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« Reply #45 on: July 20, 2011, 09:01:09 PM »

But I see what you're saying and I am inclined to agree (with the point of the overall discussion). I know you've already answered this a bit, so please feel free to pass as this might be repetitive, but what then could we say does happen in the atonement?

Well, the word "atonement" is a peculiar English contribution to theological vocabulary and does not in fact correspond to any Greek or Hebrew word.

So I suppose the first task is to ask you for a definition of "atonement" and where you find it in the original Scriptures. 
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« Reply #46 on: July 20, 2011, 09:24:41 PM »

But I see what you're saying and I am inclined to agree (with the point of the overall discussion). I know you've already answered this a bit, so please feel free to pass as this might be repetitive, but what then could we say does happen in the atonement?

Well, the word "atonement" is a peculiar English contribution to theological vocabulary and does not in fact correspond to any Greek or Hebrew word.

So I suppose the first task is to ask you for a definition of "atonement" and where you find it in the original Scriptures. 

Fair enough, Father. Smiley

When you put it that way, it makes me realize that the word "atonement" already comes loaded. Searching for a definition, I find certain theories of the 'atonement' implicit within the definition; the philosopher in me irks at the circular logic that I've been holding onto for all these years!

Perhaps it would be best to rephrase the question then. What would we say Christ accomplished in His life, death, and resurrection? Recently I have taken to saying, "Jesus saved us" as a way to shirk my responsibility to providing a nuanced explanation. But I am interested in a nuanced explanation.

From my reading of the Church Fathers, specifically the Cappadocian Fathers and, of course, St. John of Damascus, it would seem that we could say that Christ saved us from our sins, from death, from separation from the Father, from ourselves, and so on.

Is there a book, an article, or a short explanation on the Orthodox view of what Christ accomplished in His life, death, and resurrection?

Also, I thank you for your patience with me on this issue. I called to set an appointment with my priest today to discover he is still out of town until tomorrow.
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« Reply #47 on: July 20, 2011, 09:36:41 PM »

I have not listened to this video clip of Metropolitan Kallistos but people say it is very good.

Metropolitan KALLISTOS Ware

"Salvation in Christ - The Orthodox Approach"

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1088949815257678826&hl=en#
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« Reply #48 on: July 20, 2011, 09:43:10 PM »

Are the Holy Fathers of the Desert seen as an authentic source of true Orthodox teaching?
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« Reply #49 on: July 20, 2011, 11:05:15 PM »

I have not listened to this video clip of Metropolitan Kallistos but people say it is very good.

Metropolitan KALLISTOS Ware

"Salvation in Christ - The Orthodox Approach"

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1088949815257678826&hl=en#

Only 20 minutes in and I love it (still watching though). Thank you Father.
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« Reply #50 on: July 20, 2011, 11:09:57 PM »

Are the Holy Fathers of the Desert seen as an authentic source of true Orthodox teaching?

Within Orthodoxy the Desert Fathers do certainly . . .

Oh wait! That really wasn't a question! You got me, zoinks!

Care to share the point you wanted to make?
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« Reply #51 on: July 20, 2011, 11:11:38 PM »

Are the Holy Fathers of the Desert seen as an authentic source of true Orthodox teaching?

From Histories of the Monks of Upper Egypt and the Life of Onnophrius, Page 38:

Quote
Abba Aaron answers:

I will not hide anything from you, my son, regarding your question.  Indeed, he said, when I remember the afflictions my good Saviour endured for us until he redeemed our race from the captivity of the Devil__He gave His body and soul for us__I say, Since God took it upon himself to suffer on our behalf, it is right that we too should have every kind of affliction until he has mercy on us on the day of reckoning.  And when he had said these things, we rose that day and left and came home.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 11:16:54 PM by elijahmaria » Logged

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« Reply #52 on: July 20, 2011, 11:13:46 PM »

Wait, is that supposed to be suspect language from an Orthodox perspective?  Undecided
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« Reply #53 on: July 21, 2011, 12:00:22 AM »

