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Author Topic: Orthodox (Eastern?) mindset vs. Protestant (Western?) mindset  (Read 24077 times) Average Rating: 0
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GabrieltheCelt
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« on: April 13, 2008, 11:52:19 PM »

Hey y'all,

There are at this moment, as well as a few in the past, a few threads that are touching indirectly on the differences between these two mindsets.  So as not to hijack those threads, I was hoping I could get some viewpoints as to the specifics that separate Orthodox and Protestant mindsets.  Just a few questions I have at the moment (but please add whatever thoughts you have in addition) are:

1. Would you characterize the two by saying Orthodox is more Eastern and therefore more experiential/mystical and Protestantism is more Western and therefore more scholastic? 

2. What exactly does the Church mean by 'Mystical'?

3. Is the Orthodox mindset created more by following the Holy Traditions or by culture or both?

These are just three questions that I've been thinking about but there are many, many more that I don't exactly know how to word.  Feel free to add any you might have.  I bring this topic up not to create any animosity between the two; I simply hope to learn how to acquire an Orthodox mindset.

In Christ,
Gabriel

PS- If I've placed this thread in the wrong location, mods- feel free to move it and please accept my apologies.
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2008, 12:07:25 AM »

Hi Gabriel,

I mentioned this point in another thread but I think one of the differences between the two mind sets is perspective.

Protestants have only one source of authority, the Bible and they use proof-texting from the scriptures to prove a point.

Orthodox, on the other hand, have more sources (Holy Scriptures, hymnography, liturgics, iconography, patristics, the Creed, the councils, etc) to draw from and therefore have a more holistic view of Christianity.

Protestants are also used to thinking of themselves as islands unto themselves (its just me and God).

Orthodox believe that we are saved as a community or one body but we go to hell as individuals.

Since protestants have no higher authority, they have come up with a thousand and one interpretations of the Holy Scriptures.

The Orthodox realize that in order to understand the scriptures one must place them in the context of Holy Tradition. 

I haven't answered your questions but these are my observations after belonging to a parish for eight years which welcomes Protestant inquirers on a regular basis.

sincerely, Tamara

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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2008, 12:24:45 AM »

^^Actually Tamara, you answered a lot of the questions I was curious about but hadn't asked yet. Cheesy 

Shukran sister,

Ma'a salama wa fi aman Allah'

Gabriel (Jibra'il) Wink
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2008, 06:50:28 PM »

Howdy!

From the Protestant point of view, Orthodoxy is a totally alien concept. "The Church" before the Reformation was the Roman Catholic Church -- period!

The sola scriptura principle of Protestantism leads to the standard of "using scripture to interpret scripture." This, in many cases, is paramount to a dog chasing it's tail -- especially when it comes to modern issues related to modern medicine and technology!

Protestantism has deep roots in rationalism, so "I don't know" is usually not a valid answer to questions of "doctrine" (for those Protestant churches which even accept the principle of "church doctrine" as a valid concept.)

Another biggie is man's total separation from God. The whole idea of Theosis is, in many cases, paramount to blasphemy.
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2008, 08:21:55 PM »

I've heard it described as the difference between a lawyer talking to a philosopher. I would not say the Orthodox are less scholastic,just less focused on setting up all the arguments and putting God in a box. There isn't an argument for every scenario. "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" is very real to many of us.

In a certain sense Holy Tradition and Orthodox culture do a lot of overlapping. After all, Orthodoxy is meant to be a lifestyle. Then again, it depends on what you mean by culture. It isn't about Greek culture or Arab culture or Russian culture, it's about the kind of community and life that grows out of living your faith. There are practices and understandings that unite us though. I think some of these things could be thought of as "cultural."

Not sure if any of this helps...I didn't attempt to tackle some of the more specific things cause I just don't feel confident enough in my ability to give you a complete answer.

