OrthodoxChristianity.net
December 18, 2014, 07:29:22 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: « 1 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Orthodoxy and the Atonement  (Read 8138 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
chrisb
Working it out in fear and trembling...
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: St. Cyprian of Carthage - OCA|South
Posts: 210


St. Cyprian pray for us.


« Reply #45 on: August 08, 2006, 12:54:06 PM »

Sure, we can look at this.ÂÂ  We'll take it bit by bit.

Here I think we'd agree that God is the source of all things.ÂÂ  Everything created by God is good and has the potential to be used for His glory.

Now, all this says is that God has reconciled us to Himself.ÂÂ  This does not have to mean that he has "squared us with the house," as it were, in terms of merely settling accounts with sinful human beings so that we no longer "owed Him."ÂÂ  One could look at it also in this way: God, in His holiness, knew that to approach us as we were--sinful and bound up in death--would mean our torment, because our dead nature was incompatible with His pure Life.ÂÂ  So Christ, the Logos reconciled our human nature with the divine nature by uniting them in His one Person, thereby taking away the emnity that existed between our fallen human nature and the Father's holy divine nature.ÂÂ  So now, by uniting ourself to Christ's redeemed humanity AND His divine nature, we can now approach the Father.

Notice, now, that the 'demand' of the Father (yes, I will and can call it that) was satisfied by the reconciling of fallen human nature and holy divine nature in the Logos, but notice especially the motivation behind said reconciliation.ÂÂ  This is the main point of our difference: not that the Father never demands that we come to Him through the sacrifice of Christ, but that we come to Him through the sacrifice of Christ because He knows we can not enjoy His presence any other way, and this is what He wants for us.ÂÂ  Christ died, not because of some external demand of an offended Father who seeks to regain His own honor and so He might have an airtight case in justifying letting us into heaven (as if this were the Father's problem), but rather because He was not going to change one iota of His holiness when all things (us included) were submitted to Him, and this would, by natural consequence, mean our torment.ÂÂ  So His demand stems not from wounded honor, but from selfless love for those who once were alienated from His divine nature and union therewith, but who now have access to the throne of Grace through the divine sacrifice of the Logos, whose very Person has reconciled the fallen creation with its divine Creator.

Hi Pedro,

This looks pretty good. I will give this some serious thought. Thanks.

Quote
Like I said: the divine nature of God was in Christ, as was our human nature, and thus all creation and matter was made compatible once again with God...

All creation or all men?

Quote
...and instead of consuming the flesh of the Virgin which He took, the Logos deified it (and her), which not only did not impute the shortcoming of said flesh unto it (normally it would have consumed the flesh as a natural consequence of coming in contact with it, as fire would with chaff, but it forebore in this case) but it also changed the very nature of the chaff/flesh so that it could unite with divine fire.ÂÂ  In this case, the trespassing of our flesh into the realm of death was not only passed over when the blood of the sacrificial lamb was placed over the doors of our souls and bodies, but said flesh was also healed of death.

Well, so as you can see, the atonement was in a sense to the Father, but the motivation behind said reconciliation needs to be made absolutely clear: We were not reconciled for the benefit of the Father's honor or justice or satisfaction or anything else; we were reconciled to the Father so that we would be saved from death and healed of sin.ÂÂ  This sin and death issue, then, is not the Father's problem, but ours,ÂÂ  yet He, through the sacrifice of the Logos, did what we never could do: He changed our very nature into something completely different...he brought us back to Eden's goodness.

I'm going to reflect on this some and get back with you. I do believe you've made your case very well.

Peace and God Bless
Logged

For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother. - Mark 3:35
DownfallRecords
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 45


WWW
« Reply #46 on: August 08, 2006, 02:00:35 PM »

The word atonement used is wrong because it implys that we are forgiven of our sins. This reminds us of justification by faith alone. No Orthodox I know believe this. Lets just use the word Reconciliationwitch we can agree is biblical.

Could you clarify your statement on the forgiveness of our sins?ÂÂ  I don't want to misunderstand you, and I don't think you are saying that forgiveness of sins has nothing to do with our salvation, but I'm not sure what you are getting at here.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: August 08, 2006, 02:04:02 PM by DownfallRecords » Logged
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,828



WWW
« Reply #47 on: August 08, 2006, 06:16:24 PM »

I'm sorry Pedro but I still believe that there wasn't any kind of atonement to the father.

Perhaps you misread my post, but I agree wholeheartedly that "God's free gift to us should have nothing to do with pleasing himself."

Reread the post and you'll see as much, I hope.

Chrisb,

Glad I could help.
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
Tzimis
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 2,381



« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2006, 01:10:47 PM »

I reread your post and I see nothing that contradicts Orthodox belief. So I will humbly apologise.

What I wanted to make clear is that the English translated word Atonement. Is used by Protestants to confirm their belief of salvation by faith alone. Since it is a two part word that means forgiveness of sin and reconciliation. The actual word implies that we are instantly saved.
Logged

Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
DownfallRecords
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 45


WWW
« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2006, 06:18:10 PM »

Demetrios,

I understand what you are saying, a lot of words are used in certain ways to the point that even though they a good words, I fear to use them! 
Logged
Steve Dennehy
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 135



« Reply #50 on: August 14, 2006, 06:34:59 PM »

The  doctrine of the Atonement did NOT originate with Anselm; it originiated with Lord Jesus Christ.ÂÂ  Some of you don't seem familiar with the New Testament, especially the Gospels .ÂÂ  Anyone who denies Lord Jesus died to atone for the sins (the hatred of Love and neighbor) of all people is not Orthodox.ÂÂ  The Divine Liturgy is giving Thanksgiving (Eucharist) to Trinity for the Incarnation, the offeringÂÂ  of the Sacrifice of God-Man Jesus on the Cross presented by the separated Body and Blood and the offering: "Yours of Your own we offer to You on behalf of all and for all.", the Resurrection and Ascension (re-uniting the Body and Blood for Holy Communion -"union with") and the sending of Holy Spirit into us.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2006, 06:36:38 PM by Steve Dennehy » Logged
Tzimis
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 2,381



« Reply #51 on: August 15, 2006, 03:37:48 PM »

Christ descended into hades to preach and free the righteous from there bondage. Did he free all that were in hades? Or did he free just the righteous? If he freed all than that would mean we are all forgiven our sins and we don't have to work for our salvation. Why would we need a Church?
   

