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Author Topic: I think I'm a bit muddled on Orthodox salvation.  (Read 1153 times) Average Rating: 0
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Volnutt
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« on: January 17, 2012, 11:50:26 PM »

I thought I understood it, but I think I confused myself somewhere  laugh

Do I have this right?

Christ on the Cross redeems all men, He tramples down death by death. So all people pass into the presence of God when they die and Heaven and Hell are the experiences of those who love and hate God respectively. So in the sense of being resurrected and not annihilated, we can speak of all people being saved by Christ.

So, given the above, in what sense does baptism save? Does it make you more able to love God and participate in Him? It seems to me that given the above, all people regardless of love of God already have a baseline level of communion with Him, the only difference being that it is painful for the unbeliever.

What purpose does the Judgment serve? Given the fact of the Cross, it doesn't seem like Orthodoxy has any punishment for sins beyond what already exists in the person's own soul based on how much they love God.
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 12:03:45 AM »

I thought I understood it, but I think I confused myself somewhere  laugh

Do I have this right?

Christ on the Cross redeems all men, He tramples down death by death. So all people pass into the presence of God when they die and Heaven and Hell are the experiences of those who love and hate God respectively. So in the sense of being resurrected and not annihilated, we can speak of all people being saved by Christ.

So, given the above, in what sense does baptism save? Does it make you more able to love God and participate in Him? It seems to me that given the above, all people regardless of love of God already have a baseline level of communion with Him, the only difference being that it is painful for the unbeliever.

What purpose does the Judgment serve? Given the fact of the Cross, it doesn't seem like Orthodoxy has any punishment for sins beyond what already exists in the person's own soul based on how much they love God.
Perhaps this might help(?)    This link leads to a YouTube Video: Salvation as Transformation -Liza

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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 01:30:00 AM »

Christ on the Cross redeems all men, He tramples down death by death. So all people pass into the presence of God when they die and Heaven and Hell are the experiences of those who love and hate God respectively. So in the sense of being resurrected and not annihilated, we can speak of all people being saved by Christ.

Don't know if this will help or just muddle you further (in which case I apologize). In the above quote, everything up to 'when they die' is very much Orthodox doctrine. The part that follows is not actually doctrine. It is a theologoumena. It is a doctrinal opinion that can be found in some of the most respected Fathers, and it is one that I personally think is most consistent with our overall doctrine and the Patristic Consensus. But it is not itself the Patristic Consensus. One can find plenty of Fathers who seem to think of Hell as a distinct place separate from Heaven and not just the effect of Grace on those who reject God. What I take from this is that the actuality of what will be after this world has passed away (Heaven, Hell, eternity) is not something that has been fully revealed to us, nor is it something we can reason to based on what we know because it will be different than anything we know. St. John says "what we will be has not yet been made known (I John 3:2)". St. Paul says "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." And these are Apostles who saw and spoke with the risen Savior and who were carried to heaven in visions. Thus, I think any account/explanation of eternity that we have here is at best partial. We can't understand the full truth, and what we have are approximations--and you are not going to be able to drill down to perfect clarity on approximations.

Quote
So, given the above, in what sense does baptism save? Does it make you more able to love God and participate in Him? It seems to me that given the above, all people regardless of love of God already have a baseline level of communion with Him, the only difference being that it is painful for the unbeliever.

"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Rom 6:3-4). Via baptism, we are united to Christ, not at some point in the future, but right now. We begin to participate in the Divine Life, in the Heavenly Kingdom, in the process of theosis--now. Taking account of what I said above about a certain level of unavoidable ignorance about the Last Judgement and what comes after, and adding to that that we do not try to usurp God's role as the sole Righteous Judge, we really can't and shouldn't say much about 'all humanity' when that time comes. But what we can say is that "As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Eternity is an extension of a process we begin now.

Quote
What purpose does the Judgment serve? Given the fact of the Cross, it doesn't seem like Orthodoxy has any punishment for sins beyond what already exists in the person's own soul based on how much they love God.