Bridget

Hey y'all,

There are at this moment, as well as a few in the past, a few threads that are touching indirectly on the differences between these two mindsets.  So as not to hijack those threads, I was hoping I could get some viewpoints as to the specifics that separate Orthodox and Protestant mindsets.  Just a few questions I have at the moment (but please add whatever thoughts you have in addition) are:

1. Would you characterize the two by saying Orthodox is more Eastern and therefore more experiential/mystical and Protestantism is more Western and therefore more scholastic? 

2. What exactly does the Church mean by 'Mystical'?

3. Is the Orthodox mindset created more by following the Holy Traditions or by culture or both?

These are just three questions that I've been thinking about but there are many, many more that I don't exactly know how to word.  Feel free to add any you might have.  I bring this topic up not to create any animosity between the two; I simply hope to learn how to acquire an Orthodox mindset.

In Christ,
Gabriel

PS- If I've placed this thread in the wrong location, mods- feel free to move it and please accept my apologies.
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2008, 09:19:43 PM »

Some very good points so far I must say.  The Western mindset is trully unique,particularly Protestants,for them the Christian Life is lived out in "court room" so to speak,where they are the Prosecuting Attorney and everyone else is the Defendent,and whenever we present our case,whether it be liturgy,the Canon of Scripture,and in the broader sense,Holy Tradition. The one thing they always demand is Proof,Proof,Proof!! A Rationalist always demands Physical Evidence. But the fact that it is simply a way of life, a practice,it somehow isn't suffice for them.

For them, the fact that there is no written record of the "Oral" Traditions we teach,unless they can see it,touch it,or smell it, it must be a figment of our imagination. The truth is Protestantism is a "Scholastic Religion" and NOT a way of life,even though they would not readily admit that.
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2008, 10:45:02 PM »

It depends on what stream of protestantism; some have more, not in common, but in sympathy with certain Orthodox outlooks and attitudes than others do; others are almost diametrically opposed.

Kind of like saying, what is the difference between the American mindset and the mindset of the rest of the world.
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2008, 11:39:13 PM »

It depends on what stream of protestantism; some have more, not in common, but in sympathy with certain Orthodox outlooks and attitudes than others do; others are almost diametrically opposed.

Kind of like saying, what is the difference between the American mindset and the mindset of the rest of the world.

I would say there is quite a bit of difference between the American Mindset,and that of the rest of the world. We have taken Rationialism to it's outer boundries,but what we've seen over last decades in this Post-Modern world is a longing for the Empiricism that has been lost that help to shape and mold much of the Early Church,scholasticism has it's merit but when it exalts the individual over the community,then it is a dangerous thing.
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2008, 12:00:57 PM »


For them, the fact that there is no written record of the "Oral" Traditions we teach,unless they can see it,touch it,or smell it, it must be a figment of our imagination. The truth is Protestantism is a "Scholastic Religion" and NOT a way of life,even though they would not readily admit that.

One of the biggest hangups to communicating with Protestants is that many/most? Protestants adamantly insist that the ONLY thing God inspired is found between the covers of the Bible. They simply brush off any mention of any other writings and Holy Tradition as "made up by man", and thus being phony, should be avoided- or at very least considered to be superfluous. So, when you want to discuss the various things (I can't think of a good word) we do- such as going to a Priest for confession- the responce is always "show me where it says to do it that way in the Bible".  When they have such a mindset, you might as well politely end the conversation.


proofread
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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2008, 01:02:50 PM »

^^If I feel the conversation is turning sour and heated, I smile and politely sterr the conversation to the weather or something else.  Otherwise, I might counter their questions with questions of my own.

 Them- "Can you show me that in the Bible?"

 Me- "That's a good question.  Which Bible are you speaking of?"

This will give me an opportunity to discuss a little about the history of the Bible and where it came from.  The most important thing we can do, no matter how hostile they become, is to show them the love of Christ- behave towards them as if they're dear friends.     
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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2008, 10:55:49 PM »

Howdy!