1 Corinthians 11:29
 
29For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
Logged

Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,828



WWW
« Reply #52 on: August 15, 2006, 04:33:34 PM »

The  doctrine of the Atonement did NOT originate with Anselm; it originiated with Lord Jesus Christ.

Well, right, but what passes for the common western understanding of the Atonement was articulated very well (but not begun) by Anselm.

Quote
Anyone who denies Lord Jesus died to atone for the sins (the hatred of Love and neighbor) of all people is not Orthodox.  The Divine Liturgy is giving Thanksgiving (Eucharist) to Trinity for the Incarnation, the offering  of the Sacrifice of God-Man Jesus on the Cross presented by the separated Body and Blood and the offering: "Yours of Your own we offer to You on behalf of all and for all.", the Resurrection and Ascension (re-uniting the Body and Blood for Holy Communion -"union with") and the sending of Holy Spirit into us.

Right.  But it's not the assuaging of the anger or the offended justice of the Father via the vindictive punishment given to the Son instead of us.  Two different worlds.
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
Steve Dennehy
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 135



« Reply #53 on: August 15, 2006, 08:20:55 PM »

Well, right, but what passes for the common western understanding of the Atonement was articulated very well (but not begun) by Anselm.

Right.ÂÂ  But it's not the assuaging of the anger or the offended justice of the Father via the vindictive punishment given to the Son instead of us.ÂÂ  Two different worlds.

David,
You're right, Lord Jesus in His passion and death is not assuaging the anger of the Father.  This comes from folks not understanding that God is One Who is Three (Trinity: 3 in 1) not 3 separate Gods, not God and His 2 demi-Gods.   Many people anthropomorphize the Father and the Son into a human father and son who are 2 persons who are 2 different beings; in God, the Father and the Son are one and the same Being, Father and Son and Holy Spirit are one and the same Being. Lord Jesus is atoning for our sins to His Father-Himself-His Spirit.

The other wrong view is that Jesus is paying ransom to the Evil One, "buying" us back from his power by His Sacrifice. Lord Jesus frees us from the Evil One by freeing us from our sins by atoning for them, if we recieve Him and His Sacrifice and acknowledge, repent of and confess our sins.

Steve
Logged
francis-christopher
Banned
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Jurisdiction: Diocese of Richmond
Posts: 366


St. Francis pray for us!


« Reply #54 on: August 15, 2006, 09:22:48 PM »

In nomine Iesus I offer you all peace,

Truly this is a difficult topic to tackle among my dearested brothers and sisters in Christ but one I feel might be fruitful for an old Catholic seadog like myself.ÂÂ  Wink

I ask that each extend the most care and consideration toward me as I labor through what I believe to be a very thorny subject which appears to offer the Orthodoxy the greatest criticism of Catholic articulates of Christ's Vicarious Atonement.

By atonement in general is understood the satisfaction of a demand. In the narrower sense it is taken to mean the reparation of an insult: satifactio nihil aliud est quam injuriae alteri illatae compensatio (Cat. Rom. II 5, 59). This occurs through a voluntary performance which outweighs the injustice done.

The ground of the Catholic articulation of atonement seeks the subject of the offense. To whom does 'sin' offend? When one understands this, one also finds the subject of the atonement. It has always been the claim of Catholic Scholars that the sole subject in which 'sin' offends is God Himself. As the Psalmist suggests:

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. - Psalms 51:4

Origen (254) changed the Pauline teaching of man's ransom from the dominion of the devil to an unbilbical ransom-theory. He held that the devil by Adam's sin, had acquired a formal dominion over mankind. In order to liberate mankind from this tyranny Christ gave his life to the devil as ransom price. But the devil was deceived, as he was not able to maintain for long his dominion of death over Christ. Others explained that the devil lost his dominion over mankind by unjustly trying to extend this right to Christ also. Despite the fact that this error was widespread, Patristic teaching held frimly to the biblical teaching of man's reconciliation with God through Christ's death on the Cross. The notion of a dominion of the devil over fallen mankind enegetically refuted by St. Anselm of Canterbury.

Now I know my post will offend some and bring upon me and the Catholic Position scorn but I am honestly willing to discuss the matter further to more deeply appreciate the Orthodox Claims.

Sancte Francisce, Patriarcha pauperum, ora pro nobis.

« Last Edit: August 15, 2006, 09:30:13 PM by francis-christopher » Logged

Francisce-Christophorus

Sancte Francisce, athleta Christi, ora pro nobis. Amen.
Tzimis
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 2,381



« Reply #55 on: August 16, 2006, 01:15:45 PM »

Irenaeus of Lyons along with many early church fathers inclueding Origen hold to Recapitulation. Not atonement and the ransom-theory.

Quote
Recapitulation is the term used by Irenaeus in his theory of atonement to describe the manner in which God interacts with the world towards the final goal in space and time of man's salvation and redemption. It also describes the balance of Christ's actions opposing Adam's, towards the perfect balance in the world, righting of wrongs, and also Jesus' mother Mary, whose perfect obedience balances Eve's disobedience at the beginning of time.

There are many opposing and complementary translations of Irenaeus' use of the word Recapitulation, including "make a new start" "bring to climax" "to go over again", all of which help to give a fuller understanding of the term, recapitulation. Restoration is a feature, restoration of humanity to the holy state which was enjoyed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Recapitulation is regarded as the fulfilment of humanity when divine and human become one, in Christ. It is suggested that Christ's coming to earth is a movement by God to change and redemy the recalcitrance of Adam in the garden of Eden, their lives being mirrored and Christs' actions, always excellently good, to counterbalance the essence of good and evil in the world. "Christ, the new Adam unites all by his death on the cross "(i) But Christ is incarnate from the beginning, creation and salvation were envisioned in the same act. The hope of redemption comes through correction, in hopes that "if the first error could be corrected, subsequent disaster could be averted." (ii) Irenaeus is the first Christian theologian to compare Eve and Mary in response to the question of salvation. He balances Eve's faithlessness with Mary's complete faithful and unquestioning servitude to the Lord, and in comparison, Christs' obedience in doing His will in sufferance on earth. It is propounded that Christ sanctified all human life in every stage by living it, but this incurs the neccessity of Christs longevity. Some sources agree that Christ was known on earth in his old age but these are dubious and not universal.