I think you are writing tongue (or keyboard) in cheek.
Keyboard in cheek... Now that's an image I wouldn't want to see. Tongue
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« Reply #54 on: July 21, 2011, 12:10:14 AM »

I think you are writing tongue (or keyboard) in cheek.
Keyboard in cheek... Now that's an image I wouldn't want to see. Tongue

Then you don't want to know about a recent EM (Emergency Medicine, not our lovely poster) story I heard about things found in orifices from an EM doc friend.
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« Reply #55 on: July 21, 2011, 12:12:33 AM »

Are the Holy Fathers of the Desert seen as an authentic source of true Orthodox teaching?

From Histories of the Monks of Upper Egypt and the Life of Onnophrius, Page 38:

Quote
Abba Aaron answers:

I will not hide anything from you, my son, regarding your question.  Indeed, he said, when I remember the afflictions my good Saviour endured for us until he redeemed our race from the captivity of the Devil__He gave His body and soul for us__I say, Since God took it upon himself to suffer on our behalf, it is right that we too should have every kind of affliction until he has mercy on us on the day of reckoning.  And when he had said these things, we rose that day and left and came home.

Not being dense here, but do you care to exegete that a little so that I understand how you see this relating to concept of penal substitution?
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« Reply #56 on: July 21, 2011, 12:44:42 AM »

Are the Holy Fathers of the Desert seen as an authentic source of true Orthodox teaching?

From Histories of the Monks of Upper Egypt and the Life of Onnophrius, Page 38:

Quote
Abba Aaron answers:

I will not hide anything from you, my son, regarding your question.  Indeed, he said, when I remember the afflictions my good Saviour endured for us until he redeemed our race from the captivity of the Devil__He gave His body and soul for us__I say, Since God took it upon himself to suffer on our behalf, it is right that we too should have every kind of affliction until he has mercy on us on the day of reckoning.  And when he had said these things, we rose that day and left and came home.

Not being dense here, but do you care to exegete that a little so that I understand how you see this relating to concept of penal substitution?

Initially I was thinking of it as a response to the notion that Orthodoxy has no teaching concerning something called the atonement, according to Father Ambrose, NZ.   I thought we could begin there.

Also I was thinking that while we are looking for ways to define "atonement", it might also be good to see how one can define "redemption" or "redeemed" or "redeemer"...

Also I'll go back to the fact that in Latin poena can and does in the mind of the Church mean "to lack something, or to be deprived of something"...so "punishment" has a different sort of forensic meaning when it is used by the Church, regardless of what the pedestrian meanings may be in any given generation.

M.
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« Reply #57 on: July 21, 2011, 12:53:59 AM »

Are the Holy Fathers of the Desert seen as an authentic source of true Orthodox teaching?

From Histories of the Monks of Upper Egypt and the Life of Onnophrius, Page 38:

Quote
Abba Aaron answers:

I will not hide anything from you, my son, regarding your question.  Indeed, he said, when I remember the afflictions my good Saviour endured for us until he redeemed our race from the captivity of the Devil__He gave His body and soul for us__I say, Since God took it upon himself to suffer on our behalf, it is right that we too should have every kind of affliction until he has mercy on us on the day of reckoning.  And when he had said these things, we rose that day and left and came home.

Not being dense here, but do you care to exegete that a little so that I understand how you see this relating to concept of penal substitution?

Initially I was thinking of it as a response to the notion that Orthodoxy has no teaching concerning something called the atonement, according to Father Ambrose, NZ.   I thought we could begin there.

It is certainly clear that there is a representative or substitutionary element in this passage, but I also think that it could very well be argued that the emphasis of the purpose of this substitution is not atonement (reconciliation with God), but rather rescue from the oppressive powers of evil.
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« Reply #58 on: July 21, 2011, 12:59:46 AM »

Are the Holy Fathers of the Desert seen as an authentic source of true Orthodox teaching?

