use of words like "ransom" and "wrath" which are the problem, but trather, it is when they are taken literally. If I take what St. Cyril is saying literally, then I must believe that the immutable God changed from being wrathful to merciful. Even Scripture says that God was "grieved" that He had that He had created the world (Genesis 6:7) but is this really possible? Could God really have felt that He'd made a mistake in creating the Earth and changed His mind? Are we meant to take this literally?

So we were ransomed from death and corruption by Christ's substitution on the Cross in order that we would undergo an ontological change through theosis and thus be saved from the "everlasting punishment" which those who have not put on Christ and thus remain united to death and corruption will undergo.
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?

I mention this only because, as you say, such ideas of substitution and ransom may be "very comfortable to Western ears", but in this day and age, when people are questioning the basis of our belief, such questions can be raised and are quite valid, and we need to be ready with an answer.



Thanks Father.
No matter how many times I quote St. Gregory the Theologian on this thread and no matter how many times I insist that “ransom” and “substitution” and “atonement” cannot be taken literally, people insist that we need to use these terms to make our (Orthodox) soteriology palatable to the West. But I keep arguing that these terms make no sense if taken literally rather than metaphorically. I can’t see how the “scholastic” West could find these terms "palatable" since even slightly scratching the surface of them causes them to fall apart.
George

St. Gregory the Theologian, Second Oration on Pascha

"To whom was that Blood offered that was shed for us, and why was it shed? I mean the precious and famous Blood of our God and High Priest and Sacrifice. We were detained in bondage by the evil one, sold under sin, and received pleasure in exchange for wickedness. Now, since a ransom belongs only to him who holds in bondage, I ask, to who was this offered and to what cause? If to the evil one, fie upon the outrage! The robber receives ransom, not only from God, but a ransom which consists of God Himself, and as such has an illustrious payment for his tyranny, a payment for whose sake it would have been right for him to have left us alone all together.
But first I ask, how? For it was not by Him (God) that we were being oppressed. And next, on what principle did the Blood of His only Begotten Son delight the Father, Who would not receive even Isaac when he was being offered by his father, but changed the sacrifice, putting a ram in place of a human victim? 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."



I would not wish to say that any of the bibilical motifs for understanding the cross are metaphorical; mysteries that we can't fully comprehend? Yes. Metaphors, No.
So, again, I ask, to whom was the ransom paid if it is a literal ransom? As St. Gregory says, the one who held us in bondage is the evil one, so did he receive the ransom?
The problem with viewing terms like "ransom" and "atonement" too literally is that doing so imprisons God. Basically, it means God cannot forgive sin unless an atonement is made or a ransom paid.


That fact that the term "atonement" had to be invented should tell people something.
What do you suggest this should tell us?

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!”    — St. Isaac of Syria, Ascetical Homilies, 51


 
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?
 

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.


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.



 
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.
 


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.


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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Offline Azul

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #487 on: August 07, 2012, 03:20:52 PM »
If death is the natural consequence of sin that would those who sin after the last judgement and resurrection die again or anyone else in heaven? Or have those in heaven lost their free will and cannot sin?
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #488 on: October 22, 2012, 02:13:11 AM »
I was listening to one of the Vatican's priests on Relevant Radio this morning, and in a question and answer part after his talk, he spoke of the satisfaction theory, which the questioner brought up, which he rejected.

He said that the satisfaction theory says that when God looks at us, Christ stands in the way so the Father sees Him, not us.  Rather, the Catholic Faith (and he is right on that) says God looks at us and sees Christ in us.

Our bishop gave a magnificent sermon on the Transfiguration, on how God looks at us like a parent looks at a child and sees himself and those he loves in the child, and the Transfiguration is Christ making that-the Image and Likeness of God-come out.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #489 on: October 22, 2012, 02:14:01 AM »
If death is the natural consequence of sin that would those who sin after the last judgement and resurrection die again or anyone else in heaven? Or have those in heaven lost their free will and cannot sin?
No, they lose their gnomic will, and therefore can exercise their free will and therefore not sin.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
« Reply #490 on: October 22, 2012, 07:20:38 AM »
Ramsom, substitutianary atonement and others are metaphors took way too literally.

If you want to loose weight, you must "pay the price" and do "proper sacrifice" which is to stop eating in excess and/or unhealthy but tasty food, start exercising and basically reeducate yourself ("fasting", "ascesis" and "learning the commandments" in the small world of flesh). The metaphor of "paying the price", "no pain, no gain", "do some sacrifice" may work for some and be awful for others, producing more guilt than results - exactly the same problem of much of Western theology.

Sometimes I think that most of Western heresies were due to the long period of illeteracy that occurred this side of Europe after the fall of Rome, while Constantinople not only was still literate but had subtle sophisticated and even presumptious and unnecessary domain of figures of speech. The average reader in the East (although readers were still a minority) would be able to notice metaphors (such as the image of "ramsom"), hyperboles (such as the ones used in bishops' titles, which the West also took literally), or parallelism (like the Symbol of Faith where not understanding this figure of speech led to the filioque) for what they are, the meaning they conveyed and why they were used in that context. Western readers, at that time, would be content with the simple fact that they could identify the words at all, and that is why when St. Augustine, a true writer, emerged among them (us) he was so admired. Even in modern times the whole issue with the heretic dogma of Immaculate Conception is due to not being able to understand Byzantine-style excessively colorful figures of speech and interpreting it in absolute and literal ways.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2012, 07:44:45 AM by Fabio Leite »
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