Above, I basically argue that "Orthodoxy" doesn't have any punishment for sins period. God and God alone has that role and frankly we're a little vague about it. One thing that did occur to me as I was reading your post though was the 'Parable of the Sheep and the Goats'--an account by Christ of the Last Judgment. And if you think of it in terms of the theologoumena, you notice that there is a important element of 'self-knowledge' about that account. Specifically, the goats show up in heaven *thinking* they are righteous and saved--and God's Judgement is as much about getting them to realize what they really are as it is about Him sending them off to punishment; and vice-versa, the sheep show up thinking they haven't done anything worthwhile, and God's judgment is to point out to them how they have been 'good and faithful servants'.
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 01:43:02 AM »


So, given the above, in what sense does baptism save?
Christ is a real human being.

We are not.

Baptism is putting on Christ.
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 04:52:42 AM »


So, given the above, in what sense does baptism save?
Christ is a real human being.

We are not.

Baptism is putting on Christ.
Right. But my problem is it seems to me that the Orthodox view of the atonement has everyone already having on Christ since the Cross. Maybe I'm sliding back to my decision theology routes though...

Thanks, folks. The responses are helping I think.
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2012, 04:55:08 AM »

Christ on the Cross redeems all men, He tramples down death by death. So all people pass into the presence of God when they die and Heaven and Hell are the experiences of those who love and hate God respectively. So in the sense of being resurrected and not annihilated, we can speak of all people being saved by Christ.

Don't know if this will help or just muddle you further (in which case I apologize). In the above quote, everything up to 'when they die' is very much Orthodox doctrine. The part that follows is not actually doctrine. It is a theologoumena. It is a doctrinal opinion that can be found in some of the most respected Fathers, and it is one that I personally think is most consistent with our overall doctrine and the Patristic Consensus. But it is not itself the Patristic Consensus. One can find plenty of Fathers who seem to think of Hell as a distinct place separate from Heaven and not just the effect of Grace on those who reject God. What I take from this is that the actuality of what will be after this world has passed away (Heaven, Hell, eternity) is not something that has been fully revealed to us, nor is it something we can reason to based on what we know because it will be different than anything we know. St. John says "what we will be has not yet been made known (I John 3:2)". St. Paul says "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." And these are Apostles who saw and spoke with the risen Savior and who were carried to heaven in visions. Thus, I think any account/explanation of eternity that we have here is at best partial. We can't understand the full truth, and what we have are approximations--and you are not going to be able to drill down to perfect clarity on approximations.

Quote
So, given the above, in what sense does baptism save? Does it make you more able to love God and participate in Him? It seems to me that given the above, all people regardless of love of God already have a baseline level of communion with Him, the only difference being that it is painful for the unbeliever.

"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Rom 6:3-4). Via baptism, we are united to Christ, not at some point in the future, but right now. We begin to participate in the Divine Life, in the Heavenly Kingdom, in the process of theosis--now. Taking account of what I said above about a certain level of unavoidable ignorance about the Last Judgement and what comes after, and adding to that that we do not try to usurp God's role as the sole Righteous Judge, we really can't and shouldn't say much about 'all humanity' when that time comes. But what we can say is that "As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Eternity is an extension of a process we begin now.

Quote
What purpose does the Judgment serve? Given the fact of the Cross, it doesn't seem like Orthodoxy has any punishment for sins beyond what already exists in the person's own soul based on how much they love God.

Above, I basically argue that "Orthodoxy" doesn't have any punishment for sins period. God and God alone has that role and frankly we're a little vague about it. One thing that did occur to me as I was reading your post though was the 'Parable of the Sheep and the Goats'--an account by Christ of the Last Judgment. And if you think of it in terms of the theologoumena, you notice that there is a important element of 'self-knowledge' about that account. Specifically, the goats show up in heaven *thinking* they are righteous and saved--and God's Judgement is as much about getting them to realize what they really are as it is about Him sending them off to punishment; and vice-versa, the sheep show up thinking they haven't done anything worthwhile, and God's judgment is to point out to them how they have been 'good and faithful servants'.
Ok. I see your point about Heaven and Hell. Would it be accurate then to say that the idea that Hell is a separation from the presence of God is foreign to Orthodox dogma?
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2012, 05:49:55 AM »

Christ on the Cross redeems all men, He tramples down death by death. So all people pass into the presence of God when they die and Heaven and Hell are the experiences of those who love and hate God respectively. So in the sense of being resurrected and not annihilated, we can speak of all people being saved by Christ.