The simplest description of the difference in mindset that I have heard is:

For Protestants, religion/the church is a court of law. I (the sinner) am the defendant, God the Father is the judge, Christ is my defense attorney and the crime is sin. The defense is: "Not guilty because I (Jesus) have already been convicted and served the punishment."

For Orthodoxy, religion/the church is a hospital. I (the sinner) am the patient and sin is my illness.

re: sin
For Protestants, sin is "breaking the law of God."
For Orthodox, sin is "missing the mark."

"Missing the mark" covers a much wider range than "breaking the law" does.
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« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2008, 12:17:55 PM »

One of the biggest hangups to communicating with Protestants is that many/most? Protestants adamantly insist that the ONLY thing God inspired is found between the covers of the Bible. They simply brush off any mention of any other writings and Holy Tradition as "made up by man", and thus being phony, should be avoided- or at very least considered to be superfluous. So, when you want to discuss the various things (I can't think of a good word) we do- such as going to a Priest for confession- the responce is always "show me where it says to do it that way in the Bible".  When they have such a mindset, you might as well politely end the conversation.


proofread
As I neared the point of being chrismated in my Orthodox journey, being a protestant, I listed everythiong I could think of that was different than my conservative Presbyterian upbringing or would be met by questions from protestatnt friends. I then went page by page through the entire NT and listed any and every verse that could touch on, enlighten my understanding, support or otherwise be given as a reason, for Orthdox practices, dogma, interpretation. For the Old Testament I relied on writing things down from books I read or cross-references to NT verses.

There was not one column that did not have at least a couple of verses listed.

My point is that one does not have to "prove" a dogma/practice to a protestant; one only needs to show a biblical basis for or reference to a practice/dogma. We aren't going around proof-texting; but one would expect a biblical basis, or a biblical precedent, or an extension of a biblical practice into Holy Tradition.

That to me is good Orthodoxy. Holy Tradition supports and amplifies upon and interprets Holy Scrtipture. Holy Scripture informs and guides Holy Traditon.

Most importantly, neither scripture not tradition stand on their own. The Church, through the Holy Spirit gave birth to both scripture and tradition and is their guardian.
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« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2008, 12:28:13 PM »

Just 0.2 cents to add: Fr. Alexander Schmemann writes in his "Journals" that in the soul of a Catholic as well as of an Orthodox, there lives a "recollection" or "reminiscence" of the Paradise ("vospominanie o raye"). In the classical Western Protestant soul, there is no such reminiscence.
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« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2008, 01:58:40 PM »

Meaning no disrespect to the late Fr. Schmemann, but how would he *know* what the soul of a western protestant feels/knows. 

I am reminded of the allegory "Pilgrim's Regress" by C. S. Lewis in which the main character "John" has a yearning or call to what he thought was an Island, which was what he yearned for and all the various people and ideas he encounters do not fulfill. 

Ebor
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« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2008, 01:47:41 AM »

Protestants detest any tradition except Jewish.  For them, the truth was revealed to the Jews only, while the rest of the "pagan" world lived in complete darkness.  As a result, their understanding of mankind's salvation history is a bit shallow, i.e. SOLELY legalistic (a Jewish concept because of the Torah).  The problem is, Protestants are hell-bent on exporting this exclusively-legalistic mindset to the rest of the world.

On the other hand, Holy Orthodoxy does not put the message of Christ inside a box.  History has shown that the Church is very successful when it adapts to different cultures and traditions.  We have seen this happen in the Roman Empire and its neighbors.  To the Orthodox, the gentiles knew who God is, but they just didn't know His identity and person until Paul preached the good news outside of Judah.

Unfortunately,  it is my personal opinion that Orthodoxy in recent centuries is going the Protestant route.  Let us stop pretending that we already know everything about God and His creation.  Let history teach us a valuable lesson about respecting other cultures.  Isn't it true that the more dogmatic the Church becomes, the more the Church gets divided?