Irenaeus describes Humanity and God as coming together in Christ, an eventual restoration of the separted Human into the original divine form. Since the dawn of mans' entrance into the world, God has had a dialogue with humanity through the prophets, through his Divine Word, through rules and guidance, drawing mankind ultimately to the final goal of divinity, the Omega point. In this way, humanity is seen as immature in development, childish, and its maturation is in achieving the divine through the guidance of the Holy Father. Like children, Humanity is destined to stray and distance itself from God, and as the loving father he draws Humankind back to Himself. It is seen that only through moral choices and as such it is described as a pedagogical process, learning through guidance the joy of salvation. "Disobedience, slavery, corruption and alienation are corrected by obedience, liberation, incorruption and reconciliation. The change is reflexive, inclusive and repetitive."(iii) All things in all times, in all places are redempted by Christs' all pervading presence in the world, all wrongs are righted by God through his Son. The incarnation of God as man allows his goodness and purity to osmoze throughout humanity allowing His incarnate immortal greatness to merge with humankind and to reclaim eternal life and purity once again, the gifts which we were granted in the beginning and shall receive again in the ending. This understanding puts Christs' incarnation at the forefront of the cause of salvation rather than the crucifixion, although the two are endemicaly conjoined. Christ acted as "the champion of Humanity"(iv) , bringing his flesh under the same human suffering that mankind knows, devoid of divine strength and immutability, and thus restored the benificence of the creators original gifts of immortality to the recalcitrant race of Humanity. This may not have been the incorrigble destiny of Humankind, to be visited by Christ, but Christ was not always to be our Saviour, rather the fact that man did rebel in disobedience meant his role became Saviour in addition to shepherd.

The neccessity of Christ and God's intervention in the fate of mankind is called into question and answered by the erudite Lawson in his examination of St Irenaeus' 'Recapitulation'. If, he propounds, "he [man] were not to return to life, but were to be wholly abandoned to death, then God would have been defeated...but since God is both invincible and magnaminous...he annihilated death...and man who had been taken captive was set free from the bondage of condemnation"(v)

The concepts of time and space allow us to comprehend the theology of redemption, incarnation and recapitulation in that they allow us to illustrate the all pervading nature of these elements which we can comprehend and the timelessness and all pervadingness of Gods will. Although it can be argued that they are simply ideas which we can use to describe and understand the universe, the notion of spacetime — a modern conception that challenges intuitive notions of distance and time by actually merging the two, does provide a magnificent vista in which to understand that all things are happening at all times. The Eucharist is the constant re-enactament of the crucifixion, Christ is risen- not has, or will, but 'is'- ever, constantly. Spacetime describes the history of Humanity outwith the boundaries of history and in the Kingdom of God- as defined by Jesus- since every moment is in the salvation. Not just at the endtime, but at all moments, we realise the potential to realise the imago dei, the divine spark. The omega point, the salvation of Humanity is at the midpoint of space and time: that from which all expands from and contracts to. Humanity has tried to define space and time in so many ways, yet we are incapable of measuring the universe except in mathematical hypotheses. However we are agreed on one factor: "Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space." (vi) Indeed it may be infinite. More helpfully Joubert is quoted as saying "Space is to place as eternity is to time." (vii) thus elucidating Gods' constancy and all knowingness. It could be added to Riceours thought - "We are not capable of producing a concept of time that is at once cosmological, biological, historical and individual." (viii) - that theologically time is infinte and immediate, in despite of Groucho Marx' stipulation that "Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.", (ix) time is not a straight line but a surrounding, encompassing compound of space that has no measure except within the grace of timelessness which God preserves through Anakephaliosis.

To recap and conclude, Recapitulation can be understood in terms of second century Christian theology as "The totality of humanity and the Universe...the whole history of salvation is resumed..sovereignty of Christ over all things is assumed..all things are not merely repaired but are brought to perfection in Christ".(x) In Irenaeus ' terms it is the consummation of Humanity with its maker and all that that entails which I have attempted to describe concisely. It is the teleology [ the study of existence or non-existence of an organizing principle behind natural laws and phenonema(xi)] of human existence through God.


« Last Edit: August 16, 2006, 02:03:54 PM by Demetrios G. » Logged

Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
francis-christopher
Banned
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Jurisdiction: Diocese of Richmond
Posts: 366


St. Francis pray for us!


« Reply #56 on: August 17, 2006, 11:54:10 AM »

Irenaeus of Lyons along with many early church fathers inclueding Origen hold to Recapitulation. Not atonement and the ransom-theory.

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace Demetrios G.,

I understand the many early Church Fathers appear to develop differing theories of the Redemption, St. Irenaeus of Lyons being one of them with his Recapitulation Theory, but didn't our beloved St. Gregory of Nazianzus put this into greater perspective for us with regards to it's role within our understanding of the Doctrine of Atonement?

I believe it is difficult, in our day, to discuss this without bias of the actual Patristic Teaching of Atonement from our two traditions but I continue to assert that to whom the offense of sin is to whom the proper subject of atonement is found. This, I believe, to be the cruxed of the Catholic argument with regards to Atonement. Through Christ God was reconciling man to Himself. I don't believe Christ's salvific sacrifice was a ransom to 'a personification of death' orÂÂ  'the devil' as has been articulated in this thread by some. I would humbly assert that such would be an overemphasis of the ransom-theory in our understanding of Atonement taught to us through St. Paul. I believe the ransom-theory grew as a reaction to Pagan-Philosophical criticism of a Righteous God who created a demand of perfection in His creation because of His perfection. Not because He is angry or needs appeasement but because His perfection inherently demands perfection for union. Through Christ the perfection and union between God and Man is found for all of us who respond to such grace (i.e. favor with God) and obedience to such grace. Amen.

So, as a Catholic, I find myself in opposition to favoring the ransom-theory which makes Satan the subject of Christ's Atonement as well as any form of Recapitulation which denies the Salvific Sacrifice of Christ as 'the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world' for another method of Redemption that denies the role of Christ as the Pashal Lamb. This to me is critical.