Don't know if this will help or just muddle you further (in which case I apologize). In the above quote, everything up to 'when they die' is very much Orthodox doctrine. The part that follows is not actually doctrine. It is a theologoumena. It is a doctrinal opinion that can be found in some of the most respected Fathers, and it is one that I personally think is most consistent with our overall doctrine and the Patristic Consensus. But it is not itself the Patristic Consensus. One can find plenty of Fathers who seem to think of Hell as a distinct place separate from Heaven and not just the effect of Grace on those who reject God. What I take from this is that the actuality of what will be after this world has passed away (Heaven, Hell, eternity) is not something that has been fully revealed to us, nor is it something we can reason to based on what we know because it will be different than anything we know. St. John says "what we will be has not yet been made known (I John 3:2)". St. Paul says "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." And these are Apostles who saw and spoke with the risen Savior and who were carried to heaven in visions. Thus, I think any account/explanation of eternity that we have here is at best partial. We can't understand the full truth, and what we have are approximations--and you are not going to be able to drill down to perfect clarity on approximations.

Quote
So, given the above, in what sense does baptism save? Does it make you more able to love God and participate in Him? It seems to me that given the above, all people regardless of love of God already have a baseline level of communion with Him, the only difference being that it is painful for the unbeliever.

"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Rom 6:3-4). Via baptism, we are united to Christ, not at some point in the future, but right now. We begin to participate in the Divine Life, in the Heavenly Kingdom, in the process of theosis--now. Taking account of what I said above about a certain level of unavoidable ignorance about the Last Judgement and what comes after, and adding to that that we do not try to usurp God's role as the sole Righteous Judge, we really can't and shouldn't say much about 'all humanity' when that time comes. But what we can say is that "As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Eternity is an extension of a process we begin now.

Quote
What purpose does the Judgment serve? Given the fact of the Cross, it doesn't seem like Orthodoxy has any punishment for sins beyond what already exists in the person's own soul based on how much they love God.

Above, I basically argue that "Orthodoxy" doesn't have any punishment for sins period. God and God alone has that role and frankly we're a little vague about it. One thing that did occur to me as I was reading your post though was the 'Parable of the Sheep and the Goats'--an account by Christ of the Last Judgment. And if you think of it in terms of the theologoumena, you notice that there is a important element of 'self-knowledge' about that account. Specifically, the goats show up in heaven *thinking* they are righteous and saved--and God's Judgement is as much about getting them to realize what they really are as it is about Him sending them off to punishment; and vice-versa, the sheep show up thinking they haven't done anything worthwhile, and God's judgment is to point out to them how they have been 'good and faithful servants'.
Ok. I see your point about Heaven and Hell. Would it be accurate then to say that the idea that Hell is a separation from the presence of God is foreign to Orthodox dogma?
It's both.
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2012, 06:31:32 AM »

Both what? Both presence and separation?
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2012, 07:13:20 AM »

From the Longer Catechism of Saint Philaret of Moscow


214.  What is hades or hell?

Hades is a Greek word, and means a place void of light. In divinity, by this name is understood a spiritual prison, that is, the state of those spirits which are separated by sin from the sight of God's countenance, and from the light and blessedness which it confers. Jude i. 6; Octoich. tom. v.; sticher. ii. 4.

215.  Wherefore did Jesus Christ descend into hell?

To the end that he might there also preach his victory over death, and deliver the souls which with faith awaited his coming.

216.  Does holy Scripture speak of this?

It is referred to in the following passage: For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he may bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the Spirit; in which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison. 1 Pet. iii. 18, 19.

http://www.pravoslavieto.com/docs/eng/Orthodox_Catechism_of_Philaret.htm
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2012, 07:46:00 AM »

Would it be accurate then to say that the idea that Hell is a separation from the presence of God is foreign to Orthodox dogma?

See message 8 above.
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« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2012, 12:37:54 PM »

Huh, I thought a big thing in Orthodox theology is that a place sheltered from God's presence is some kind of oxymoron.
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« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2012, 02:16:17 PM »

Huh, I thought a big thing in Orthodox theology is that a place sheltered from God's presence is some kind of oxymoron.