I'm just glad that we only had seven ecumenical councils.  I would suppose that there would be nothing left of the Church if we had a hundred of them.

My 2 cents.
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« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2008, 10:31:29 AM »

/\ /\ /\

Any particular Church in mind there?  The above statement certainly doesn't apply to Anglican thought...

just for information's sake.

C. S. Lewis and others have written about that, how non-Jewish peoples had images and ideas from God, I think one phase that Lewis used was "Good dreams", that go some of the idea or message from Him.  Then there is "The Abolition of Man" with its section in the back of common ideas of moral behaviour from a number of cultures. 

Sigh.

Ebor
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« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2008, 07:24:19 PM »

I think in such cases we should use terms like "fundamentalist Protestants" and the like.  Such statements may be accurate for certain branches of Protestantism, but not for others.
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« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2008, 07:27:36 PM »

I think in such cases we should use terms like "fundamentalist Protestants" and the like.  Such statements may be accurate for certain branches of Protestantism, but not for others. 

Hence, why we shouldn't use the word "Protestant" standing-alone.
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« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2008, 11:59:27 PM »

Hence, why we shouldn't use the word "Protestant" standing-alone.
Probably so. the same with the word evangelical: Is one referring to TV evangelist evangelicals? Mega-church evangelicals? historic 19th century evangelicals? neo-evangelicals of the WWII era? Reformed protestant evangelicals? Wesleyan e's? charasmatic/pentecostal e's; Arminian e's etc. etc.

The broader the brush with which one paints prostestants and evangelicals, the less intellectually credible one will appear. That is especially important for those of you going into the priesthood. Never appear to set up strawmen, use easy stereotypes or rely on secular media driven images of protestants and evangelicals.
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« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2008, 03:41:18 AM »

Unfortunately,  it is my personal opinion that Orthodoxy in recent centuries is going the Protestant route.  Let us stop pretending that we already know everything about God and His creation.  Let history teach us a valuable lesson about respecting other cultures.  Isn't it true that the more dogmatic the Church becomes, the more the Church gets divided?

I'm just glad that we only had seven ecumenical councils.  I would suppose that there would be nothing left of the Church if we had a hundred of them.


Brother, what do you mean by this? Im sorry if the point may seem obvious to other people, but I just dont understand what you mean by "Orthodoxy taking the Protestant route", I am still an embryo in the womb of the Church.. So please elaborate for me..
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« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2010, 09:50:58 PM »

So, what I've gathered thus far is that Protestantism is essentially a legalistic approach to salvation where committing a sin is essentially the same thing as breaking a law and that Jesus had to die in order to appease God.  I realize that these are generalizations that will apply more to certain Protestant sects than it will to others. 

 Also, Orthodox Christians start from Holy Tradition, which includes, but in no way is limited to, the Bible where as Protestants say they start from the Bible Only (Sola Scriptura).  I say "Protestants say they start from..." because it's evident that though all Protestants seem to revere the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, they in fact revert back to each sects 'tradition'.  This is self evident in that no two Protestant sect believes exactly the same.  In fact, if Sola Scriptura was such a lock-tight doctrine, then the Bible should suffice by itself.  The fact that each Protestant sect has hundreds of books and booklets explaining their peculiar way of thinking negates the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.

 Are these the two main points?  Or does the first one, dealing with sin, fall under the second, namely Holy Tradition?
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« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2010, 09:54:13 PM »

Meaning no disrespect to the late Fr. Schmemann, but how would he *know* what the soul of a western protestant feels/knows. 


 While certainly not a definitive answer, I would posit the possibility that God revealed it to Fr. Schmemann.
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« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2010, 11:10:53 PM »

Just 0.2 cents to add: Fr. Alexander Schmemann writes in his "Journals" that in the soul of a Catholic as well as of an Orthodox, there lives a "recollection" or "reminiscence" of the Paradise ("vospominanie o raye"). In the classical Western Protestant soul, there is no such reminiscence.