From Histories of the Monks of Upper Egypt and the Life of Onnophrius, Page 38:

Quote
Abba Aaron answers:

I will not hide anything from you, my son, regarding your question.  Indeed, he said, when I remember the afflictions my good Saviour endured for us until he redeemed our race from the captivity of the Devil__He gave His body and soul for us__I say, Since God took it upon himself to suffer on our behalf, it is right that we too should have every kind of affliction until he has mercy on us on the day of reckoning.  And when he had said these things, we rose that day and left and came home.

Not being dense here, but do you care to exegete that a little so that I understand how you see this relating to concept of penal substitution?

Initially I was thinking of it as a response to the notion that Orthodoxy has no teaching concerning something called the atonement, according to Father Ambrose, NZ.   I thought we could begin there.

It is certainly clear that there is a representative or substitutionary element in this passage, but I also think that it could very well be argued that the emphasis of the purpose of this substitution is not atonement (reconciliation with God), but rather rescue from the oppressive powers of evil.

Seems to me that you cannot have the latter without recourse to the former.
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« Reply #59 on: July 21, 2011, 01:02:31 AM »

Are the Holy Fathers of the Desert seen as an authentic source of true Orthodox teaching?

From Histories of the Monks of Upper Egypt and the Life of Onnophrius, Page 38:

Quote
Abba Aaron answers:

I will not hide anything from you, my son, regarding your question.  Indeed, he said, when I remember the afflictions my good Saviour endured for us until he redeemed our race from the captivity of the Devil__He gave His body and soul for us__I say, Since God took it upon himself to suffer on our behalf, it is right that we too should have every kind of affliction until he has mercy on us on the day of reckoning.  And when he had said these things, we rose that day and left and came home.

Not being dense here, but do you care to exegete that a little so that I understand how you see this relating to concept of penal substitution?

Initially I was thinking of it as a response to the notion that Orthodoxy has no teaching concerning something called the atonement, according to Father Ambrose, NZ.   I thought we could begin there.

It is certainly clear that there is a representative or substitutionary element in this passage, but I also think that it could very well be argued that the emphasis of the purpose of this substitution is not atonement (reconciliation with God), but rather rescue from the oppressive powers of evil.

Seems to me that you cannot have the latter without recourse to the former.

You mean that you can't have rescue without atonement?
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« Reply #60 on: July 21, 2011, 03:11:45 AM »

Are the Holy Fathers of the Desert seen as an authentic source of true Orthodox teaching?

From Histories of the Monks of Upper Egypt and the Life of Onnophrius, Page 38:

Quote
Abba Aaron answers:

I will not hide anything from you, my son, regarding your question.  Indeed, he said, when I remember the afflictions my good Saviour endured for us until he redeemed our race from the captivity of the Devil__He gave His body and soul for us__I say, Since God took it upon himself to suffer on our behalf, it is right that we too should have every kind of affliction until he has mercy on us on the day of reckoning.  And when he had said these things, we rose that day and left and came home.

Yes,  for centuries in the early Catholic Church the common teaching was that
"Atonement" was made to the Devil.  So it is no surprise at all to find it in your
quote from one of the desert fathers.


But the idea of the "Atonement" as a Ransom to the Devil was gradually repudiated
and we see this in no uncertain terms in Saint Gregory Nazianzen (4th century) who said:

"Was it paid to the evil one? Monstrous thought!
The devil receives a ransom not only from God but of God ..
To the Father? But we were not in bondage to him ...
And could the Father delight in the death of his Son?"

(Orationes, 45.22)

Of course salvation can be thought of as a ransom.
Following the Church Fathers, the East teaches that Christ, on the Cross,
gave "His life a ransom for many" (Matt. 20:28), (Mark 10:45).

The "ransom" is paid to the grave. As the Lord revealed to the Prophet Hosea
(Hosea 13:14),
"I will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from
death."


In a sense, He pays the ransom-atonement-propitiation to the devil who is the keeper of
the grave and holds the power of death (Heb. 2:14).
"Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity
so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that
is, the devil."