You realize that it's a big thing in our theology to express fundamental truths via oxymorons ("without change became", "Triune Oneness", "trampling down death by death")?

An extension of the theologoumena above that I have encountered talks about it this way. Sin is turning away from God, which is why Adam's sin and our fallen nature makes us subject to corruption and death as we are turned away from the Source of all Good things. In this world, that fundamental truth is cloaked by the fact that God's Grace is still actively omnipresent, supporting the world and offering salvation to those who turn to Him. Thus, even though when the hardened sinner is firmly turned away from God they can still experience moments of joy, love, peace because the Grace is indirectly directed to them by others.

But when the Last Judgment comes, God will honor the free will choice of those who choose to turn away from Him. God will allow them to turn totally away from His Light, into their own darkness. That is, the place 'seperated from God's presence' is the soul which has rejected Him, self-condemned to an eternity without joy, love, light because God will not force Himself on our free will. (My mental image is of the damned like a encysted bubbles, all perception directed inwards and thus unable to perceive the Grace that surrounds them).
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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2012, 03:17:39 PM »

The door was closed.  Christ opened it.  We have to step through.
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« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2012, 03:51:29 PM »

Huh, I thought a big thing in Orthodox theology is that a place sheltered from God's presence is some kind of oxymoron.
“Whither shall I flee from Thy presence? …If I make my bed in sheol, Thou art there” (Psalm 139:7-8).

The notion of ontological separation from an omnipresent God is, of course, something of an oxymoron. Phenomenological separation, less so.[1]

This dialectical truth of omnipresence and separation is also a reality of the present age. Man can exist in a state of opposition to the "one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all" (Eph 4:6). C. S. Lewis opined that hell was "...the last refuge for the sinner, since this is where the sinner will feel most at home -in the isolation of his self-love" and yet there is nowhere we can truly flee from His ontological presence, as the Psalmist said.

We understand 2 Thess 1:9 as referring to a separation from man's side but not from God's side. Man shuts himself off from the salvation of the Lord and from the glory of his might, but he cannot escape from this glory (Phil 2:9-11); cf. Revelation 14:10 which speaks of sinners in hell being tormented "in the presence of the Lamb."

The demarcation between phenomenological or psychological separation and absolute ontological separation from the omnipresent God also is suggestive of a Christian view of atheism, as Fr. Andrew Anglorus explains:

“‘Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts’ (Rom 1:24). Generally, atheists and agnostics are talking about themselves when they talk about the absence of God. They simply express their personal subjective truth (that their souls are empty) in an objective way and try to generalize their experience. In other words, there is no theology, or even philosophy here, it is just their own ill or deficient psychology, which is what atheism is… In the Scriptures Christ says clearly that only the pure in heart will see God. In other words, intellectuals, examiners and professors will never understand God, if their minds are not pure… How do we know if someone has a pure heart? The pure heart is evidenced by the way we live. As Peter says, a person devoted to the Lord “does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2); “Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior” (Ps 24:3-5).” +Fr. Andrew Anglorus

Though Christ is in our midst and the Kingdom is at hand, seeing we do not see, and hearing we do not understand. This is, in effect, a handy-dandy inversion of Freud's classical critique of religion from a Christian point of view. http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/freuds-critique-of-religion/

________________________
Cf. also the Longer Catechism of Saint Philaret of Moscow cited above refers to phenomenological separation when it speaks of "separation from the sight of God's countenance": "Hades is a Greek word, and means a place void of light. In divinity, by this name is understood a spiritual prison, that is, the state of those spirits which are separated by sin from the sight of God's countenance and from the light and blessedness which it confers. Jude i. 6; Octoich. tom. v.; sticher. ii. 4." For an example of being separated from the sight of God's countenance in the present age, cf. Romans 1.
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« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2012, 08:14:24 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I thought I understood it, but I think I confused myself somewhere  laugh

Do I have this right?

Christ on the Cross redeems all men, He tramples down death by death. So all people pass into the presence of God when they die and Heaven and Hell are the experiences of those who love and hate God respectively. So in the sense of being resurrected and not annihilated, we can speak of all people being saved by Christ.

