Evangelizing to Native Peoples: Contrasting Orthodoxy with American Protestantism
Written by Glen Chancy
Monday, 19 May 2008
"I think Orthodoxy just has a better embrace of the material world and is not as fearful of certain traditional things being pagan or occultic. Sometimes they are, but a lot of times they’re not. Whereas in the Western Evangelism there was always a rush to judgment."
"Does it seem then that Orthodoxy is more comfortable with pre-existing traditions?"
"Oh, there’s no question."
"It seems then with Orthodoxy there is more of an emphasis on taking what was there and perfecting it rather than always wholesale remove it."
"...the simple difference between the East and the West in Christianity is that in the West the ultimate object of devotion is a proposition, but in the East it’s a person. So in the Eastern Church there are persons everywhere – icons that we look at, a lot of talk about Angels, and there is a lot of mention of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We have prayers for the people who are departed. It’s very people-centered and quite peopled everywhere.
"Whereas in the West it’s all about propositions and rational statements and building your Theological and philosophical arguments off this, that and the other. In the West, when they come to a people group what they are really trying to get them to do is to assent to some propositions.
"So you have a lot of focus on the book, and the propositions that are written in the book, and making sure that you get these people to assent to these propositions.
And in the East, they go into a people group and the focus is on the people. 'How can we make your life better?' 'How can we allow you as people to be in better relationship to the key person which is God and who is also the three persons the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?' So it’s all a relational emphasis on the surrounding persons. In the West its more rational."