Regardless, I am ever open to discuss this very serious matter with my brothers and sisters in the Orthodoxy tradition. I do not stand here as an authority but simply a man with conviction in his faith. I am open to further discussion with any of you willing to speak with me on this matter with charity.

Sancte Francisce, Patriarcha pauperum, ora pro nobis.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2006, 11:58:42 AM by francis-christopher » Logged

Francisce-Christophorus

Sancte Francisce, athleta Christi, ora pro nobis. Amen.
Tzimis
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 2,381



« Reply #57 on: August 17, 2006, 10:43:43 PM »

Quote
In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace Demetrios G.,

Thankyou. Peace to you as well.

Quote
I understand the many early Church Fathers appear to develop differing theories of the Redemption, St. Irenaeus of Lyons being one of them with his Recapitulation Theory, but didn't our beloved St. Gregory of Nazianzus put this into greater perspective for us with regards to it's role within our understanding of the Doctrine of Atonement?

Looking at his writings at Nicene. It would appear not to be true.


Quote
V. Let us become like Christ, since Christ became like us. Let us become God's for His sake, since He for ours became Man. He assumed the worse that He might give us the better; He became poor that we through His poverty might be rich;9 He took upon Him the form of a servant that we might receive back our liberty; He came down that we might be exalted; He was tempted that we might conquer; He was dishonoured that He might glorify us; He died that He might save us; He ascended that He might draw to Himself us, who were lying low in the Fall of sin. Let us give all, offer all, to Him Who gave Himself a Ransom and a Reconciliation for us. But one can give nothing like oneself, understanding the Mystery, and becoming for His sake all that He became for ours

 
Quote
Not because He is angry or needs appeasement but because His perfection inherently demands perfection for union.

Your statement is very Orthodox.ÂÂ  

Quote
So, as a Catholic, I find myself in opposition to favoring the ransom-theory which makes Satan the subject of Christ's Atonement as well as any form of Recapitulation which denies the Salvific Sacrifice of Christ as 'the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world' for another method of Redemption that denies the role of Christ as the Paschal Lamb. This to me is critical.

Christ did many things for us. Things that we will never know. What is most important is that we don't focus on just the cross. Pasha is celebrated as the 8th day. Witch is the day of perfection. So his resurrection is much more important. The whole point is that the sacrificed lamb never really died.  ÃƒÆ’‚ Christ has risen

Changed for spelling mistakes.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2006, 08:08:37 AM by Demetrios G. » Logged

Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
francis-christopher
Banned
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Jurisdiction: Diocese of Richmond
Posts: 366


St. Francis pray for us!


« Reply #58 on: August 18, 2006, 09:20:50 AM »

Looking at his writings at Nicene. It would appear not to be true.

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace Demetrios G.,

So would argue that our beloved St. Gregory asserts that Christ was a ransom to Satan or to a Personification of Death?
 ÃƒÆ’‚Â
Quote
Your statement is very Orthodox.

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church...ÂÂ  

Quote
Christ did many things for us. Things that we will never know. What is most important is that we don't focus on just the cross. Pasha is celebrated as the 8th day. Witch is the day of perfection. So his resurrection is much more important. The whole point is that the sacrificed lamb never really died.  ÃƒÆ’‚ Christ has risen.

Indeed, He Has Risen! Amen.

Sancte Francisce, Patriarcha pauperum, ora pro nobis.
Logged

Francisce-Christophorus

Sancte Francisce, athleta Christi, ora pro nobis. Amen.
Tzimis
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 2,381



« Reply #59 on: August 18, 2006, 03:38:10 PM »

Continued peace to you as well.

Quote
So would argue that our beloved St. Gregory asserts that Christ was a ransom to Satan or to a Personification of Death?
ÂÂ
I will try to butter both sides of the bread.

Quote
Let us give all, offer all, to Him Who gave Himself a Ransom and a Reconciliation for us.

Would you agree that giving all. Could mean our very own lives?

We give Christ our lives. He than takes our lives with him on the cross. Giving himself to the devil. The devil finds a God/man free of sin. Since sin means death and our lord was free of it. That would mean that the devil has lost his hold. He becomes bound. Christ than resurrects in a state of perfection. We through a sacramental life and the partaking of holy communion. Unite to Christ upon our departing from this life and become perfect as he is. Than as you stated before.
Quote
Not because He is angry or needs appeasement but because His perfection inherently demands perfection for union.
   We now become reconciled to God.
Logged

Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
Steve Dennehy
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 135



« Reply #60 on: August 19, 2006, 06:53:43 PM »

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace Demetrios G.,

I understand the many early Church Fathers appear to develop differing theories of the Redemption, St. Irenaeus of Lyons being one of them with his Recapitulation Theory, but didn't our beloved St. Gregory of Nazianzus put this into greater perspective for us with regards to it's role within our understanding of the Doctrine of Atonement?

I believe it is difficult, in our day, to discuss this without bias of the actual Patristic Teaching of Atonement from our two traditions but I continue to assert that to whom the offense of sin is to whom the proper subject of atonement is found. This, I believe, to be the cruxed of the Catholic argument with regards to Atonement. Through Christ God was reconciling man to Himself. I don't believe Christ's salvific sacrifice was a ransom to 'a personification of death' orÂÂ  'the devil' as has been articulated in this thread by some. I would humbly assert that such would be an overemphasis of the ransom-theory in our understanding of Atonement taught to us through St. Paul. I believe the ransom-theory grew as a reaction to Pagan-Philosophical criticism of a Righteous God who created a demand of perfection in His creation because of His perfection. Not because He is angry or needs appeasement but because His perfection inherently demands perfection for union. Through Christ the perfection and union between God and Man is found for all of us who respond to such grace (i.e. favor with God) and obedience to such grace. Amen.

So, as a Catholic, I find myself in opposition to favoring the ransom-theory which makes Satan the subject of Christ's Atonement as well as any form of Recapitulation which denies the Salvific Sacrifice of Christ as 'the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world' for another method of Redemption that denies the role of Christ as the Pashal Lamb. This to me is critical.

Regardless, I am ever open to discuss this very serious matter with my brothers and sisters in the Orthodoxy tradition. I do not stand here as an authority but simply a man with conviction in his faith. I am open to further discussion with any of you willing to speak with me on this matter with charity.

Sancte Francisce, Patriarcha pauperum, ora pro nobis.