But despite Gregory's objections above the idea became popular. Saint Gregory
protested that the question of "Who received the payment?" should not be pressed
hard. No matter what debt the Devil was owed it could not possibly have included
God himself. On the other hand, the Father could not have been the recipient of
the ransom, since he was not the one holding us captive. And if the blood of
Isaac had not pleased him, why would he desire the blood of his beloved son?

Saint Gregory sums up:"the Father accepts Christ's sacrifice without having
demanded it; the Son offers it to honour him; and the result is the defeat of
the Evil One. This is as much as we shall say of Christ; the greater portion
shall be reverenced with silence."


But as we know the silence was broken 700 years later by Anselm the "Scholastic Doctor"
and the West conjured up new theories of substitutionary atonement, utterly convinced
that the major player was a wrathful God in need of appeasement.

« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 03:13:30 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #61 on: July 21, 2011, 07:05:03 AM »

Here are a few quotations culled from the Internet:

Romans 5.12 (Vulgate): Propterea sicut per unum hominem peccatum in hunc mundum intravit, et per peccatum mors, et ita in omnes homines mors pertransiit, in quo omnes peccaverunt.

These Protestant writers lay much stress on the last words of the twelfth verse. We know that several of the Latin Fathers understood the words "in whom all have sinned", to mean, all have sinned in Adam… Modern exegesis, as well as the Greek Fathers, prefer to translate "and so death passed upon all men because all have sinned".

Calvin believed that humans inherit Adamic guilt.

This passage teaches the imputation of Adam’s sin to every member of the human family. The sin of Adam is the sin of all. All have sinned in Adam. … the sin of Adam is imputed to every son and daughter of Adam. The imputation of Adam’s sin to all is the immediate ground of their condemnation.
   
Paul therefore is not speaking of personal sin (or sins) in vs. 12, but of the sin of Adam imputed to all.

Augustine based the formulation of inherited sin on a passage of the Vulgate. The last phrase, in quo omnes peccaverunt, (applied to Adam) [in whom all have sinned] … Augustine's main support for the doctrine collapses with the poor translation of this passage in the Vulgate


As Geofrey Chaucer has it in his Canterbury Tales: Lat Austyn have his swynk to him reserved!
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 07:08:15 AM by David Young » Logged

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« Reply #62 on: July 21, 2011, 07:31:32 AM »

Are the Holy Fathers of the Desert seen as an authentic source of true Orthodox teaching?

From Histories of the Monks of Upper Egypt and the Life of Onnophrius, Page 38:

Quote
Abba Aaron answers:

I will not hide anything from you, my son, regarding your question.  Indeed, he said, when I remember the afflictions my good Saviour endured for us until he redeemed our race from the captivity of the Devil__He gave His body and soul for us__I say, Since God took it upon himself to suffer on our behalf, it is right that we too should have every kind of affliction until he has mercy on us on the day of reckoning.  And when he had said these things, we rose that day and left and came home.

Not being dense here, but do you care to exegete that a little so that I understand how you see this relating to concept of penal substitution?

Initially I was thinking of it as a response to the notion that Orthodoxy has no teaching concerning something called the atonement, according to Father Ambrose, NZ.   I thought we could begin there.

It is certainly clear that there is a representative or substitutionary element in this passage, but I also think that it could very well be argued that the emphasis of the purpose of this substitution is not atonement (reconciliation with God), but rather rescue from the oppressive powers of evil.

Seems to me that you cannot have the latter without recourse to the former.

You mean that you can't have rescue without atonement?

If you mean by atonement, as you have said, that it is reconciliation with God, and IF you understand reconciliation with God as opening up the potential once again for the restoration of original justice for all creation and for each one of us individually, then yes...I mean you cannot have "rescue"...or the redemption [buying back] of salvation...without being open to the saving grace of God.

But I actually have no idea what you have in mind.  I do know what I have said above is Catholic teaching on atonement.