Could you elaborate on this fascinating and disturbing idea?
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« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2010, 10:44:42 AM »

Just 0.2 cents to add: Fr. Alexander Schmemann writes in his "Journals" that in the soul of a Catholic as well as of an Orthodox, there lives a "recollection" or "reminiscence" of the Paradise ("vospominanie o raye"). In the classical Western Protestant soul, there is no such reminiscence.

Could you elaborate on this fascinating and disturbing idea?

My 2 cents' worth (I am speculating as I have not the context of the quote). I should say that Father Alexander of thrice-blessed memory was first and foremost a praying theologian; that is, although he was scholarly and erudite, he certainly was a true disciple of Christ, a devoted lover of the Holy Church and her Holy Tradition, as well as an outstanding priest. He was instrumental in elevating sacramental theology to a preeminent place in Orthodoxy. He led a renaissance in our understanding and practice of the Holy Mysteries and services. All the while, he also had great insight on Western expressions of Christianity and thus it would have not have been impossible for him to discern "themes" or thought patterns that distinguished the West from the East and Roman Catholics from, as he like to say--the other side of the same coin--Protestants.

Historically, the Apostolic Era is the starting, common point for both Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. Thus, the echoes of the Early Church (the one that best embodied oral and written tradition) lives on in both churches. May be that's what Father Alexander means by "vospominanie o raye." In contrast, the Protestants started much, much later and relied mostly on interpretations of the Holy Scriptures, and nothing else, to try to reestablish the One, Catholic and Apostolic Church, which they felt was abandoned by the Roman Catholic Church. They threw out the baby with the bath water and thus do not have the "reminiscence" of the True Faith, they are forced to reverse engineer it instead.
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« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2010, 01:55:29 PM »


Historically, the Apostolic Era is the starting, common point for both Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. Thus, the echoes of the Early Church (the one that best embodied oral and written tradition) lives on in both churches. May be that's what Father Alexander means by "vospominanie o raye." In contrast, the Protestants started much, much later and relied mostly on interpretations of the Holy Scriptures, and nothing else, to try to reestablish the One, Catholic and Apostolic Church, which they felt was abandoned by the Roman Catholic Church. They threw out the baby with the bath water and thus do not have the "reminiscence" of the True Faith, they are forced to reverse engineer it instead.

I don't believe this to be accurate for all Protestants.  There is no comparison between the more conservative branches of Lutheranism and Anglicanism and much of the Evangelical rabble that came later.  Having studied Lutheran theology, and having a father that is a Lutheran minister, I can tell you that Lutherans are not unacquainted with Apostolic era.  Luther himself recognized the Orthodox Church (the Eastern Catholics as he called them) to be the least removed from the original Apostolic Church.  Lumping all Protestants into the same box displays quite an ignorance of the issue and the particulars of each denomination.

In addition, I believe that it is an error to say that the Latin Church bears any more "reminiscence" of the True Faith than some Protestants.  At least the Lutherans recognized the corruption of the Latin Church and attempted some kind of "reverse engineering", unlike the Latin Church itself that continued to pile heresy upon heresy.  The problem with the Lutheran (and later Protestant and Evangelical churches) is that they tried to plant a branch cut off of another branch that had been dead 500 years rather than grafting themselves to the True Church which is the living vine.
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« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2010, 12:39:11 PM »


Historically, the Apostolic Era is the starting, common point for both Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. Thus, the echoes of the Early Church (the one that best embodied oral and written tradition) lives on in both churches. May be that's what Father Alexander means by "vospominanie o raye." In contrast, the Protestants started much, much later and relied mostly on interpretations of the Holy Scriptures, and nothing else, to try to reestablish the One, Catholic and Apostolic Church, which they felt was abandoned by the Roman Catholic Church. They threw out the baby with the bath water and thus do not have the "reminiscence" of the True Faith, they are forced to reverse engineer it instead.

