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Author Topic: I just dont get it...  (Read 765 times) Average Rating: 0
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neon_knights
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« on: June 19, 2011, 04:52:13 PM »

Maybe it's me, but I just can't understand why penal atonement isn't taught in Orthodoxy. The more I read Scripture(Paul's epistles in particular), the more I see references to "paying the price" and the "penalty of sin" and so forth. If penal atonement is seen so clearly in scripture, then why is it not taught in the Church?
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 05:19:33 PM »

Maybe it's me, but I just can't understand why penal atonement isn't taught in Orthodoxy. The more I read Scripture(Paul's epistles in particular), the more I see references to "paying the price" and the "penalty of sin" and so forth. If penal atonement is seen so clearly in scripture, then why is it not taught in the Church?

Perhaps there is more to it than that?
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2011, 05:40:54 PM »

Maybe it's me, but I just can't understand why penal atonement isn't taught in Orthodoxy. The more I read Scripture(Paul's epistles in particular), the more I see references to "paying the price" and the "penalty of sin" and so forth. If penal atonement is seen so clearly in scripture, then why is it not taught in the Church?

Who receives the ransom?
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 05:41:11 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
Ioannis Climacus
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2011, 05:43:32 PM »

Maybe it's me, but I just can't understand why penal atonement isn't taught in Orthodoxy. The more I read Scripture(Paul's epistles in particular), the more I see references to "paying the price" and the "penalty of sin" and so forth. If penal atonement is seen so clearly in scripture, then why is it not taught in the Church?
That is not quite penal substitution. There is a difference between suffering or "paying" the price/penalty of sin (which is patristic) and satisfying/appeasing the honor/anger of God. The first is Orthodox in its outlook. The latter makes God either subject to a sense of extra-cosmic justice or to that of changing emotions.
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2011, 05:52:21 PM »

Maybe it's me, but I just can't understand why penal atonement isn't taught in Orthodoxy. The more I read Scripture(Paul's epistles in particular), the more I see references to "paying the price" and the "penalty of sin" and so forth. If penal atonement is seen so clearly in scripture, then why is it not taught in the Church?
That is not quite penal substitution. There is a difference between suffering or "paying" the price/penalty of sin (which is patristic) and satisfying/appeasing the honor/anger of God. The first is Orthodox in its outlook. The latter makes God either subject to a sense of extra-cosmic justice or to that of changing emotions.

And this post pretty much sums it up and answers the question.  But something tells me this thread will grow like a weed. 
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akimori makoto
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2011, 06:26:22 PM »

Maybe it's me, but I just can't understand why penal atonement isn't taught in Orthodoxy. The more I read Scripture(Paul's epistles in particular), the more I see references to "paying the price" and the "penalty of sin" and so forth. If penal atonement is seen so clearly in scripture, then why is it not taught in the Church?
That is not quite penal substitution. There is a difference between suffering or "paying" the price/penalty of sin (which is patristic) and satisfying/appeasing the honor/anger of God. The first is Orthodox in its outlook. The latter makes God either subject to a sense of extra-cosmic justice or to that of changing emotions.

I know what this means, but could we have it in painfully simple terms that I can pass on to others?

I always have trouble explaining the distinction, myself.
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GabrieltheCelt
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2011, 06:59:06 PM »

Maybe it's me, but I just can't understand why penal atonement isn't taught in Orthodoxy. The more I read Scripture(Paul's epistles in particular), the more I see references to "paying the price" and the "penalty of sin" and so forth. If penal atonement is seen so clearly in scripture, then why is it not taught in the Church?

We've already discussed this ad nauseum...
Why Orthodox Don't Believe in the Penal Satisfactory Theory
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2011, 07:33:12 PM »

Maybe it's me, but I just can't understand why penal atonement isn't taught in Orthodoxy. The more I read Scripture(Paul's epistles in particular), the more I see references to "paying the price" and the "penalty of sin" and so forth. If penal atonement is seen so clearly in scripture, then why is it not taught in the Church?
That is not quite penal substitution. There is a difference between suffering or "paying" the price/penalty of sin (which is patristic) and satisfying/appeasing the honor/anger of God. The first is Orthodox in its outlook. The latter makes God either subject to a sense of extra-cosmic justice or to that of changing emotions.