Francis,
In His atonement for our sins, God-Man Jesus cleanses His human nature and cleanses our human nature in His. He takes our evil upon Himself as if He is represponsible for it "(He Who was sinless became sin."--in that awesome statement of tSt. Paul.); by His Resurrection, He restores  His human nature  to the pre-fallen state, restoring our human nature in His; by His ascension into Father He diefies His human nature, deifying our human nature in His.  he doesn't suffer and die to appease God's wrath.  How would that cleanse us ?
How could we be born again and put on Christ ?

Frankly, a problem I see in Western Christianity is the lack of a sense of Trinity.  God tends to be conveyed as the Father only, with the Son and Holy Spirit as  separate Beings.  This  is because Roman Catholics and Protestants never address God as "Trinity" or as "Father-Son-Spirit" in their worship.  As people pray so they believe.

Steve
Logged
Steve Dennehy
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 135



« Reply #61 on: August 21, 2006, 07:03:34 PM »

Evangelicals (Eastern, Western, etc) hold to a 'Biblical' soteriology (i.e. our understanding of salvation is drawn directly from the way it is articulated in the Scriptures).

I believe there is a lot of 'spin' happening in means than 'atonement'.
Quote
Christianity to articulate a gospel which does away with a "Holy" God to establish a God with one overarching attribute (that of love alone). Once we move away from a "Holy" God we are forced to articulate Salvation through other

As much as I respect Pedro and the others on this forum I don't believe it's the Gospel the Apostle Paul preached but a 'new' Gospel largely influenced by hellenism.

God is Holy

When we think of God as holy, we think of Him absolutely free from sin in thought, word, and deed. There is not the slightest taint of sin in Him. He is absolutely pure. As St. John says, "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:15). He cannot in any way condone sin. As Habakkuk says, "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:" (Hab. 1:13).

One of the main themes in the Old Testament is a declaration and demonstration of God's holiness (Ex. 15:11; Lev. 19:2; 1 Sam. 2:2; 6:20; Job 34:10; Ps. 47:8;89:35; 119:9; Is. 6:3; 57:15; and others). This theme continues in the New Testament (Jn. 17:11; Jas. 1:13; 1 Pet. 1:15-16; 1 Jn. 1:5; Rev. 4:8; 15:4; and others).

God as a holy God will not tolerate sin. It is because of God's holiness that "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness" (Rom. 1:18). The frist revelation of God's holiness is a revelation of judgment. He said to Adam and Eve, "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17). God's judgment against sin reveals His immutability in his holiness.

The acts of judgment in biblical history bear testimony of God's hatred toward sin and His immutability in holiness. The flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the many other acts of judgment in the Scriptures leave us no doubt where God stands on the issue of sin.

The eternal punishment of the wicked with such expressions as, "outer darkness" (Mt. 8:12; 22:13; and 25:30), "furnace of fire" (Mt. 13:42-50), "everlasting fire" (Mt. 18:8; 25:41), "everlasting punishment" (Mt. 25:46), "fire unquenchable" (Mk. 9:43-48), "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power" (2 Th. 1:9), and "the lake which churneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" (Rev. 21:8 ).

The cross of Jesus Christ also reveals God's immutability in holiness. The cross of Christ is an eternal testimony that God will not forgive sin unless it is first punished. If we see in God a pattern of purity and righteousness but fail to see His hatred of sin, we have failed to understand the biblical view of holiness.

God's holy will is an expression of God's holy nature. As Thiessen says: "In God we have purity of being before purity of willing. God does not will the good because it is good, nor is the good because God wills it, else there would be a good above God or the good would be arbitrary and changeable. Instead, God's will is the expression of his nature, which is holy."

We are not to imagine that God can by an arbitrary act of will declare a thing to be holy and it be holy. In Islamic thought, the will of Allah is supreme and arbitrary. In Christian thought God's will is always a true expression of His nature. It is incompatible with God's nature to declare one person obligated to the morality of the Ten Commandments and to declare a reverse morality for another. Under such an arrangement, God could reign by whim and fancy. We would not know what to expect next.

Since God's will is an expression of His holy nature, morality is rational. We can discover principles form our study of Scripture and apply them to things not mentioned in the Bible.

Holiness is the basic or fundamental attribute of God. As Thiessen explains: "Because of the fundamental character of this attribute, the holiness of God rather than the love, the power, or the will of God should be given first place. Holiness is the regulative principle of all there is of them; for the throne is established on the basis of His holiness" (Ps. 47:8; 89:14; 97:2).

This in one of the most important observations to be made in a doctrinal study. When love is made the basic attribute of God, it leads to the idea of universal salvation - an idea that finds no support whatever in Scripture. It also leads to compromise in moral issues. Love that is not subject to holiness is too ready to modify and compromise. It is only when holiness, not love, is seen to be the basic attribute of God that the biblical doctrines of Hell and Atonement can be maintained. It is holiness, not love, that sends sinners to Hell. It is holiness, not love, that demanded that sin be punished before God would forgive sin.

Righteousness and justice flow from God's holiness. When we speak of God as righteous, we mean that He is right in all that he does. Righteousness is an overall term that refers to all of God's dealings as being right.

Justice is an aspect of righteousness. God is righteous in His judicial proceedings in handing out punishments and rewards. Remunerative justice is the justice of God that guarantees that obedience will receive its appropriate reward. Retributive justice is the justice of God that guarantees that disobedience will receive its appropriate punishment. Justice is the guardian of God's holiness as well as the realm of heaven.

Note: it is God's Holiness and Righteousness which is the first attribute to be hated by the unrighteous. God's Holiness and Righteousness convicts us in our sin and assaults our ego. It is the first trait of God's to go when man makes God in his own image. It is God's Holiness and Righteousness which cause all who come before Him to experience Awe and to tremble before Him. In the face of God's Holiness we know who will really are and what we really are and we experience in a profound way how insignificant we are before the Almighty.

My 2 cents plus 2 cents from Francis

Francis,

I think one problem you have is that you are not thinking of God as Trinity as Father-Son-Holy Spirit; you're thinking of God as the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit as separate Beings.