I don't believe this to be accurate for all Protestants.  There is no comparison between the more conservative branches of Lutheranism and Anglicanism and much of the Evangelical rabble that came later.  Having studied Lutheran theology, and having a father that is a Lutheran minister, I can tell you that Lutherans are not unacquainted with Apostolic era.  Luther himself recognized the Orthodox Church (the Eastern Catholics as he called them) to be the least removed from the original Apostolic Church.  Lumping all Protestants into the same box displays quite an ignorance of the issue and the particulars of each denomination.

In addition, I believe that it is an error to say that the Latin Church bears any more "reminiscence" of the True Faith than some Protestants.  At least the Lutherans recognized the corruption of the Latin Church and attempted some kind of "reverse engineering", unlike the Latin Church itself that continued to pile heresy upon heresy.  The problem with the Lutheran (and later Protestant and Evangelical churches) is that they tried to plant a branch cut off of another branch that had been dead 500 years rather than grafting themselves to the True Church which is the living vine.

Would it be safe to say that Luther's approach to reform was wrong,meaning it wasn't "the Church" that needed reforming but those within the Church that needed reforming?
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« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2010, 10:12:47 PM »


Historically, the Apostolic Era is the starting, common point for both Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. Thus, the echoes of the Early Church (the one that best embodied oral and written tradition) lives on in both churches. May be that's what Father Alexander means by "vospominanie o raye." In contrast, the Protestants started much, much later and relied mostly on interpretations of the Holy Scriptures, and nothing else, to try to reestablish the One, Catholic and Apostolic Church, which they felt was abandoned by the Roman Catholic Church. They threw out the baby with the bath water and thus do not have the "reminiscence" of the True Faith, they are forced to reverse engineer it instead.

I don't believe this to be accurate for all Protestants.  There is no comparison between the more conservative branches of Lutheranism and Anglicanism and much of the Evangelical rabble that came later.  Having studied Lutheran theology, and having a father that is a Lutheran minister, I can tell you that Lutherans are not unacquainted with Apostolic era.  Luther himself recognized the Orthodox Church (the Eastern Catholics as he called them) to be the least removed from the original Apostolic Church.  Lumping all Protestants into the same box displays quite an ignorance of the issue and the particulars of each denomination.

In addition, I believe that it is an error to say that the Latin Church bears any more "reminiscence" of the True Faith than some Protestants.  At least the Lutherans recognized the corruption of the Latin Church and attempted some kind of "reverse engineering", unlike the Latin Church itself that continued to pile heresy upon heresy.  The problem with the Lutheran (and later Protestant and Evangelical churches) is that they tried to plant a branch cut off of another branch that had been dead 500 years rather than grafting themselves to the True Church which is the living vine.

Would it be safe to say that Luther's approach to reform was wrong,meaning it wasn't "the Church" that needed reforming but those within the Church that needed reforming?

That is probably not far from the truth.
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« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2010, 10:17:56 PM »

The Protestant Reformation and the RC Counter Reformation (basically Protestantism  and Roman Catholicism) are two sides of the same coin; rationalism/scholasticism.  I'm trying to find who this paraphrased quote is from and will post it when I do. 
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« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2010, 11:12:44 PM »

Historically, the Apostolic Era is the starting, common point for both Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. Thus, the echoes of the Early Church (the one that best embodied oral and written tradition) lives on in both churches. May be that's what Father Alexander means by "vospominanie o raye." In contrast, the Protestants started much, much later and relied mostly on interpretations of the Holy Scriptures, and nothing else, to try to reestablish the One, Catholic and Apostolic Church, which they felt was abandoned by the Roman Catholic Church. They threw out the baby with the bath water and thus do not have the "reminiscence" of the True Faith, they are forced to reverse engineer it instead. 