So, given the above, in what sense does baptism save? Does it make you more able to love God and participate in Him? It seems to me that given the above, all people regardless of love of God already have a baseline level of communion with Him, the only difference being that it is painful for the unbeliever.

What purpose does the Judgment serve? Given the fact of the Cross, it doesn't seem like Orthodoxy has any punishment for sins beyond what already exists in the person's own soul based on how much they love God.

A) I think the best way to phrase it is that "so in the sense of being resurrected and not annihilated we can speak of all people POTENTIALLY saved by Christ" which is why its a Universal Church. 

B) Baptism is the introduction Mystery, it is a mechanical process of the Holy Spirit. Some are baptized in water, some are like the Thief on the Right and many Martyrs are baptized by the blood they've shed.  Either way, Baptism becomes the eternal  mechanism of Salvation.

C)Judgment is in the future, it hasn't happened yet, so realistically we can't speculate to much on it other than to accept that it will happen.  Personally,  I interpret Orthodox approach as an individualistic one in the sense that Orthodox Christians are not meant to spend time pondering who and which folks will be judged and which will be spared, rather we can only really concern ourselves with our individual selves and our own individual salvation.  The question then is eternally not "who will be saved and spared Judgment" but rather "will I personally be saved and spared Judgment?"

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2012, 07:37:54 AM »

Huh, I thought a big thing in Orthodox theology is that a place sheltered from God's presence is some kind of oxymoron.
“Whither shall I flee from Thy presence? …If I make my bed in sheol, Thou art there” (Psalm 139:7-8).

The notion of ontological separation from an omnipresent God is, of course, something of an oxymoron. Phenomenological separation, less so.[1]

This dialectical truth of omnipresence and separation is also a reality of the present age. Man can exist in a state of opposition to the "one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all" (Eph 4:6). C. S. Lewis opined that hell was "...the last refuge for the sinner, since this is where the sinner will feel most at home -in the isolation of his self-love" and yet there is nowhere we can truly flee from His ontological presence, as the Psalmist said.

We understand 2 Thess 1:9 as referring to a separation from man's side but not from God's side. Man shuts himself off from the salvation of the Lord and from the glory of his might, but he cannot escape from this glory (Phil 2:9-11); cf. Revelation 14:10 which speaks of sinners in hell being tormented "in the presence of the Lamb."

The demarcation between phenomenological or psychological separation and absolute ontological separation from the omnipresent God also is suggestive of a Christian view of atheism, as Fr. Andrew Anglorus explains:

“‘Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts’ (Rom 1:24). Generally, atheists and agnostics are talking about themselves when they talk about the absence of God. They simply express their personal subjective truth (that their souls are empty) in an objective way and try to generalize their experience. In other words, there is no theology, or even philosophy here, it is just their own ill or deficient psychology, which is what atheism is… In the Scriptures Christ says clearly that only the pure in heart will see God. In other words, intellectuals, examiners and professors will never understand God, if their minds are not pure… How do we know if someone has a pure heart? The pure heart is evidenced by the way we live. As Peter says, a person devoted to the Lord “does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2); “Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior” (Ps 24:3-5).” +Fr. Andrew Anglorus

Though Christ is in our midst and the Kingdom is at hand, seeing we do not see, and hearing we do not understand. This is, in effect, a handy-dandy inversion of Freud's classical critique of religion from a Christian point of view. http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/freuds-critique-of-religion/

________________________
Cf. also the Longer Catechism of Saint Philaret of Moscow cited above refers to phenomenological separation when it speaks of "separation from the sight of God's countenance": "Hades is a Greek word, and means a place void of light. In divinity, by this name is understood a spiritual prison, that is, the state of those spirits which are separated by sin from the sight of God's countenance and from the light and blessedness which it confers. Jude i. 6; Octoich. tom. v.; sticher. ii. 4." For an example of being separated from the sight of God's countenance in the present age, cf. Romans 1.
Ok. Makes sense.
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« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2012, 08:26:32 AM »


So, given the above, in what sense does baptism save? Does it make you more able to love God and participate in Him? It seems to me that given the above, all people regardless of love of God already have a baseline level of communion with Him, the only difference being that it is painful for the unbeliever.