God is LOVE ( 1 John 16); love is not just an attribute of God, it's His essence.ÂÂ  We don't know Love; some have a tiny glimmering of understandinof love but no one on this earth really knows love.ÂÂ  To gain any insight look at an image of Jesus (Love/God) crucified.ÂÂ  Love became one of us and let us reject, condemn, torture and murder Him to atone for our evil (our hatred of Him and each other), to make it possible for us to share in His eternal life, love and joy forever if we accept Him and His sacrifice for our sins, His Resurrection for us, His ascensdion into father for us, His sending of Holy Spirit into us.
Steve
« Last Edit: August 21, 2006, 07:06:03 PM by Steve Dennehy » Logged
francis-christopher
Banned
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Jurisdiction: Diocese of Richmond
Posts: 366


St. Francis pray for us!


« Reply #62 on: August 22, 2006, 10:01:05 AM »

In nomine Ieus I offer you peace Steve Denehy,

Sorry for not promptly responding to your posts Steve. Although I been able to visit and post over the past weekend I was on the road traveling and distracted with a few of the other active threads in this section. You're offered up some challenging ideas and ones I wish to reflect on in order to offer up my thoughts as clearly as possible.

So I ask for your patiences but I will respond soon. Thank you.

Sancte Francisce, Patriarcha pauperum, ora pro nobis.
Logged

Francisce-Christophorus

Sancte Francisce, athleta Christi, ora pro nobis. Amen.
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,404


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #63 on: August 24, 2006, 11:59:04 AM »


Frankly, a problem I see in Western Christianity is the lack of a sense of Trinity.  God tends to be conveyed as the Father only, with the Son and Holy Spirit as  separate Beings.  This  is because Roman Catholics and Protestants never address God as "Trinity" or as "Father-Son-Spirit" in their worship.  As people pray so they believe.

Steve
Do you really believe this? Think about it for a moment. All catholic benedictions are done in the name of the Blessed Trinity. All prayer is done with a sign of the cross and in the name of the Blessed Trinity. All theology is done with the Trinity in mind. Good parishes that use tools such as the Baltimore Catechism in religious education drill the doctrine of the Holy Trinity into the minds of their students. Catholicism is all about the Trinity.
Now I have heard to charges concerning the Tritnity levied against Catholics. The first is that of modalism. A well meaning Eastern Orthodox once told me that he believed that our scholastic theology reduced the hypostatises (persons) of the Trinity to nothing more than relations within the Godhead, and, thus, dimished their personhood into nothing more than manifestations of God. Now I am hearing your charge which posits the idea that Catholics seperate the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit into seperate beings. These two charges are extreme opposites, in a sense on different poles of heresy. The true and orthodox understanding of the Trinity lies in the middle where God is absolutely ONE in being within God there are THREE DISTINCT persons. Since Catholics are charged with both etremes of error by well meaning Eastern Orthodox Christians, I suspect that in truth we are in the middle with the orthodox understanding of the Trinity. We cannot be both modalists and polytheists at the same time.  Cheesy
As for Protestants, I will agree that many do not have a healthy understanding of the Trinity, and that for them, God is only the Father. I have seen this attitude alot among Protestants who always pray to the Father but never to Jesus or the Holy Spirit.
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
francis-christopher
Banned
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Jurisdiction: Diocese of Richmond
Posts: 366


St. Francis pray for us!


« Reply #64 on: August 24, 2006, 06:13:51 PM »

Francis,

I think one problem you have is that you are not thinking of God as Trinity as Father-Son-Holy Spirit; you're thinking of God as the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit as separate Beings.

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace Steve Dennehy,

Perhaps we have a misunderstanding between the unity of the Divine Will and the unique actions each personhood plays in the execution of that 'shared' Divine Will? Such might cause one to conclude that another might be claiming Tri-Theism (i.e. three Gods). Although I have never been accused of such before but there is always a first time for everything.   Embarrassed

Knowing that we are about to enter into what I hope to be a very fruitful discussion on the Trinity in another thread I will focus our efforts their as to not further derail this very interesting dialogue on the Atonement but if you could point out exactly why you believe my articulation of the Atonement demands an error in my understanding of the Trinity it would be helpful to address your concerns about the Trinity more narrowly here.

Quote
God is LOVE ( 1 John 16); love is not just an attribute of God, it's His essence.  We don't know Love; some have a tiny glimmering of understandinof love but no one on this earth really knows love.  To gain any insight look at an image of Jesus (Love/God) crucified.  Love became one of us and let us reject, condemn, torture and murder Him to atone for our evil (our hatred of Him and each other), to make it possible for us to share in His eternal life, love and joy forever if we accept Him and His sacrifice for our sins, His Resurrection for us, His ascensdion into father for us, His sending of Holy Spirit into us.

Let me say first that I understand what you are trying to say here but everything that we speak, in the affirmative, concerning the Almighty is an attribution on our part. The attributes or properties of God are perfections which, according to our analogical mode of thinking, proceed from the metaphysical substance of God and belong to it. Hence, we only know being of the absolutely simple Divine Substance "in part" (I Cor. 13:9), i.e. in a multiplicity of inadequate concepts, by which we know individual perfects of God truly but inadequately. By affirming an attribute, Catholics are not attempting to create complexities within the Godhead nor to affirm attributes which are outside of the Godhead of which He is composed.

The Divine Attributes are really identical among themselves and with the Divine Essense.

The reason lies in the absolute simplicity of God. The acceptence of a real distinction (distinctio realis) would lead to acceptance of a composition in God, and with that to a dissolution of the Godhead. In the year 1148, a Synod at Rhiems, in the presence of Pope Eugene III, condemned, on the instance of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the doctine of Gilbert of Poitiers, who, according to the accusation of his opponents, posited a real distinction between God and Godhead (Deus-Divinitas), between the Divine Persons and Their properties (Pater-paternitas), and, according to the accounts of his opponents, also, between the Divine Essense and the Divine Attributes. This accusation can hardly be demonstrated from Gilbert's writings. Against this doctrine, they Synod asserted the factual identity of God with the Godhead, that is with the Divine Nature and the Persons, as well as of God and His Attributes: Credimus et confitemur simplicem naturam divinitatis esse Deum nec aliquo sensu catholico posse negari, quin divinitas sit Deus et Deus divinitas... credimus, nonisi ea sapientia, quae est ipse Deus, esapientem esse, nonisi ea magnitudine, quae est ipse Deus, magnum esse est. (translated: We believe and confess with Catholic doctrine, can we deny that the divinity is God and God is the divinity... We believe that God is wise by that wisdom which is God Himself, that God is great by that greatness which is God Himself). D 389. The Union Council of Florence explained in the Decretum pro Jacobitis (1441): "(in God) all is one, where an opposition of relation does not exist." D 703.