I don't believe this to be accurate for all Protestants.  There is no comparison between the more conservative branches of Lutheranism and Anglicanism and much of the Evangelical rabble that came later.  Having studied Lutheran theology, and having a father that is a Lutheran minister, I can tell you that Lutherans are not unacquainted with Apostolic era.  Luther himself recognized the Orthodox Church (the Eastern Catholics as he called them) to be the least removed from the original Apostolic Church.  Lumping all Protestants into the same box displays quite an ignorance of the issue and the particulars of each denomination.

In addition, I believe that it is an error to say that the Latin Church bears any more "reminiscence" of the True Faith than some Protestants.  At least the Lutherans recognized the corruption of the Latin Church and attempted some kind of "reverse engineering", unlike the Latin Church itself that continued to pile heresy upon heresy.  The problem with the Lutheran (and later Protestant and Evangelical churches) is that they tried to plant a branch cut off of another branch that had been dead 500 years rather than grafting themselves to the True Church which is the living vine.
Would it be safe to say that Luther's approach to reform was wrong,meaning it wasn't "the Church" that needed reforming but those within the Church that needed reforming?

It's been likely about 10 years since I last read Luther, but IIRC, his original position was precisely that (i.e. that people within the church leadership structure needed reforming, not the church itself), and it was only later, when others took what he wrote and used it as fodder for a "reform the church" movement (which then led the RC church to expel him), did he change his mind.
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« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2010, 05:33:30 PM »

I personally think there is a huge difference between the RC mindset and the Protestant mindset (esp. Evangelical--I think the Lutheran and Anglican communions fall into some sort of middle ground). Scholasticism is a RC/Islamic invention, yes, but it's my understanding that RC's don't take the concrete, juridical language of Scholasticism very literally. Evangelical Protestants, on the other hand, do interpret doctrines such as Penal Substitution completely literally, and have a very reductionist attitude. Their main theological question is, "What's the least I have to do to be saved, and how can I make sure?"

Another key difference is that most Evangelicals seem to be afflicted with some sort of delusion (plani/prelest)--almost every Evanglical I know thinks that God is constantly telling him or her what to do and directing every little detail of their life. For example, if someone gets a pay raise, then God wanted them to get that raise, no questions asked. I personally find that a bit unsettling.
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« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2010, 10:39:49 AM »

I personally think there is a huge difference between the RC mindset and the Protestant mindset (esp. Evangelical--I think the Lutheran and Anglican communions fall into some sort of middle ground). Scholasticism is a RC/Islamic invention, yes, but it's my understanding that RC's don't take the concrete, juridical language of Scholasticism very literally. Evangelical Protestants, on the other hand, do interpret doctrines such as Penal Substitution completely literally, and have a very reductionist attitude. Their main theological question is, "What's the least I have to do to be saved, and how can I make sure?"

Another key difference is that most Evangelicals seem to be afflicted with some sort of delusion (plani/prelest)--almost every Evanglical I know thinks that God is constantly telling him or her what to do and directing every little detail of their life. For example, if someone gets a pay raise, then God wanted them to get that raise, no questions asked. I personally find that a bit unsettling.

A very spot-on examination, I think what we see is an elevation of human reason,which in some sense is a reliablity on personal revelation. I think the entire assumtion of the Protestant Reformation was built on a faulty premise,that being,in that the "Church" needed reforming and not the individuals within it,this is at the very heart of the problem. The Church is in a sense separated from Christ,if the Church needs reforming,then Christ isn't who he said He was!
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« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2010, 12:05:41 PM »


A very spot-on examination, I think what we see is an elevation of human reason,which in some sense is a reliablity on personal revelation. I think the entire assumtion of the Protestant Reformation was built on a faulty premise,that being,in that the "Church" needed reforming and not the individuals within it,this is at the very heart of the problem. The Church is in a sense separated from Christ,if the Church needs reforming,then Christ isn't who he said He was!