1 Peter 3:21
"Baptism, which is symbolized by that water, now saves you also, not by removing dirt from the body, but by asking God for a clear conscience based on the resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah"
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« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2012, 08:40:43 AM »


So, given the above, in what sense does baptism save? Does it make you more able to love God and participate in Him? It seems to me that given the above, all people regardless of love of God already have a baseline level of communion with Him, the only difference being that it is painful for the unbeliever.

1 Peter 3:21
"Baptism, which is symbolized by that water, now saves you also, not by removing dirt from the body, but by asking God for a clear conscience based on the resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah"
Is that from an actual translation? If so, the eisegesis is shocking.

I was asking in the context of the internal consistency of Orthodox doctrine.
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« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2012, 08:43:18 AM »


So, given the above, in what sense does baptism save? Does it make you more able to love God and participate in Him? It seems to me that given the above, all people regardless of love of God already have a baseline level of communion with Him, the only difference being that it is painful for the unbeliever.

1 Peter 3:21
"Baptism, which is symbolized by that water, now saves you also, not by removing dirt from the body, but by asking God for a clear conscience based on the resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah"
Is that from an actual translation? If so, the eisegesis is shocking.

I was asking in the context of the internal consistency of Orthodox doctrine.

NIV i think

Here we go, King Jimmy for you...

"The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:"
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« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2012, 09:13:11 AM »


So, given the above, in what sense does baptism save? Does it make you more able to love God and participate in Him? It seems to me that given the above, all people regardless of love of God already have a baseline level of communion with Him, the only difference being that it is painful for the unbeliever.

1 Peter 3:21
"Baptism, which is symbolized by that water, now saves you also, not by removing dirt from the body, but by asking God for a clear conscience based on the resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah"
Is that from an actual translation? If so, the eisegesis is shocking.

I was asking in the context of the internal consistency of Orthodox doctrine.

NIV i think

Here we go, King Jimmy for you...

"The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:"
Oh right. I misread what they meant by "symbol." My bad...

"Putting away the filth of the flesh" is the crucial term here. Xariksai can answer this better than I can but it seems to me the term would be best understood as a reference to the Jewish ritual washings that had to be done before one entered the Temple or whenever one became ceremonially defiled (touching a leper, etc). So, Peter would then be saying that the baptism is not a Jewish oblation designed to cleanse from external ceremonial defilements because these are irrelevant anyway ("cleanse the inside of the cup").

At most I think that verse could only be a refutation of baptizing infants and the mentally challenged since they can't necessarily answer God with a good conscience. Baptismal regeneration itself could still be true as practiced by groups like the Campbellites (believer's baptism that saves).
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« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2012, 05:54:47 PM »


So, given the above, in what sense does baptism save? Does it make you more able to love God and participate in Him? It seems to me that given the above, all people regardless of love of God already have a baseline level of communion with Him, the only difference being that it is painful for the unbeliever.

1 Peter 3:21
"Baptism, which is symbolized by that water, now saves you also, not by removing dirt from the body, but by asking God for a clear conscience based on the resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah"
Is that from an actual translation? If so, the eisegesis is shocking.

I was asking in the context of the internal consistency of Orthodox doctrine.

NIV i think

Here we go, King Jimmy for you...

"The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:"
1 Pet 3:21: ὁ καὶ ὑμᾶς ἀντίτυπον νῦν σῴζει βάπτισμα, οὐ σαρκὸς ἀπόθεσις ῥύπου ἀλλὰ συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς ἐπερώτημα εἰς θεόν, δι’ ἀναστάσεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ

The Gk. word in question is antitypon; it is most literally rendered by the NKJV as antitype:
"There is also an antitype which now saves us -baptism..." (1 Pt 3:21).

Antitype of what? The ark of Noah (in the previous verse):

1 Pet 3:18-21:  "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us[a] to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype [ἀντίτυπον/antitypon] which now saves us -baptism..."

That is to say, baptism which *now* saves is an antitype to the ark which *then* saved, in the days of Noah (i.e. the ark is a type of baptism. It is in reality the ark of Noah that is the symbol or type in this equation, not baptism!