Note it was these professions of the simplicity of God and the Godhead, of His Attributes and His Essense, in the West, which created such strife with the Greek Church, when in the 14th century the Hesychasts or Palamites taught a real distinction between the Divine Essense and the Divine Efficacy or the Divine Attributes. While the former was claimed to be unknowable, the latter was claimed to be vouchsafed to humanity in a condition of contemplative prayer through an uncreated Divine light (aka: Taborlight). With this they distinguished a higher and a lower, an invisible and a visible side of the Godhead. Historically, the Western Church has chaffed at this claim of encountering the uncreated Divine Attributes of God as a created manifestation of these Divine Attributes within His creation. Gilbert's opponents summed up the ecclesiastical doctrine advanced agaisnt his error in the words attributed to St. Augustine: Quidquid in Deo est Deus est. (Translated: What God has, that He is.)

Pax
« Last Edit: August 24, 2006, 11:23:28 PM by francis-christopher » Logged

Francisce-Christophorus

Sancte Francisce, athleta Christi, ora pro nobis. Amen.
francis-christopher
Banned
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Jurisdiction: Diocese of Richmond
Posts: 366


St. Francis pray for us!


« Reply #65 on: August 29, 2006, 07:40:23 PM »

In nomine Ieus I offer you all peace,

I was reflecting on the first part of the 2nd Reading of the 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time (This past Sunday) and it brought this thread to mind.

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us and hath delivered himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odour of sweetness. - Ephesians 5:2 DRB

And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. - Ephesians 5:2 RSV-CE

Again this leads me to reflect to whom was He delivered?

Pax

« Last Edit: August 29, 2006, 07:49:18 PM by francis-christopher » Logged

Francisce-Christophorus

Sancte Francisce, athleta Christi, ora pro nobis. Amen.
falafel333
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 337


« Reply #66 on: August 29, 2006, 08:49:31 PM »

He gives Himself as a sacrifice to God the Father, there's no doubt about that and in Himself He sacrifices all of humanity to the Father...it is a sacrifice of love, of one's self to God. Athough the Father has no need for such sacrifices, as St Gregory reiterates, in the sense that He does not necessitate it within His nature or essence; ie it is not given for the sake of the making right of some demand for retribution or the appeasement of some divine wrath but rather it is the fulfilment of the perfect will of God and of all righteousness in that man delivers his entire self up to God...He is the perfect martyr, the perfect monastic...The sacrifice has more of a positive understanding rather than a negative one.

In this sacrifice He bore our sins that He might nail it to the cross, He was delivered to the grave to Hades or to Satan that He might free those who were captive and to put an end to death and He delivered Himself up to the Father for the fulfilment of all righteousness that He might be glorified and in Himself glorify all of mankind.

I think all these aspects can be understood in an Orthodox sense.

To whom was the sacrifice then, depending on how one understands sacrifice it could be said that it was to many parties not in the sense that any of these parties had a demand on such a sacrifice but rather Christ performs it freely out of love...to the plunderer the sacrifice becomes a kind of death and to the Creator it is the renewal of His own love, through Christ Jesus His Son.
Logged
rakovsky
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 4,764



WWW
« Reply #67 on: June 23, 2011, 08:36:33 PM »

Hello, I wanted to ask a question about the idea of atonement.

Numbers 35:33 KJV says:
So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.

Doesn't this contradict the idea of substitutionary atonement?

It seems that this verse is contradictory, because another passage in the OT says that if the murderer cannot be found, then a cow is supposed to be killed to cleanse the land. So it sounds like something else's blood- the cow's blood- can cleanse the land in at least some circumstances.

Plus, the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement (leviticus 16) acted to cleanse the people and tabernacle of all sins.

So how to explain the verse?
Logged
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #68 on: June 23, 2011, 10:19:59 PM »

Hello, I wanted to ask a question about the idea of atonement.

Numbers 35:33 KJV says:
So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.

Doesn't this contradict the idea of substitutionary atonement?

It seems that this verse is contradictory, because another passage in the OT says that if the murderer cannot be found, then a cow is supposed to be killed to cleanse the land. So it sounds like something else's blood- the cow's blood- can cleanse the land in at least some circumstances.

Plus, the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement (leviticus 16) acted to cleanse the people and tabernacle of all sins.

So how to explain the verse?

They are both true.

BTW you just made a very strong case for purgatory, or the restoration of God's good order...by the sinner whose acts created the disorder in the first place.  If it is not done here then it is done in the here-after.
Logged

rakovsky
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 4,764



WWW
« Reply #69 on: February 13, 2012, 11:44:20 PM »

Dear elijahmaria,

I agree with you when you write:

Hello, I wanted to ask a question about the idea of atonement.

Numbers 35:33 KJV says:
So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.

Doesn't this contradict the idea of substitutionary atonement?

It seems that this verse is contradictory, because another passage in the OT says that if the murderer cannot be found, then a cow is supposed to be killed to cleanse the land. So it sounds like something else's blood- the cow's blood- can cleanse the land in at least some circumstances.

Plus, the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement (leviticus 16) acted to cleanse the people and tabernacle of all sins.

So how to explain the verse?

They are both true.
By saying they are both true, I assume you mean both elements of the contradiction: (1) the principle in Numbers that "the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it" and (2) the principle of substitutionary atonement.

I think they are both true principles, because:
(A) the Mosaic Law contained and indeed emphasized both principles, as shown by the examples I mentioned; and
(B) It makes sense to propose a general principle or rule, like (1) above, and to also propose a substitution for it, like (2). For example, a school could hypothetically have a rule that "Math class cannot be taught by anyone but Mr. Smith", and then allow a substitute teacher to come and teach the class in Mr. Smith's place. Or to give another example, a rule could be that a child cannot drink anything but milk and water, and the substitution for the milk could be, say, soy milk or other "fake" milk drinks.