Well, from the perspective of a 15th century layperson in the (Roman) Church, the church probably did need "reforming".  Just starting off with indulgences and the Roman teachings on purgatory at the time (not to mention the authority of the pope), along with the abuses of the Roman hierarchy in both political and spiritual realms (largely due to the twisted view of the authority of the pope), and yes, something was rotten in the state of Denmark (and England, and Germany, and Italy...).  My problem with Protestantism has never had anything to do with the rejection of Rome and her additions to the Catholic faith, but methinks these Protestants protest too much. 

The main problem with Western Christianity in general is that what the Protestants were trying to "reform" was not the Church, and had not been the church for at least a few centuries, a fact that few would have been clued in on.  What they were trying to reform was a crude mockery of the church, and they bumbled it as badly as if one were trying to restore a horribly mangled mansion to her original state without any of the original blueprints.  To extend the analogy, you could even say that each Protestant sect tried to rebuild the mansion based off what he thought was the original intent of the design, but amounted only to personal preferences in the design itself.  The Calvinists loved the soaring arches, so built a mansion that was entirely arches, the Baptists loved the columns so built a mansion that was entirely columns, with the Anglicans and Lutherans trying to incorporate as many elements as possible, but somehow ending up with arches where the columns should be and columns where the arches should go.  And all the while Rome keeps building staircases that lead to nowhere.

To extend the analogy even further, imagine if the mansion they were restoring was not the mansion itself, but one minor wing of an impossibly large mansion which the poor workers had long assumed to be the mansion entire, never realizing that the mansion was intact and whole. 
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« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2010, 05:47:55 PM »

Yes, I think the above is pretty accurate.
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« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2010, 06:25:03 PM »

The Calvinists loved the soaring arches, so built a mansion that was entirely arches, the Baptists loved the columns so built a mansion that was entirely columns, with the Anglicans and Lutherans trying to incorporate as many elements as possible, but somehow ending up with arches where the columns should be and columns where the arches should go.  And all the while Rome keeps building staircases that lead to nowhere.
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« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2010, 10:57:21 PM »


A very spot-on examination, I think what we see is an elevation of human reason,which in some sense is a reliablity on personal revelation. I think the entire assumtion of the Protestant Reformation was built on a faulty premise,that being,in that the "Church" needed reforming and not the individuals within it,this is at the very heart of the problem. The Church is in a sense separated from Christ,if the Church needs reforming,then Christ isn't who he said He was!

Well, from the perspective of a 15th century layperson in the (Roman) Church, the church probably did need "reforming".  Just starting off with indulgences and the Roman teachings on purgatory at the time (not to mention the authority of the pope), along with the abuses of the Roman hierarchy in both political and spiritual realms (largely due to the twisted view of the authority of the pope), and yes, something was rotten in the state of Denmark (and England, and Germany, and Italy...).  My problem with Protestantism has never had anything to do with the rejection of Rome and her additions to the Catholic faith, but methinks these Protestants protest too much. 

The main problem with Western Christianity in general is that what the Protestants were trying to "reform" was not the Church, and had not been the church for at least a few centuries, a fact that few would have been clued in on.  What they were trying to reform was a crude mockery of the church, and they bumbled it as badly as if one were trying to restore a horribly mangled mansion to her original state without any of the original blueprints.  To extend the analogy, you could even say that each Protestant sect tried to rebuild the mansion based off what he thought was the original intent of the design, but amounted only to personal preferences in the design itself.  The Calvinists loved the soaring arches, so built a mansion that was entirely arches, the Baptists loved the columns so built a mansion that was entirely columns, with the Anglicans and Lutherans trying to incorporate as many elements as possible, but somehow ending up with arches where the columns should be and columns where the arches should go.  And all the while Rome keeps building staircases that lead to nowhere.

To extend the analogy even further, imagine if the mansion they were restoring was not the mansion itself, but one minor wing of an impossibly large mansion which the poor workers had long assumed to be the mansion entire, never realizing that the mansion was intact and whole. 

I see,so it basically amounted to an overemphasis on certain doctrines of the faith,to the neglect of the others,ex: a Calvinist emphasis and distortion of Predestination,a Baptist on baptism?
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