It's not penal substitution? Huh, thats what I've always understood penal substitution to be.
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2011, 08:17:32 PM »

Maybe it's me, but I just can't understand why penal atonement isn't taught in Orthodoxy. The more I read Scripture(Paul's epistles in particular), the more I see references to "paying the price" and the "penalty of sin" and so forth. If penal atonement is seen so clearly in scripture, then why is it not taught in the Church?
That is not quite penal substitution. There is a difference between suffering or "paying" the price/penalty of sin (which is patristic) and satisfying/appeasing the honor/anger of God. The first is Orthodox in its outlook. The latter makes God either subject to a sense of extra-cosmic justice or to that of changing emotions.

It's not penal substitution? Huh, thats what I've always understood penal substitution to be.
God was so P.O'd at the world that He had His Only Begotten Son tortuted to death, and now that His Son has died the most horrible death, God the Father feels so much better.

John 3:16 reads slightly different in the Orthodox Bible.
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2011, 09:01:16 PM »

Maybe this will help:

http://www.oca.org/OCchapter.asp?SID=2&ID=20
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2011, 10:50:48 PM »

Penal substitution is really a legalistic way of looking at things.  It basically is like a debtor's prison, and you have a massive amount of debt that you can never hope to pay off.  The person who you owe it to is God.  God is angry because you burned down His house (as an example), and so He had you thrown in prison since you can't ever hope to pay off your debt to Him for His house.  Despite the fact that He has 1,000,000 other houses and can restore this one in a moment's notice, He is furious at you and your inability to pay your debt to Him, on the principal of the thing.  However, he comes up with a brilliant idea.  The only person who can possibly give Him as much money as His house was worth, is Himself.  So, He sends His Son to the bank to withdraw the massive sum of money, and His Son delivers it to Him.  Now, since someone (Him) has paid off your debt, he isn't mad any more and everything will be all right.  That is penal substitution, you owe a debt to God that only God could pay, and he refused to forgive the debt until He sent His Son to be brutally tortured and executed in the most inhumane way possible, so cruel that the Romans forbid its use on Roman citizens.  Does that make much sense?

Rather, Orthodox see it more like this: The natural consequence of sin is separation from God that results in a bodily death.  This is much like the natural consequence of you throwing a bowling ball straight up into the air above your head, is that it will come crashing down on you (this is NOT like the natural consequence of refusing to pay your rent is your landlord kicking you out of your home).  A bowling ball landing on your head will kill you.  However, God cannot die.  Therefore, to save you from the troubles you have caused yourself, He sends His Son to take your place, knowing that His Son will be unable to be destroyed by the bowling ball. 

My analogy has a lot of problems in it, but that is the gist of Orthodox salvation theory.

If anyone has complaints with how I have portrayed something or with my apparent understanding of something, please let me know.
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2011, 11:46:16 AM »

I read the explanation that God knowing that Adam and Eve would fall, obviously already planned for Christ's birth and Crucifixion in order to make mankind the children of God whereas Adam and Eve were only servants of God.  He always planned to make us His children, by adoption, but it had to happen this way. 

I don't see any anger in that only the greatest love for our spiritual well-being...so that we could be with Him in a closer way than even Adam and Eve had in the Garden.  I think it was either from St. Basil or St. Gregory of Nyssa.  I might be paraphrasing it a little awkwardly, though.  But, the underlined part is what really struck me.  What a brilliant plan.  That way, the devil is seperated from man, forever and can never hurt us again.  That's why he's trying to do so much damage now. 

Also, the only sacrifice that is acceptable to God is a divine sacrifice and since man was still in the servant level, only God could offer the perfect sacrifice, Himself.  And the Holy Spirit preserves that sacrifice in the Holy Chalice.  As the priest says: Thine own of Thine own of Thine own we offer to Thee....
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