So, given the above, in what sense does baptism save? Does it make you more able to love God and participate in Him? It seems to me that given the above, all people regardless of love of God already have a baseline level of communion with Him, the only difference being that it is painful for the unbeliever.

1 Peter 3:21
"Baptism, which is symbolized by that water, now saves you also, not by removing dirt from the body, but by asking God for a clear conscience based on the resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah"
Is that from an actual translation? If so, the eisegesis is shocking.

I was asking in the context of the internal consistency of Orthodox doctrine.

NIV i think

Here we go, King Jimmy for you...

"The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:"
Oh right. I misread what they meant by "symbol." My bad...

"Putting away the filth of the flesh" is the crucial term here. Xariksai can answer this better than I can but it seems to me the term would be best understood as a reference to the Jewish ritual washings that had to be done before one entered the Temple or whenever one became ceremonially defiled (touching a leper, etc). So, Peter would then be saying that the baptism is not a Jewish oblation designed to cleanse from external ceremonial defilements because these are irrelevant anyway ("cleanse the inside of the cup").

At most I think that verse could only be a refutation of baptizing infants and the mentally challenged since they can't necessarily answer God with a good conscience. Baptismal regeneration itself could still be true as practiced by groups like the Campbellites (believer's baptism that saves).
Baptismal regeneration is also taught and defended by contemporary Lutherans, of course; we do not find anyone before the radical Reformation who disputed it -the fathers were of universal consent on the matter. I would suggest there is no slam-dunk "prooftext" which "destroys" either infant baptism or baptismal regeneration, else everyone on the Protestant side would conform to e.g. Lutheran or Baptist or Presbyterian or etc. views on the matter. This is an example of how the universal consent of the earliest fathers can be helpful: "Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses" (2 Cor 13:1/Deut 19:15); the testimony of those who were either immediate disciples of the apostles, contemporary with the apostles, or disciples of those who were immediate disciples of the apostles and for whom the language of the NT was their mother tongue should carry special weight.

1 Pet 3:21: ὁ καὶ ὑμᾶς ἀντίτυπον νῦν σῴζει βάπτισμα, οὐ σαρκὸς ἀπόθεσις ῥύπου ἀλλὰ συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς ἐπερώτημα εἰς θεόν, δι’ ἀναστάσεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ

The Gk. word ἐπερώτημα/eperotema appears only once in the NT. Though translated "answer" in the above version it is also commonly understood as an "appeal" or "request" for a good conscience.[1] Whether the good conscience precedes or follows baptism according to this verse, of course, depends on which rendering is given; given the lack of confirmation for NT usage in this instance it would be IMO precarious to hang too much upon the meaning of ἐπερώτημα here in and of itself IMO.

_____________________
[1]“Baptism does not confer physical cleansing but saves as a request for forgiveness” (Kittel, TDNT/1972, p. 262); “an appeal to God for a clear conscience” (Arndt and Gingrich, Greek-English Lexicon, p. 285; “earnestly sought" (Thayer, GELNT, p. 230); cf. any good critical commentary for further discussion.
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« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2012, 02:06:49 AM »

Thanks.
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« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2012, 08:48:39 PM »


So, given the above, in what sense does baptism save?
Christ is a real human being.

We are not.

Baptism is putting on Christ.

lol!!!!!! If we are not human beings, what are we? I know, we are cats and mice.
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« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2012, 08:51:23 PM »

Both what? Both presence and separation?

I wonder how the poster means that too.
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« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2012, 09:19:41 PM »


So, given the above, in what sense does baptism save?
Christ is a real human being.

We are not.

Baptism is putting on Christ.

lol!!!!!! If we are not human beings, what are we? I know, we are cats and mice.

A work in progress.
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« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2012, 09:47:14 PM »

lol!!!!!! If we are not human beings, what are we? I know, we are cats and mice.
We were Earth creatures. The Adam.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 09:47:31 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2012, 09:54:48 PM »

Both what? Both presence and separation?

I wonder how the poster means that too.

You suffer from the Presence of God, and when in that presence, you experience a lack of communion. This is part of the suffering; being in the presence of Love while hating it and not communing with it.

So there is both Presence and Separation.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 09:55:14 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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