Saturday, October 4

Orthodox Theology and My Theology

Things I agree with and like about Orthodox that are not present in much or all of Protestantism. Interestingly, with the exception of Mary's virginity, I believed all these things before realizing that the Orthodox believed them. I'm not including anything on worship because I want to limit this to just theology. Worship is much less uniform in Protestantism anyway.

  • Rejection of the penal substitution theory of the Atonement. I'm still in the process of understanding their view of the Atonement and I love everything I've encountered so far.
  • Their understanding of symbols as something that is real (or as communicating the real so to speak) versus something only metaphorical.
  • Transubstantiation. The the Eucharist is the Christ's blood and body. Goes back to symbols.
  • Baptism as sacrament and remission of sin. Going back to symbols again.
  • Fasting.
  • Perpetual virginity of Mary.
  • Salvation comes through both faith and actions.
  • Openness to salvation outside the Church.
  • Authority of tradition.
  • Understanding of original sin.
  • Theosis.
  • Rejection of the perseverance of the saints, total depravity (depending on how you understand it), unconditional election, and irresistible grace
  • Salvation as process. No point of conversion or justification.
  • Near ignorance of justification.

Then there are a couple beliefs I don't affirm, but I recognize I may change my stance in the future.
  • Understanding of the afterlife. That heaven is a place we (may) go to immediately when we die.
  • The intercession of the saints and Mary. Simply because of the above aspect. If it turns out the saints are conscious now, I would request their prayers.
  • The canon. I am leaning heavily Orthodox on this at the moment.
And a few things I disagree with and I expect to always disagree with.
  • Their authority of tradition. Yes, I both like and dislike this.
  • The degree of the Church's authority.
  • Gender complementarianism. Yields rejection of female ordination and same-sex marriage. It doesn't demand but does imply a negative stand on transgenderism.
You'll notice I'm far closer to Orthodox thought that Protestant, even if I don't change any more of my beliefs. If I compared Orthodoxy with Roman Catholicism I'd have a similar imbalance.

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