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Author Topic: Theology questions  (Read 866 times) Average Rating: 0
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TruthSeeker
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« on: September 26, 2004, 08:58:00 PM »

This is my first post.

I am researching eastern orthodox theology and I have a few questions please.

First my conclusions on a few issues.....please correct me if I am wrong.

The orthodox do not see justification and sanctification as distinct but rather they are fused into one.

Salvation is a process.

Works are needed because they are a part of true saving faith. No works = no true saving faith. The orthodox do not believe that salvation is attained to by Gods grace through faith PLUS works...but rather it is Gods grace through faith but this faith must show works in order to be real faith. If this is the case then this doctrine DOES NOT differ from that of  prostestant churches(especially the holiness churches). The differenence  would then be protestants see salvation as instant upon true faith in Christ......and works follow in sanctification. Also most protestants recognize that even though one may be saved NOW one can still be lost and ultimate salvation(at ones dealth) depends upon a lifelong walk of true faith.


Works are NOT meritorious like they are in the western catholic church.




QUESTIONS

1. If salvation as a process means that ones utimate salvation(at the end of their life) has not come........can the orthodox say that he is indeed saved now and will go to Heaven IF he maintains his true faith in Christ to the end? If this is so then the orthodox agree with much of protestantism.
 

If salvation as a process means that one CANNOT say that one is saved at the current time then  how do the orthodox explain 1 John 5:13 "These things I have written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life............"

Then......what about the orthodox christian that dies well before he attained to  much in the way of holiness in this life ie: new convert?

2. Is there an official church stance in regard to what the fate of non orthodox belivers will be?

3. Why do I not see the orthodox church trying to evangelize as the apostles did....and as many protestant churches do?

4.Is there a best book for a protestant to read(with doctrine explained as well)?

5. Are there doctrinal differences between the various branches of orthodoxy and if so what are they?


Thank you and God bless you .












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sojourner
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2004, 12:28:01 AM »

TruthSeeker,

Quote
The orthodox do not see justification and sanctification as distinct but rather they are fused into one.
Salvation is a process.
Yes, the process is called Theosis.

Quote
but rather it is Gods grace through faith but this faith must show works in order to be real faith.
Yes. Regarding whether most or many protestants believe the same is quite relative. Who knows. There are so many variations.

Quote
Works are NOT meritorious like they are in the western catholic church.
They are not meritorious for Orthodoxy, I cannot speak for Roman Catholics. Purgatory requires some kind of merit, so it may be accurate.

Quote
1. If salvation as a process means that ones utimate salvation(at the end of their life) has not come........can the orthodox say that he is indeed saved now and will go to Heaven IF he maintains his true faith in Christ to the end? If this is so then the orthodox agree with much of protestantism.
Yes, We believe that we are saved (redemption) and are being saved in the present and have the assurance that if we endure to the end we will inherit eternal life. I would also rephrase it to say, there are many protestants who agree with this particular aspect with Orthodoxy.

Quote
If salvation as a process means that one CANNOT say that one is saved at the current time then  how do the orthodox explain 1 John 5:13 "These things I have written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life............"
This is a solumn promise by God that He will be faithful. There is never an doubt whatsoever in His love and Grace towards us. However, man lives in this world with a sinful nature in a sinful world and is tempted by the flesh, in fact, wars with the spirit to live the life Christ demands of us.

Quote
Then......what about the orthodox christian that dies well before he attained to  much in the way of holiness in this life ie: new convert?
We are responsible for what we were given in the amount of Grace and time. The best example here is the thief on the Cross. His proclamation of faith and belief that the person next to him was indeed the Son of God saved him.

Quote
2. Is there an official church stance in regard to what the fate of non orthodox belivers will be?
None, We leave it in God's hands. We do say and know from what is revealed to us in Scripture where the Holy Spirit dwells and works, in Christ's Church. However, we do not know where else He might operate or in other manners since it has not been revealed.

Quote
3. Why do I not see the orthodox church trying to evangelize as the apostles did....and as many protestant churches do?
They do evangelize, have converted entire countries for centuries. However, there is a differance in how it is done. Orthodoxy/Christianity is a life lived in Christ. A lot of evangelism is by example. Also, the Orthodox do not interfere with hetrodox as they believe that the Holy Spirit is already working in them and many will come to the fullness and enter into His Church.

Quote
4.Is there a best book for a protestant to read(with doctrine explained as well)?
I don't know about a best book. There are many available. There are a few I will list that are from converts themselves and helped me in the beginning of my journey.
You can also check any cononical Church website(s) for a host of other resources as well.
The Faith by Clark Carlton. Another by same author, The Life.
A book written by Partick Barnes, The Non-Orthodox is a book about Orthodox teachings about hetrodox Christians. A comparison view, sort of.

Quote
5. Are there doctrinal differences between the various branches of orthodoxy and if so what are they?
There are none between the many autonomous communions that I am aware of. However, that does not address any differences of certain bishops or even theologians of some points. But the Church and each Communion are in agreement or they would not be considered canonical.

I hope this helps you in some way. I am open for correction on any of this as I surely do not know all there is to know.


Sojourner





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