The East did not have a concept of "Original Sin" like the West did. You inherent the consequences of the sin, not the guilt. It may better be called "Ancestral sin". One of these consequences is death. Sin can only be a free personal act.
Yeah... I believe people inherit the tendency to sin, but that actual sins are always personal.
Lutherans technically believe original sin is accidental to human nature, but not essential to it (people are essentially good but their nature is poisoned).
I guess I shouldn't really smugly joke though about what I consider their eccentricities, if they are making a genuine effort to deal with you as opposed to the Orthodox, I guess there is something to that as well.
Well, the pastor is concerned because he believes Lutheranism is not sufficiently mystical, in his opinion. He is Greek-American and knows a thing or two about Orthodoxy, but he was raised Lutheran.
Having said that, I purchased a book called Theology of the Heart
which is about the German mystical background of Martin Luther, particularly the mysticism of Tauler and the Friends of God.
3) I'm not too sure what you mean by abstract though. If we look at presuppositions or concepts of actions, abstractions are going to be necessary. There is nothing wrong with this if you are trying to dig deeper into something (though sometimes you can go "down the rabbit hole" so to speak and lose focus on essential basics).
Different people with Asperger's have different strengths and weaknesses. I actually am horrible at math, it is a learning disability for me. But I'm quite good with words, even though I use language very technically. It's been suggested to me I'd make a good technical writer because I'm very precise and logical. It probably also explains my issues with doctrines, because most people in my experience do not treat doctrinal issues very precisely.
I guess I just clicked with the Orthodox emphasis on mysticism and "doing" stuff. A lot of that is very much against the grain for Protestants, who focus on passive hearing of "the Word" and reception of the Lord's Supper (if they do this routinely at all, the Lutheran parish I've been visiting has Holy Communion every sunday). And Lutherans have a reputation for not having much of a prayer life. My hangup with Lutheranism is on the doctrinal emphasis- the Book of Concord is voluminous and much of it is very polemical. Doctrines in my mind have always been secondary to practice, and in Lutheranism its all about doctrine with practice being very much secondary, a "thing indifferent". Meaning almost everything is "optional", so in practice, it's minimalistic.
I actually recognize Lutheranism as Christian- probably moreso than most other Protestant sects, but to me its like someone took Orthodoxy and pruned it back to a bare minimum, injected it with a big dose of Augustine, and put training wheels on it. I've met almost as many lapsed Lutherans as I've met lapsed Catholics- I believe the culture breeds nominalism.