Since we see original sin as the loss of original justice and a darkening of the will and intellect...it all fits nicely.  Christ redeems all creation.  He is the new Adam but even more in that he can indeed make all things new.  And that is what it means for him to be the Redeemer King.  We have a share in that redemptive act and Baptism is necessary for each individual precisely because Redemption is an opening of the door...Baptism is us...walking through the door by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Christ died for ALL of us, and he bears the sins of the world...however he does not do our part for our individual sins.  In that sense penal substitution would be badly expressed IF it says that each individual is redeemed without having to take up their part of the redemptive act.

The "ransom" of atonement is the restoration of original justice...that is all that Anselm is trying to say...or the core of it.

Mary
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 07:36:30 AM by elijahmaria » Logged

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« Reply #63 on: July 21, 2011, 08:42:13 AM »


Christ died for ALL of us, and he bears the sins of the world...however he does not do our part for our individual sins.  In that sense penal substitution would be badly expressed IF it says that each individual is redeemed without having to take up their part of the redemptive act.


Hark!  Do I hear (heaved forbid!) intimations of an heretical "Dixit Maria"?

Is it no longer Roman Catholic teaching that even the least serious of sins is an offence against the infinite majesty and justice of God and therefore no finite human being has the power to make any atonement acceptable to Him?
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« Reply #64 on: July 21, 2011, 08:48:09 AM »


Christ died for ALL of us, and he bears the sins of the world...however he does not do our part for our individual sins.  In that sense penal substitution would be badly expressed IF it says that each individual is redeemed without having to take up their part of the redemptive act.


Hark!  Do I hear (heaved forbid!) intimations of an heretical "Dixit Maria"?

Is it no longer Roman Catholic teaching that even the least serious of sins is an offence against the infinite majesty and justice of God and therefore no finite human being has the power to make any atonement acceptable to Him?


I have no idea what you are complaining about now.  I don't see any contradictions.
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« Reply #65 on: July 22, 2011, 03:36:43 PM »

It is certainly clear that there is a representative or substitutionary element in this passage, but I also think that it could very well be argued that the emphasis of the purpose of this substitution is not atonement (reconciliation with God), but rather rescue from the oppressive powers of evil.

When a salve was "redeemed", that is his freedom bought, he was made no longer subject to the one who had previously owned him and, I remember hearing somewhere, that the newly freed person now belonged to one of the gods, therefore no man could have ownership over him.

This is why St Paul writes that we were set free from sin and made slaves of righteousness, and that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life.

He also writes that one cannot partake of the Lord's table and the table of demons.

Reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ does rescue us from oppressive powers, and cannot be had while under the authority of those oppressive powers.

This is why the atonement can't defined as one single analogy, but the context of multiple analogies (healing, rescue, legal forgiveness, etc.) all combined. Atonement is not one thing accomplished by Christ's death and resurrection, but everything accomplished by it.
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« Reply #66 on: July 22, 2011, 03:46:21 PM »

It is certainly clear that there is a representative or substitutionary element in this passage, but I also think that it could very well be argued that the emphasis of the purpose of this substitution is not atonement (reconciliation with God), but rather rescue from the oppressive powers of evil.

When a salve was "redeemed", that is his freedom bought, he was made no longer subject to the one who had previously owned him and, I remember hearing somewhere, that the newly freed person now belonged to one of the gods, therefore no man could have ownership over him.

This is why St Paul writes that we were set free from sin and made slaves of righteousness, and that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life.

He also writes that one cannot partake of the Lord's table and the table of demons.

Reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ does rescue us from oppressive powers, and cannot be had while under the authority of those oppressive powers.

This is why the atonement can't defined as one single analogy, but the context of multiple analogies (healing, rescue, legal forgiveness, etc.) all combined. Atonement is not one thing accomplished by Christ's death and resurrection, but everything accomplished by it.


Seems pretty plain to me, in much the same way.

What is not acceptable is to think or teach that we've been excused from our personal sins by the Redemption of the Life Death and Resurrection of Jesus.  We must participate in that redemption in order to find our way clear of our personal sins and their consequences as those consequences wreak havoc with divine justice on a very broad band.

M.
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