However, I strongly disagree with you when you say:
Quote
BTW you just made a very strong case for purgatory, or the restoration of God's good order...by the sinner whose acts created the disorder in the first place.  If it is not done here then it is done in the here-after.
It seems that you are saying that:
(1) Purgatory means the sinner whose acts initially created the disorder restores God's good order as part of purgatory,
(2) The sinner's restorative work of purgatory happens in the hereafter if not now, and
(3) This restorative work is very strongly supported by the "both true" principles of (a)the perpetrator's atonement and (b)of substitutionary atonement.

Assuming the concept of purgatory was true, (2) makes sense: that the work of purgatory happens in the hereafter if not now, since it proposes asystem of the perpetrators' own atonement that extends in reach into the hereafter.

However, I am not sure whether the principle of the perpetrator's atonement supports purgatory, because as I understand it, the idea of purgatory was first developed in the Middle Ages in Western Christianity, and doesn't exist in Judaism or Eastern Orthodox Christianity, even though the concept of perpetrator's atonement is known in all three of those religious groups.

But more clearly, the principle of substitutionary atonement opposes the idea of purgatory. The principal of substitutionary atonement means that a substitute for the sinner comes and bears the punishment instead of the sinner. In purgatory on the other hand as you describe it, the sinner himself/herself suffers restorative punishment for the disorder he/she created.

One could claim that where purgatory applies, substitutionary atonement doesn't apply. But in such instances, the principle of substitutionary atonement doesn't make any case for purgatory. Furthermore, I accept the Orthodox idea that we don't know how God judges.

But where one proposes that the person undergoes atonement for his or her own sins without a substitution- like the substitution of Christ- it seems that murderers wouldn't be able to undergo purgatory because the full punishment in the sense of an eye for an eye would be their own death, while purgatory on the other hand seems to be a purging of the sinners' sins though suffering whereby the sinner survives the purging atonement process.

And furthermore, while I see that as part of suffering in purgatory the sinner would undergo some kind of equitable suffering, it seems incorrect to refer to it as restoring God's order, since it seems the person harmed by the initial sin wouldn't be restored by the sinner's suffering. I suppose it would be restorative in the sense that the sinner himself would lose the sins. But in any case I doubt that punishment itself actually restores people or heals their sins. Rather it seems to me that repentance itself is what heals souls. Punishment itself harms the person, although the person could react differently to it- overcoming it perhaps. But repentance seems to serve to restore the person's soul, or to make a change inside it, which I think is what the term "repentance" means.

I wish you health and happiness.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 11:46:23 PM by rakovsky » Logged
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #70 on: February 14, 2012, 12:53:31 PM »

Dear elijahmaria,

I agree with you when you write:

Hello, I wanted to ask a question about the idea of atonement.

Numbers 35:33 KJV says:
So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.

Doesn't this contradict the idea of substitutionary atonement?

It seems that this verse is contradictory, because another passage in the OT says that if the murderer cannot be found, then a cow is supposed to be killed to cleanse the land. So it sounds like something else's blood- the cow's blood- can cleanse the land in at least some circumstances.

Plus, the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement (leviticus 16) acted to cleanse the people and tabernacle of all sins.

So how to explain the verse?

They are both true.
By saying they are both true, I assume you mean both elements of the contradiction: (1) the principle in Numbers that "the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it" and (2) the principle of substitutionary atonement.


Please pardon me for breaking this up into bits and pieces.  I don't manipulate the text editor very quickly or accurately so this is easier for me.

The first thing that I want to address is the idea of substitutionary atonement.  

As a Catholic I am not taught to speak of Christ substituting for anyone.  Jesus does not "substitute" for my responsibilities.  I am taught that His sacrifice is a propitiation or an offering of appeasement and reconciliation.  The word propitiate derives from the Latin root which means gracious.

We are all responsible for our personal sins and their consequences.

The difficulty lies in the fact that we are not capable of atoning for all that is beset by evil after the fall, nor the restoration of the original justice [goodness of creation],  nor are we capable of doing anything BUT cooperating with the Redemptive graces of the Resurrection, AND ongoing Salvific graces of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Without grasping all of those foundational assertions of the teaching, at least this much, for I have not been exhaustive, there's no way to go with the assessment of the teaching except to go the wrong way.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 01:25:10 PM by elijahmaria » Logged

elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #71 on: February 14, 2012, 01:22:53 PM »


However, I strongly disagree with you when you say:
Quote
BTW you just made a very strong case for purgatory, or the restoration of God's good order...by the sinner whose acts created the disorder in the first place.  If it is not done here then it is done in the here-after.
It seems that you are saying that:
(1) Purgatory means the sinner whose acts initially created the disorder restores God's good order as part of purgatory,
(2) The sinner's restorative work of purgatory happens in the hereafter if not now, and
(3) This restorative work is very strongly supported by the "both true" principles of (a)the perpetrator's atonement and (b)of substitutionary atonement.


I understand your logical train of thought here but that is not what I am saying:

I am saying, as I mentioned in the first note, that NO ONE can restore God's good order [justice] but God.

I am saying that we are called upon, in so far as we are the adopted sons and daughters of God, to share in His divine life which includes divine restoration of divine justice.

I am saying that faith and works are both a part of that co-operative action and that holiness must be achieved by all who are in the presence of God and what cannot be completed on earth will be completed in the life of the world to come, and all which exists in between.

M.

Logged

Azul
Moderated
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Român Ortodox
Jurisdiction: Eastern Orthodox
Posts: 988



« Reply #72 on: February 14, 2012, 01:39:21 PM »

How does Jesus' death atone for us?

How are we saved, what did Jesus accomplish through his death on the Cross?
Logged

Every formula of every religion has in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal assent.
Mahatma Gandhi
Scotty
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Jurisdiction: Diocese of Portland
Posts: 86



« Reply #73 on: February 15, 2012, 01:53:39 PM »

Wow, these surprised me as a very productive and good thread.  Then I noticed the date...
Logged
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #74 on: February 15, 2012, 01:56:55 PM »

Wow, these surprised me as a very productive and good thread.  Then I noticed the date...

 Cheesy  It is still a good thread and rakovsky brought it back in a very good way.
Logged

Tags: salvation 
Pages: « 1 2  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.145 seconds with 58 queries.